Ex-Cambridge academic boycotts teen's horse questions because girl is Israeli

A former Cambridge academic told an Israeli teenager she would answer her questions about horses “when there is peace and justice for Palestinians in Palestine” and later doubled down on her comments, telling the Jewish Chronicle that “Jews have become the Nazis.”

“You might be a child, but if you are old enough to write to me, you are old enough to learn about Israeli history and how it has impacted on the lives of Palestinian people,” Dr. Marsha Levine wrote to Shachar Rabinovich, 13, on Nov. 26, according to a transcript of the exchange posted by Rabinovich’s mother on Facebook and screenshots of the emails posted in the media.

"I can do whatever I want."

— Dr. Marsha Levine

Levine, a horse expert who served as a senior research associate at Cambridge’s McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, told Rabinovich in the email that she is a member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians and supported the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement.

“I didn’t ask her to email me,” Levine, who lives in England, told the Chronicle. “I don’t know how she got my email address. I can do whatever I want.”

She added: “I made the decision that I have the choice not to waste my time on people who tread on the rights of other people. I didn’t do anything to her. I said that when there is justice for Palestine I will answer her – that’s a fair answer…The violence against Palestinians never stops. The people who live in Gaza cannot get education, health, water. What does it say about Jews that they support that? Jews have turned themselves into monsters.”

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What type of questions drew such ire from Levine?

Here’s an example: “How did the ancient humens (sic) created new breeds or kept the ones who already were existent?”

Rabinovitch’s dad, Shamir Rabinovich, told the Chronicle that children were “out of the equation” in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Political arguments are something that should be conducted by adults,” Shamir said. “Boycotting a 13-year-old girl just to prove something is no better than not treating some kid in an Israeli hospital just because his father is a terrorist. Kids for me are out of the equation.”

But Levine said it was important for her to stand up for her views, even if that entailed shunning horse questions from a teenager writing from more than 3,000 miles away.

“Benjamin Netanyahu wants ethnic cleansing,” Levine told the Chronicle. “The Jews have become the Nazis…It’s really fascinating that the JC and the people behind it claim they speak for Jews. You don’t speak for me. Never once was I quoted correctly in the past, not even about the bloody horses. I want justice for Palestine.”

A Cambridge spokesperson told the Chronicle that Levine’s views “are her own.”