Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking announced this week that he would not be attending a major academic conference in Jerusalem in June as a way of showing "respect" for the Palestinians' academic boycott of Israel. In response, one rabbi said Hawking was joining the Church of Scotland in "demonizing" Israel.
"I was looking forward to hearing the iconic Stephen Hawking," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in an article for Fox News. "After agreeing to deliver the coveted keynote in Jerusalem, the highly unorthodox Hawking, who has visited Israel four times, has caved to the prevailing virulent anti-Israel orthodoxy among the United Kingdom's elite and announced he'll boycott because of Palestinian protests.
"It's interesting that Hawking, who is a principled atheist, has some kindred souls among theologians of the Church of Scotland." more >>
CBS "700 Club" host Pat Robertson has warned Secretary of State John Kerry that any peace agreement in the Middle East that results in Israel losing parts of Jerusalem will be calling on "God's wrath."
"I think this is headed for disaster for the United States," Robertson said on a video posted on April 9. The televangelist was responding to the latest news story concerning peace developments between Israel and Palestine, being moderated by Kerry.
"Each of them made very serious and well-considered, constructive suggestions with respect to what the road forward might look like," Kerry said while meeting Israel and Palestinian leaders this week in peace negotiations that are expected to last several months. A number of issues are being discussed, including how to restore economic stability in the Middle East and how to move forward on the question of land property that has historically divided the two nations. more >>
During his trip to Israel, President Barack Obama stated that the Jewish state has "the unshakeable support" of the United States in its efforts to defend its country and make peace with its neighbors.
At remarks given Thursday at the Jerusalem Convention Center, President Obama spoke about the strong ties between the United States and Israel.
"Those ties began only 11 minutes after Israeli independence, when the United States was the first nation to recognize the State of Israel," said Obama. more >>
President Obama was heckled during his speech to Israeli students Thursday morning. The President's stop at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem is part of a larger Middle Eastern tour that began in the country Wednesday.
Obama was heckled while speaking to the students about the need for peace between Israel and Palestine. He mentioned meeting young Palestinians who "weren't that different from your daughters and sons" when he was interrupted by an angry heckler screaming in Hebrew.
The heckler interjected, yelling about Jonathan Jay Pollard, an American intelligence analyst who was caught spying for Israel in 1987 and has served an unprecedented 28 years behind bars in North Carolina. It's assumed the man was demanding his release, according to a White House pool report, and the President characteristically acknowledged him. more >>
U.S. President Barack Obama quoted Scripture upon beginning his historical trip to Israel Wednesday, which is meant to serve as a symbolic friendship gesture to the U.S.'s primary ally in the Middle East.
Upon de-boarding Air Force One at Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion International Airport, President Obama reportedly held a press conference in front of Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak on the nature of his visit.
President Obama arrived in Israel on Wednesday, marking the first time he has visited the Middle Eastern country during his presidency.
The President began a 3-day visit and stressed to wary Israelis that the U.S. is committed to aiding the country provide its own security. He said that the country is also looking for a way for the nations in the region to come to some sort of peaceful agreement.
"I see this visit as an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between our nations, to restate America's unwavering commitment to Israel's security and to speak directly to the people of Israel and to your neighbors," Obama told reporters at Tel Aviv airport. more >>