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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Arab Convicted of Rape After Posing as a Jew Has Jail Time Postponed

Under pressure from the outraged public, the Israeli Supreme Court has delayed the imposition of Sabbar Kashur 18 month jail sentence who was accused of "rape by deception".

In 2008, Sabbar Kashur met an Israeli woman in East Jerusalem, and introduced himself to her as "Dudi", a typically Israeli name, short for David. He then led her to believe he was a bachelor looking for a serious relationship. After spending only a short time together, the two went to a nearby building where they had sex after which Kashur quickly left, without waiting for the woman to dress.

Although the story is a bit unsettling, neither Kashur or the woman deny that the sex was consentutal. However, after she found out that Kashur was not Jewish she filed a criminal complaint for indecent assault and rape. Since she filed her complaint, Kashur has been under house arrest, required to wear an electronic tag on his ankle at all times.

The woman was certainly misled and mistreated, but as the Israeli Supreme Courts have upheld, this was an "unusual" case that, during the course of a plea bargain, landed Kashur with a conviction of "rape by deception". This plea bargain lessened what might have been a full rape sentence, despite the fact that the two had consentual sexual relations.

In light of Kashur's appeal and under pressure from public outcry, the Israeli Supreme Court has ordered a delay on the imposition of Sabbar's sentence and has eased the conditions of his house arrest. 

Yesterday morning, Sabbar was freed from house arrest and allowed a monitored outing with his children in Jerusalem's Malkah Mall where many people stopped to express their support of the court's decision to allow him a short outing.

According to Haaretz.com,

"The petition, submitted by attorney Elkana Laist of the Public Defender's Office, states that the District Court's decision represents a patriarchal attitude in which a man can enjoy sex but a woman can agree to it only if she receives the promise of a sustainable relationship, and only if that relationship is with a person of the same ethnic group.

The petition also states that while Kashur's conduct can be considered immoral, it falls within the type of behavior in which the criminal justice system in an enlightened country does not intervene."

 Kashur's appeal is still pending, but I truly hope to see him released in an act of reason and justice.

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