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.
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.
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!