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Rape By Deception
July 21, 2010 7:09 AM   Subscribe

Sabbar Kashur has been convicted of "rape by deception" after having consensual sex with an Israeli woman who believed he was a "Jewish bachelor looking for a long-term relationship." Reports from Jerusalem Post and Al Jazeera. Haaretz asks if this conviction sets a dangerous precedent for future cases. Al Jazeera's English-language Israel/Palestine blogger Sherine Tadros argues the 18-month conviction is racist.
posted by griphus (223 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's insane.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 7:11 AM on July 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


It's a serious case for the people involved, but it does make me wonder about the common practices of semi-deception in online dating, where everyone is magically thinner, taller, younger, and less bald than they are in real life. Where is the line to be drawn between a small fib ("I'm 39, again!") and what they are calling rape-by-deception?
posted by Forktine at 7:13 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


So he was convicted on a kind of fucked-up buyer's remorse?
posted by ob at 7:15 AM on July 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


it does make me wonder about the common practices of semi-deception in online dating

From the second link: "Kashur, an Arab from East Jerusalem, introduced himself as a Jewish bachelor seeking a serious relationship. The two then had consensual sex in a nearby building before Kashur left."

If online dating has that kind of success rate, sign me up.
posted by yerfatma at 7:17 AM on July 21, 2010


the common practices of semi-deception in online dating

And in fairness, not just online dating. I've heard outrageous lies told in bars (usually beginning with "I'm single," or worse, "We haven't been intimate in years").
posted by Forktine at 7:18 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


So next up, rape by deception convictions for: lying about income, lying about marital status, lying about education, etc... Or is it just religious/ethnic status that is so awful? Surely many other things would falsely induce some women to sleep with someone?
posted by R343L at 7:20 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


What would this case look like in the U.S.? It seems there's an analogue between this and the case of the firefighter's widow a few posts down. Perhaps it would be relegated to civil court if it were in the U.S., whereas in Israel, it's in criminal courts? I do believe that marrying someone under false pretenses annuls the marriage; not sure what sleeping with someone under false pretenses does... I believe that's just called "dating" here.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 7:20 AM on July 21, 2010


If online dating has that kind of success rate, sign me up.

You might be interested in the statistics cited in this comment.

Again, I don't mean to be making light of what is obviously a serious case. It feels from here like a reminder of old laws meant to punish men who promised marriage, enjoyed the sex, and then absconded, leaving the girl to face the shame and perhaps be seen as unmarriageable. Out of place in a world that has changed, maybe.
posted by Forktine at 7:22 AM on July 21, 2010


Forktine: "Where is the line to be drawn ..."

Between Muslims and the rest of us as per usual.
posted by brokkr at 7:23 AM on July 21, 2010 [22 favorites]


It's not without precedent--in some jurisdictions, grounds for divorce can lie on "false pretenses," i.e., that your new spouse lied about their religion, how they want to raise their children, whether they want children, whether they have STDs, what their kinks are, etc.

Obviously, that doesn't end up with a rape charge or prison time--but they share that "buyer's remorse" idea.

Also: this is batshitinsane.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:23 AM on July 21, 2010


I don't think there's any way to divorce this case from the racial/cultural tensions that exist between Israel's Jewish and Arab communities. Looking at it as a curious legal oddity ignores that completely.
posted by verb at 7:23 AM on July 21, 2010 [16 favorites]


Also, if Israel is at all like the US, some outraged parents will use this kind of thing to make legal complaints about their daughter's choice of boyfriend. In the US, if mom doesn't like his daughter's barely illegal boyfriend (e.g. her boyfriend for several years just turned 18 while the daughter is still barely-not-17), she can get him into trouble just by complaining (with or without her daughter's consent). I could seen an outraged parent doing this if the daughter's boyfriend choice isn't rich/right religion/etc.
posted by R343L at 7:24 AM on July 21, 2010


Right. Lying about anything other than ethnicity would get an eyeroll and a warning to ask for his tax returns next time, but heaven forbid anyone should accidentally have sex with an Arab, that's totally 18 months worth of rape.
posted by shinybaum at 7:25 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


While I don't like the idea of it being done on race/religious basis, I do have to say, if you've concealed something which you clearly know would cause your partner not to consent if they knew it to be true? I think there ought to be a penalty for that.

If you lie to get someone to sign a contract, that's fraud. Sex is a lot more sensitive an area of negotiation than selling a car. It's one thing if you just discover you didn't know something about somebody that you would have wanted to know, but if you specifically have obtained information about them that you depended on to determine whether you were going to sleep with them? And they knew that this lie was required to get you into bed?

Yeah, that's extremely skeezy, and I'm not sure I believe it ought to be legally okay. Maybe there's no attendant lack of marriageability on the part of the deceived party, but I see it more like this: If you drug someone to get them to say "yes", that's not consent, because they're not operating with their full capacity of judgment. If you lie to someone to get them to say "yes", I don't think that's consent, either. And if there's no consent, what do we call that? Right.
posted by gracedissolved at 7:35 AM on July 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


Wouldn't that just be misrepresentation or fraud or something? I think I heard of a case in India where the couple was married and the guy was supposed to bring the girl back to England, but he decided he wanted to stay in India, and the family sued him for fraud. But that's marriage and not having sex with a stranger. I guess if you're going to have sex with someone you barely know, you'd better be certain about who he is or not care who he is.
posted by anniecat at 7:36 AM on July 21, 2010


In the US, if mom doesn't like his daughter's barely illegal boyfriend ... she can get him into trouble just by complaining (with or without her daughter's consent.)

I'm not expert on age of consent laws, but I think they can bust him on a statutory charge, "barely" or not.
posted by griphus at 7:37 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


So he was convicted on a kind of fucked-up buyer's remorse?

It reminds me of the Dave Chapelle sketch about the black white supremacist who divorced his wife for loving him.

I don't know. He said he was Jewish, so she really didn't know what goods she was buying. I wonder what would happen if he got her pregnant. Is it against Jewish law to have an abortion?
posted by anniecat at 7:42 AM on July 21, 2010


If you lie to someone to get them to say "yes", I don't think that's consent, either. And if there's no consent, what do we call that? Right.

Yeah, great idea, criminalize lying to get laid. You think we have a prison overcrowding problem now? Seriously, that's insane and impossible to police. He lied about his income? rape. She lied about her past relationships? rape. He seemed like a happy guy on our first date and didn't tell me about the psych drugs? rape.

Come on, such a law is just ridiculous and would trivialize actual rape.

What would this case look like in the U.S.?

It would have gone down about the same way under Jim Crow.
posted by malphigian at 7:42 AM on July 21, 2010 [34 favorites]


Says something about the strife in Jerusalem when identity apparently swings on a name.
posted by Atreides at 7:44 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Goy Meets Girl...
posted by chavenet at 7:45 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


The cases I've heard of in the US are things like a man's twin pretending to be him to sleep with his wife. And there's a famous case from, I think, the fifties where a doctor told a woman she had a deadly disease for which (seriosly) his sperm was the cure. Not only did she sleep with him, she paid him five grand.
posted by prefpara at 7:46 AM on July 21, 2010


deleting my JDate account
posted by klapaucius at 7:47 AM on July 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


What would this case look like in the U.S.?

This is a dim memory from criminal law class, so take it with a grain of salt, but if I remember correctly in the U.S. consensual sex that involves deception in order to get a party to consent does not constitute rape. The examples I remember were as follows: A woman goes to a doctor who says "My penis has magical healing properties and if we have sex it will heal your cancer" and the woman agrees to the procedure = not rape. A woman goes to a doctor and lies on a table, the doctor shields the lower half of her body from her view and says "I have to insert this instrument into your vagina multiple times to heal your cancer" and the woman later learns the instrument was the doctor's penis = rape.
posted by ND¢ at 7:48 AM on July 21, 2010



What would this case look like in the U.S.?

Well, in the US, women just expect that men lie to get laid.

Women Keep Your Virtue
posted by anniecat at 7:48 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


By combining I/P and "what defines rape" this is a nearly perfect MeFi topic that has generated shockingly mundane and measured comments thus far. It's like two wrongs making a right. Weird.
posted by GuyZero at 7:52 AM on July 21, 2010 [56 favorites]


BTW, I used the phrase "buyers remorse" but I don't want anyone to think that I am condoning his actions. He misrepresented himself. I'm not sure if we can be sure that he knew for sure that misrepresenting himself is the only way that he could get her to have sex with him, but he did the wrong thing regardless.
posted by ob at 7:53 AM on July 21, 2010


More about US law.
posted by prefpara at 7:54 AM on July 21, 2010


Would a padded bra be considered lying, too?
posted by rocket88 at 7:57 AM on July 21, 2010 [14 favorites]


This degrades what rape is.

I would wonder whether this judgment was not only made by someone who was racist, but someone who didn't place sufficient value on punishments for actual rape.
posted by MuffinMan at 7:58 AM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


The case may be about lying, but the judgment is about race. This needs an anti-miscegenation tag, I think.
posted by carter at 8:01 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Would a padded bra be considered lying, too?

This is a bit facile, considering the complexity of the case. She didn't assume he was a Jew based on his appearance. Perhaps if the man stated something along the lines of "Those are 36Ds, right? I will not consent to sleep with you if they are not," you would have a point.
posted by griphus at 8:02 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I do believe that marrying someone under false pretenses annuls the marriage

I don't know what false pretences those would be. If you're already married and marry someone else, the second marriage is invalid, but it would be regardless of whether you've told the other party or not, because bigamy is illegal. If someone gets married and then discovers his or her spouse is older/poorer/has a different legal name/is of a different religion than she or he represented, that doesn't invalidate the marriage. Maybe lying about gender would make a difference, but probably only in those juridictions that have yet to legalize same sex marriage.

I'm against the criminalization of bad behaviour in relationships. It would just clog up the already overburdened justice system and be way too problematic to police and enforce. The one exception I can think of is abuse or failure to disclose and/or lying about a known STD, because that's reckless endangerment.

Civil court is another matter. I did hear of a case a few years back in which a woman sued a man for carrying on a relationship with her for some time (six months or a year or something like that) and promising to marry her, and never telling her he was married. But her suit was denied because, as the judge put it, the guy's actions were immoral but not illegal.

If she'd made financial sacrifices for the sake of their relationship, such as quitting her job and moving to be near him, she might have been able to get financial recompense for that, but she hadn't. I have heard of a case in which a teenaged girl sued a teenaged boy who'd invited her to the prom and then stood her up. She won and he had to reimburse her for the cost of her dress and shoes and getting her hair done, etc. (And good for her, I say.)

It's things such as the person's time, and physical intimacy, and emotional suffering, that we can't really put a price tag on nor police the abuse of.
posted by orange swan at 8:07 AM on July 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


"Kashur was originally accused of violent rape and indecent assault, but later accepted the lesser charge under a plea-bargain after prosecutors received evidence suggesting the encounter was consensual."

Yeah, the guy is getting a crappy deal, but isn't it common to have somewhat strange sounding convictions in a case like this where there is plea-bargaining?

"Kashur’s lawyer, Adnan Aladdin, said he had filed an appeal to ensure that the verdict was not considered precedent-setting"

Good.

"It's not the first time Israel has convicted someone for rape by deception (in 2008 Zvi Sleiman was convicted for pretending to be a housing ministry official and promising to exchange housing benefits for sex). But this does appear to be the first time the determining factor is race."

It's not the United States. They've got their own goofy laws over there in them foreign countries. Maybe we can pressure them to fix up their racist system and get something fairer in place. We should start with mandatory minimums for crack cocaine.
posted by ecurtz at 8:09 AM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


"Kashur was originally accused of violent rape and indecent assault, but later accepted the lesser charge under a plea-bargain after prosecutors received evidence suggesting the encounter was consensual."

So she lied like Mayella Ewell?
posted by anniecat at 8:13 AM on July 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Rape by Deception is a vexed issue in criminal law; it doesn't come up very often and it potentially opens a nasty can of worms. The classic case in Australia is R v Gallienne: a man began intercourse with a sleeping woman. She woke up and, believing him to be her husband, let him continue. The court found that she had not consented to intercourse, and the man was found guilty of rape. I find this verdict to be reasonable.

Now, let's change the facts: Suppose a man introduced himself to a woman, claiming that he was the actor Brad Pitt. The woman consented to intercourse with him, but it turned out that he was not the actor at all, just someone who resembled him. Did she really consent to intercourse with him? I'm not sure - she thought she was consenting to intercourse with someone else, but she did in fact consent to intercourse with that man, right there. I just don't know how to distinguish between these two cases.

Let's change the facts further: Suppose he didn't claim to be Brad Pitt; suppose he simply claimed to be wealthy or a mercenary soldier or whatever. The woman, believing this lie, consented to intercourse. Well, she was certainly deceived - but it's hard to say that she didn't consent to intercourse because it would make a rape charge out of every exaggeration in a bar.

Alternatively, let's suppose that he told her the truth about who he was - but said that he loved her, and proposed to marry her, making her his fiancee. He didn't mention that he was already married, and because of this deception she consented to intercourse. Was this truly consent? I think this woman was more deceived and more cruelly deceived, but I still think it's a similar case to the last one.

The case at hand (and we've only seen sensationalist reports that never seem to get the important details right) seems at best to be like the last situation - deception about the defendant's intention and ability to marry. I don't think it should be classed as rape by deception - but I also think that some degree of deception should make the act illegal; I just don't know where to draw the line.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:14 AM on July 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


The Telegraph article claims that he misled her simply by calling himself Daniel, which was supposed to imply that he was jewish. In the Haaretz article he claims he presented himself as Dudu.

It seems weird that this would be all it takes to deceive someone you are jewish. It would be interesting to know some more facts.
posted by furisto at 8:18 AM on July 21, 2010


What would this case look like in the U.S.?

This is a dim memory from criminal law class, so take it with a grain of salt, but if I remember correctly in the U.S. consensual sex that involves deception in order to get a party to consent does not constitute rape. The examples I remember were as follows: A woman goes to a doctor who says "My penis has magical healing properties and if we have sex it will heal your cancer" and the woman agrees to the procedure = not rape. A woman goes to a doctor and lies on a table, the doctor shields the lower half of her body from her view and says "I have to insert this instrument into your vagina multiple times to heal your cancer" and the woman later learns the instrument was the doctor's penis = rape.


In Canada, from my crim class, that would not be true, or at least I don't think so. There's a section that says no consent is obtained if ... "the accused counsels or incites the complainant to engage in the activity by abusing a position of trust, power or authority;"

This, however, is not the abuse of any position of trust. And it seems terrible to my eyes.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:20 AM on July 21, 2010


So, if the guy was Jewish and the woman was Arabic, and he pretended to be Arabic to get her to sleep with him ... would this even be a case?

No. Because it's Israel. Beautiful.
posted by kafziel at 8:23 AM on July 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh, I didn't notice this bit from the Al-Jazeera link:
It's not the first time Israel has convicted someone for rape by deception (in 2008 Zvi Sleiman was convicted for pretending to be a housing ministry official and promising to exchange housing benefits for sex).
So apparently Rape by Deception is more commonly charged in Israel than elsewhere, and includes things that I would have thought were just obtaining consensual sex fraudulently.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:23 AM on July 21, 2010


I don't think this was "fraud" or "misrepresentation of goods". What were the "goods": sex, pure and simple, and it isn't as if his religion or ethnicity could have had any impact in her enjoyment of it (and, before anyone asks it: Muslims are also circumcised). It isn't as if they had married, or were even living together. They just had sex, and the only way he could've "misrepresented his goods" in that context would be if he'd presented them as measuring over 8 inches. Morally, one can condemn him for lying about bis commitment, but hardly for lying about his ethnicity. As for convicting him for rape, that's wrong. "To Kill A Mockingbird" wrong.
posted by Skeptic at 8:23 AM on July 21, 2010


What would this case look like in the U.S.?

Under Jim Crow, it would have played out in a lynching.

In the present day, how about Muslim woman sleeps with a man who claims he is Muslim, but who is really Jewish. She then finds out that he is Jewish, and takes him to court for raping her. I guess I would be interested to see how this would be reported, but I have a good idea.
posted by carter at 8:27 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


And, what kafziel said.
posted by carter at 8:28 AM on July 21, 2010


It seems weird that this would be all it takes to deceive someone you are jewish.

There are two things at play here. First: I've spent long periods of time working with Israelis who originally came from Iraq, Iran, Yemen, etc. Outside of the cultural-related affectations (ways of speaking, facial expressions, etc.) I would not for the life of me be able to tell them apart from an Iraqi/Iranian/Yemeni. If you're around another culture for long enough, and in Kashur's case, it's his entire life, you can reasonable impersonate it. We don't have the precise details of their meeting, but it's not like she had to quiz him on Talmudic law or anything. The more contemporary the generation, in Israel, the less religious and more cultural/political the identity of "Jew" gets (which is something I have to explain every time someone goes LOLSTAROFDAVIDTATTOO.)
posted by griphus at 8:28 AM on July 21, 2010


For those interested: the verdict (in Hebrew), Google translation.
posted by iati at 8:32 AM on July 21, 2010


...Now, let's change the facts: Suppose a man introduced himself to a woman, claiming that he was the actor Brad Pitt.

First of all, I agree with the outcome of Gallienne and I would claim that she did consent in the second situation. But I agree that it's a tough distinction.

My first thought is that in the first context, it began with a rape. Prior to her waking up and "giving consent", it was rape. So her eventual consent is irrelevant to some degree.

Secondly, and the distinguishing factor in my head, is that in Gallienne's case the victim woke up to sex. She's barely coherent, just waking up, and there's a man having sex with her, who she assumed was her husband by context. But she was never in such a clear state of mind to evaluate it. Whereas in the Pitt context, the woman is presumably able to interact with the man before having sex with him, and can evaluate his credibility and choose to have sex with the person in front of her.

Which I know is where you went with it, and I agree that it's hard to distinguish them. I think that maybe my second thought doesn't work, and I have to rely on the fact that he started the rape prior to her knowledge. And I'm aware that this opens up a different edge case, in which the rapist sneaks into her house, wakes her up on the brink of having sex, lets her assume he's the husband. And I'm not sure that's rape.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:33 AM on July 21, 2010


In the past, men who misrepresented themselves in this way were convicted of fraud.

One such case was that of Eran Ben-Avraham, who told a woman he was a neurosurgeon after which she had sex with him, and was convicted of three counts of fraud.

posted by anniecat at 8:34 AM on July 21, 2010


Jesus fucking christ. Ugh.
posted by serazin at 8:36 AM on July 21, 2010


What,I wonder, if the guy were Jewish-Israeli and the girl Arab-Israeli? And she told him she was Jewish and they had sex?
posted by Postroad at 8:39 AM on July 21, 2010


This is a dim memory from criminal law class, so take it with a grain of salt, but if I remember correctly in the U.S. consensual sex that involves deception in order to get a party to consent does not constitute rape. The examples I remember were as follows: A woman goes to a doctor who says "My penis has magical healing properties and if we have sex it will heal your cancer" and the woman agrees to the procedure = not rape.

At least in California, this is no longer true. The law was changed, so that if a woman is not aware of the essential characteristics of the act by fraud, she is still raped.
posted by snookums at 8:39 AM on July 21, 2010


If people want to make this about the politics of religion and ethnicity, a more structurally equivalent reversal might be the likely plight of a Jewish man who obtained fraudulent consent from a religious Muslim woman in an Arab and Islamic country. Are you going to tell me there wouldn't be a likely rush to judgment?

The charge is over the top, but this discussion isn't helped by inflammatory distortion from the gratuitously anti-Israel bandwagoneers.

If this had happened anywhere else we'd be having a debate on the boundaries of consent and the virtue of considering this kind of deception rape rather than lining up to take swipes at the government in question.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:43 AM on July 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Of course, it did happen there, and I get that. But shouldn't the first question be whether or not the crime should exist as defined?
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:47 AM on July 21, 2010


If this had happened anywhere else we'd be having a debate on the boundaries of consent and the virtue of considering this kind of deception rape rather than lining up to take swipes at the government in question.

Um, that does indeed appear to be happening in this thread.
posted by prefpara at 8:48 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Jesus fucking christ. Ugh.

No, that would be Jew-on-Jew, which is acceptable.
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:49 AM on July 21, 2010 [19 favorites]


...a more structurally equivalent reversal might be the likely plight of a Jewish man who obtained fraudulent consent from a religious Muslim woman in an Arab and Islamic country.

I agree re: kneejerk judgement, but there is a point in the fact that the judgement of the case considering a reversal of races within Israel would be unfair, considering that unlike an Arab/Islamic country, Israel is not ruled by law set down by religion (i.e. Sharia,) but has a written constitution, active legislature, etc.
posted by griphus at 8:52 AM on July 21, 2010


An article from Salon about this case contains some discussion of the state of U.S. law in this area:

U.S. law has expanded to allow for rape by fraud, but interpretations are fairly strict. As a 2007 report in the Northwestern University Law Review notes, "Many jurisdictions prohibit specific categories of [sex by] fraud -- identity fraud, spousal impersonation, and fraudulent medical treatment." Under the category of spousal impersonation, for instance, I once wrote about a Massachusetts man who impersonated his brother in order to have sex with his wife. (The case was dismissed, however, because the state recognizes only rape by force.) Fraudulent medical treatment includes doctors who convince patients that sex -- with the medical professional standing before them, of course -- is a cure to whatever ails them.
posted by ND¢ at 8:52 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


If this had happened anywhere else we'd be having a debate on the boundaries of consent and the virtue of considering this kind of deception rape rather than lining up to take swipes at the government in question.

If this had happened anywhere in the first world, the basis for the decision might have to do with the boundaries of consent, and the virtue of considering this kind of deception to be rape. And those topics might be relevant to the case at hand. But with these facts, in Israel? He was convicted for being an Arab and offering an excuse. The basis for the decision was the ethnicities involved, not a matter of the boundaries of consent.
posted by kafziel at 8:56 AM on July 21, 2010


If people want to make this about the politics of religion and ethnicity, a more structurally equivalent reversal might be the likely plight of a Jewish man who obtained fraudulent consent from a religious Muslim woman in an Arab and Islamic country. Are you going to tell me there wouldn't be a likely rush to judgment?

Let's be clear here: there's no indication the woman is religious, or pious. Or else, if she is religious, then she's not especially pious: "The couple then went to a nearby building and had consensual sexual intercourse" Not that it matters especially. Nobody's really debating if his misrepresentation of himself - particularly as someone looking for a serious relationship - couldn't be viewed as unethical.

She thought she was having sex with a Jew and got a Muslim instead. If the situation was reversed and a Muslim woman found that than "Dudu" was really "Daniel" one could argue, as here, it was immoral of him but a court finding him guilty of rape would find itself on the end of "LOL muslims" comments here, I'd bet.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:56 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


...a more structurally equivalent reversal might be the likely plight of a Jewish man who obtained fraudulent consent from a religious Muslim woman in an Arab and Islamic country

For which a rape conviction would be just as ridiculous, and I believe most of MeFi would say so.
This is very much a typical case of a minority caught in an unjust system. Israel's particular unjust system is just one of many.
posted by rocket88 at 8:59 AM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


The charge is over the top, but this discussion isn't helped by inflammatory distortion from the gratuitously anti-Israel bandwagoneers.
I think I was the first one to mention that aspect of it in the thread (perhaps not?) so I'll chime in. I specifically said nothing about Israeli politics or policy. I referred to regional ethnic political tensions between two communities as a major potential factor in the case's perception. I fail to see how this is inflammatory, distortion, or "anti-Israel," let alone gratuitously so. The knee-jerk defensiveness is unbecoming.
posted by verb at 9:00 AM on July 21, 2010


While I don't like the idea of it being done on race/religious basis, I do have to say, if you've concealed something which you clearly know would cause your partner not to consent if they knew it to be true? I think there ought to be a penalty for that.

If you lie to get someone to sign a contract, that's fraud. Sex is a lot more sensitive an area of negotiation than selling a car. It's one thing if you just discover you didn't know something about somebody that you would have wanted to know, but if you specifically have obtained information about them that you depended on to determine whether you were going to sleep with them? And they knew that this lie was required to get you into bed?

Yeah, that's extremely skeezy, and I'm not sure I believe it ought to be legally okay. Maybe there's no attendant lack of marriageability on the part of the deceived party, but I see it more like this: If you drug someone to get them to say "yes", that's not consent, because they're not operating with their full capacity of judgment. If you lie to someone to get them to say "yes", I don't think that's consent, either. And if there's no consent, what do we call that? Right.


Lawyer alert.
posted by GrooveJedi at 9:04 AM on July 21, 2010


The charge is over the top, but this discussion isn't helped by inflammatory distortion from the gratuitously anti-Israel bandwagoneers.


I don't know... do you think "over the top" is non-committal enough for a chap being jailed for rape for the rough equivalent of professing an open mind on the question of reincarnation in an LA singles bar? Could we possibly dial it back to "a bit much"? "Slightly off"?
posted by DNye at 9:08 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


There are two things at play here. First: I've spent long periods of time working with Israelis who originally came from Iraq, Iran, Yemen, etc. Outside of the cultural-related affectations (ways of speaking, facial expressions, etc.) I would not for the life of me be able to tell them apart from an Iraqi/Iranian/Yemeni. If you're around another culture for long enough, and in Kashur's case, it's his entire life, you can reasonable impersonate it. We don't have the precise details of their meeting, but it's not like she had to quiz him on Talmudic law or anything. The more contemporary the generation, in Israel, the less religious and more cultural/political the identity of "Jew" gets (which is something I have to explain every time someone goes LOLSTAROFDAVIDTATTOO.)

I accept that you can't see any difference and that there are cultural differences. But if the woman was making her decision based on that she thought he acted like a jew, and he never said so himself, I would claim that she fooled herself rather than she was being fooled.

I still think the law is crazy but it is even crazier if you are deceived because you kind of hoped that the person was someone other than s/he was.
posted by furisto at 9:10 AM on July 21, 2010


If online dating has that kind of success rate, sign me up.

You might be interested in the statistics cited in this comment.


That's a pretty accurate percentage from anecdotal evidence (my own and my friends experience).

Online dating sites let you filter out a LOT of people. By the time you go out with someone, they are pretty likely going to be someone that you're really attracted to. And for women who messaged me first that I ended up going out with, it's been pretty close to 100% And I'm TERRIBLE with women. Painfully shy and awkward, by all accounts.

So, yeah, try online dating, if that's what you're interested in.
posted by empath at 9:11 AM on July 21, 2010


You're all liars. All of you are fucking liars! Masters of the lie, the visual lie.
Look at you...
You got on heels, you ain't that tall.
You got on makeup, your face don't look like that.
You got a weave, your hair ain't that long.
You got a Wonderbra on, your titties ain't that big.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:11 AM on July 21, 2010


But if the woman was making her decision based on that she thought he acted like a jew, and he never said so himself, I would claim that she fooled herself rather than she was being fooled.

I agree, but as it stands the sources (even the ones defending him) report that he lied about his ethnicity. It's the active nature of the deception that's the source of the issue here.
posted by griphus at 9:15 AM on July 21, 2010


The knee-jerk defensiveness is unbecoming.

I don't mind being a little unbecoming if it helps focus discussion on the issues of consent and the merit of having this kind of law on the books. And I wasn't referring to comments upthread so much as how things have gone in other similar threads, whenever Israel is the setting for the issue being treated. Note the comments in the Kafka thread that amount to "big surprise, Israel sucks," or the rather nasty and ignorant closing comments in the thread on the CNN Tweet scandal (to which I couldn't bring myself to respond.)

I'm not saying there isn't a racial (if that's the right term) aspect to this, but it's the kind of structural racism that we shouldn't find any more shocking or offensive than, say, the unequal treatment of black men in the American justice system. But, because it's Israel and Palestine it's suddenly extra-bad and the rest of the discussion is eclipsed.

It'd be nice if that didn't happen here, because the issues surrounding consent in this thread are particularly interesting after the long "Don't Get Raped vs. Don't Rape" thread.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:21 AM on July 21, 2010


I would guess that if the reverse had happened in, say, Iran, we would be drawing the same parallels. The point is not OMG Israel Sux!!1!!11!!! It's that this is a case that, congruent with what we know about ethnic politics in this particular country, the case seems particularly messed up.

Imagine if the news report was coming out of Arizona, and the parties in question were white and Mexican-American. If it was coming out of Mississippi and white/black. Belfast and Protestant/Catholic. India and Hindu/Muslim. We'd all be saying the same thing.
posted by Sara C. at 9:23 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, I'm sorry, but I don't find the issue of consent interesting, at all.

If you have consensual sex with someone and later found out they were of an undesirable religion or ethnicity, the sex was still consensual and you're still a bigot. Done and done.
posted by Sara C. at 9:25 AM on July 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


It's the active nature of the deception that's the source of the issue here.

I think that what makes it active here is the racial framing of the deception. It's a deception in the context of Arabs being undesirable (in the racial sense - he was obviously desirable in the physical sense).
posted by carter at 9:25 AM on July 21, 2010


I think the analogy to racism in the US is apt snuffleupagus, because historically here, the specter of rape and sexual assault have been used to foment fear of African American men. See Women Race and Class on this, for example.

It's not possible to divorce this particular situation from the social and political context it happened in.
posted by serazin at 9:29 AM on July 21, 2010


If you have consensual sex with someone and later found out they were of an undesirable religion or ethnicity, the sex was still consensual and you're still a bigot. Done and done.

It's not an issue of whether consent took place, but qualified/conditional consent. Law must defend bigots if they are on the right side of it even when due to bigotry. I, personally, think he's being punished far, far too severely, but I am not at all learned in law enough to say whether or not he should be punished at all due to the precedent one or the other sets. If conditional consent is to be defended, then whether or not bigotry is the condition is meaningless.
posted by griphus at 9:30 AM on July 21, 2010


Imagine if the news report was coming out of Arizona, and the parties in question were white and Mexican-American. If it was coming out of Mississippi and white/black. Belfast and Protestant/Catholic. India and Hindu/Muslim. We'd all be saying the same thing.

See, to me that's what makes the racial part of the story less interesting--or at least more commonplace. It's the expansion of legal notion of consent that seems novel to me. Maybe I'm kind of a legal dork. (OK, not just maybe.)

If you have consensual sex with someone and later found out they were of an undesirable religion or ethnicity, the sex was still consensual and you're still a bigot. Done and done.

This is certainly my gut level reaction. But I find the legal reasoning outlined above (such as here) fairly convicing as well.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:30 AM on July 21, 2010


I think that what makes it active here is the racial framing of the deception. It's a deception in the context of Arabs being undesirable (in the racial sense - he was obviously desirable in the physical sense).

Right, but do can you rightly exclude race from the "conditions" in "conditional consent"? Where is the line drawn between what counts and what doesn't? (NB: I don't have any answers.)
posted by griphus at 9:31 AM on July 21, 2010


I'm against the criminalization of bad behaviour in relationships.

I think this is a little more than bad behavior -- it is closer to bigamy, which typically involves someone who represents themselves falsely as single, or a standard con, which involves deception to obtain money.

But, theft of services is a tricky concept, as the U.S. Supreme Court has recently made clear, and deception to get sex is an incredibly hard area to legislate or enforce, as people earlier in this thread have pointed out.

I tend to think that if I were a legislator, I'd decline to enact this sort of criminal legislation. Having said that, I'm not sure it is so terrible that Israel has made a different choice. The underlying behavior here isn't rapist-like to me, but it is cynically deceptive in a way that often involves criminal consequences when the object is something else, like wrongfully obtaining money.
posted by bearwife at 9:31 AM on July 21, 2010


I can understand wanting to punish lies more in the context of an act that involves unusual physical vulnerability. I don't know if it's appropriate to legally define such deception as rape, nor is it clear that the legal system would do a particularly good job of dealing with lies such as this one... but it seems to me to be a nontrivial lie. I guess to me the liar's motivation seems significant. Did this guy lie specifically to get laid, or was he in the habit of lying about this? Even racists shouldn't be manipulated and tricked. I get that we don't like them. Anyway, I don't know what the law should do, but I do think that lying to someone in order to trick them into having sex with you is despicable.
posted by prefpara at 9:31 AM on July 21, 2010


I'll admit that I don't happen to know the law as it stands in Israel. Perhaps "but it turned out he wasn't a natural redhead!" = rape in Israel. I don't know.

But if that is the case? Messed up, sorry.

And if that's not the case, generally, but in this case it stands because Ohnoez, Moozlumz? Super messed up. Standing by that.
posted by Sara C. at 9:33 AM on July 21, 2010


Aren't we supposed to be stoning her to death for pre-marital sex anyway?
posted by Xoebe at 9:33 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aren't we supposed to be stoning her to death for pre-marital sex anyway?

I'm not one to defend Israel culturally, but as far as secular gender equality, they're (generally) doing a better job than the US.
posted by griphus at 9:35 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


it is closer to bigamy, which typically involves someone who represents themselves falsely as single

But with bigamy, the reason the person can be prosecuted is because it's illegal to have more than one spouse at a time. Not because it's illegal to lie to your partner.

To put my criticism in a more legalistic framework -- I think picky nonsense like this should be on the head of the person with the issue. If it's such a big deal that your lady bits never be contaminated by a Muslim, then it's on you to administer the Talmud quiz or ask for a Rabbinical reference, or whatever would satisfy you. If you shag someone and it turns out they're not who they said they were, but you were too busy digging in your purse for condoms to even bother to check it out? Consensual.
posted by Sara C. at 9:37 AM on July 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's not possible to divorce this particular situation from the social and political context it happened in.
posted by serazin at 9:29 AM


Yes. It's hard to disagree with that.

I suppose the tension is between the sense that "lying to someone in order to trick them into having sex with you is despicable" as prefpara put it, and "If you have consensual sex with someone and later found out they were of an undesirable religion or ethnicity, the sex was still consensual and you're still a bigot." as sarahc did.

(Also I though Joe in OZ had a good take.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:39 AM on July 21, 2010


...then it's on you to administer the Talmud quiz or ask for a Rabbinical reference, or whatever would satisfy you.

You're confusing religious Judaism for sociopolitical Judaism. Just like many American Jews, plenty of Israeli Jews have never spoken with a Rabbi, never been Bar Mitzvah'd, identify with Judaism as a people and nation and not as a faith. On the other hand, almost all have undergone the covenant of Abraham, which makes me wonder whether or not she checked his penis, as I do not think Israeli Arabs circumcise their children.
posted by griphus at 9:41 AM on July 21, 2010


Right, but do can you rightly exclude race from the "conditions" in "conditional consent"? Where is the line drawn between what counts and what doesn't? (NB: I don't have any answers.)

But why should race be the foundation of anything in any legal system? To put the question another way: why should 'race' be included in the conditions of conditional consent? Personally, I think that's reprehensible. Legally I don't know, but IANAL.
posted by carter at 9:41 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Israel is not ruled by law set down by religion (i.e. Sharia,) but has a written constitution, active legislature, etc.2

Well that's not quite true. Israel has a few Basic Laws (full text) which sort of act as a constitution, but it's generally accepted that Israel is one of the 3 countries without a written constitution1.

That being said, this doesn't mean that the rule of law doesn't apply or it's any more unjust, considering that the other 2 are the UK and New Zealand. Sorry for the minor derail.

1: Well, uncodified is really the point, not unwritten. Whatever.
2: I would argue that there is nothing inconsistent with having a country ruled by law set down by religion and having a written constitution, active legislative bodies, etc, but I don't have facts to back me up and it's not something I feel strongly enough about to randomly toss out opinions.

posted by Lemurrhea at 9:45 AM on July 21, 2010


I am uncomfortable about this as well. I suppose it's because it seems as though the law is essentially seeing sex as a transaction, and it is, but a transaction where something of value, that can be defined legally, is exchanged. If there is deception, it's a sort of fraud; if there is enough deception (or the right sort of deception), it's rape, which seems here like an extension of theft: He took something of value under false pretenses.

But for me, the issue in rape is always one of sober consent, and relates only to the sex act. It doesn't becomes fraud because he said he's a lawyer. It doesn't becomes rape because he's actually a quarter Chinese and neglected to mention it. If we are to base violation on these sorts of metrics, I should be able to sue for having a laugh with a guy at a bar who later turns out to have stolen the joke, or I should be able to imprison my girlfriend's father because he claims to be a fan of cowboy movies, but he loves Big Jake, which is terrible.

We can't sue for regretting consensual human interactions when the only thing invested is human interactions. Hell, if we could, there are a lot of people on MetaFilter lining up to sue each other.

Also, as others have mentioned, this clearly seems to be using the word rape in a way more consistent with policing racial interactions -- which has an extraordinarily ugly history in America -- than addressing violence toward women.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:46 AM on July 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


I think it would probably be fine if he were convicted of fraud. Just regular fraud, like when you buy a car that turns out to be the wrong brand.

That wouldn't solve the racist implications, though.
posted by LogicalDash at 9:46 AM on July 21, 2010


@snuffleupagus: I think the key to that tension is that it's OK for something to be despicable but not actually illegal, and sometimes punishments for despicable behaviour should come from the community rather than the legislature. Cheating on your wife may be despicable, but it isn't necessarily best addressed by recourse to criminal law, and that is something which relates to a position of physical vulnerability.

As far as one can tell, taking the religious and cultural elements out as far as possible, what happened was that one party led the other to believe that the sex they were about to have was a step onto a path that was intended to lead to a socially acceptable long-term relationship. In fact, it was not. So, false name, claims to want to settle down, appears to be a catch - in essence, if we follow this logic, in what way is Barney from How I Met Your Mother, for example, not a serial rapist-by-deception? The answer "he is" is totally acceptable, of course, but if there is a difference, what is it?

(Remember that marriage across religions is not illegal in Israel, although bigamy is. Since he presumably had no intention of marrying her, however, that feels like a false trail.)
posted by DNye at 9:49 AM on July 21, 2010


I think picky nonsense like this should be on the head of the person with the issue.

I know this is a little absurd, but lets take the example of a different body related taboo--you're kosher or halal and you rely on a restaurant owner's representation that the food is compliant with the dietary laws. You eat there all the time. Later you find out that it was a sham, and are psychologically traumatized.

Do you have a valid complaint against the restaurant proprietor?

Note that I'm not trying to equate the two things, just draw a parallel. Set aside the disturbing ideological basis of this particular taboo and what you have is someone intentionally deceiving another about a qualification for ensuring that their ritual cleanliness was not violated. And again, until we put the ugliness of the bigotry back into the picture, deceiving someone such that they inadvertently violate their own sexual body taboos seems worse than doing so such that they violate their own dietary body taboos.

I think I'd prefer it to be a cause of action for fraud, or intentional infliction of emotional distress, etc, however.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:49 AM on July 21, 2010


But why should race be the foundation of anything in any legal system?

It's the foundation of plenty of the legal system, but usually (and rightfully) in defense of the equal application of law to any race (or sex, or creed, or class.) This is an inverse, in a way. Does she have the right to defend the conditions of her consent on an equally broad ground?

Israel has a few Basic Laws (full text) which sort of act as a constitution, but it's generally accepted that Israel is one of the 3 countries without a written constitution.

Is my distinction between the Israeli and Sharia law structures correct, however?
posted by griphus at 9:50 AM on July 21, 2010


You're confusing religious Judaism for sociopolitical Judaism.

No, I'm absolutely not.

I'm simply maintaining that, if it's important to you that you don't accidentally sleep with someone of an undesirable ethnicity/religion, it's on you to do the research. If you need your partners to be Jewish, it's on you to verify that they are Jewish, to whatever standard that satisfies you.

People often think I am Jewish, even though I'm not. Does that make me a rapist if I sleep with someone without up front clarifying my ethnic origins? Just on the off chance that they would considered themselves sullied by the discovery that the shagged a goy?
posted by Sara C. at 9:54 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oooh, I shoulda said "schtupped", there. Dammit.
posted by Sara C. at 9:54 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


To draw another bad parallel...a panhandler asks for money to feed his children but it turns out he has no children and uses your spare change to buy booze. Have you been robbed?
posted by rocket88 at 9:55 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought her consent 'was revoked' because he wasn't single, looking for long term, but rather married, father of two. That's a pretty big fib that a lot of dating people would have a problem with.
posted by dabitch at 9:56 AM on July 21, 2010


If people want to make this about the politics of religion and ethnicity

remove that and there wouldn't have been a case to begin with
posted by pyramid termite at 9:57 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you need your partners to be Jewish, it's on you to verify that they are Jewish, to whatever standard that satisfies you.

We don't have access to the standards she used, but it is clear that he actively deceived her. Even the Al Jazeera blog maintains the fact that he lied to her. He didn't not clarify his ethnicity but misrepresented himself and provided false information after being questioned.
posted by griphus at 9:57 AM on July 21, 2010


I thought her consent 'was revoked' because he wasn't single, looking for long term, but rather married, father of two. That's a pretty big fib that a lot of dating people would have a problem with.

Of course it is -- but that doesn't answer the question as to whether that kind of behaviour ought to be criminalized..
posted by modernnomad at 9:58 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I thought her consent 'was revoked' because he wasn't single, looking for long term, but rather married, father of two. That's a pretty big fib that a lot of dating people would have a problem with.

"When she later found out that he was not Jewish but an Arab, she filed a criminal complaint for rape and indecent assault."

"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."
posted by kafziel at 9:58 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


you're kosher or halal and you rely on a restaurant owner's representation that the food is compliant with the dietary laws.

People who really keep kosher or halal both know the correct way to verify whether the claims are true, and also know that they can't fully know. There are a lot of Ultra-orthodox Jews who do not eat in restaurants for that very reason - they can't know if the Rabbi stuttered over his prayers, they weren't in the room to see that the throat was slit properly, etc.

The same onus should be held to bigots who think they have been contaminated if they sleep with someone of the wrong group. Confirm the situation to whatever standard of confirmed is important to you, and if you choose to proceed it will be considered consensual.
posted by Sara C. at 9:59 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Have you been robbed?

No.
posted by Sara C. at 10:00 AM on July 21, 2010


[race] is the foundation of plenty of the legal system, but usually (and rightfully) in defense of the equal application of law to any race (or sex, or creed, or class.) This is an inverse, in a way. Does she have the right to defend the conditions of her consent on an equally broad ground?

Yes, I'd argue that trace is the foundation of rights - which the legal system then protects.
posted by carter at 10:01 AM on July 21, 2010


Confirm the situation to whatever standard of confirmed is important to you, and if you choose to proceed it will be considered consensual.

The law has to account for a certain amount of pragmatism. You can't genetically test for "Jew." She could only question and ascertain whether or not his replies were the truth. If he lied well enough to enough question for her to be satisfied, that does not mean she wasn't defrauded. As far as I understand your conception of the situation, Ponzi scheme victims have no case after being defrauded.
posted by griphus at 10:04 AM on July 21, 2010


What would this case look like in the U.S.?

It would have gone down about the same way under Jim Crow.

Good point.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 10:08 AM on July 21, 2010


He didn't not clarify his ethnicity but misrepresented himself and provided false information after being questioned.

I still don't think it matters. If Party A is satisfied that Party B meets her expectations for an acceptable sexual partner, and proceeds to have sex with Party A, the sex was consensual. Pesky details revealed after the fact shouldn't negate that consent, even if there was active deception involved.

To be honest, what trips me up the most here is that ultimately this sort of ethnic identity is so abstract that there is no concrete difference between believing that the person was a member of Group X and the person actually being a member of Group X. It's only a thing to the extent that one of the parties concerned is a racist.
posted by Sara C. at 10:09 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel like I should point out that another strain of legal thinking (loosely presented) might suggest that the standard should be what a reasonable woman's reaction to be, and that a reasonable woman would not be that traumatized by this kind of deceit--i.e. that kind of body taboo when based on ethnic categories is not recognized as reasonable by the law. But then you get into obvious hot-button issues of religion and the law in Israel (whether or not this particular woman is religious.) Griphus put it perfectly upthread: "Right, but do can you rightly exclude race from the "conditions" in "conditional consent"? Where is the line drawn between what counts and what doesn't?"

Let's take a provocative hypothetical. I'm going to use make-believe ethnic groups, because it's just better that way.

The Zamaba and the Otogar hate each other. They are ethnic groups that share common roots, but have suffered a religious schism. Both religions have deeply held attitudes towards the purification and cleanliness of the body.

Zatar of the Zamaba decides he wants to do something to get back at the Otogar in the next village for their most recent offenses. He goes there, pretends to be an Otogar, and eventually sleeps with one of the women there under the pretense of being an Otogar man. She would not have slept with him had she known, and when her village finds out she is shunned and suffers severe social isolation, depression, feels traumatized, etc.

Certainly, the Otogar woman is a bigot. But has Zatar sexually abused her?
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:11 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


As far as I understand your conception of the situation, Ponzi scheme victims have no case after being defrauded.

No. It's more that I don't think the two cases are congruent at all. In the case of the Ponzi scheme, you used to have money, but now you don't. Because someone has deliberately stolen it from you via fraud. In the case of "It's rape because you're the wrong ethnicity", nothing has been taken from you in the first place.
posted by Sara C. at 10:11 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


A thing on the Jim Crow comparisons - there is no law preventing a Jew and a Muslim having sex or marrying in Israel. That's quite a big difference.

I know this is a little absurd, but lets take the example of a different body related taboo--you're kosher or halal and you rely on a restaurant owner's representation that the food is compliant with the dietary laws.

Well, if the question is "is ignoring people's food choices a criminal issue?", there's precedent in the UK - celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay fed a vegetarian parma ham, and did so without any repercussions - people who enjoy that sort of thing lionised him, people who do not thought he was a dick.

Story.

I suppose that in the US that vegetarian might have sued for emotional distress, but that would have been a civil question. If he had been not a vegetarian out of secular conviction but because of religious orthodoxy, that would probably have been less leniently treated by the media, but it probably still wouldn't have been a criminal issue, unless it could have been specifically demonstrated that it was an act of religious hatred.

However, carrying the term "ritual cleanliness" over to a sex act between two people who are, as far as we know, not particularly religious (certainly, if they are, they both seem to be failing to uphold their religious convictions) is... I don't think that's a good road to take. In fact, it's a bit weird. The conviction was not obtained, or at least was not officially obtained, because Sabbar Kashur was not a permitted food group, but because he lied about his identity and prospects in order to gain consent that would not otherwise have been forthcoming. If that's actually the issue, then the Barney question is back in play.
posted by DNye at 10:17 AM on July 21, 2010


In the case of "It's rape because you're the wrong ethnicity", nothing has been taken from you in the first place.

I disagree. Plenty of lawsuits are decided on grounds of emotional damages and pain-and-suffering. How much is that worth, in this case? Well, in my uneducated opinion, less than 18 months, certainly. Is it worth nothing? Well, you have to consider not only the reprecussions to the both of them, but the precedent such a judgment would set and possible abuses and unforeseen consequences.
posted by griphus at 10:17 AM on July 21, 2010


If this had happened anywhere in the first world, the basis for the decision might have to do with the boundaries of consent, and the virtue of considering this kind of deception to be rape. And those topics might be relevant to the case at hand. But with these facts, in Israel? He was convicted for being an Arab and offering an excuse. The basis for the decision was the ethnicities involved, not a matter of the boundaries of consent.

I'm not sure you can say that. THe Ha'aretz article explicitly mentions;

"In 2008, the High Court of Justice set a precedent on rape by deception, rejecting an appeal of the rape conviction by Zvi Sleiman, who impersonated a senior official in the Housing Ministry whose wife worked in the National Insurance Institute. Sleiman told women he would get them an apartment and increased NII payments if they would sleep with him. "

So while people are rightly calling this out, one can't immediately assume that the man got convicted of rape because he was Muslim using deception to defile a nice Jewish princess. He was convicted of rape for using deception - same as the Israeli Jewish guy referenced in the article. Those who look to this as an example of Israeli/Jewish racism are incorrect as 30 seconds of actually skimming the article would've shown.

Of course, that either of these men got convicted of rape is a bit rich, although for Sleiman, since he represented himself as someone in a position of power and because of that a woman could've assumed that she had to *play ball* even if he never said so, there is at least room for debate there. For Kashur, there isn't.
posted by xetere at 10:21 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Plenty of lawsuits are decided on grounds of emotional damages and pain-and-suffering

But this isn't a lawsuit. It's a criminal case. Someone stands to go to jail, for rape, all because someone else thought they were part of Imaginary Group X when it really turned out they were part of Imaginary Group Y the whole time. Even though there is absolutely no demonstrable difference between the two groups.

Even if you take the stance that sex is a concrete thing that can be "taken" from someone, as money can be taken from someone, you can't really get past the fact that there is no demonstrable difference between "person I thought was Jewish but turned out not to be" and "person who was Jewish", in the context of a one night stand.
posted by Sara C. at 10:26 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also I wonder if say a woman and a man slept together, he whipped out a condom and she said "no worries I use the pill." Later she is pregnant, sues for child support and admitted she deceived him because she wanted to get pregnant.

Is that rape? Hardly, he could've and should've taken precautions since people are often, well deceiving shits. Could he sue her in civil court for fraud or deception? I have no idea ain't a lawyer.

In the US he is on the hook for child support on the assumption that the best interests of the child trumps deception and fraud in a situation like this i.e. it wasn't the kids fault so he shouldn't be penalized. but it is food for thought.
posted by xetere at 10:26 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Those who look to this as an example of Israeli/Jewish racism are incorrect as 30 seconds of actually skimming the article would've shown.

Except that the deception in question ultimately rests on race. This guy (AFAIK) didn't claim that he could do something for the plaintiff in exchange for sex. He didn't impersonate a government official. Those are real things that can actually be substantiated as fraud. Claiming you are part of one imaginary group when in reality you are part of a different imaginary group that is only tenuously mutually exclusive with the former group isn't really the same thing.
posted by Sara C. at 10:28 AM on July 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Also I wonder if say a woman and a man slept together, he whipped out a condom and she said "no worries I use the pill." Later she is pregnant, sues for child support and admitted she deceived him because she wanted to get pregnant.

Honestly, I doubt this happens as much as men lying to women to have sex. There aren't many women out there chomping at the bit to get pregnant and become a single mom by a random guy just because "she wants a baby so badly."
posted by anniecat at 10:28 AM on July 21, 2010


He was convicted of rape for using deception - same as the Israeli Jewish guy referenced in the article. Those who look to this as an example of Israeli/Jewish racism are incorrect as 30 seconds of actually skimming the article would've shown

People understand that. Their belief is that the application of the law is based on racism. To put it another way, if the police arrest a segregation era black woman for using the wrong water fountain or using the wrong facilities, they might be using a precedent set in slightly differing circumstances, but it's still racist.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:32 AM on July 21, 2010


[T]here is no law preventing a Jew and a Muslim having sex or marrying in Israel.

Off-topic, but, to quote Wikipedia, "[t]here is no provision for inter-faith marriages and no civil marriage in Israel." Many couples marry abroad, and such marriages are recognized on their return.
posted by iati at 10:35 AM on July 21, 2010


Those who look to this as an example of Israeli/Jewish racism are incorrect as 30 seconds of actually skimming the article would've shown.

Well, 45 seconds of skimming the article would have revealed that the judgement actually stated:

"If she hadn't thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship, she would not have cooperated

Whereas Slieman was claiming to be able to offer a financial benefit to women who slept with him (and might possibly have offered the implicit threat of repercussions if they did not), and that was the deception, the deception here is specifically that Kashur was offering the possibility of a long-term relationship with a Jewish man, which he was not in fact able to offer. Whether you want to call that racism or not is not really something I can comment on, but it's kind of right there. Presumably because otherwise the judges realised, quite sensibly, that any married man who took his wedding ring off at a sales conference would be convicted under the same precedent.

(Incidentally, @snuffleupagus, I don't know if you're doing this consciously, but your metaphors keep adding odd elements that don't seem to be in the story - first ritual cleanliness, and now the idea that this was racially-motivated hate sex on the part of the deceiver. I think this may be affecting how you feel about the issue.)
posted by DNye at 10:35 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Regarding the concern that deception that leads to sex should be prosecutable under law, outside of a very limited set of cases (the MD with the magic semen being an obvious example of coercion, the sleeping woman mistaking a rapist for her husband), it's an extremely slippery slope to make, as sex is, from primate to protozoa, about deception.

Push-up bras, makeup, facelifts, hair dye, implants, contacts, men claiming they want children and then changing their minds, fake Rolexes and Gucci handbags, faked orgasms, exaggerations of worth, income, and future prospects, enduring music you hate but that your partner loves, lowering (or raising) age, combovers and toupees... all of these are deceptions. None of them should be cause to drag someone into court. The traditional punishment when a deception is revealed is that you don't get any more sex.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:38 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Except that the deception in question ultimately rests on race.

Yes but my point was that since in Israel someone was convicted criminally of rape for deception that had nothing to do with race, and thus a precedent was set - however stupid we think it is - of convicting peopel for rape by way of deception - one cannot assume that this is an example of SWA (Shtupping while Arab).

Honestly, I doubt this happens as much as men lying to women to have sex.

@anniecat, I agree with you, but you know not that many still means a few, and if a court in Israel (or anywhere else) convicted that woman for rape, well I think it would be pretty bizarre, as bizarre, if not more so than this case.
posted by xetere at 10:41 AM on July 21, 2010


Yes but my point was that since in Israel someone was convicted criminally of rape for deception that had nothing to do with race, and thus a precedent was set

Except that the precedent-setting case seems to have little or nothing to do with the case under discussion. Mainly because that case involved specific actions that are easily defined as fraud, which is already a crime. In this instance, the closest you can get to an assertion of fraud is to legitimize some pretty ugly ideas about race and ethnicity.
posted by Sara C. at 10:45 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


This guy (AFAIK) didn't claim that he could do something for the plaintiff in exchange for sex.

By lying about his ethnic origins, he claimed that he would not violate a personal consensual provision that she, according to the language of the articles, clearly established. What you mean by "imaginary," I take as "socially constructed," which does not make them any less "real." There's a war on because of the "tenuous" difference between the two. Likewise, there are social repercussions that she may/will suffer on the basis of his deception. Is the basis of these problems a society which puts far more emphasis on race than we are comfortable with? Yes. Should the law operate without accommodating for the context? No. Whether this is a criminal matter, however, is a complex subject.

There aren't many women out there chomping at the bit to get pregnant and become a single mom by a random guy just because "she wants a baby so badly."

Not many, no, but it happens. Probably not enough to form the law around that situation, but even one occurrence is enough to have it be considered on an individual basis rather than apply the existing law to it wholesale.
posted by griphus at 10:45 AM on July 21, 2010


undisclosed rhinoplasty = rape
posted by Sys Rq at 10:47 AM on July 21, 2010


However, carrying the term "ritual cleanliness" over to a sex act between two people who are, as far as we know, not particularly religious (certainly, if they are, they both seem to be failing to uphold their religious convictions) is... I don't think that's a good road to take. In fact, it's a bit weird. The conviction was not obtained, or at least was not officially obtained, because Sabbar Kashur was not a permitted food group, but because he lied about his identity and prospects in order to gain consent that would not otherwise have been forthcoming.

I don't know how precedent works in the Israeli justice system, but their courts may have been unwilling to make a qualitative distinction on the whys or wherefores of the woman's convictions. It seems the law as it exists simply tests whether or not a sex partner misrepresents themselves in order to obtain consent (hopefully there are a few tests of substance and intent here) and by that consent engages in sexual acts with the deceived person.

My aim was to offer a couple ways to game out how the law handles these kinds of taboos and whether or not their ideological basis matters when we schematize them and look at some parallels. I didn't mean to imply that religious purity was the deciding issue at hand in this case, but rather that under Israel's basic laws their courts (or perhaps even our courts here under our laws) might be compelled to recognize such a psychological harm.

On preview:
Incidentally, @snuffleupagus, I don't know if you're doing this consciously, but your metaphors keep adding odd elements that don't seem to be in the story - first ritual cleanliness, and now the idea that this was racially-motivated hate sex on the part of the deceiver. I think this may be affecting how you feel about the issue

Errp, sorry. Among other things, I've been an anthropology student, then a sociology student, then a paralegal and now an incoming law student. "Adding odd elements" is often my default intellectual M.O.!
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:48 AM on July 21, 2010


I'd say an interesting element of this, as far as racial or ethnic clashes are concerned, is that Jews and Muslims in Israel are, in some cases, so similar as to be indistinguishable.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:53 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I went into that a bit above, Astro Zombie. There are pretty clear affective differences, although those can be impersonated/downplayed.
posted by griphus at 10:54 AM on July 21, 2010


What you mean by "imaginary," I take as "socially constructed," which does not make them any less "real."

But in a criminal case where the only difference between "slept with someone I thought was a non-observant Jew" and "slept with someone who was a non-observant Jew" is the plaintiff's bigotry? It sounds pretty fucking imaginary to me.

Even assuming that this were a civil matter and that it might be possible to argue that her reputation in the community was tarnished in some kind of demonstrable way which resulted in provable damages, by siding with the plaintiff you legitimize systematic racism.

Again, imagine this happened in the US, now. I, a poor innocent white girl, sleep with an olive-skinned young man who introduces himself as Giuseppe Mazzini, of Italian ancestry, and thus white. It turns out that this guy was lying, and he is in fact black. My racist community scorns me. I'm harassed by he racists at my job for being such a tramp as to sleep with a black man. My racist parents disown me out of shame. There are clear damages here - I have obviously lost something due to this dude's deception.

But to force the black man to pay me damages because my community is racist is wrong, and in fact is itself racist.
posted by Sara C. at 10:55 AM on July 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Right. You're completely correct, Sara. The judgment and settlement would be racist, and the black man would be penalized for living in a racist society. However, where is your ability to conditionally consent drawn? Okay, race is out. You can't conditionally consent based on race. What about class? What if you're deceived into sleeping with someone because he tells you he's a millionaire who wants to marry you? What about someone who states he doesn't have genital herpes (which no form of contraception will protect against)? At which point is "conditional consent" to be accepted as an extant idea?
posted by griphus at 11:04 AM on July 21, 2010


(Whoops. Hit 'post' too soon.)

My argument isn't that the man should be punished. I've repeatedly stated that I have no basis on which to have an opinion on that. My argument is that this exposes a flaw in the system of "conditional consent," which exists in America as much as Israel.
posted by griphus at 11:06 AM on July 21, 2010


At which point is "conditional consent" to be accepted as an extant idea?

Honestly, except for in the case of deliberately false identity (and I mean specific identity, as in "I'm your husband"), I don't think it should be. Perhaps if this was an ongoing contract like a marriage or a business partnership, the deception would be grounds for dissolution of the contract - maybe if this somehow violated the terms of the agreement. But a one-time sexual encounter? The only consent that can be meaningful is consent in the moment. You can't retract it and send the other person to jail simply because you're unhappy with a detail you were misled about.

My ex insinuated at the beginning of our relationship that he was absolutely infatuated with me. He led me to believe he was falling in love with me. Then I discovered that wasn't the case, and when I called him on it, he broke up with me. I'm sure I could come up with all sorts of potential damages this caused, emotionally and probably materially if I really thought about it. My ex is not a rapist, however. Even if I will only consent to sex under the condition that my partner be in love with me.
posted by Sara C. at 11:14 AM on July 21, 2010


I wasn't referring to comments upthread so much as how things have gone in other similar threads.
Then comment in those threads, instead of suggesting that people who sound almost like someone who once said something mean about Israel are "over the top" anti-Israel "bandwagoneers."
posted by verb at 11:17 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


If Israel had a law governing certain types of outright deceptions to gain access to sex that didn't have the word "rape" in it I bet people would find the whole affair far less outrageous.

That said this a terrible gotcha law. It isn't really clear to me that the woman expressed before the fact the necessity of him being Jewish and a bachelor for intercourse to take place. That seems like an important distinction. Also he didn't know at the time of the lie that he would have sex with the woman. He probably rightly suspected that a woman would find certain facts about him objectionable. It isn't like he tricked her into sex. He tricked her into not taking sex off the table.
posted by I Foody at 11:22 AM on July 21, 2010


A quibble: the judgment it is stated -- and I am not going to judge how post-factually the implication is -- that he was a "Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship", in turn implying that this was not presented to her as a one-off. So there was an agreement (both his Judaism and the interest in a serious romantic relationship) which was violated. The problem, according to the judge, isn't with a detail, but with the entire nature of the intercourse the establishment of which, according to Israeli law as far as I can glean it, is treated as a contract.

It isn't really clear to me that the woman expressed before the fact the necessity of him being Jewish and a bachelor for intercourse to take place.

Again, the Al Jazeera article defending him openly states he lied to her about these facts.
posted by griphus at 11:27 AM on July 21, 2010


If Israel had a law governing certain types of outright deceptions to gain access to sex that didn't have the word "rape" in it I bet people would find the whole affair far less outrageous.

You're probably right. I'll definitely admit that my particular interest in this thread is the idea of rape being diluted to mean "wait, no, I don't want to fuck Catholics!" Or worse, the concept of consent being eroded due to the idea that anyone can revoke consent at any time after sex if they find out something they don't like about their partner.

If it was called "misrepresentation in order to obtain sexual consent" and came with an appropriate penalty (a small fine, a few hours of community service, attending some kind of seminar), I'd potentially be OK with it.

Though of course the whole thing would still hinge on race, which is dumb and deserves to be called out.
posted by Sara C. at 11:29 AM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Rather: knowing the Israeli culture, the fact that he was not Jewish was a practical guarantee that he would not be sleeping with her. As sad as it is, my "genital herpes" argument stands. You have to take the culture into context here.
posted by griphus at 11:30 AM on July 21, 2010


If it was called "misrepresentation in order to obtain sexual consent" and came with an appropriate penalty (a small fine, a few hours of community service, attending some kind of seminar), I'd potentially be OK with it.

Okay. Yes. This. The potential existence of something like that is what I am trying to get across.
posted by griphus at 11:31 AM on July 21, 2010


You're probably right. I'll definitely admit that my particular interest in this thread is the idea of rape being diluted to mean "wait, no, I don't want to fuck Catholics!" Or worse, the concept of consent being eroded due to the idea that anyone can revoke consent at any time after sex if they find out something they don't like about their partner.

If it was called "misrepresentation in order to obtain sexual consent" and came with an appropriate penalty (a small fine, a few hours of community service, attending some kind of seminar), I'd potentially be OK with it.
This, a thousand times.

One of the most frustrating things about consent laws is that they are constantly undermined by haters who insist that they're just traps for men, or that most "rape" is just vindictive sniping from women who want to undo regrettable choices. regardless of the merits of a law punishing deception-for-consent, calling it "rape" dilutes the meaning and the intensity of the word. I mean, what do we call what is currently understood to be rape? Ultrarape?
posted by verb at 11:32 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Then comment in those threads, instead of suggesting that people who sound almost like someone who once said something mean about Israel are "over the top" anti-Israel "bandwagoneers."

I take it you didn't object to comments in the Don't Rape thread cautioning against imitating earlier discussions in which the thread was diluted before it happened there. I'm sorry that you (clearly, loudly) don't share my perspective that threads featuring the Arab/Israeli conflict exhibit similar tendencies that we all would be better without. If you want to continue to pick apart what I said way upthread, memail me or take it to MeTa.

And FWIW, I think of "over the top" as being descriptive of an outrageous situation, not a frivolous one. I'm sorry if you find the usage cavalier. I hear it all the time from lawyers in reference to unjustified causes of actions and excessive jury awards.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:34 AM on July 21, 2010


And, for the record, I said the rape charge was "over the top." Not the bandwagoneers.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:36 AM on July 21, 2010


You can't conditionally consent based on race. What about class? What if you're deceived into sleeping with someone because he tells you he's a millionaire who wants to marry you? What about someone who states he doesn't have genital herpes (which no form of contraception will protect against)?

There is case law on some of this. People who lie about being seropositive and have unprotected but consensual sex with women who then become seropositive have committed a crime, but the crime they have committed is not retroactively non-consensual sex - in the US, it can be aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Herpes isn't deadly, so that wouldn't apply, but you could probably bring a civil case. If someone claims to be a millionaire, then if you only want to have sex with him (or her) if he (or she) is a millionaire, the onus is probably on you to establish his (or her) credentials before you sleep with him. If s/he claims to be a millionaire and borrows $1000 from you, then s/he is committing fraud and/or theft, but again the sex itself does not retroactively cease to be consensual. Emotional damage caused by the emotional connection created by the sex which helped the fraud to be committed might, again, be an aggravating factor, but it doesn't mean that, retroactively, that the sex was non-consensual. There may be case law that contradicts this, but I am hard put to think how.
posted by DNye at 11:37 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Coitus Emptor -- let the shagger beware!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:38 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


An interesting quote from a Guardian piece on the issue, via Jezebel:

Human-rights lawyer Leah Tsemel argues, too, that the accused was following behavior patterns imposed upon him by entrenched discrimination:

"It is very well known that Israeli-Palestinians living in Israel disguise themselves. You change your accent and you change your dress because if you look like an Arab you face harassment. If you want to enter a pub, you'd better not look like an Arab and if you want to have sex with an Israeli girl, you had better not look like an Arab."


This implies that it's possible he was lying about his ethnicity for reasons beyond wanting to stick it to Teh Jooz, or whatever. It also introduces the idea that this is all based on "passing" and maybe not that he explicitly signed a notarized statement to the effect that he was Jewish so as to gain the privilege of fucking an Israeli girl.
posted by Sara C. at 11:39 AM on July 21, 2010


Durrrr, that Guardian piece is one of the ones you link in the main post. Still, though.
posted by Sara C. at 11:42 AM on July 21, 2010


Aaaaaand I'm even more of an imbecile, because the quote is actually from the Telegraph. Specifically the Telegraph article you link to in the main post. Arg.
posted by Sara C. at 11:44 AM on July 21, 2010


There was a time, not that long ago, when I black man having sex or imagined or charge (wrongfully) with having sex with a white woman would get him hung from a tree. ...and then we have the musical Showboat:
"Queenie walks in and suspiciously asks why Julie knows that song; Queenie says she has only heard "colored folks" sing that song. Magnolia declares that Julie sings it all the time, and when Queenie asks her if she can sing the entire song, Julie defensively obliges.

During the rehearsal for that evening's show, Julie and Steve find out that the town sheriff is coming to arrest them. To the shock of all except Julie, Steve takes out a large pocket knife and makes a cut on the back of her hand, sucking the blood and swallowing it. Pete returns with the sheriff, who insists that the show not go on, because Julie is a mulatto woman married to a white man, and local laws prohibit miscegenation. Julie admits that she is a mulatto. Steve, because he swallowed Julie's blood (and therefore has at least "one drop of black blood" in him), is able to claim that he too is mulatto. The sympathetic troupe backs him up, boosted by ship's pilot Windy McClain, a longtime friend of the sheriff."
posted by Postroad at 11:44 AM on July 21, 2010


If it was called "misrepresentation in order to obtain sexual consent" and came with an appropriate penalty (a small fine, a few hours of community service, attending some kind of seminar), I'd potentially be OK with it.


Sara C.,

Well said (again) - and I also approve of your "potentially" - which I interpret as allowing for the possibility of having the screaming heebie jeebies depending on the case..
posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:45 AM on July 21, 2010


[A couple comments removed. If your notional contribution to the thread is a one-liner calling someone a slut or whore, really, really just don't bother commenting at all.]
posted by cortex at 11:49 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pretending to be a member of The Eagles for 18 years +
posted by pianomover at 11:49 AM on July 21, 2010


This ruling came from the Jerusalem District Court, which is both a trial and appeals court. It sounds like this is the trial verdict being reported? So, from my cursory research it seems that the case has at least two levels of appeal to exhaust. (The appellate level of the District Court, and then the Supreme Court.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:54 AM on July 21, 2010


From the Telegraph article: The court heard accusations that Mr Kashur misled the woman, whose identity has not been disclosed, by introducing himself with the traditionally Jewish name during a chance encounter on a street in central Jerusalem in 2008.

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 before the woman had a chance to get dressed


Treading carefully here, because I don't want this to come off at all as, "Women who have sex for reasons other than procreation are icky", but when you bang a dude you just met a few minutes before, even accepting as fact that he wasn't being completely (or even remotely) honest with her, can you really claim that a long-term, marriage-track relationship is what you thought was being offered?
posted by The Gooch at 12:00 PM on July 21, 2010


[quote]Treading carefully here, because I don't want this to come off at all as, "Women who have sex for reasons other than procreation are icky", but when you bang a dude you just met a few minutes before, even accepting as fact that he wasn't being completely (or even remotely) honest with her, can you really claim that a long-term, marriage-track relationship is what you thought was being offered?[/quote]

You don't always get the test case you want. It's a question of application of statute to fact--the objective plausibility of the deception may not be a part of the test, it may be enough for the prosecutor to show that the offender intended the deception and that the victim accepted it.

I wonder what the legislative provenance of this law was?

It would be pretty ironic if it came about by the efforts of Israeli feminists (as one expects might be likely) given that they tend to be staunchly liberal and sympathetic to Palestinian perspectives.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:08 PM on July 21, 2010


aaaand I forgot where I was there for a minute. Arrgh.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:08 PM on July 21, 2010


It would be pretty ironic if it came about by the efforts of Israeli feminists (as one expects might be likely)

I can't speak for all feminists everywhere in the world, but this particular application of the law seems egregiously anti-feminist to me. It's part of why I'm so gobsmacked by it. Not only does it have the potential to make rape laws even less effective than they already are, it also reeks of the worst sort of paternalism. And seems like it's being used to justify all sorts of nasty racist bullshit.
posted by Sara C. at 12:13 PM on July 21, 2010


If you want to enter a pub, you'd better not look like an Arab and if you want to have sex with an Israeli girl, you had better not look like an Arab.

This is why the words we are using sound really stupid to me. There are Jewish Arabs. A huge portion of Israeli Jews are from Arab countries. They physically look the same as non-Jews from Arab countries. I get that there are some cultural aspects to 'appearance' here, but I can't help but have this kneejerk reaction to the headlines.
posted by lullaby at 1:14 PM on July 21, 2010


snuffleupagus: "but it's the kind of structural racism that we shouldn't find any more shocking or offensive than, say, the unequal treatment of black men in the American justice system"

We now know how you feel, but I am continually shocked and offended by the unequal treatment of black men in the American justice system and have been for some time.

snuffleupagus: "You don't always get the test case you want. "

As an incoming law student, you will eventually hear the aphorism, "Bad cases make bad law."

Has anybody said whether the sex was good or not?
posted by rhizome at 1:20 PM on July 21, 2010


"If she hadn't thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship, she would not have cooperated"

So if he'd been a Jewish bachelor who was just interested in a fun fling, but had pretended to be interested in a serious relationship to get some quality lovin', she would still have considered that rape?

I am either skeptical or horrified.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 1:27 PM on July 21, 2010


Amazed that anyone's defending this, especially given the "long-term relationship" line, which came from an actual working judge? She might have tried to get to know him more than a smidgen first. Ahem.
posted by raysmj at 1:33 PM on July 21, 2010


She might have tried to get to know him more than a smidgen first. Ahem.

You know what's completely irrelevant to the discussion of this event? Slut-shaming.
posted by prefpara at 1:36 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Slut-shaming? Oh, whatever.
posted by raysmj at 1:38 PM on July 21, 2010


To clarify: Have all the sex you want immediately after meeting someone. I don't care and never judge people for that. Just spare us the bit about being really into having a "long-term relationship" and having anyone defend that in re to this insane criminal sentence, or bring charges against someone for that.
posted by raysmj at 1:40 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Have all the sex you want immediately after meeting someone. I don't care and never judge people for that. Just spare us the bit about being really into having a "long-term relationship"

Women can be serious about wanting a long-term relationship and have sex on the first date. Here in 2010. Where we're trying to get rid of our collective Madonna/whore complex.
posted by prefpara at 2:02 PM on July 21, 2010


First date? It was a chance encounter and they'd just begun a conversation. LOL.
posted by raysmj at 2:08 PM on July 21, 2010


Classy as always, Israel.
posted by xqwzts at 2:14 PM on July 21, 2010


If you think talking in righteous fashion about the Madonna-Whore complex and whatnot can justify an 18-month sentence for this, however, go right ahead. I just won't pay any attention to you. This was an unjust and cruel decision, I don't see how anyone can say otherwise. (And I grew up in Miss. and that colors my response to this. Yeah, the outrage among progressives at a sentence involving a black man sleeping with a white woman, after passing for white back in the day ... can you imagine?)

Now, if you have a long-term relationship with someone and it turns out they'd lied about their identity, you weren't married, then things get more complicated, in many if not most states. But even then the issues would be settled in a civil setting, if ethnicity and religious were allowed to be involved at all.
posted by raysmj at 2:18 PM on July 21, 2010


Hell, if we could, there are a lot of people on MetaFilter lining up to sue each other.

Oh, I have a list I do. Someday... someday.

Other than that, one rape thread per day is about my limit I think. Oh, who am I kidding? THIS. IS. SPAAAAARTAAA.

Trying to criminalize deception opens such a big can of worms that even considering it gives me the willies. I would ask the people who feel like there should be a penalty for failure to disclose things their partner would consider relevant to consider the following questions: Should it be a crime for a trans person to fail to disclose they are trans? Should it be a crime for someone born with (for example) androgen insensitivity syndrome to fail to disclose that fact before engaging in sexual activity? Because those are the kinds of things you're talking about criminalizing. Remember that the relevant metric is not whether you feel that it should affect consent but what the person involved in the sexual encounter feels would have affected their consent... retroactively.

If you think these cases are hard to prosecute now, well, I can't imagine what it would be like when the only thing at issue is "did the defendant claim to be unmarried before engaging in this stipulated sexual encounter?". It's hard to see how good can come of that.

Criminalizing human interactions often have very large unintended consequences.
posted by Justinian at 2:22 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I agree that this shouldn't be seen as a criminal case, with jail time as punishment. But I have to vehemently disagree that because he was not the same religion, that makes her or the decision racist. This is 100% a religious issue, not a racial one. More than half of Israeli Jews are Sephardic, from Middle Eastern countries, and are racially identical to Arab Muslims and Christians. Had the defendant been a caucasian Christian, I'm fairly certain the outcome would have been the same (making the assumption that the plaintiff is not caucasian, just to intentionally bring race into this).

Judaism is not a race, Hitler's opinions notwithstanding. It's a religion. Jews come in all races, especially in Israel, and anyone can join, including the defendant were he so inclined. It's not easy to become Jewish, as it's not a religion that proselytizes or seeks converts, but it is possible and it is regularly done. Judaism is also not like Christianity, in that it is a rules-based religion: how you act is considered more important than what you believe. In Israel, even Jews who are not religious understand this, and while they may choose not to keep Jewish law, if being Jewish matters to them they also are often careful not to do something completely against it. I am not going to pretend that this woman was religiously observant, as a casual sexual encounter would rule that out. But if the assumption is that she is looking for a long-term relationship with the hope of getting married to a Jewish man, then this is very much a religious issue. Not because 'oh dear, I seem to have slept with a person of color and now I am unclean!' or other racist claptrap, but because according to Jewish law, if you sleep with someone who is not Jewish (of whatever race), that is making a choice that is against Jewish law. Not only that, but it can actually hurt your chances of marrying someone Jewish, because a whole segment of Jewish men (Cohanim) are now off-limits to you for marriage. It's not a question about being tainted, it's a question of making a choice that turns out to have religious ramifications that you would not have chosen to accept. If you accidentally eat a ham sandwich thinking it was kosher, it is not considered a sin. But sexual misconduct does not fall under the category of accidental behavior according to Jewish law.

I realize that if you don't understand or care about Jewish law, this probably sounds like splitting hairs, and I think that is largely because the idea of a religion based on acts and not faith runs counter to most Westerners' idea of what religion is or should be. If the defendant told the woman that he was planning to convert to Judaism (or already in the process), would there still be a lawsuit? There's no way to know. Not least because it is much harder for an Arab Muslim to convince a board of rabbis of his sincerity in the present political climate. But it doesn't change the religious Jewish fact that if he had been a convert to Judaism, she could not have won this case. Same guy, same racial difference (if there is any), same relationship, but now it's acceptable. The case, however ridiculous, is because he lied about religious identity, not because of miscegenation.
posted by Mchelly at 2:36 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rhizome:
snuffleupagus: "but it's the kind of structural racism that we shouldn't find any more shocking or offensive than, say, the unequal treatment of black men in the American justice system"

We now know how you feel, but I am continually shocked and offended by the unequal treatment of black men in the American justice system and have been for some time.

Did you read what I wrote? I said that is IS shocking and offensive. The point was that somehow the Arab/Israeli example arouses a lot more outrage than the black/white example. I also said that this sort of structural inequality is commonplace, by which I meant not to dismiss it but make the point that to me its the novel definition of rape that's most interesting in this particular story. Again, to me.

As an incoming law student, you will eventually hear the aphorism, "Bad cases make bad law."
I've heard it plenty already--and as I noted above there's a (good?) chance a higher court will have something to say about this.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:36 PM on July 21, 2010


But sexual misconduct does not fall under the category of accidental behavior according to Jewish law.

Like all kinds of religiously observant Jewish Israeli people were going to know about this, and would be all, You can't marry this observant Jewish person in the future, blah blah? Who would've known about this if charges hadn't been brought against the guy? And what if she's had a sexual encounter with a man she'd just begun a conversation with who just happened to be Jewish that would be OK under The Rules? This argument strains credulity.
posted by raysmj at 2:45 PM on July 21, 2010


Who would've known about this if charges hadn't been brought against the guy?

God.
posted by prefpara at 2:47 PM on July 21, 2010


I think it's fairly safe to presume she would have engaged in "sexual misconduct" (under religious law, as you put it) with actual Jewish men, if she had with this dude, unless his sexual charisma was beyond the realm of 99.95 percent of all other mere mortals.
posted by raysmj at 2:49 PM on July 21, 2010


God would've known about sexual encounters with actual Jewish men, presumably.
posted by raysmj at 2:51 PM on July 21, 2010


Like all kinds of religiously observant Jewish Israeli people were going to know about this, and would be all, You can't marry this observant Jewish person in the future, blah blah? Who would've known about this if charges hadn't been brought against the guy? And what if she's had a sexual encounter with a man she'd just begun a conversation with who just happened to be Jewish that would be OK under The Rules? This argument strains credulity.

What? Sexual abuse isn't like a tree falling the forest: it still makes an impact even if no one else witnesses it. Accepting the premise for the sake of argument, you think the appropriate remedy is for the victim to have to conceal her injury? And she's entitled to no justice or recovery for the psychological trauma, 'cause apparently you've decided she's obviously too loose of a woman to really have those kinds of religious beliefs?

And yes, regardless of what you think strains credulity, a religious obligation that says "only sex with Jewish men is permitted" is not the same thing as a religious obligation that says "don't have sex less than N days after meeting an appropriate man." The former can exist without the latter.

On preview: Presumably yes, if you're religious, you can believe God knows and cares if you have sex with someone you shouldn't while not caring about how soon you do it with someone you're allowed to. Really, this is not a hard concept.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:55 PM on July 21, 2010


Sexual misconduct under Jewish law would, I believe, entail having sex with men who happen to be Jewish but to whom one isn't married or in a long-term relationship, I'm sorta guessing. I don't give a rat's ass if she's loose, but since religious law was brought up as a justification for this sentence ... The talk about the madonna-whore complex thing doesn't apply here, if we're making arguments according to religious law only.
posted by raysmj at 3:02 PM on July 21, 2010


raysmj, I very much agree with what you said above.

DNye, I gave much thought to your example regarding the celebrity chef, which, being vegan, I found of particular interest. My position is this: If I were served food by a stranger who is not acting in a professional capacity, given assurances that the food was meat-free, taken a bite and then had the stranger come out and shout: "Gotcha! Guess who just ate a corpse?". Well, I'd be mad, but I'll expect no legal remedy. (If the same were to happen with a friend, I may not speak with him or her again.) However, if I were served food by a person acting in a professional capacity - say, a restaurateur, or a celebrity chef - and had the same thing happen, I would sue, and would expect remedy. This applies even if the food was given free of charge (say, as a promotion).

I think the same should apply in this case. If I have sex with an individual with red hair, after having told her that I only ever have sex with true redheads, and once we're through she says: "Gotcha!". Well, touch luck. If I have sex with a professional prostitute, however, under the same circumstances, it's the same as above: I may sue, and will expect legal remedy.
posted by iati at 3:02 PM on July 21, 2010


Rather: knowing the Israeli culture, the fact that he was not Jewish was a practical guarantee that he would not be sleeping with her.

Well, it certainly wouldn't help, but that's possibly not as universal as one might think. If people are setting up helplines to try to shore up the sandbanks against interracial dating, there's probably some of it going on.

More useful, possibly, is the consideration of why else a non-Jewish man might pretend to be Jewish - if indeed that is what he was doing - in a chance encounter with a Jewish woman. We don't actually know, as far as I can tell, that his primary intention was to seduce her. Possibly he wanted to avoid another reaction that he might be used to getting from people who struck up a conversation with him on the assumption that he was one of them, only to discover that he was one of them. At this point, this all seems unclear.

@McHelly: Thank you for the background. I'd certainly be OK with this being called state-sponsored sectarian discrimination rather than state-sponsored racial discrimination.

Notwithstanding, though, there are lots of things that people do which I find offensive to my beliefs, and I think that only a relatively small set of them should involve anything other than social responses. It's a shame if this woman is living in a social context which would judge and exclude her for sleeping with somebody not of her religious colour, even unwittingly. However, to go completely To Kill a Religious Mockingbird is not necessarily the wrong that makes that a right.

On preview: @snuffleupagus - OK, so so far you've suggested in your metaphors that he was ritually unclean and defiling her, that his seduction campaign was driven by a consuming hatred of Jews and now you're talking about sexual abuse? Dude, I think that if those colours get nailed any harder, you might actually knock the mast over.
posted by DNye at 3:02 PM on July 21, 2010


Kosher Shit Sandwich. Or not... Kosher.
posted by dbiedny at 3:02 PM on July 21, 2010


Mchelly: Judaism is not a race, Hitler's opinions notwithstanding.

I'm honestly confused by this point. Are Judaism and "Jewishness" two different concepts? Can you be a Jew but not be a follower of Judaism? I don't claim to possess any intimate grasp of the fundamentals of Judaism or knowledge of the history of the Jews, but my understanding has always been that Judaism isn't completely analogous to Christianity or other religions in this way. For example, I was born into a Christian family but now that I have become an atheist I wouldn't think anyone would still call me a Christian. Is it likewise the same case with Judaism?
posted by gagglezoomer at 3:06 PM on July 21, 2010


iati: It took me a second to parse that redhead example, but I think i get what you mean - if you were paying (possibly a premium) in the expectation that the person whose erotic services you were purchasing were naturally red-headed, you would see non-natural red hair as, essentially, the failure to provide a contracted service. Likewise, the restaurant or chef who served you meat in the knowledge that you had stipulated no meat in your food would have failed to fulfil a contract, and would be liable, in effect, for breach of contract.

Whereas the friend who gotchas you with a hidden meatball is violating the bond of trust expected of friends (or of non-douches), and the consequence of that would be on the level of interpersonal relations: you'd stop being their friend. If, on the other hand, they did it knowing that you didn't eat meat because you had undergone surgery and only had a foot of intestine, or something like that, that would be both a personal betrayal and a criminal issue.

The difficulty here, apparently, is that the expectation of the social contract is complicated both by a contract with the law of the land (it seems that in Israel the law can play a part in interpersonal relationships in a way that it does not in the US, although there is some debate over the conditions), and, it seems, a contract with God. Sabbar Kashur, who possibly thought he was just violating an interpersonal contract, with interpersonal consequences, appears to be caught in the interlocking of those contracts. Whether it's appropriate for the law to punish him either for interpersonal bad behaviour or for failing to behave according to the precepts of a religion not his own is definitely another question.
posted by DNye at 3:22 PM on July 21, 2010


gagglezoomer, you're right; it is confusing. I think technically Judaism is considered a tribe. There are laws that dictate membership, and one of those laws involves parentage (if your mother is a member, so are you - I believe there are also Native American tribes that subscribe to this). If you do not follow the laws, that's between you and G-d (or in cases like theft, also between you and the person you have injured), but it doesn't change tribal membership. You can consider yourself an atheist, or a Christian, or a Buddhist, and that would technically be your new religion, but you would not lose your tribal membership should you choose to resume it (or your child, if you are a woman). But it can't technically be considered a race because a) anyone can opt in through conversion, and have no "Jewish blood," and b) if only your father is Jewish, as far as Jewish law is concerned, you are not. In the last quarter century the US Reform movement has muddied the waters a bit here by deciding to accept patrilineal descent, but that runs counter to Jewish law. The defeat of Hitler also added to the confusion because his policies slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people who were considered Jewish by his opinion, but not by Judaism's, and as a backlash to this there is a huge amount of Jewish cultural identity among people who in a more anti-semitic society would have denied any connection to Judaism, now proudly affiliating their connection, however tangential. After all, if I'm Jewish enough to get put in an oven, why can't I be Jewish enough to call myself proud of my heritage, even if I don't actually believe in Judaism or its laws in any way?
posted by Mchelly at 3:26 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


@DNye

I may not have been as clear above as I should have about the purpose of the examples I was offering.

I didn't say or mean to imply that Kashur was necessarily doing any of those things.

The idea was to consider hypothetical extensions of the case (not the greatest way of putting it) meant to get at certain thorny applications of a law like this to instances in which fraudulently obtained consent has to be weighed against bigoted conditions placed on consent, or more specifically the ideology that might underpin those bigoted conditions and their status vis a vis the law.

I used the term sexual abuse to try to pose this question in general terms--if we accept the premise that sex when consent was obtained fraudulently is sexual abuse of some kind (as we clearly don't feel it's rape--how is that a mixed metaphor?) then does raysmj really want to argue that the appropriate course of action is for the victim to conceal it to avoid the harm that would result from her community knowing, as he seemed to suggest in responding to Mchelly?

Again, to be clear, none of the scenarios I was describing above were meant to have a 1:1 correspondence to the case at hand, they were attempting to expand the focus a litle look at how this kind of a law operates more generally and consider some of the problems with it.

If you aren't interested in that sort of thing, OK. I don't expect everyone to be.
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:26 PM on July 21, 2010


That would have been better put "clearly don't agree that it's rape."
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:30 PM on July 21, 2010


Mchelly, thanks for the great explanation.
posted by gagglezoomer at 3:34 PM on July 21, 2010


Sexual misconduct under Jewish law would, I believe, entail having sex with men who happen to be Jewish but to whom one isn't married or in a long-term relationship, I'm sorta guessing

In that case, they were in a long-term relationship...but then suddenly they weren't. Frankly I do think this is a case of "Sure I love ya baby," and that he left before she got dressed speaks volumes. Covering up shame with institutional bias is a long-held tradition amongst those with the political upper hand.
posted by rhizome at 3:39 PM on July 21, 2010


In that case, they were in a long-term relationship...but then suddenly they weren't. Frankly I do think this is a case of "Sure I love ya baby," and that he left before she got dressed speaks volumes. Covering up shame with institutional bias is a long-held tradition amongst those with the political upper hand.

I tend to react that way too. But of course that itself could be criticized as a dismissively male take.

On preview -- pop quiz: identify the operation of male privilege in that description. Victim blaming in denial of the complaint, or oppression of the Other in it's juridical legitimation?
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:47 PM on July 21, 2010


Can you be a Jew but not be a follower of Judaism?

Hell yes! There are few things more Jewish than being a bad Jew!
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:03 PM on July 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


That man is a hero to us all.
And ladies, yes, I am an astronaut.
posted by jake1 at 4:03 PM on July 21, 2010


And a racecar driver.
posted by jake1 at 4:06 PM on July 21, 2010


@Snuffleupagus: Sure, but so far your hypothetical extensions have ascribed contamination, hateful motivation and now culpability for sexual abuse (a term commonly used to describe sustained forcing of unwanted sexual contact or activity by one party onto another over a period of time - that is, something a lot _worse_ than the act as described) to the same one of the two parties involved, which does not come across as a wholly disinterested academic exercise.

However. Moral condemnation aside, I think that raysmj's point was something like: if the woman involved had had consensual sex, had not been harmed in any way and would only be disadvantaged in any way by this sexual encounter if it became known in her community that she had albeit accidentally slept with a non-Jewish man, then the logical thing for her to do would be to not mention it, thus maintaining her status in the community.

If, conversely, she felt that she had in fact been the victim of a crime, it was of course appropriate for her to report it. This is where the law comes in, and the question becomes a legal one - of how and why he was charged. There is a speculation in this thread that the law would not have headed towards rape by deception if Kashur had alos been Jewish, because it would be a legal nonsense to criminalise just not following up on a stated interest in a relationship, especially if the way it was criminalised was by retroactively removing consent from the sexual act that presumably followed that statement of interest.

Speaking personally, it sounds from the available information like this guy may not have behaved well. If a married friend of mine told a woman he had recently met that he was single and looking for a long-term relationship, slept with her and then lit out immediately afterwards, I wouldn't think he had behaved well, and I would probably not want to hang out with him any more. (I don't think Barney Stinson is a role model). If a country criminalised that behaviour, I'd think that it was bad law, and possibly mad law. If a country criminalised that behaviour, but de facto only in the case of people of a certain religious or cultural group, I'd think that was discriminatory. On the available evidence, it seems possible that this is what is happening here.

On the other hand, it looks like Sliman is literally the only previous conviction under this law, so possibly from now on everyone who fails to follow up on their stated intentions will be risking arrest, a jail sentence and, by the sounds of it, an expected commutation to community service on appeal.
posted by DNye at 4:35 PM on July 21, 2010


But of course that itself could be criticized as a dismissively male take.

I'm fine for being dismissive even if it earns me an epithet. If they met each other only hours before, what is this magic by which someone can be convinced of a long-term relationship in that time? She bought a pig in a poke, and I'm certainly not going to diminish her agency by discounting that choice.
posted by rhizome at 5:07 PM on July 21, 2010


I think that's an excellent analysis of the situation. I might differ in some particulars, but in general I'd say you have it right. (I don't read raysmj's comments that way, but perhaps I'm mistaken.) I'm not suggesting that this is a good law, or a good ruling. Just an interesting one.

It wasn't my intent to "ascribe" any of that on to that "some one of the two parties" in the real world--in the instance of contamination it was explicitly presented as being a potential religiously based perception of the ostensible victim, not necessarily in the intent of the attacker (and even acknowledged to be bigoted); in the made up example about the two tribes the idea was to dramatize the potential conflicts and competing interests this kind of law has to balance and again it was explicitly not about the real world (I went to the trouble of making up silly names!), and in using the term 'sexual abuse' I did not intend that specific of a meaning. (And I don't think the common usage is that precise, but rather more or less what the words themselves plainly mean: abuse, of a sexual nature.) Perhaps I should have said sexual misconduct, or something else with a more generic sense. The idea was to use a descriptor that included the entire spectrum, without being specific (as there seemed to be differing attitudes about that in the thread.)

Speaking of ritual contamination, I feel unseemly discussing my own comments this much.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:14 PM on July 21, 2010


(That was @DNye.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:15 PM on July 21, 2010


anniecat: Is it against Jewish law to have an abortion?

No, it is allowed in certain circumstances, and if it is necessary to save the life of the mother it is (depending upon whom you ask) virtually required.
Classical Jewish arguments about abortion are mainly concerned with the distinction between killing someone who is fully a person, and someone who is not so fully a person. Abortion is not explicitly referred to in the Hebrew Bible - so the abortion arguments have to draw analogies from the text. In fact Biblical Jewish teaching doesn't deal at all with the circumstance of an abortion deliberately induced with the consent of the mother - that concept seems completely unknown.
It is also legal in Israel following the same general guidelines, and would be permitted in this case if the conviction stands (and probably even if not).
posted by K.P. at 5:23 PM on July 21, 2010


@snuffleupagus Points well taken, and thank you for your patience. I was wondering about another phrase, as well. "Sexual misconduct"? "Sexual misdemeanour"? I think I sort of settled on "being a dick", which doesn't exactly ring with professionalism...

(Oh, and I may be wronng about Sliman - sources are unclear about whether that's the only preceding or just the best known, but it does seem like this is a relatively rare charge.)
posted by DNye at 5:26 PM on July 21, 2010


There are some interesting interviews with Israeli commentators on today's edition of the CBC's As it Happens.

(Incidentally, the same show also has a piece about the remastering of old Yossele Rosenblatt records.)
posted by greatgefilte at 5:42 PM on July 21, 2010


After reading the actual report of the case (thanks, Iati!) I think the whole Arab-Jew thing is a red herring. The main issue is that he was actually married but introduced himself to her as someone seeking a "significant romantic relationship". I can't see any reason to keep dwelling on whether she'd have knowingly had sex with an Arab - the fact that he was married was fatal to the prospect of a long term relationship and the court, which actually had the opportunity of hearing the evidence, accepted that she wouldn't have engaged in casual intercourse under those circumstances.

My feeling is that rape is an inappropriate term for what actually happened. There used to be a felony called "seduction" that fits the circumstances better; it's a pity that it hasn't survived in a more modern form. What he did sounds predatory and nasty and I think the victim ought to have had some sort of redress. I think 18 months is too long, though, and I hope that it gets reduced on appeal.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:32 PM on July 21, 2010


There used to be a felony called "seduction" that fits the circumstances better; it's a pity that it hasn't survived in a more modern form.

100 years ago this would have been "seduction" because what happened, regardless of the ethnicity of the man, would have ruined the woman's life. Every door would have been closed to her.

It doesn't work like that anymore, even if the parties in question are an Israeli woman and a Palestinian man. Women are human beings now, and we have value beyond our hymens.
posted by Sara C. at 7:34 PM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Jews are legally forbidden to intermarry in Israel.

Wait. what?
posted by NortonDC at 8:15 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


From the Atlantic article:

-Ruling Assumes That Jews Shouldn't Sleep with Arabs: Israeli-Arab rights advocate and attorney Abeer Baker tells Al Jazeera that this is a "dangerous precedent" for Arabs there. "In this case, the ruling seems to say that if a 'reasonable' Jewish woman knew a man was an Arab, then she would not make love to him."

This is not how I was hoping the "reasonable" test would be used here. If Baker's interpretation is correct, it's even more important for a higher court to modify or invalidate this ruling.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:21 PM on July 21, 2010


Jews are legally forbidden to intermarry in Israel.

As I understand it, intermarriage is difficult for everybody in Israel. Marriages are conducted within religious communities, so it's just as difficult for, say, a Christian to marry a Muslim. However, Israel recognizes civil marriages from abroad -- so if a Jew and Muslim were to go to Cyprus and get hitched, the Israeli government would recognize their marriage upon return. This is what same-sex couples in Israel do as well.
posted by lullaby at 9:10 PM on July 21, 2010


Marriages are conducted within religious communities, so it's just as difficult for, say, a Christian to marry a Muslim.

Is this because Israel is a more devout/conservative country, religiously, than other developed nations?

Because it's pretty easy here in the US to have an inter-faith ceremony, even in the case of religious groups which are usually considered somewhat conservative. I've been to weddings which were ultimately religious in nature, but were a reflection of the different faiths of the couple (Lutheran/Jewish, Catholic/Hindu, etc).

What do people do, in Israel, if they honestly aren't that religious and don't feel comfortable with a big religious wedding? Even if they are marrying someone of the same background?
posted by Sara C. at 9:30 PM on July 21, 2010


Is this because Israel is a more devout/conservative country, religiously, than other developed nations?

No, it's because Israel (like its neighbours and a few other places) inherited Ottoman law and that's the way it worked under Ottoman law: everybody belonged to a particular religious grouping (a "millet") and the group you were in was responsible for determining your personal status. Not just for marriage - they even had their own court and taxation systems. You know how complicated things are sometimes called "byzantine"? Well, the Ottoman Empire inherited the bureaucracy of the Byzantines, and added their own level of complication on top.

Lots of people in Israel (and I suppose in other countries) would like to change this, but the lobbyists for change tend to be individuals, while the people arguing for the status-quo are basically entire religious communities. And once the individuals get around the system (which isn't especially hard: you just have to get married in Cyprus or some other nearby country) they tend to stop lobbying for reform, but the religious communities are lobbying all the time.

Fun fact: the currrent heir to the throne of the Ottoman Empire used to work in a New York library!
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:26 PM on July 21, 2010


Fascinating! Thanks.
posted by Sara C. at 10:41 PM on July 21, 2010


Funny ... there was once another country that had laws criminalizing sex between the "pure" race and the "mongrels" ... I can't remember which country that was ... can anyone help me out?
posted by GrooveJedi at 11:19 PM on July 21, 2010


I think the whole Arab-Jew thing is a red herring. The main issue is that he was actually married but introduced himself to her as someone seeking a "significant romantic relationship".

That's possible - in which case, do you think that men in Israel just don't pretend to be more eligible than they actually are in order to improve their chances of sleeping with women? I think the logical inference here, probably mainly from people in cultures where that happens quite a lot, was that this case was unusual, and went to law, because of the inter-religious aspect rather than the part where one party misrepresented how willing and able they were to get into a long-term relationship. However, it's possible that, culturally, this essentially never happens in Israel, or is never reported, and that's why this looks so unusual to so many commentators.
posted by DNye at 11:32 PM on July 21, 2010


DNye: Thanks. That's exactly what I was saying, on the whole.
posted by raysmj at 11:54 PM on July 21, 2010


I can't remember which country that was ... can anyone help me out?

Much of the United States until recently?
posted by Justinian at 12:08 AM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


DNye wrote: do you think that men in Israel just don't pretend to be more eligible than they actually are in order to improve their chances of sleeping with women?

I bet it happens all the time, and I suspect they're going to be a whole lot more careful now. If the verdict stands (and it was a plea bargain, so it might - I know nothing about Israeli law) then some court is going to have to differentiate between lies like "I have a steady job," "Of course I want kids," and "Yes, I'm single,"; otherwise the Israeli equivalent of match.com will be out of business.

Mind you, he apparently wasn't just pretending to be more eligible: he was married and therefore wasn't eligible at all. This might be one way of differentiating this case from all the copycat ones that will undoubtedly appear.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:10 AM on July 22, 2010


Sex by misadventure.
posted by prak at 2:19 AM on July 22, 2010


I'm afraid this doesn't quite add up : The girl originally lied by claiming he violently raped her, then prosicutors dropped those charges based upon later evidence, but he still plead guilty to rape by deception? Don't you plea bargin for lesser crimes than what you actually did?

Imho, there are two likely explinations : First, the prosictuion is very good at bullying, not just him but his defence attorney. Second, he actually comitted less violent rape, say using ruffies, but the prosictuion felt this lesser conviction would help his career more, and the defense saw an oppertunity for appeal. I'd imagine all this gets sorted out on appeal either way.

I'm doubtful any Jewish man would get this much due process in most Arab countries, and that's assuming honor killings don't beat the law to the punch.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:43 AM on July 22, 2010



I'm doubtful any Jewish man would get this much due process in most Arab countries, and that's assuming honor killings don't beat the law to the punch.


So what?
posted by serazin at 8:17 AM on July 22, 2010


Imho, there are two likely explinations : First, the prosictuion is very good at bullying, not just him but his defence attorney. Second, he actually comitted less violent rape, say using ruffies, but the prosictuion felt this lesser conviction would help his career more, and the defense saw an oppertunity for appeal. I'd imagine all this gets sorted out on appeal either way.

I read that as "ruffles" at first, and I got to thinking, are those damned potato chips really _that_ good?
posted by greatgefilte at 8:21 AM on July 22, 2010


*I read that as "ruffles" at first, and I got to thinking, are those damned potato chips really _that_ good?*

I saw "Ruffles" as well, and imagined a rape taking place in a big frilly bedroom with one of the participants using fluffy layers of fabric to restrain the other. o_O
posted by Phalene at 10:09 AM on July 22, 2010


Much of the United States until recently?

No, actually it was Nazi Germany but thanks for playing. We've got some nice parting gifts for you. Play him off, Don Pardo...
posted by GrooveJedi at 10:09 AM on July 22, 2010


I kind of want to watch a courtroom drama based on jeffburdges' surmise.

"I suspect ruffies may have been used. Ruffies."
"But that wasn't mentioned in the court report at all. What makes you think that?"
"Well, it's obvious, isn't it? Worse things than ruffies would have been used in a muslim country. That's assuming they even let her drink the spiked cocktail in the first place. Ergo, ruffies."
"My God, you're right. And, weirdly, the use of ruffies makes this somehow a less serious offense. Fortunately, as a prosecutor, securing a lesser conviction will be better for my career."
"They've got you on the ruffies, I'm afraid. And on the ropes. As your defence attorney, I advise you to plead guilty. Once you're convicted, you will have an opportunity for appeal."

This will, of course, be less funny if this is not sorted out on appeal and the guy's life is basically ruined.
posted by DNye at 11:11 AM on July 22, 2010


No, actually it was Nazi Germany

No, actually it's many Islamic countries today (depending upon the whims of the police and judiciary) since sex outside marriage is forbidden in the Quran and marriage between Muslim women and non-Muslim men is not recognized/forbidden.
posted by K.P. at 11:25 AM on July 22, 2010


No, actually it was Nazi Germany but thanks for playing.

I knew what you were getting at, I was simply trying to get you to not make such a predictable and inflammatory point in a subtle manner. Oh well. In any case, you're wrong about that "no". There were quite a large number of anti-miscegenation laws in the United States until after World War II. Many of them were not overturned by the states themselves, but by the Supreme Court in Loving-vs-Virginia. That's 1967 for those playing along at home. Which is in the lifetime of a lot of people reading this thread... although not me thank god.

Needless to say a lot of the United States had anti-miscegenation laws for decades after the laws in Germany were removed. So physician, heal thyself.
posted by Justinian at 1:43 PM on July 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Israeli Court Punishes Palestinian-Israeli for Passing
posted by homunculus at 4:31 PM on July 22, 2010


What is happening in Israel, whether it the atrocities of Gaza or the tragic ridiculousness of this story, is an apartheid system of living. The real radicals in all this are the Israelis and not the Palestinians.
posted by all4one at 5:29 PM on July 22, 2010


I'm doubtful any Jewish man would get this much due process in most Arab countries, and that's assuming honor killings don't beat the law to the punch.

...

No, actually it's many Islamic countries today (depending upon the whims of the police and judiciary) since sex outside marriage is forbidden in the Quran and marriage between Muslim women and non-Muslim men is not recognized/forbidden.


Ah yes. The old "Other places do shitty things too!" defense. And based on heavy stereotypes without supporting examples so that we might compare the validity of the statement. Great way to elevate the discussion, that is.
posted by Amanojaku at 6:06 PM on July 23, 2010


I don't think what happened to him was a outrageous; it was more a case of a lower court taking an expansive view of the law. This is the way that common law jurisdictions establish precedents: lower courts apply the law very pedantically and higher courts overturn them on appeal. It sucks for the people involved, of course, but the fault lies with the legislatures that pass unclear legislation, not with the courts that apply it.

Incidentally, if anyone wants to find Israeli reports of the case, they can paste this into their browser and select "google translate" on the results: "סבאר קאשור"
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:22 AM on July 24, 2010


Ah yes. The old "Other places do shitty things too!" defense. And based on heavy stereotypes without supporting examples so that we might compare the validity of the statement. Great way to elevate the discussion, that is.

Not sure how this applies, considering that the original comment that this was in response to, referenced "another country that had laws criminalizing sex between the "pure" race and the "mongrels"" - directly implying a) that Israel actually has such laws (which they do not and which the current case being discussed has nothing to do with), and b) that Israel buys into such 'master-race' ideologies (which is again, demonstrably untrue), while attempting to draw a parallel with the criminals who wholesale-slaughtered the same people the commenter was using his fictitious comparison to vilify. At this point the discussion was so deep in the muck that drawing other unnecessary comparisons (though ones arguably more based in fact) could only elevate it, even if only as the philosophical equivalent of "Hey, look over there!"
posted by Mchelly at 9:00 AM on July 25, 2010


The Guardian interviews the convictee here, although it doesn't add much.

Joe in Oz, you seem to be a knowledgeable chap on Israeli judicial matters - I assume there are a lot of these cases in process at the moment, since it isn't about his race or religion? I mean, if it's just that pretending to be single is an offence in Israel, the courts must be pretty choked. How many of these do you think are going to result in jail terms before the higher courts sort this out?
posted by DNye at 9:06 AM on July 25, 2010


DNye wrote: Joe in Oz, you seem to be a knowledgeable chap on Israeli judicial matters

No, really not. It's just that I can see the shape of the legal argument that informed the news reports and I can relate it to law that I'm more familiar with (although IANAL). The thing about Ottoman law is a bit of Wikipedia-ing, and it's come up before.

if it's just that pretending to be single is an offence in Israel, the courts must be pretty choked.

I don't think people knew how broad the legislation was. Everybody here, and every Israeli news report that I've read through the magic of Google Translate, is amazed that it could be illegal. I haven't actually read the Israeli legislation but I can see that a provision which criminalises false statements like "my penis has magic powers that will cure you" may also criminalise false statements like "I enjoy long walks on the beach and cozy fireside chats."

This guy did two stupid things. One was making claims that were unequivocally and objectively false. That is always a bad idea. It can get you into trouble in a whole heap of situations. The other stupid thing, according to the judge's report, was getting the plaintiff angry by abandoning her "naked at the top of the building" after having sex with her. If I were an Israeli on the dating scene I would be really, really careful about making any claims that are objectively false. But more importantly - and I think this is always good advice - I would avoid making people feel angry and betrayed.

Anyway, I think you're right - I bet a lot of people will be bringing similar complaints. The courts will be swamped if the judgment doesn't get overturned or the legislation doesn't get amended.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:02 PM on July 25, 2010


I can see that a provision which criminalises false statements like "my penis has magic powers that will cure you"

IT WILL WORK IF YOU ONLY BELIEVE (Matthew 14:22-33)
posted by the quidnunc kid at 1:28 AM on July 26, 2010


Here's another interview with "the guy" that puts things in a somewhat different light:
“The way the girl behaved, I felt she only wanted to have sex and go. It wasn’t like she was my girlfriend or wife. It’s a girl who after a 10-minute conversation agreed to go up to the roof with me. What was she thinking? That I would invite her for coffee? Based on how she behaved, I thought she just wanted to have sex and say goodbye. I told her I’m going to get something to drink and returning, but I didn’t return. She may have been hurt by this, but I had no intention of humiliating her.”

The woman said she remained at the site naked and lying on the floor, until she was found by neighbors and taken to hospital. She told the doctors she was raped, yet they did not identify any medical indications of forceful sex. Two days later, she filed an official police complaint.

Kashour says that about a month after their one-time encounter, he noticed the woman’s name in his cell phone and called. “I told her it was Dudu with the motorcycle, and she said ‘ok, when do you want to meet?’ Yet when I kept on calling she didn’t answer. I remember even sending her a text message: ‘Well, when are we meeting?’ At the time I didn’t know she complained that I raped her. Does it sound logical to you that a rapist would call the girl time and again from his own phone?”

Why did you even continue to call her?

“Because I realized she’s the kind of girl you can call anytime you want to have sex with her.
OK, so a big, burly man (there's a photo in the link) brings a woman upstairs. He dismisses the idea that she might actually be interested in anything other than sex, right now. Afterwards he gets dressed. She remains lying on the floor, naked - why didn't she get dressed at the same time he did? Her neighbours bring her to hospital - i.e., she reports a rape straight away, long before any discussion of being an Arab or a Jew, a bachelor or married, a player or romantic. She doesn't answer his calls but he keeps on calling her in the belief that "she’s the kind of girl you can call anytime you want to have sex with her." This screams date-rape to me.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:41 AM on July 28, 2010


Actually it screams she consented to the sex but not to him leaving immediately afterward.
posted by rocket88 at 7:44 AM on July 28, 2010


Hi, I'm in Israel right now visiting relatives. Israel is an extremely racist country. They say failure is an orphan, but this particular failing of Israel has many, many parents-- some of them "understandable" (years of war, for example), others less so. Anyone who tries to explain it all away is, quite simply, a liar.
posted by chaz at 8:58 AM on July 28, 2010


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