09/05/2013 13:40 BST

Change My Mind: Is Stephen Hawking's Boycott Of Israel Fair?


Renowned scientist and author Professor Stephen Hawking made headlines this week after he pulled out of a June conference in Israel on Wednesday.

After some initial confusion over why Professor Hawking chose not to attend the conference, hosted by the country's president Shimon Peres, it emerged through a statement, approved by the celebrated physicist, that his withdrawal was for political reasons, and not for health reasons as was believed.

The University of Cambridge had alleged on Wednesday that his reasons for non-attendance were purely health related, but was later forced into a volte-face.

Hawking's withdrawal raised a debate: Is a boycott the right course of action? What do you think?

Below, campaigner and author Ben White blogs on how boycotts can change political landscapes, while former adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu Tzahi Gavrieli blogs on why it's wrong for Hawking to "boycott an entire people".

Can either of them change your mind?