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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/10/13

Attacks on Stephen Hawking, transparency for Manning, Obama's new lobbyist chief

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Source: The Guardian

Debates over Israel and activism in defense of transparency and journalism heat up this week

I'm traveling rather extensively this week -- the last week of travel I have for quite some time, thankfully -- so here are several brief items worthy of note:

(1) As the Guardian was the first to report, the physicist Stephen Hawking withdrew from "a conference hosted by Israeli president Shimon Peres in Jerusalem as a protest at Israel's treatment of Palestinians." The resulting attacks on Hawking were instant and predictable.

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The Israeli writer Noam Sheizaf has written the best article I've read on the entire matter. He points out that the event from which Hawking withdrew is not really an academic one but rather "an annual celebration of the Israeli business, political and military elites," and he rebuts the principal attacks on Hawking. Juan Cole adds this simple point:

"Israel, which daily steals Palestinian land and resources, is like a wealthy person who insists on burglarizing his neighbor, and naturally after a while the dinner invitations in polite society drop off."

As any writer well knows, nothing guarantees more vicious, personalized, or sustained attacks than criticizing the Israeli government: it's one of the reasons so many people refrain from doing so. Haaretz columnist Bradley Burston this morning references just a few of the despicable attacks on Hawking (he notes that Israeli professor Steven Plaut wrote of the wheelchair-bound physicist: "I suggest that the people of Israel send Hawking for a free trip on the Achille Lauro!!") and calls on everyone to stand up to these sorts of bullying campaigns and smear tactics. Meanwhile, one writer tries here to depict Hawking as a hypocrite for having visited Iran and China, but that claim is quickly and thoroughly destroyed by commenters in the comment section: one of the things about the internet I love most.

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[Subscribe to Glenn Greenwald] Glenn Greenwald is a journalist,former constitutional lawyer, and author of four New York Times bestselling books on politics and law. His most recent book, "No Place to Hide," is about the U.S. surveillance state and his experiences reporting on the Snowden documents around the world. His forthcoming book, to be published in April, 2021, is about Brazilian history and current politics, with a focus on his experience in reporting a series of expose's in 2019 and 2020 which exposed high-level corruption by powerful officials in the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, which subsequently attempted to prosecute him for that reporting.

Foreign Policy magazine named Greenwald one of the top 100 Global Thinkers for 2013. He was the debut winner, along with "Democracy Now's" Amy Goodman, of the Park Center I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism in 2008, and also received the 2010 Online Journalism Award for his investigative work breaking the story of the abusive (more...)

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