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A retired professor who used to teach at the University of Cambridge has told an Israeli schoolgirl that she will not answer her question about horses until “there is peace and justice for Palestinians”. Marsha Levine, an expert on the domestication and history of horses was approached by 13-year-old Shachar Rabinovitch by e-mail. Shachar was undertaking a school project and sent Levine an e-mail in her best, most polite English. Levine politely responded that “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. Maybe your family has the same views as I do, but I doubt it.”

Speaking to a Jewish journalist1, Levine said: “Jews have turned themselves into monsters. I want this girl not to worry about horses…I don’t see any obligation to further her ego or make her feel better about herself. I don’t think it’s about her – I think it’s about her parents. I gave her useful information which might help her for the rest of her life. I have to stand up for what I believe in…The Jews have become the Nazis. Jews are behaving just like the people who treated them. It’s not all Israelis or all Jews.”

Speaking to the Telegraph, Shamir Rabinovitch, who posted his daughter Shachar’s e-mail exchange with Levine on Facebook, said he was “shocked” by the reply. He said: “You have to ask yourself: what is there to gain from not talking to a 13-year-old girl? How does that solve anything? She asked a very polite question about horses, something she is interested in. Why do you reply with such anger? It really crossed the boundary. I think it’s ok to have different opinions about Israel…But it’s not OK to involve children in this stuff.”

Sources: Israelly Cool and The Telegraph

 

 


 

1 Dysch, M. (2015) Ex-Cambridge academic justifies boycotting Israeli schoolgirl by claiming ‘Jews have become Nazis’, Jewish Chronicle, 1 December


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