Leftist Jewish BDS activist Dr. Marsha A. Levine demonstrates the danger of academic boycotts.
I have warned you for years about the malicious nature of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. There is nothing funny about these people, even if they sometimes act like clowns.
And the worst of the worst, we’ve also documented, are leftist Jews. Whether it’s Jewish Voice for Peace, offshoot groups which make sure to use “Jewish” in their names, the “as a Jew” activists or even our own local Ithaca activists, being anti-Israel has become a religion and an obsession.
The academic boycott making its way through some faculty organizations has brought that obsession into the realm of education, unilaterally deciding who gets to learn what, and who gets shut out of the flow of information and exchange of ideas.
A case broke overnight which epitomizes the evil of the academic boycott movement as much as any case I’ve seen.
Shachar Rabinovitch is a 13-year old girl in Israel who is a big fan of horses. Here she is riding a horse
while on vacation in Cyprus during horse jumps competition for juniors in the farm where she rode for a few years, according to her father:
Shachar emailed British-American scholar Marsha A. Levine, who until recently was a researcher at McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research of the University of Cambridge in Britain, where she lives. [Note: After this story broke, someone took down the page on the University of Cambridge website, but I already had saved it at Wayback Machine.]
Levine is a noted scholar on the anthropology and archaeology of horses.
Levine also supports BDS.
Levine is a signatory to a letter denouncing Israel from “Jews for Justice for Palestinians,” and shares posts from the usual BDS groups like Jewish Voice for Peace on her Facebook page:
What happened next was truly astounding.
Levine refused to answer the child’s questions, and instead lectured her on the evil of Israel.
Here is the exchange as posted on Facebook by Shamir Rabinovitz, Shachar’s father:
Yair Rosenberg has a copy of the actual email:
When I first saw it, I didn’t post right away because surely something must have been lost in translation. Or it was a parody, even though the Facebook page on which it was posted seemed legitimate. I emailed Levine, but no response.
There was no misunderstanding or mistranslation. And it was not parody.
The Jewish Chronicle in Britain reached Levine, and Levine is standing by her refusal:
Dr Levine, a supporter of the Jews for Justice for Palestinians activist group, said she was not embarrassed by her response to the girl and had believed it was “fair” not to help her.
She said Jews had “turned themselves into monsters” in their treatment of Palestinians in Gaza….
Contacted by the JC on Tuesday, the American former academic defended her response.
She said: “I didn’t ask her to email me. I don’t know how she got my email address. I can do whatever I want. I didn’t invite her to email me. If she wanted to read anything I had written she could find it on the internet….
“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’m a signatory to Jews for Justice for Palestinians and I sent her a link. I did it as a matter of conscience. The way Israel treats Palestinians is totally disgusting.”
Dr Levine said she wanted Miss Rabinovitch to stand up to violence when she grows up.
“The violence against Palestinians never stops”, the Cambridge-based former academic said.
“The people who live in Gaza cannot get education, health, water. What does it say about Jews that they support that? Jews have turned themselves into monsters.
“I want this girl not to worry about horses. I don’t need people emailing me. I’m not an academic anymore. My research was all in the past. I’m doing other things now. 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.
“Benjamin Netanyahu wants 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.
“It’s really fascinating that the JC and the people behind it claim they speak for Jews. You don’t speak for me. Never once was I quoted correctly in the past, not even about the bloody horses. I want justice for Palestine.”
The Telegraph in Britain also got through to Levine, who made clear that her refusal to answer questions from a 13-year old was based on her adherence to BDS:
Dr Levine, who completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Archaeology before taking up research posts at Columbia University and Syracuse University in New York, told The Telegraph that if a school student from a different country had got in touch with her to ask about horses, she would have responded differently.
“Kids have questions, I usually answer their questions,” she said. “But I have agreed to BDS [the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel], and I do want to see justice for Palestine.
“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?
This is the same sick logic that causes BDS activists to do things like turn a 3rd Grade human rights event in Ithaca into an anti-Israel propaganda event.
Reached via Facebook, Shamir told me why he posted the story about what happened to his daughter:
I was angry because it is evil to drag 13 years old girl that only sent question about horses to the political boycott mud.
Academic BDS supporters always tells us they don’t boycott “individuals” only institutions. They are liars, and Marsha Levine is the proof.
[Note: Some material was added to this post after publication.]DONATE
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