Palestinian pressure causes Linux founder to cancel Israel visit

Richard Stallman bowed to pressure from his Palestinian hosts who threatened to withdraw funding for the trip.

The Palestinian boycott has spread to the Israeli high-tech world. Richard Stallman, who initiated the free software movement and launched the Linux operating system, has cancelled his lectures in Israel following Palestinian pressure, according to Gal Mor's blog "holes in the net."

Stallman was scheduled to visit Israel in July and to speak at Haifa University, Tel Aviv University and Shenkar College. The Palestinians initiated the visit, but when they understood that Stallman would also be speaking at Israeli universities they told him they would no longer fund the trip. In response, Stallman announced that he would cancel the speaking engagements in Israel, and would be satisfied with visiting the Palestinian Authority regions only.

"I am sorry for the disappointment that I have caused," wrote Stallman.

Mor published on his blog that Eddie Aharonovich, who is coordinating Stallman's trip to Israel, replied to Stallman saying that it is his legitimate right, "But that boycotting Israeli universities because of money from the Palestinians means that you have made a philosophical decision to side with the Palestinians. I suggest that you reconsider the meaning of the word "free" in connection with the agreements that you are signing."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com on May 29, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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