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Withdrawal from conference is a simple attempt to help right a wrong

In connection with a recent editorial (“Stephen Hawking: peaceful protest, angry outcry,” May 11), I would like to point out that academics are under no obligation, moral or otherwise, to attend a given international conference, and when someone decides to withdraw from a conference in order to draw attention to a grave injustice — in the case at hand, Israel’s ongoing illegal occupation of territories conquered in 1967 — then his action is simply an attempt to apply pressure to right a wrong by peaceful means.

Ordinarily a newspaper would not deserve to be congratulated for stating the obvious, but given some of the hysterical reactions to physicist Stephen Hawking’s decision, the Globe’s editorial was a much-needed corrective.

David Rohrlich

Jamaica Plain

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