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BDS-supporting scholar refuses to answer science question from Israeli girl

BDS-supporting scholar refuses to answer science question from Israeli girl

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 Rabinovitch Facebook Riding Horse

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.

Marsha Levine - Domestication and early history 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:

Marsha Levine Facebook Jewish Voice for Peace Share

Marsha Levine Facebook US Campaign Share

Marsha Levine Facebook Tell UN to drop contractor G4S

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:

Shachar Rabinovitch Marsha Levine Email Exchange

Yair Rosenberg has a copy of the actual email:

Marsha Levine - Email Shachar Rabinovitz

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.]


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So…Dr. Levine is a moron and a disgrace to the profession? Why am I increasingly not surprised by this sort of idiocy in whackademia anymore?

Glad I left.

Young Shachar now has a detailed picture of a horse from the back.

If I am going to hold to my politically Independent roots – I would like to know more about the 13 year olds father and his political ties.

Dr Levine is a mean spirited, self righteous, bigoted a-hole but this seems to be common knowledge. How did the little girl get Levin’s email address and why ask for her help. Most 13 year olds would google it them selves or if for some reason they are a “fan” of a particular expert would I think have worded the email in a different way.

A recent CAIR example is clock boy who most (except for the most dim lefties) think was put up to the whole business by his father and CAIR.

Anyone who was aware of Dr Levin and her politics could easily predict her response. So was this some type of set up using the 13 year old girl.

Not that I particularly care for Dr. Levin as I think she is scum. I do think we need to be just as skeptical of convenient political stories no matter what side. This may be a totally true incident that was not pre planned but then again what do we know of the girl’s father.

    Radegunda in reply to Sunlight78. | December 1, 2015 at 11:54 am

    What’s the payoff for the girl in getting a nasty email? Do you think her parents planned to file a lawsuit against the professor for hurting her feelings? Do you think they expected a nasty response to vault them into the international spotlight as celebrity victims?

    Sorry, but drawing a parallel to Clock Boy is really a stretch.

    Maybe the girl, being a horse fan, had simply seen Levine’s name on scholarship about horses and thought a Cambridge scholar would be a good source of information. Try thinking back to when you were the same age and how you might have wanted to communicate with an expert in a field that interested you.

      Sunlight78 in reply to Radegunda. | December 1, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      I am not saying it was a set up with any payoff in mind.

      I am just getting really cynical how the left and Muslims are using children for political gain. In fact I have called them out on it several times. I would like to think Independents and Conservatives are above such pettiness but I am not in a current mood to accept a “look at this involving a child (or really anyone)” and just accept it without question. Though if it were a question of do you believe someone from BDS versus an Israeli just on their word, I would go with the Israeli any day.

      Dr. Levine seems to be a very public horse’s patoot so to speak. So given my current cynicism and the fact as a political Independent I try to apply the same standards evenly, I am just curious if the father in any way would have a reason to know of Dr Levine and her nasty biases.

      I don’t support Dr. Levine and think she was in the wrong with how she dealt with this incident and continues to be nasty about it. I just am curious if it was just an innocent stumble over a nasty badger or if the badger was poked with a stick to make it have a fit.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Sunlight78. | December 1, 2015 at 2:24 pm

        No what you are doing it pushing a conspiracy Theory that only someone with a room temperature IQ or near brain death could even begin to take seriously.

        An outraged parent acts like an outraged parent and you try to say that he has some political motivation. Why can’t it just be a little girl who contacted an expert on horses to use as a source for her paper? The doctor is a bigot and a moron, but she is also a recognized expert in equestrian archaeology. I do find it interesting that the supposed learned scholar wonders how the little girl got her e-mail address since it is probably all over multiple websites.

          Milhouse in reply to Gremlin1974. | December 1, 2015 at 3:32 pm

          But it’s the same conspiracy theory that many people, including many of this blog’s commenters, are pushing about clock boy, with as little foundation. True, the father has a connection to CAIR, anbd CAIR is known to gin up cases of “Islamophobia” so it will have something to complain about and thus justify its existence, but going from there to alleging that this was such a case, without any actual evidence, seems pure ad hominem.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Gremlin1974. | December 1, 2015 at 6:13 pm


          There is a great deal of difference between the two situations. In this one a little girl and asking perfectly innocent questions to someone who should have been passionate about answering, then casting dispersion upon her father without any evidence, because she was basically verbally abused by a bigot.

          In the other situation the son of a man who is a pro-islamic activist who is affiliated with a terrorist organization, (Yes, CAIR is a terrorist organization if not in overt action then is tacit support) brought what any reasonable person can see was a fake bomb to school. Also, the father admitted that he knew what his Son had brought to school, so he knew it was a fake bomb and knew what would happen when his Son brought it to school.

          Radegunda in reply to Gremlin1974. | December 2, 2015 at 12:56 am

          So in Millhouseworld, an Israeli girl asking questions about horses is just like a Muslim boy with a “politically active” father dressing up a clock mechanism to look like an explosive timing device, and claiming he built a clock, and showing it to all his teachers even after being told to put it away, and then suing the school and the town for the trauma of being invited to the White House and getting invitations from big names in tech and being hailed worldwide as some kind of hero.

          Nice try, but that’s idiotic.

    Did you read Shachar’s email or did you read into it like the rest?

    Why would Shacar or anyone for that matter suspect Marsha A. Levine or any one for that matter of such horrible ethnic hatred? Only the evil are the cynical, lying, malicious ones. The evil are the ones who set people up.

    After a simple request by Shachar, Levine pounced. Levine wanted Shacar to feel the snake bite of her hatred.

    And now the world can see the mark of the Beast.

    Sanddog in reply to Sunlight78. | December 1, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Levine has published many papers (as late as 2008) on the domestication of horses throughout history. It’s not really a far stretch to wonder how a young girl writing a school paper on horses would learn about her work and reach out using the email address for Levine that’s readily available on the internet. Where is the “gotcha”? I’m not seeing it here.

      MikeInCA in reply to Sanddog. | December 1, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      Oops, accidentally downvoted you.

      You’re right, enter “domestication of horses” in google and go to the resulting wiki page. Levine’s name shows up eight times in the References. It’s an obvious search path even a kid would use.

        Paul In Sweden in reply to MikeInCA. | December 1, 2015 at 6:21 pm

        Yeah, seems like the child did google and was bold enough to write an email to what appeared to be a scholar knowledgeable in equine history and wrote an email in the English language which was not the child’s native language. This does not have the well financed and highly polished markings we see on many child prop hoaxes.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to Sunlight78. | December 1, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    The girl’s father read this comment, and forwarded the following response to me via Facebook:

    “Saw that people think that this was set up to Marsha. Believe me that I never heard her name before. Shachar only called me *after* she got the response. I was not aware that she sent the request. She just Googled and found Marsha research. She red the article and then found her email. Simple as that. Infect we do not want all this mess. We just want to go back to our life and leave all this behind. I just felt it is not someting we can ignore and the wide response show I was right.”

      Professor, If you would suggest to them that they could probably get her questions answered by contacting one of the schools that have large agricultural programs such as Texas A & M or Arkansas State University, or Bumpers Collage at University of Arkansas. I am hesitant to contact them since they want to basically be left alone.

Well, at least young Shachar got a good look at a horse’s ass.

It’s interesting to see the cold, hard nastiness in the heart of a self-styled champion of justice and humanitarianism. “Dr.” Levine is also an ignorant moron, or else she’s blinded by her hateful self-righteousness.

“Ethnic cleansing” is what there is now in Gaza: it’s 100% Judenrein. Meanwhile, there are Arabs in the Knesset and in many professions in Israel. So if Netanyahu “wants ethnic cleansing,” he should try a different approach.

And since “Palestinians” control Gaza, who exactly is responsible for a dearth of health and education there? Why can’t the “Palestinians” figure out how to provide for their own needs, in the same way that Israelis have done?

    Sunlight78 in reply to Radegunda. | December 1, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    This gets back to the comment of – if the Palestinians would start using the money sent to them to help their people and build their economy rather than building tunnels, buying weapons, paying suicide bombers/murderers, making propaganda (like kids tv shows)and generally undermining Israel. The Palestinians would be so much better off.

    The US should shut off all $ except specific food/medical support to Palestinians until they straighten up their act (particularly around the recent knife attacks). None of this will occur until the US has a President who is not a Muslim enabler and who hates Israel. Bibi has much more patience than I would have with Obama.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Sunlight78. | December 1, 2015 at 2:48 pm

      “The US should shut off all $ except specific food/medical support to Palestinians until they straighten up their act”

      Here is the problem with that idea, you would still be feeding the terrorists and giving them medical aid. I have been involved in these so called relief missions. I have watched pallets of supplies sit on the tarmac or in unsecured warehouses so that they can be stolen by warlords and terrorists. You want to know what we were allowed to do to stop it, all it would have taken was a master lock? We were told that if we took any action we would be sent home charged and court martialed. I saw a soldier from another country who gave a thirsty child a bottle of water off of a pallet detained by our UN commander for doing so. I have seen entire shipments go missing almost over night with the response from command being a shrug.

      We started carrying extra canteens to give people water after we saw that soldier detained. The UN commander sent his lacy in our direction when he saw the Captain undo the restraint on his side arm and all of us pull charging handles he turn around faster than a French bayonet charge, I guess he decided that it was best not to piss off the the obviously annoyed Rangers any further.

      There was a command order posted the next day that canteens were not to be used to give the people water due to the possibility of the spread of disease. Of course we never actually posted or obeyed that order. See unlike the commander we actually come from a country where we bathe regularly and understand personal hygiene and proper cleaning procedures.

      Don’t delude yourself into thinking that even 10% of that “aid” actually gets to the people it is meant to and crap that was 20 years ago, I am sure it has gotten worse since then.

        Arminius in reply to Gremlin1974. | December 2, 2015 at 4:43 am

        Ahh, the the joys of the Third World. Relief supplies are just to valuable to be given away FOR FREE to the intended recipients.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Arminius. | December 2, 2015 at 4:53 am

          Even when they do get where they are supposed to go they take forever because of all the damned bureaucracy. Oh and don’t get me started on the donated supplies.

          Of all the crappy duties that I ever had in my time in the military I consider that one the worst, because it is the one that brought me closest to actually seriously considering just saying “F it” and handing out the supplies. My Captain and I actually discussed how we would do it one night. I think what stopped us is that we really couldn’t find a way to do it without shooting part of the chain of command.

The problem here is that this bigot didn’t see a 13 year old girl asking a question but a Jew and then refused to answer the question based purely on the race and religion of the girl asking the question.

And herein lies the hipocrasy of the left. Had this person refused to answer the question because the person asking was gay, transgender, black, lesbian, Palistinian she would have been run out of town faster than a fat chick smashing a packet of smarties.

However as soon as it’s a Jew….oh look, squirel!

There should be no place for this vile woman anywhere near young minds!


I have been dealing with academics at one level or another for over 45 years. So, I can interpret what the professor was trying to say. She did not know the answer to the questions. Whenever an academic does not know something, they will not just state that fact like a true human. Instead, they will either use language you can’t understand, stats that are altered or try to embarrass you in some manner, usually citing your ignorance or in this case a personal attack.

As a history lover who passes on my passion for ancient Egypt whenever asked by a young person, I cannot fathom the depth of political hate embraced by Marsha Levine to answer a smart, young lady as she did. God help her, because I think she is beyond the aid of anyone else.

Another Voice | December 1, 2015 at 1:18 pm

“Academic BDS supporters always tells us they don’t boycott “individuals” only institutions. They are liars, and Marsha Levine is the proof.”

On that last note, it should be another red flag for Dr. Brown and the school board at Ithaca City School District for having a core group of BDS supporters working and advocating within the classrooms. They have gone off record on this and are treating the BDS presentation as a “one time incident”. The fact that Ms. Levine is actively involved with the colleges at Columbia and Syracuse puts Ithaca and Cornell as third position in the triangle of education and the inroad to elementary classroom indoctrination she subscribes to. Due to her affiliation at Syracuse U., Syracuse being a much larger system than is Ithaca, would be a bastion for BDS to be “infiltrated”. Levine’s response speaks volumes as to their goals and the incident detailed here at L.I. attests to its mission. Where else in elementary schools has this been happening that it has gone unchallenged?

It’s possible to find the source of Levine’s research money and to send whoever is in charge of grants information on her nasty response to a budding scholar. It is also possible to send polite missives to the development people and trustees at whatever institutions she is currently associated with and discuss how future charitable giving to those institutions might be affected as a result of her behavior.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Chris Mac. | December 1, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    I could actually agree with you, but since the father has made it clear that he and his daughter don’t want it to be carried any farther I would say don’t do it.

I personally think it is time that Israel answered the call for “Peace in Palestine”, by driving the pot bellied savages into the ocean and simply scraping them off of Israeli soil. That would bring Peace to Palestine and then the good doctor could feel free to answer the little girls question.

Those BDSers must have an awful lot of polio.

Marsha Levine, allegedly Jewish, said this: “I made the decision that I have the choice not to waste my time on people who tread on the rights of other people.” Was her face straight in the uttering of it? Is not the right to life the most basic of rights? Do Jews not have the right to life and to defend their lives? If you cut a Jew, will he not bleed? If your hurt him, will he not cry? Is you attack him, should he not fight back?

Marsha Levine, allegedly Jewish, says the word “Jew” with such contempt as if Jews are The Unworthy Other. What have Jews done to be treated with such scorn and contumely by her, herself a Jew? I think the answer is simple: Jews fought to live instead of lying down and letting themselves be slaughtered. No more victim but defenders of themselves.

Perhaps its time for the Jewish community to define Jewishness in such a way that excludes people like Marsha Levine.

Get off your hateful high horse, Dr. Levine.

Here’s a logical follow-up experiment: write to an Israeli professor, say the email is from a 13-year old child in Gaza, ask similar basic questions, see what the response is.

How many think the Gaza kid’s questions would be refused?

All of you who are cynical about the motives of the kid are…on the hoof.