September 09, 2010

Sex "as a Jew" verdict still racist

I read in The Guardian last night that the case of the Palestinian guy getting convicted of rape because he passed himself off as a Jew was the result of a plea bargain. Allegedly his real offence was a rape in the conventional sense of a man forcing someone to have sex with him.

I blogged the case here when it was first reported and even the zionists at Harry's Place were bewildered at the obvious racism behind the verdict.

Here's The Guardian (it's in the print edition today apparently so it's worth a letter if you have the time and inclination):
Fresh details have emerged in the case of a Palestinian man an Israeli court convicted of "rape by deception" after he was accused of posing as a Jewish man in order to have sex with a Jewish-Israeli woman.

The case caused international outrage when it was first reported, in July, but now an Israeli newspaper has reported that the conviction was the result of a plea bargain over a violent rape.

Ha'ir, a Tel Aviv weekly and part of the newspaper group that owns Haaretz, published extracts from the victim's unsealed testimony. It also reported that the prosecution had agreed to the reduced charge of "rape by deception" because of the victim's confused account and concern at facing another court appearance.

Saber Kushour, from East Jerusalem, said he had had consexual sex with the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, within minutes of meeting her on a West Jerusalem street.

He was sentenced to 18 months in prison after the Jerusalem district court ruled he was guilty of rape by deception. One of the judges said that, although the sex had been consensual, the woman involved "would not have consented if she had not believed Kushour was Jewish".
That's really just a taste and there is far more detail to the case than in that chunk.

The Guardian article isn't exactly an apologetic for Israel but it is implying that there was more to be gleaned from the case than first time around. I suppose they could be saying that if the woman's allegations are true then he deserves to be convicted of rape and that he deserves a custodial sentence. And it of course would mean that the defendant is not deserving of sympathy.

But that isn't the take at Harry's Place:
A translation of the article from here can be read below.

Having read the full translation:

1. This sounds like a very standard rape case. A typical rape case involves a confused social encounter, assertive sexual conduct from a man, and will often involve women who give confused and contradictory testimony, because they have been drinking or are otherwise vulnerable.

2. A case like this might be subject to some form of plea bargain in the United Kingdom – perhaps with the defendant pleading guilty to indecent assault.

3. Many cases like this end up going to trial in the United Kingdom. There is a political reluctance to plea bargain or discontinue rape trials, even when the evidence is very weak. That is one of the reasons that acquittal rates are so very high.

What makes this story different from any other case disposed of by plea bargain is that the conviction was premised upon the defendant’s acceptance of a significantly artificial “factual” basis, which was itself newsworthy – and disturbing.

Unsurprisingly, the defendant did not mention the complainant’s allegations, or the medical evidence that suggested that sex might not have been consensual. Why would he?

It is a very great pity that the world’s press – including Israel’s – did not treat this story with more caution.

I wonder whether this story will be reported further, outside Israel.

Well I don't know how widely reported it was first time round but the verdict was the verdict however the plea was arrived at. The guy was put away for eighteen months because it was claimed that he passed himself off as a Jew when he was actually an Arab. Does anyone at Harry's Place really believe that in any other western country a plea bargain over an alleged violent rape could be reduced to a plea of guilty to the accusation that the accused had lied about their ethnicity or religion? Surely the racism would have to be inherent to the system in the first place.

Assuming that all the judges had to go on was the guilty plea with the passing off of an Arab as a Jew then both the guilty plea and the sentence were a racist outrage regardless of the true facts of the case. This new twist does nothing to serve the zionist cause from an anti-racist point of view. Rather it goes to show that many of them don't seem to realise that they are racist at all.


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