Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Israel deserves praise, not this vilification

BRENDAN O'Brien writes, "May God bless Professor Hawking for supporting the academic boycott of Israel" (Write Back, May 15).

I presume that he is referring to the God of the Bible, otherwise known as the God of Israel? The very word 'Isra-El' has the Hebrew name for 'God' in it ('El' is a contracted form of 'Elohim').

The boycott of Israeli academia proposed by people like Brendan O'Brien and Professor Stephen Hawking will only inhibit learning and progress.

This is one way of interpreting the verses in the Bible which predict that all families of the earth will be blessed by the Jewish race.

In fact, the Hebrew word 'Judah' (from which we get the English word 'Jew') means 'praise.'

Ironically, it is a microchip from Israel that enables Prof Hawking to speak at all. I would suggest that Prof Hawking doesn't bite the hand that feeds him. God will be more likely to bless him if he doesn't curse the apple of His eye.

Boycotting is hardly blessing Israel and the God of Israel declares that, as long as there is a sun and moon in the sky, Israel will not cease to be a nation before Him.

If Jesus Himself was a Jew, then we should honour that race – not denigrate or vilify them.

COLIN NEVIN

Bangor, Co Down

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