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21 July 2010

Where's mad Mel when you need her?

This story reported in the Guardian touches a few hot topics, doesn't it?
Sabbar Kashur, 30, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Monday after the court ruled that he was guilty of rape by deception. According to the complaint filed by the woman with the Jerusalem district court, the two met in downtown Jerusalem in September 2008 where 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.
When she later found out that he was not Jewish but an Arab, she filed a criminal complaint for rape and indecent assault.
Normally, of course, I'd say that a woman's character and history aren't relevant when you're looking at a rape allegation. But she doesn't seem very nice, does she? Let's ignore the possibility that she's simply a racist bigot, whose racism is endorsed by a racist judicary, and look at whether Kashur deceived her by promising to be looking for a serious relationship. It looks as if they had sex on their first meeting, and that's fine, but it's not necessarily the basis for a serious relationship. Imagine if she had accused him of rape by deception because "he said he loved me". Can't see that prosecution succeeding, can you? Or if he had been married, and lied about it. Or if he'd claimed to be richer than he is? These are things that happen all the time, and deplorable as they may be, don't amount to rape. Women know that men will tell lies in exchange for sex.

It seems as if Kashur's crime was to lie about his race. If the woman had known he was an Arab, she'd have found it impossible to have a serious relationship with him, or even to have casual sex with him. As I say, she doesn't sound very nice.

But I won't know what I really think about this case until I've seen Melanie Phillips' opinion. She's my infallible compass in the moral maze. Whatever she says, the opposite must be true.

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