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Israeli Rape Crisis Centre defends "rape by deception" ruling

An Arab who had consensual sex with a Jew is jailed for rape – because it emerged that he was Palestinian. The Israeli Association of Rape Crisis Centre says that the ruling is not racist.

A REPRESENTATIVE of the Israeli Rape Crisis Centres has said that sentencing of a Palestinian man to 18 months in prison for rape, after he “misrepresented” himself to a Jewish woman, is not racist.

The statement came following a case that involved a Jewish woman claiming she had been raped after having consensual sex with a man whom she believed was also Jewish.

The woman brought the case to court, saying that Sabbar Kashur made her believe that he was a Jewish bachelor looking for a serious relationship when they met in a downtown Jerusalem market in 2008.

Shortly after they had met they went to a nearby building and had consensual sex.

When the woman later found out that Kashur was neither single or Jewish she filed rape and indecent assault charges against him.

Kashur was convicted of rape by deception this week.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Merav More of the Association of Rape Crisis Centres said that it was wrong to represent the sex as “consensual” because Kashur had given false information in order to have sex with the woman. She said that, in this case, consent is nullified.

Reaction to the verdict has been mixed within Israel, where taboos surrounding inter-cultural relationships between Jews and Muslims are strong.

Recent proposals to force prospective Israeli citizens to swear allegiance to a “democratic, Jewish state” have enraged Muslims living in Israel, who say the new law deliberately and explicitly discriminates against them.

Writing in Ha’aretz, journalist Gideon Levy said “Sabbar Kashur wanted to be a person, a person like everybody else. But as luck would have it, he was born Palestinian.”

Levy said that the ruling was based on racial lines:  “The real issue was the he was a Muslim who pretended to be  a Jew… and this is the sub-text of the  whole thing: Don’t touch our women.”

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