Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Arab Man Convicted of Rape After Consensual Sex with Jew

An article in The Guardian this morning reported that an Arab man from East Jerusalem was sentenced to 18 months in prison after having consensual sex with a Jewish woman. According to the judge, the woman would never have had sex with the man had she known he was not Jewish, and consequently the man was guilty of rape by deception.
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 Kashur was Jewish. The sex therefore was obtained under false pretences, the judges said.
The article also quotes Gideon Levy, a liberal Israeli commentator, and I think his statement is extremely valid:
"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."
Levy's comments are worth noting. He's right. Yet there is a more important issue at stake - precedent. Is this really an acceptable precedent to set? What's more, this really is an affront to women who have faced "classical rape by force" as Segal phrased it.

Since when does lying about one's religion constitute rape?

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