Arab Convicted in Israel of Sex Under False Pretenses
Debate stirred over whether consensual sex can turn into rape if woman is lied to.
A Palestinian man by the name of Sabbar Kashur, also known as “Dudu”, was sentenced to 18 months in jail by the Jerusalem District Court Monday, after a one-night-stand he’ll never forget.
The man, 30, is looking out from behind bars after being charged with rape by deception or rape under false pretenses. Kashur called himself Dudu to appear more Jewish in Israel, much like many Arabs who may call themselves Yossi or Moshe in order to have an affair with a Jewish woman consensually. But that only works until the woman realizes he is not a Jew.
The Jerusalem District Court “has gone too far,” Elkana Laist of the public defender’s office was quoted saying in Haaretz.
Kashur reportedly told the Jewish woman that he was a Jewish bachelor looking for a long-term relationship. The woman later found out that he was not a Jew and soon after filed a police complaint, leading to charges of rape and indecent assault, according to a report in the Associated Free Press. Though Kashur argued that the sexual act was in fact consensual and told Haaretz that “she agreed to everything that happened,” he later agreed to the charge of rape by deception following a plea deal.
The sentence, though seemingly extreme, was executed based on the opinion of Judge Zvi Segal who wrote in his verdict: “If she hadn't thought the accuser was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship, she would not have cooperated.”
Kashur has called this verdict racist, arguing that if he were a Jew, he would not have had charges laid against him. Haaretz quoted him as saying: “If I were Jewish, they wouldn't even have questioned me. That's not called rape.”
Segal defended his sentence and called it a protection of public interest from sly offenders. He stated: “It is incumbent on the court to protect the public interest from sophisticated, smooth, sweet-talking offenders who can mislead naive victims into paying an unbearable price: the sanctity of their bodies and souls.”
Similar cases involved a man who posed as a senior Housing Ministry official promising women an apartment and increased National Insurance pension in exchange for sexual intercourse. Another posed as a wealthy neurosurgeon who promised free medical care along with other advantages.
Kashur had different circumstances. He did not offer any lavish rewards for the sexual encounter. Rather, he worked as a deliveryman for a lawyer’s office, rode his scooter around Jerusalem and delivered legal documents claiming his name was Dudu and was known to most by that name.
The High Court ruling of rape by deception was first established in 2008 after the Housing Ministry imposter case. Elkana Laist of the public defender’s office was quoted as saying in Haaretz thatthe Jerusalem District Court “has gone too far” with the application of this fairly new ruling, and added that this sort of application as in Kashur’s case, is “opening the door to a rape conviction every time a person lies regarding details of his identity.”
The question of whether the ruling was racially motivated has been debated en masse since the day of Kashur’s sentencing.
Bloggers have called this case a “stripping of human rights” while others have asked the question: “if a Jewish man posed as a Muslim to sleep with a Muslim woman would he be convicted of rape?” In a political forum called arguewitheveryone.com, one user replied, saying “of course not.” Contrasting views noted Iran’s stoning of women as an example of extreme action taken when disobeying the law.
However, those speculating what would happen if it were a Jew posing as a Muslim with a Muslim woman should be informed that according to Islamic law, a woman cannot engage in pre-marital sex regardless of what the person’s faith is. Also, Jonathan Dahoah Halevi, a senior researcher of the Middle East and radical Islam at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, told Shalom Life: “All marriages in Palestinian territory must be done by Islamic court which do not allow interracial marriage under any circumstance.”
Israeli court officials argue that citizens should not be fed misinformation before sexual intercourse as it breaches the consent of the individual involved. Others call it an over-application of High Court ruling. The Kashur case has stirred much debate regarding application of Israeli law, and interfaith relations and is likely to continue to do so.