Arab jailed for sex with Jewish woman

Several papers are reporting the case of Sabbar Kashur, a 30-year-old Arab from East Jerusalem, who has been sentencedto 18 months in jail after having sex with a Jewish woman.

An Israeli court convicted Kashur of "rape by deception" because although the sex was consensual he had misled the woman into believing that he was Jewish.

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

The Guardian quotes Gideon Levy, a liberal Israeli commentator, as saying: "I would like to raise only one question with the judge. What if this guy had been a Jew who pretended to be a Muslim and had sex with a Muslim woman? Would he have been convicted of rape? The answer is: of course not."

The Telegraph adds:

Israeli human rights activists said that Kashur's actions reflected the deceits many Palestinians practise when in Israel in an attempt to avoid official and private prejudice because of their background.

"It is very well known that Israeli-Palestinians living in Israel disguise themselves," said Leah Tsemel, a human-rights lawyer. "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."

Posted by Brian Whitaker, 21 July 2010.