Thursday, July 22, 2010

Israel's deceptive inequalities

An absolutely jaw-dropping story from Israel, where a Palestinian man has been jailed for having completely consensual sex with a woman, on the basis that it was "rape by deception" because he pretended to be a Jew. There a couple of issues here - the first and most obvious one being the question of race. Israel repeatedly scoffs at the notion that it is an apartheid state (although the similarities with pre-1990s South Africa are uncanny) but if a man can be jailed essentially for pretending to be a different race or religion than he is, what does that sound like to you? Quite honestly, it sounds like the sort of thing that might have happened in 1930s Germany.

But there's a broader issue as well, because clearly the 'rape by deception' law applies to Jews as well as Palestinians, and to a wide range of possible scenarios. In CNN's report, an expert gives a couple of examples of "meaningful" lies that could fall under the scope of the law, the first of which would be so outrageous that it could indeed only be defined as "rape", whereas the second is so daft it would probably criminalise about 10% of the population of the UK -

"For example, where a doctor persuades a woman to have sex claiming it would be a part of the medical treatment. As for this particular case...the court emphasized the fact that he claimed to be single while he was married, which would be relevant in the context of a romantic relationship."

The obvious question that forms in my mind at this point is - does this law really apply equally to all Israeli citizens, specifically to both men and women? Many countries frame their laws in such a way that it is either literally or virtually impossible for a woman to be guilty of rape, except perhaps in cases where she directly assists a man committing the offence. But whatever women's physical capabilities, they are certainly just as capable as men of luring a potential sexual partner by means of verbal dishonesty. So are Israeli jails full of women convicted of "rape-by-deception"? I have my doubts.

1 comment:

  1. Jewish racism has been around for 3000 years, Hitler copied Jews, not vice versa.