Israeli Arab who 'raped' a woman says verdict 'racist'

image captionThe man convicted of rape is from East Jerusalem

An Arab man convicted in Israel of rape because he pretended he was a Jew when he had consensual sex with a Jewish woman has called the verdict racist.

Sabbar Kashur, 30, was found guilty of "rape by deception" by the Israeli court and sentenced to 18 months in jail.

According to the complaint filed by the woman, the two met in a Jerusalem street in 2008 and had sex that day.

When she discovered he was not Jewish, but an Arab, she went to the police.

Kashur was arrested and charged with rape and indecent assault, but the charges were later replaced by a different charge of "rape by deception".

House arrest

But according to Kashur, he did not pretend to be Jewish.

He told reporters that he is known by friends and family by the nickname Dudu, which is more commonly used by Jews called David.

He has been under house arrest for two years, he said.

"If I were Jewish, they wouldn't have even questioned me," the Haaretz newspaper quoted him as saying.

"That's not called rape, I didn't rape her in the forest and and throw her away naked. She agreed to everything that happened."

'Unbearable price'

In the court's ruling the judge, Zvi Segal, wrote: "If she had not thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious relationship, she would not have co-operated.

"The court is obliged to protect the public interest from sophisticated, smooth-tongued criminals who can deceive innocent victims at an unbearable price - the sanctity of their bodies and souls."

But Kashur says events were different.

"I'd say she set upon me. She was interested in my motorcycle and so we talked. I didn't pretend."


There is a precedent in Israel for criminal charges being brought in such cases.

One man who told women he slept with he was a neurosurgeon in order to impress them was convicted of fraud.

A lawyer with the Public Defenders' Office said the court had gone too far.

"The test the court used is problematic," said Elkana Laist.

"Every time a man tells a woman he loves her, based on which she sleeps with him, he could be convicted of rape."

Kashur's lawyers say he will appeal against the sentence.

Around 20% of Israel's population are of Arab descent.

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