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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rape?

The following article appeared in today's The Guardian:

Arab guilty of rape after consensual sex with Jew

A man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after telling a woman that he was also Jewish

A Palestinian man has been convicted of rape after having consensual sex with a woman who had believed him to be a fellow Jew.

Sabbar Kashur, 30, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Monday after the court ruled that he was guilty of rape by deception. According to the complaint filed by the woman with the Jerusalem district court, the two met in downtown Jerusalem in September 2008 where Kashur, an Arab from East Jerusalem, introduced himself as a Jewish bachelor seeking a serious relationship. The two then had consensual sex in a nearby building before Kashur left.

When she later found out that he was not Jewish but an Arab, she filed a criminal complaint for rape and indecent assault.

Although Kashur was initially charged with rape and indecent assault, this was changed to a charge of rape by deception as part of a plea bargain arrangement.

Handing down the verdict, Tzvi Segal, one of three judges on the case, acknowledged that sex had been consensual but said that although not "a classical rape by force," the woman would not have consented if she had not believed Kashur was Jewish.

The sex therefore was obtained under false pretences, the judges said. "If she hadn't thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship, she would not have cooperated," they added.

The court ruled that Kashur should receive a jail term and rejected the option of a six-month community service order. He was said to be seeking to appeal.

Segal said: "The court is obliged to protect the public interest from sophisticated, smooth-tongued criminals who can deceive innocent victims at an unbearable price – the sanctity of their bodies and souls. When the very basis of trust between human beings drops, especially when the matters at hand are so intimate, sensitive and fateful, the court is required to stand firmly at the side of the victims – actual and potential – to protect their well being. Otherwise, they will be used, manipulated and misled, while paying only a tolerable and symbolic price."

Gideon Levy, a liberal Israeli commentator, was quoted as saying: "I would like to raise only one question with the judge. What if this guy had been a Jew who pretended to be a Muslim and had sex with a Muslim woman?

"Would he have been convicted of rape? The answer is: of course not."


What exactly would happen in this country if, say, a light-skinned black man told a white woman that he was white, the two had consensual sex, and the woman then found out that he in fact had black blood and accused him of rape on those grounds? Would a court even hear the case? And what would happen if the court convicted the man? Exactly how loud would the public outcry be?

What would the NAACP have to say about it? What would President Obama say?

The fact is, they'd be right: such a conviction would be a case of racial discrimination, pure and simple. There would not have been any rape involved, not by any remotely relevant definition of the term. All of the public outrage would be against the woman, for her racism, and even more against the court, for its racism.

This was not the work of a lone rogue Israeli judge, either: there were three judges deciding the case.

The judges tried to obfuscate the naked racism involved with their statement, "If she hadn't thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship, she would not have cooperated." By using the word "bachelor" they are implying that he was hiding his marital status, and there is nothing in the article which says he did that. And by using the phrase "serious romantic relationship" they are implying that this starry-eyed young ingenue was hoping that this romance might eventually lead to marriage -- but if she were interested in marriage, or even a seriously long term relationship, would she have had sex with him immediately after meeting him?

(If sex obtained under the "false pretences" of being interested in a serious relationship is a crime, then most of the male population of the US ought to be incarcerated.)

In any case, it's an interesting insight into Israeli attitudes.

6 comments:

Paavo said...

rape by deception.
It would be a good title for a song.
...

Sometimes I think that the law should not stay out of our bedrooms. If there would be some laws, maybe there wouldn't be so much violence. Of course people like to keep the romance, and want to be fooled by the false signals that seducers send them. Contracts are not sexy.
...
Many heterosexual men feel violated, if they get Crying Gamed. Racists probably feel the same way.

I guess the difference is that, there are brand name manufacturers for food, but not for sex. The brand is "looking like being in loov" but unfortunately it is easily faked, and not protected by any trademarks.

John Craig said...

Paavo -- I think the law should deinitely stay out of or bedrooms. Where would we draw the line? People always pretend they
re more inteested in a serious relitonship than they are. What if a woman indicates she is wililng but at the last minute decides not to? What if a guy says he is good in bed but turns out not to be? What if someone catches herpes from someone else? What if someone breaks up with the other person in a particularly mean way? The list of broken promises and unpleasant forms of behvior is endless. Would we really want all these situations adjudicated in a court of law? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

When Segal said, "The court is obliged to protect the public interest from sophisticated, smooth-tongued criminals who can deceive innocent victims at an unbearable price – the sanctity of their bodies and souls.", I think he was forgetting that this woman agreed to have sex with a man she had just met. I hardly think of her as a victim and I doubt she was worried about the sanctity of her body or her soul when she agreed to go with him to the hotel.

John Craig said...

Anonymous -- Amen. The only way this woman's "sanctity" was violated was that her sex partner urned out to be the wrong ethncity, which in this country would be viewed as pure bias.

BTW, I have nothing against people who knowingly spread STD's being prosecuted. But this case, of course, had nothing to do with that.

Anonymous said...

Israel is constantly in the US news. What is the probability that this story will receive mainstream media coverage? (the obvious answer is that this story will never see the light of day in the US). On the other hand, lets say there were a similar case in a European country where an ethnic native of one of those countries had a one night stand with someone who was not an ethnic native, the non-ethnic native was deceptive about his/her enthnicity, and then the courts put the non-ethnic in jail. How much coverage might that get in the US? What if the country were Germany? How is it that the US has such selective coverage?

John Craig said...

Anonymous II -- I haven't seen a peep about this story in the US media. And as to the rest of your questions, I assume they're rhetorical.