I never heard that the super-famous astronomer and cosmologist Stephen Hawking made any political statement before but in this year of 2009 he seems to have not been able to contain himself anymore, confronted with the genocide of Gaza. He said:
If Israel wants peace, it will have to talk to Hamas, like Britain did with the IRA. Hamas are the democratically elected leaders of the Palestinian people, and cannot be ignored.
The situation is like that in South Africa before 1990. It cannot continue.Source: The First Post. Found via Mounadil al Djazaïri blog (in French).