Stephen Hawking's boycot of a major academic conference in Israel pales in comparison to the words and deeds of Heidegger and Chomsky. Yet, it reminds us that the smartest people do not always have the right answers.
I have two rules about people's positive actions. The first is that they are always more important than their intentions, whatever they may be. The second is the rule articulated by Maimonides nearly 800 years ago: embrace truth regardless of its source.
The anti-boycott law passed this week has sparked a storm of controversy both inside Israel and within Jewish communities abroad. The legislation effectively criminalizes Israelis who answer the Palestinian civil society call to join the BDS movement.
The absence of meaningful action from governments to hold Israel accountable to international law obliges citizens of conscious to take moral responsibility upon themselves, as done against apartheid South Africa.