President Of Free Software Foundation Richard Stallman Pulls Out Of Israel Lectures

Open source advocate and president of the Free Software Foundation, Richard Stallman, has cancelled a series of lectures and public appearances he was due to make in Israel because they were on the same itinerary as a visit to the Occupied Territories paid for by Palestinians.

Stallman was booked to speak at Haifa University, Tel Aviv University and Shenkar College in July when he also has engagements in the Occupied Territories as part of a trip paid for by Palestinian organisations.

When they found out about Stallman's other engagements his Palestinian hosts threatened to pull the funding, which in turn lead Stallman to cancel his Israeli dates, according to thinq_

"The funds for my travel to Israel are coming from Palestinians who invited me to give talks for them," Stallamn wrote. "They are unhappy that I offered to give talks at Israeli universities, and say they won't buy the tickets if I'm going to do that. So I can go, and cancel these speeches, or not go, and cancel these speeches. I think it is best if I go, and give the speeches they originally invited me to give. I am sorry for the disappointment this will cause."

Stallman's correspondent, Edward Aronovich, who was to coordinate the visit to Israel claims that: "Boycotting the Israeli Universities since you get funds from Palestinians means that you accepted the Palestinians proprietary license. Neither you nor them want to help their neighbor. That is the meaning of what you are doing."