Building at Cambridge University in England..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A 13-year-old Israeli student was turned down by a retired Jewish Cambridge University researcher after reaching out for help on a school assignment.
Shachar Rabinovitz, a horse enthusiast from a kibbutz in northern Israel, sent an email to Dr. Marsha Levine, a Cambridge-educated academic and an expert on horse domestication.
Rabinovitz asked for help on an assignment relevant to Levine’s field.
“I’m from Israel,” her e-mail began. “I’m doing an assessment for school about horses, and it will be great if you can answer a few questions that I will ask.”
Instead of receiving answers to her questions, Rabinovitz was met with criticism over the plight of Palestinians in Israel.
“I’ll answer your questions when there is peace and justice for Palestinians in Palestine,” Levine wrote.
She explained that she is a member of the organization Jews for Justice for Palestinians, and a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
“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 the lives of Palestinian people,” Levine wrote.
She included a link to the pro-Palestinian organization’s website, urging Rabinovitz to educate herself about Palestinian history.
Levine later told The Telegraph that if a student from a country other than Israel had reached out to her, she would have responded differently.
“Kids have questions, I usually answer their questions,” she said. “But I have agreed to BDS, and I do want to see justice for Palestine,” she told the UK daily.
“In Israel, the majority of Israelis support the policies of the government which abuses the rights of Palestinians, so the fact is, I don’t want to help Israelis, and if you don’t start with children, where do you start?,” Levine said.
“And she is not that young anyway, her English is pretty good. If people don’t stand up for justice, the world is going to come to an end.”