Police investigate horse scholar who snubbed Israeli girl over school project

By Marcus Dysch, December 4, 2015

A former Cambridge academic who told a 13-year-old Israeli girl she would only answer her questions about horses when there is peace in Palestine is being investigated by police.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary confirmed on Friday it was looking into a complaint about Dr Levine’s comment that “the Jews have become the Nazis”.

Dr Levine, an expert on horses with more than 40 years of experience, had said she could not help the teenager because she came from a country whose prime minister “wanted ethnic cleansing”.

The archaeozoologist had received an email from Shachar Rabinovitch last week in which the schoolgirl asked for information about horses.

On Tuesday, Dr Levine also told the JC that Jews had “become Nazis” and “turned themselves into monsters” in their treatment of Palestinians in Gaza.

It is understood that this newspaper’s reporting of the email exchange and later comments had triggered a complaint to the police from the Campaign Against Antisemitism.

A Cambridgeshire Constabulary spokesman said the incident was being followed up by officers over fears it could constitute a hate crime.

The JC understands that a prosecution is highly unlikely.

On Wednesday Shachar said she was shocked to discover “that Jewish people could hate Jews in Israel”. “It was new to me,” she explained. “I was kind of shocked and a bit angry. She could have answered differently or not responded at all.”

We discuss this story in full and look at the reaction to Dr Levine's email in the JC Podcast

Last updated: 10:27am, December 9 2015