BDS-backing Jewish horse expert stands by ‘fair’ snub of Israeli schoolgirl

BDS-backing Jewish horse expert stands by ‘fair’ snub of Israeli schoolgirl

Israel-bashing Dr. Marsha Levine says she didn’t want to make 13-year-old ‘feel better about herself’; says Israeli Jews have ‘become the Nazis’

A child and a horse at a West Bank outpost in 2009. Illustrative photo. (Gili Yaari / Flash 90)
A child and a horse at a West Bank outpost in 2009. Illustrative photo. (Gili Yaari / Flash 90)

A British-American academic who rebuffed a request for information from an Israeli schoolgirl, citing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, defended her decision on Tuesday as “fair,” and said she didn’t want to boost the 13-year-old girl’s “ego or make her feel better about herself.”

Horse expert Dr. Marsha Levine, who is Jewish, charged that Jews in Israel have become “monsters” and “Nazis.”

Shachar Rabinovitch wrote recently to Levine that she was doing a school project about horses and requested details about the domestication and breeding of early horse species.

According to a Facebook post by her mother, Shamir, on Monday, Levine replied: “I’ll answer your questions when there is peace and justice for Palestinians in Palestine.”

In an interview with the Jewish Chronicle, Levine said: “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.

“I want this girl not to worry about horses. I don’t need people emailing me… I don’t see any obligation to further her ego or make her feel better about herself,” she added. Levine said she gave Rabinovitch “useful information which might help her for the rest of her life.”

The former Cambridge University lecturer and supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement also accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of “ethnic cleansing.”

“The Jews have become the Nazis. Jews are behaving just like the people who treated them. It’s not all Israelis or all Jews,” she said.

Levine also likened Israelis to “monsters” and said she was constantly misquoted by the media.

“It’s really fascinating that the JC [Jewish Chronicle] and the people behind it claim they speak for Jews,” she said. “You don’t speak for me. Never once was I quoted correctly in the past, not even about the bloody horses.”

In her letter to Rabinovitch, Levine noted that she was “a member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians. I support Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions.”

She added: “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.”

Levine referred Shachar to the website of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, and in particular a page that lauded the work of Israel’s “New Historians,” who “have generally confirmed the conclusions of Arab historians… and conversely have disproved the assertions of the traditional ‘Zionist’ historians whose work has been shown to contain a lot of nationalist myth-making.”

The “New Historians,” who emerged in the late 1980s, challenged key aspects of the mainstream narrative of modern Israeli history, notably regarding the exodus of Palestinians from what is today’s Israel and Palestinian readiness for peace.

Shamir Rabinovitch (Facebook)
Shamir Rabinovitch (Facebook)

Shamir Rabinovitch described the academic’s response as “unbelievable.”

“The BDS movement is here,” wrote Shachar’s mother. “The reply that was sent to a 13-year-old girl is unbelievable, a girl who has not yet managed to kill anyone and, on the contrary, is quite supportive of world peace and brotherhood.”

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