Israel's Crazy "Rape By Deception" Case
07/22/2010 - 12:50

 We are moving forward with Ellie’s Israel-themed birthday party, which is next weekend, something I blogged about when she first came up with the idea.

I’ve hired the amazing Dafna Israel-Kotok to teach the kids some Israeli songs and dances. And we’ll serve borekas, hummus, candy and other Israeli treats, procured from Main Street in Kew Gardens Hills, an area Ellie and I refer to as “the Israeli neighborhood.”

The whole endeavor is a bit of a balancing act, of me trying to avoid alienating some pro-Palestinian friends and not wanting to seem like a propagandist, while also keeping true to my ideals: wanting to teach Ellie (and others) the many positive things about the Jewish state and not wanting it to be unfairly delegitimized.

That said, I’m feeling rather discouraged about the place right now, what with the seemingly intractable conflict, the conversion bill in the Knesset and now this horrifying case in which, if news reports are accurate, an Arab man has actually been convicted and jailed for “rape by deception” because before having a consensual one-night stand with a Jewish woman, he led her to believe he was Jewish.

Lying in order to get someone in bed is unethical, for sure, but it happens all the time. How many men claim to have different careers or promise to call afterwards? To put this in the same category as violent sexual assault is offensive to the many victims of forcible, coerced and violent sexual acts. It’s hard for me to understand how a judge could even accept such a case, let alone rule in favor of a woman who admitted to having consensual sex with someone she’d just met, but said she wouldn’t have done it if she’d known he wasn’t Jewish. Ick.

I could see, maybe, her being upset if he married her under false pretenses, but this was a tryst! While I do not agree with them, I understand and respect many of the reasons Jews object to intermarriage. But Judaism doesn’t condone premarital sex anyway (certainly not between two people who barely know each other); if you are OK with one-night stands, then the only reason you could be against having a one-night stand with an Arab (to whom you are apparently attracted) is racism.

Talk about bad PR for an Israel struggling to prove it is not racist and that its Arab minority has full equal rights. Can you imagine a black man in the U.S. (or any country) imprisoned for trying to pass as white? Sounds like something out of 1950s Mississippi.

I really hope the decision is reversed, the judge fired, the man released and that Israeli society (and the government) explicitly denounce this crazy law. 

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"but it happens all the time" Yeah, and so do murder, theft, robbery and other forms of rape. And you should be *very* careful of your use of the term "violent sexual assault"; you are showing yourself to have a 1950s understanding of rape - that there is such a thing as a "non-violent sexual assault". You should also be aware, Ms. Wiener, that several US states already have laws like this on the books (they are fraud laws). Sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact Any law that discourages or minimizes it is an anti-rape law, and I suggest that you, as a woman, realize your own vulnerability, and stop bashing it.
From what I read, it was not lying about his race, but rather the fact he was married with two children that was at issue. Of course the defense will try to prove it was based on race. As for this "bizarre" law, a similar statute was proposed in Massachusetts not that long ago.
According to the CNN story (and CNN is consistently anti-Israel), the court's decision placed greater emphasis on the fact that the man lied by saying that he was single (when he was in fact married with children) than on the fact that he lied about being Jewish. It also says that there have been other cases in which Jewish men have been convicted of rape for lying in order to seduce Jewish women. The case certainly is bizarre and seems to be ridiculously unfair, but racism does not seem to be the only factor in the judge's decision.
According to Jewish law a woman who is intimate with a gentile cannot marry a kohen. And in Israel Rabbinic Law determines standards of marriage and divorce. So the Arab actually inflicted damage on her by causing her to be disqualified from marrying a kohen should she desire to do so in the future.

Actually, any woman who is not a virgin can't marry a kohen. A Kohen is required to marry is woman who is:
-Not a widow
-"Pure" (that is the word in the Talmud)
-Is not Bat-Niddah.
So, even if the guy she had a /one night stand/ with was Jewish, she would have been disqualified from marrying kohen. AND, even if she hadn't consented and he had coerced her, Rabbinical Law would have precluded her from becoming Rebbetzin.
I'm not familiar with the extent to which Talmud is applied in civil law in Israel, but just biblically speaking, she wouldn't be allowed to marry a kohen if she's having one night stands, even with Jewish men.

"Lying in order to get someone in bed is unethical, for sure," Sorry, I don't buy that. In fact, it would severely hamper most people's ability to find partners if they didn't lie. The only lying and/or deception I think is wrong is if someone conceals the fact they have HIV or another serious transmittable disease. The whole point of romantic/sexual relationships is to meet one's own needs and desires, not to make the other person happy. Lying is a legitimate means to that end.
The Israeli Court's decision on this seems fitting, if one looks in the Quran and Hadith for Islamic law and traditions that seem to apply to this case. For example: #1. O you who believe! Be upholders of justice, bearing witness for Allah alone, even against yourselves or your parents and relatives. Whether they are rich or poor, Allah is well able to look after them. Do not follow your own desires and deviate from the truth. If you twist or turn away, Allah is aware of what you do. (Surat an-Nisa', 4:135) from #2. But evil plotting envelops only those who do it. Do they expect anything but the pattern of previous peoples? You will not find any changing in the pattern of Allah. You will not find any alteration in the pattern of Allah. (Surah Fatir, 35:43) from #3. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymeeyah said: “Allah has enjoined truthfulness and honesty, and He has forbidden lies and concealment with regard to matters which should be known and revealed to people, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said in a hadeeth whose authenticity is agreed upon: ‘The two parties involved in a transaction have the option [of canceling it] until they part. If they are honest and truthful, their transaction will be blessed for them and if they conceal something and tell lies, the blessing of their transaction will be wiped out.’ And Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): ‘O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah as just witnesses; and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety’ [al-Ma'idah 5:8].” (Minhaj al-Sunnah, 1/16) from
"Lying in order to get someone in bed is unethical, for sure..." Sorry, I don't agree. Most people wouldn't have much sex if they didn't lie to some extent. The whole point of dating and such is to satisfy your own needs and desires, not to make someone else happy. Lying is a legitimate means to that end. One exception: you can't expose someone to HIV or another sexually transmitted disease without their knowledge.
"The whole point of dating is to satisfy your own needs" ??? So basically then, when you date you just are looking for a body to masturbate with? What a shallow life you must have Lee. A life that I foresee has little more than temporary moments of satisfaction and no long term contentment. There is a peace that comes with morality and finding the right mate to spend your days with. There is good and there is evil and very little gray area between. I wish you luck in learning this and finding truth.
Bob, I find your comments and tone highly condescending and patronizing. Who died and made you the authority on what constitutes "truth" and "morality" regarding these issues? When I said "needs" I was not solely referring to sex, I was referring to whatever someone is looking for, whether sexual or emotional. It is clear that many people (including the Israeli Arab convicted of rape whose case is the subject of this article) are looking to have relationships largely based on sex (although it appears this is not all this particular man wants, since he's also married with children). Whether this is "shallow" or not is a matter of opinion. I don't think it's fair to say that just because someone wants casual sex it means they are or will be unhappy. Different people have different feelings, values, and aspirations. What makes you happy might make someone else miserable. And while there are some things that are clearly good or evil (the Holocaust, for example was definitely totally evil), there is a lot of gray in many other things. That's just the way the world is.