Is Being Arab Israel’s Criteria for Rape?

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Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros comments on the recent ‘rape by deceptioncase:

Consider this scenario – a girl meets a guy while out shopping. They make eye contact, they flirt, he tells her he’s a business mogul about to close on a billion dollar deal.

She’s the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen, he’s been searching for her all his life, etc etc, you know the drill.

photo: EPA

They go to a nearby building and have sex. Both adults, both consenting.

Days pass and the girl realises she wasn’t the woman of his dreams and he is never going to call her – in fact his name is Bob and he works at the newsagents around the corner.

The girl then proceeds to file a criminal complaint against the guy for rape and indecent assault. The judge, while admitting the sex was consensual, accuses the guy of misrepresenting himself and sentences him to 18 months in prison for rape.

Incredible right? But what if what the guy “misrepresented” was not his feelings, his job or his wealth, but rather his ethnic background – would that make it understandable or fair?

According to Israeli law, the answer to that question appears to be ‘yes’.

Read the rest at Sherine blog…

Israeli commentator, Gideon Levy’s Op-Ed in Ha’aretz:

He impersonated a human

Sabbar Kashur wanted to be a person, a person like everybody else. But as luck would have it, he was born Palestinian.

It happens. His chances of being accepted as a human being in Israel are nil. Married and a father of two, he wanted to work in Jerusalem, his city, and maybe also have an affair or a quickie on the side. That happens too.

photo: Emil Salman

He knew that he had no chance with the Jews, so he adopted another name for himself, Dudu. He didn’t have curly hair, but he went by Dudu just the same. That’s how everyone knew him. That’s how you know a few other Arabs too: the car-wash guy you call Rafi, the stairwell cleaner who goes by Yossi, the supermarket deliveryman you know as Moshe.

What’s wrong? Is it only fearsome Shin Bet interrogators like “Capt. George” and “Abu Faraj” who are allowed to adopt names from other peoples? Are only Israelis who emigrate allowed to invent new identities? Only the Yossi from Hadera who became Joe in Miami, the Avraham from Bat Yam who became Abe in Los Angeles?

Read more at Ha’aretz…

Levy said after the verdict:

I would like to raise just one question with the judge.

What if the 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.

Levy’s questioned scenario is undoubtedly being played out throughout Israel and Palestine to this day as detailed in this 1998 WRMEA Special Report Secret Israeli Units Lived Among Palestinians for Years:

Israelis are fascinated with the revelation that for the past 40 years Israeli Jewish undercover agents have been passing themselves off as Palestinians and have not only lived with and worked with Palestinians, but have even married and had children with Palestinian women living inside Israel.

As Juan Cole tells us, in Jim-Crow-segregtion-era America they called it “Passing“:

Passing was the practice of light-skinned persons with at least some African-American heritage moving in white society and concealing their African lineage. The peculiar American racial definition made persons African-American if they had virtually any African ancestry at all (the one drop rule). – read more…

This absurd and tragic story is best summed up by Tadros‘ closing words…

If the definition of democracy is equal rights for all people then surely the selective application of the law against Arabs is just plain racism.

Additional Al Jazeera report: Israel jails Arab for ‘deceit rape’ includes interview with the Director of a support centre for rape victims in Israel:

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