Israel jails Arab for ‘rape’ after he had consensual sex with Jewish woman who believed his name was Daniel
By Mail Foreign Service
A Palestinian man has been convicted of rape ‘by deception’ after having consensual sex with a woman who had believed him to be a fellow Jew.
Sabbar Kashur, 30, who had introduced himself as Daniel, was only charged with the offence when she later realised he was an Arab.
A court in Jerusalem made international legal history by jailing the delivery driver for 18 months despite acknowledging it had not been ‘a ‘a classical rape by force’.
The unusual case underscores the racial tensions between Israel’s Jewish and Arab communities, where intimate relations between the two are often regarded as taboo.
The court heard that Mr Kashur misled the woman by introducing himself with a traditionally Jewish name during a chance encounter in central Jerusalem in 2008.
Mr Kashur, from the Arab sector of East Jerusalem, had also suggested he was a bachelor seeking a serious relationship.
The two then had consensual sex in a nearby building before Mr Kashur left before the woman, who has not been named, had a chance to get dressed.
When she later found out that he was not Jewish but an Arab, she filed a criminal complaint for rape and indecent assault.
After striking up a conversation, the two went into a top-floor room of a nearby office-block and engaged in a sexual encounter, after which Mr Kashur left.
It was only later that she discovered the Arab’s true racial background, lawyers said, leading her to file criminal complaint.
Although Mr Kashur was initially accused of rape and indecent assault, this was changed to a charge of rape by deception as part of a plea bargain arrangement.
Handing down the verdict, Tzvi Segal, one of three judges on the case, acknowledged that sex had been consensual but said that although not ‘a classical rape by force,’ the woman would not have consented if she had not believed Mr Kashur was Jewish.
The sex therefore was obtained under false pretences, the judges said.
‘If she hadn’t thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship, she would not have cooperated,’ they added.
The court ruled that Mr Kashur should receive a jail term and rejected the option of a six-month community service order.
He is now seeking to appeal, according to The Guardian.
Judge Segal said: ‘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.
The decision immediately provoked an outcry among Israel’s liberals and human rights groups.
Commentator Gideon Levy said: ‘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.’
Arabs constitute about 20 per cent of Israel’s population, but relationships between Jews and Arabs are rare.
There are few mixed neighbourhoods or towns, and Arabs suffer routine discrimination.
Israeli MPs are considering a law requiring prospective Israeli citizens to declare loyalty to Israel as a ‘Jewish, democratic state’.
Leah Tsemel, a human-rights lawyer, an Israeli human rights activists said that Mr Kashur’s actions reflected the deceits many Palestinians are forced to practice.
‘It is very well known that Israeli-Palestinians living in Israel disguise themselves,’ she told the Daily Telegraph.
‘You change your accent and you change your dress because if you look like an Arab you face harassment.