July 22, 2010

Eighteen months for consensual sex in Israel

A Palestinian man has been sentenced to 18 months prison in Israel for having sex with a woman who subsequently claimed he passed himself off as a Jew. I know this news is a couple of days old now but it had all the makings of an urban myth when I first started hearing about it and you know how there are people who will say anything to hurt plucky little Israel. Here's Ha'aretz:
Sabbar Kashur, 30, was convicted as part of a plea bargain. According to the indictment, Kashur met the complainant in September 2008 in downtown Jerusalem, presenting himself as a Jewish bachelor looking for a serious romantic relationship.

The couple then went to a nearby building and had sex, after which Kashur left the building without waiting for the woman to get dressed.

When the woman found Kashur was not a Jew but an Arab, she filed a complaint that resulted in charges of rape and indecent assault.

In the verdict, deputy president of the Jerusalem district court Tzvi Segal, along with fellow judges Moshe Drori and Yoram Noam, wrote that although this wasn't "a classical rape by force," and the sex was consensual, the consent itself was obtained through deception and under false pretenses.

"If she hadn't thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship, she would not have cooperated," the judges wrote.

Segal further wrote that this was not a case to be resolved by having the convicted defendant undertake community service, as was suggested by the defense team in the plea bargain.
The Guardian also has a report and quotes Ha'aretz's Gideon Levy:
"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."
It goes on to link the case to Israel's proposed oath of allegiance to the "Jewish and democratic oxymoron, I mean state".

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