Feature

Israel: An unjust conviction for rape

The verdict “has the uncomfortable smell of racial purity,” of “don’t touch our daughters,” said Gideon Levy in Ha’aretz.

Gideon LevyHa’aretz

An Arab man in Israel has just been convicted of rape for having consensual sex with a Jewish woman. If that sounds inherently racist, said Gideon Levy, it’s because it is. Sabbar Kashur told a Jewish woman that he was Jewish and single, when he actually is a married Arab. After they slept together, the woman learned the truth and filed a police complaint. Last week, a court sentenced Kashur to 18 months in prison.

The judges based the verdict on a controversial 2008 precedent that made a crime of “rape by deception.” In that case, a man was convicted of rape after he got numerous women to sleep with him by telling them he worked in the Housing Ministry and could get them an apartment. The judges in Kashur’s case went even further, writing: “It is incumbent on the court to protect the public interest from sophisticated, smooth, sweet-talking offenders who can mislead naïve victims.”

The subtext, of course, is that Jewish women must be protected from Arab men. The verdict “has the uncomfortable smell of racial purity,” of “don’t touch our daughters.” It’s hard to believe it was written in Hebrew, and not “in German or Afrikaans.”

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