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Israel: Rape by Deceit or Racism?

The recent conviction of “rape by deceit” of an Arab posing as a Jew to seduce a Jewish woman to engage in sexual intercourse has sparked conversations across the Hebrew blogosphere about the dire inequality between Jews and Arabs living in Israel. Many contemplate the meaning of Israeli democracy under racially biased laws. Others remind that it is still illegal for a Jew to marry any non-Jew within the State of Israel. And many add hateful comments, showing support for the conviction. In this post, I will highlight some of the meaningful comments and posts written in the past couple of days.

First, some context:
According to media reports, Saber Kushour 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 Kushour left the building. When the woman realised Kushour was an Arab, she filed a complaint against him.
Saber Kushour was sentenced to 18 months in prison under charges of rape by deception.

Below is a comment written in response to an article posted on the popular news portal, walla.co.il:

Saber Kushour wanted to be a human being, just a person, like us all. But he wasn't so lucky and was born Palestinian. Happens. His chances to be accepted as a human being in Israel are zero. Married and a father of two, he wanted to work in Jerusalem, his city, and maybe even have a little affair or quicky on the side. This also happens. And then he decided to rape a Jewish girl… happens!

The court took a hard line with his punishment, not because he raped a Jewish girl, but because he is Arab and raped a Jewish girl.

The majority of comments seen on the popular news site nrg were strongly opposing the court's decision:
1.

I support the right wing, but I think that in this case, they should've sentenced her for racism.
What if he would've told her that he was rich? He'd also get a year and a half because she had sex with him when she thought he was wealthy?

The ruling in this case really lost proportion – he did not use force, and she was not subject to his authority in any way. There needs to be a clear separation between lies and rape!

2.

And if he had pretended to be Mormon or Buddhist or an atheist? Would he still sit in jail for a year and a half? This verdict comes straight from the Jewish theory of master race. A ruling for the purity of a race by the judges. How many Jews bring in women to their beds by presenting false facts and sweet lips? Thousands! I am ashamed and shocked. This is the beginning of the end of the racial country… what have we reached?

3.

Before she sleeps with someone in a building's stairwell… she should check who he is. This is not the judge's job. And to the Arab issue, this is really racist!

4. Avi wrote:

Tomorrow I'll lie to someone that I'm Ashkenazi and not Yemenite… and this will be rape by deceit??
This is racism! There's nothing else here. This is a shame for the State of Israel, that hosts racist legislation! Scary to live in this country… Cancel the charges!

5. Raffi added a snarky comment:

She dyed her hair, and I thought it was real… Oh, and she also wore a black piece of clothing which made her look skinnier than she really is. She totally tricked me! Had I know, I wouldn't have slept with her – she totally neutralized my ability to resist… RAPE!!!!

On the other hand, an anonymous post supported the case:

She wanted a romantic connection only with Jews, and had intercourse with a non Jew by deception.
She has all the rights to choose with whom she can have a connection and a relationship, just like a Muslim woman can choose to have a relationship only with another Muslim. He lied about his ethnic origin in order to sleep with her.
This is certainly rape – because she knew exactly what she wanted, and also knew exactly what she didn't want.
To lie callously in order to take advantage of a woman and receive personal pleasure is an incredibly despicable act.

In a blog post referencing a news article from ynet, a blogger added the following image,


Translation: Arab! Don't even dare to think about a Jewish woman!

and sparked an extremely active and hateful discussion in the comments section. The following post came against the hateful messages proceeding it:

Its not right what he did, but why do you all think you're better than the Arabs? All this racism is ruining the country. He is just a man with a bad heart, his origin is not relevant. If he'd been Jewish he would've been ok? NO!
There's no right to curse Arabs, because this is precisely what leads them to curse us! If we act this way, how are we different?
We're all human beings.

Orit Kamir writes about Saber Kushour, Rape by Deception:“the Arab who Pretended to be a Man”:

A man and a woman met up in the street. After a few minutes chat, they were on their way to have sex. The woman agreed that the man take off her clothing in an elevator in a building in the middle of the city – agreeing to have sex on the rooftop. This is a wholly legal development, legitimate and legal. However, is this indicating that the woman truly asked for a romantic connection that will lead, perhaps, to marriage?
This represents a women who asked for a sexual encounter with a stranger whom she met in the street.
He did not hit her nor did he steal her money.

Under the circumstances of this case, it is unreasonable to charge this man for rape under criminal law, nor to convict him of rape, or give him 18 months in jail.

Would he have been accused had he been a married Jewish man who wasn't interesting in a long lasting relationship? We don't know. Possibly. But Kushour reached an agreement, and the court simply approved it. We should certainly point the blame at the legislative body. The Israeli law does not allow a Jewish woman to marry a Muslim man. This is why it is “natural” and “logical” for Israelis that a Jewish Israeli woman will not want to have an “affair” with an Israeli Arab – because such a connection cannot lead to marriage. This is why his deception on this point is fundamental to the argument. Here, the fix needs to come by means of legislation. In Israel, like other civilized country, we need to support civil marriage. We need to allow any person to marry another person. Then there will be no logic supporting the claim that since a person is from another nationality, he is “off limits” for any connection that might lead to marriage.

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