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Israel: Conviction of “rape by deceit”

An Arab resident of Jerusalem has been convicted of rape after posing as a Jew to seduce a woman.
According to media reports, Sabbar Kashur introduced himself to a Jewish woman as a Jewish bachelor seeking a serious relationship. The couple then went to a nearby building and had consensual sexual intercourse, after which Kashur left the building.
When the woman realised Kashur was an Arab, she filed a complaint against him.
While the judge conceded it was not a “classic act of rape”, it was nevertheless stated that “the Court must protect the public interest against sophisticated criminals with a smooth tongue and sweet talking, who can lead astray innocent victims at the unbearable price of the sanctity of their bodies and souls.”
And added “If she hadn't thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship, she would not have cooperated” (full details can be seen here [HE] and here [EN])

Sabar Kashur was sentenced to 18 months in prison under charges of rape by deception.

The judge's decision has caused a stir amongst the region's blogosphere. Many are outraged by the conviction.

An Israeli-American blogger at Hybrid States writes:

Did he force himself on his “victim”? No.
Was she incapacitated through substance abuse and he took advantage of her? No.
Was she underage, a minor who was taken advantage of by someone of greater size/age/authority? No.
Did the girl want to have sex with him? Yes.
Did she get so horrified when she learned that she just had consensual sex with an Arab that she decided to charge him with rape? Yes.
Was an Arab convicted for the crime of pretending he was a Jew? Yes.
Unbelievable! I cannot even believe I have to write this.

And others on Twitter echo this sentiment:

Some are even cynical as to the woman's claim she was in search of a relationship:

While at xymphora the sentiment is the following:

The ‘victim’ thought she was having sex with a human being, but she was really having sex with an Arab. There is no possible way to make rational sense of this decision without understanding that the court, and thus Israeli society, is profoundly racist.

Others echo this feeling of racism as can be seen here:

and in the title of Promised Land blog‘s post regarding the matter:

Apartheid justice: Brown man impersonates white overlord in name of romance, gets convicted of rape.

A commenter on Promsied Land’s above post states:

If the law were being applied equally to all persons, you could sort of make the case that lying for the purpose of obtaining “sexual favors” is a criminal offense.
However, knowing what the dating scene in Israel was like a decade and a bit ago, I don’t think you could make that case.
Also, and this has been bugging me since I first read the article: how exactly will the man’s “rehabilitation” be measurable? The only answer I see (no more sex with Jewish women) is almost the worst part of this whole story.

While the post itself concludes:

Many men lie to get sex. Now we know which lies are forbidden in Israel.

However, there are some that argue the conviction is merited. A guest commenter at Palestinian Pundit states:

Zarathustra, I don't care if the guy is Hindu, Atheist, Sufi or Brazilian. Sabbar Kashur sounds like one hell of a jerk.

Not defending the woman, but this Kashar needs a good kick in the butt. Just imagine if that woman were your/our sister

While Elizabeth, commenting at Promised Land clarifies that the judges were merely applying the legal principle:

ALL lies to women to get sex are illegal in Israel. Please look at Israel’s Criminal Code Paragraph 345(a)(2) that defines rape:
הבועל אשה –
בהסכמת האשה, שהושגה במרמה לגבי מיהות העושה או מהות המעשה;
(My translation): “A male who has sex with a woman with her consent, which was elicited with deceit about the essence of the perpetrator or essence of the act”.

And Noam W, commenting on the same post brings up some interesting points, that are certainly food for thought:

This is a bit more complex. I agree that there are of course disgusting racial undertones, but the prohibition against rape in Israel (and in many other places) includes getting a woman to have sex by deceit.
So, for me, this is what you might call a hard case.

I don’t know if half the men in Israel lie to have sex. I don’t what lies they tell and either way I don’t know if that is alright. What I am worried about is the development of discourse regarding rape similar to the discourse regarding sexual harassment – remember “everybody does it”
and “now we won’t be able to say anything without worrying about offending somebody”.
I don’t want to be come out all moralist on this, but I want to think about the criminal prohibition – lying in order to achieve sex – and see if it is so off-putting that this man should not have been found guilty even if there were no racial overtones.

In light of the above comments, is the issue more complicated than it originally appears? What are your thoughts on the matter? Make them heard here!

25 comments

  • Jose

    I am shock by this new!

    I honestly think this guy shouldn´t go to jail, rape should be considered as forced sex and this girl should be considered as stupid enough to believe this guy lies…but not as a victim (legally speaking)

    and if “liying in order to get sex” is ilegal, being the act consent by both parts, isn´t jail quite a extreme?

    Barney Stinson would have real problems there…. :)

    and maybe someone can enlight me: Elizabeth said “A male who has sex with a woman with her consent, which was elicited with deceit…” i guess it works also in the other way right?

  • I was incredibly disturbed by this, and decided to look into laws in the U.S.–turns out that, while several states have laws that count sex obtained by fraud as rape, my state does not. Interesting.

    Nevertheless, I think Israel had better start looking at how the rest of its population obtains sex in the bars of Tel Aviv.

  • American Israeli

    No, Jose, the law only penalises men.

  • American Israeli

    That is, Jose, the law is as written: “A male who has sex with a woman with her consent, which was elicited with deceit …”

    It is not gender-neutral. Thus it is far more clearly misandrist than it is racist.

    • Jose

      Thanks for answering, misandrist indeed….

  • Jack

    so let me get this straight… all a man has to do to have sex in Israel, is tell a girl he is jewish? At least in america you have to pay…

  • Cheeseburger

    none of these articles ever provide enough background information. they went to a near by building? What does that even mean? A hotel? Was it abandoned? Was it someones home? Who just meets and has sex in a “nearby building” because they met a jew?

    Were they at a bar first? Were they drunk or partying? or was it a totally random meet and greet on some random corner, in the middle of the day?

    The way this article is written makes it sound like the woman simply had sex with this man because she thought he was jewish. It doesn’t state, or acknowledge any sort of prior relationship.

  • Cheeseburger: it is difficult to present all background information here, as news reports ( at the time of writing) have not elucidated much more then the above in terms of their relationship- though it does initially appear it was a casual affair. In addition, while we try to outline as much as possible it is outside the scope of Global Voices to provide all background information to every story;- it is more to present blogger and citizen reactions to particular events. News reports and further information can be accessed through the links provided in the posts- and if you follow the (media) links in the post above more information is given regarding the building.
    That said, i am not sure how the location of where the two had sex influences the issue, as it is not pertinent to the question here, which is whether or not obtaining sex by deceit equates to rape (as is stated in Israeli legislation), and whether or not such a law is applied fairly in all cases.

  • Caruthers

    Israeli attitudes are similar to those of the authors of Germany’s old Nuremberg Laws. Any formal law that is only rarely or sporadically enforced should not be enforcable. With such selective enforcement of the law, there is no “rule of law,” but only “rule by arbitrary government fiat.” Laws, policies, and attitudes against miscegenation between Jews and Arabs are just as racist as laws, policies, and attitudes opposing miscegenation between German “Aryans” and Jews.

  • American Israeli

    Katherine,

    Though I disagree with the law generally, it is a concept not extremely different from the “false promise” laws still on the books of some western countries and US states.

    I remeber Israel using the law in 2008 in the case of a man who posed as a housing inspector to obtain sex in return for promises of favourable treatment in housing.

    “In 2008, Israel upheld the conviction of Zvi Sleiman, a man who impersonated a housing ministry official and promised women apartments and benefits in exchange for sex.”

    The judge in the instant case had no choice but to apply the law, which has to do with deceit (the man mis-represented both his marital status and his religion) than with race. I expect an appeal to the Israeli Supreme court.

  • American Israeli

    Correction:

    The judge in the instant case had no choice but to apply the law, which has more to do with deceit (the man mis-represented both his marital status and his religion) than with race.

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