A former professor at Cambridge University refused a 13-year-old Israeli student’s request for help with a school assignment because the student said she was from Israel, The Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.
Shachar Rabinovitz wrote to Dr. Marsha Levine, an expert on horses, with some questions on the subject. Levine, who says she usually answers such queries, in this case replied:
“I’ll answer your questions when there is peace and justice for Palestinians in Palestine…
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,” Levine told the girl, who identified herself in her query as an Israeli.
Levine is a member of the organization Jews for Justice for Palestinians, and a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Instead of answering her questions on horses, she advised Shachar to study the history of the Palestinians.
Levine told the British newspaper The Telegraph that Rabinovitz’s age made no difference to her.
“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?” she 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.”
Shachar’s mother Shamir denounced the response:
“The reply that was sent to a 13-year-old girl is unbelievable, a girl who has not yet managed to kill anyone and actually is quite supportive of world peace and brotherhood,” she said.
A Cambridge University spokesperson distanced the university from Levine in a statement to the UK Jewish Chronicle.
“She is no longer part of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and is not employed by the university. The views expressed are her own,” he said.