Cambridgeshire Constabulary is investigating after Campaign Against Antisemitism filed a complaint against a retired University of Cambridge academic who allegedly told an Israeli schoolgirl that she will not answer her question about horses until “there is peace and justice for Palestinians”. Asked about her motivation, she reportedly said that the “Jews have become the Nazis”. The case caused uproar on social media and in the national press, but no police investigation was opened until Campaign Against Antisemitism took action.
Dr Marsha Levine, an expert on the domestication and history of horses, was reportedly 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 allegedly responded coldly 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.”
Interviewed by the JC after the alleged e-mail exchange was posted on Facebook, Levine reportedly 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, Shachar’s father, 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.”
We will now leave the case in the hands of the police and follow its progress with interest.
Campaign Against Antisemitism is a volunteer-led charity dedicated to exposing and countering antisemitism through education and zero-tolerance enforcement of the law. Everything that we do is done by people who volunteer their time, using donations contributed by members of the public. Join the fight against antisemitism by subscribing to our updates, volunteering, or donating.