Wed Jul 21st, 2010 at 01:03:29 PM EST
I was gonna write a brief 'good news' summer diary today (hey hey, 'California city approves marijuana farming'), but then had to click on Lenin's Tomb and that was out. I didn't know that Israeli law considers it rape if an Arab Israeli man has consensual sex with a Jewish Israeli female (if he does not say that he is Arab). File this under "it's not your grandparents' Israel anymore." Here's lenin's take (links in original):
Racist patriarchy in Israel posted by lenin
This is an example of racist patriarchy. A man, Sabbar Kashur, has been imprisoned for doing nothing more than having consensual sex with a woman, whose name has not been disclosed. Both parties were of age, and no one alleges that the transaction took place without consent. . . . as the woman's testimony in the course of the trial made clear, the only crime that Kashur, now convicted of rape, committed was to have allowed the woman to believe that he was Jewish, when in fact he was an Arab. He did not even actively perpetrate a deceit, merely chatted the woman up and didn't say "by the way, I am an Arab". And that has earned him 18 months in prison, on the basis of a plea bargain. Judge Tzvi Segal explained:
"The court is obliged to protect the public interest from sophisticated, smooth-tongued criminals who can deceive innocent victims at an unbearable price - the sanctity of their bodies and souls."
Are you getting it yet? Sex with an Arab constitutes a violation of the sanctity of body and soul - an "unbearable price". This is not a freakish opinion in Israeli society. For example, half of Israeli Jews believe intermarriage between Arabs and Jews is equivalent to national treason . . . Gangs of men in a Jerusalem neighbourhood roam around, behaving as a de facto vice and virtue squad, to 'protect' young Jewish girls from Arabs. One local authority has set up a squad of counsellors and psychiatrists to 'rescue' Jewish girls who are dating Arabs. . . .
So Kashur is accused of 'impersonating a Jew,' but apparently his real crime was not emphatically saying "Hey, before this goes too far, you do know I'm an Arab, right?!" (emphasis added):
Kashur, married and the father of two small children, has been under house arrest for almost two years since the incident occured.
According to Kashur, he was exiting a grocery store in downtown Jerusalem around midday when a woman in her late 20s began to talk to him. "I would say she set upon me. She was interested in my motorcycle and so we talked. I didn't pretend. I said my name is Dudu because that's how everybody knows me. My wife even calls me that."
Kashur said the verdict is racist.
"For two years I've been under house arrest for nothing," he said. "If I were Jewish they wouldn't have even questioned me. That's not called rape. I didn't rape her in the forest and throw her away naked. She agreed to everything that happened."
Gideon Levy agrees with Kashur:
Gideon Levy, a liberal Israeli commentator, was quoted as saying: "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."
Or maybe Israeli law now is that it was illegal for Kashur not to accurately mind-read what the young Jewish woman was thinking:
High Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein said a conviction of rape should be imposed any time a "person does not tell the truth regarding critical matters to a reasonable woman, and as a result of misrepresentation she has sexual relations with him."
Rubinstein said the question was also whether an ordinary person would expect such a woman to have sex with a man without the false identity he created.
Oh well, it's a deeply illiberal Israel the West must deal with now. Does it remind anyone else of apartheid South Africa?