Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rape by Deception

In a way, I cringe from even addressing this story. After all, rape is a criminal issue, arguably a social issue, but is it a political issue?

In this case, yes, I do think so.

The bare bones of the matter seem to be this. An Arab citizen of Israel, Sabbar Kashur, met a Jewish girl, talked to her for a while, and then the two went into an office building and found a place to have sex. Consensual sex, meaning, she agreed.

Now Mr Kashur has been convicted of "rape by deceit", and sentenced to 18 months in prison. Because the woman claims that she thought he was Jewish.

Here are a few choice quotes from the court's verdict -

If she hadn’t thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship, she would not have co-operated.

It is incumbent on the court to protect the public interest from sophisticated, smooth, sweet-talking offenders who can mislead naive victims into paying an unbearable price: the sanctity of their bodies and souls.

Again, I cringe to be even venturing upon these treacherous waters, but...a serious romantic relationship? She went into a nearby building and found an empty office to have sex with a man she just met, because she wanted a serious romantic relationship? Let me be clear, there's absolutely nothing wrong with casual sex, though one may hope she used a condom. And it is not my place (or any other man's place) to tell this woman (or any other woman) how to order her personal life.

What I cannot help but question is the yawning gap between behavior and alleged expectation.

For purposes of ordering her own life, she is an competent and independent adult. But then somehow in court she is transformed into this innocent little victim who must be protected by the (male) judge?

Can you say hypocrisy, boys and girls? Of course you can.

So, what makes it political? The fact that this is strong evidence of institutional racism within Israel.

Gideon Levy, a columnist with Haaretz (one of Israel's largest online news sites, linked at right of page), offered this juicy quote -

"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."

Gideon Levy's story at Haaretz here

Story at Loonwatch here

Story at Al Jazeera here

Video from Russia Today

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