Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The other news

On July 22nd 2010, Reuters correspondent and Jerusalem bureau editor-in-charge, Jeffrey Heller, issued a story on an Israeli Arab man convicted of "sex through fraud" with an Israeli Jewish woman.  This statute makes it illegal to obtain sex via deception.  In his story, Heller wrote:
(Reuters) - An Arab man who had consensual sex with a Jewish woman in Israel has been convicted of rape in a "sex through fraud" case and sentenced to 18 months in jail. 
The defendant was quoted on Wednesday in the Haaretz newspaper as saying the case was racially motivated because the woman complained to police only after learning he was an Arab.
"If I were Jewish, they would not even have questioned me," he was quoted as saying.
At the time of the original story, neither Haaretz nor Reuters interviewed the victim to gain her account of the incident.  Haaretz has now done so with a translation from the Hebrew by MidEast Youth and summary of the story by Elizabeth:
Last week, Haaretz daily published a long expose on the matter (my full translation below), revealing what was behind the plea agreement. The report shows, that the victim, B., was raped by her father since she was six-years-old, and was later forced into prostitution by him. At the time of the rape, B. was staying in a women’s shelter after another sexual assault by her father. According to B.’s testimony, first revealed in the Haaretz report, after Kashur claimed that he was a Jewish bachelor, he enticed her to come into a stairwell in a Jerusalem building, where he brutally raped her. B. was left bleeding, beaten up and half naked by Kashur.

Following the rape, B. was hospitalized in a mental institution, where she was investigated by the police. The Prosecutor’s office decided to charge Kashur with rape and sexual assault based on B.’s testimony and other evidence. When B. later appeared in Court to give her testimony, which was confused and contradictory at times, she was confronted by the Defense attorney with her past occupation as a prostitute and her father’s abuse and rape from an early age. The court appearance left B. severely traumatized. When the Defense learned that B. previously filed 14 complaints against her father and other men for sexual assault, it asked to cross-examine B. once again about the past complaints, while focusing on a number of them that didn’t result in an indictment and convictions due to contradictions in her story. The Defense planned to use B.’s past complaints to shatter her credibility. Wanting to avoid another traumatizing event, the Prosecution formulated a plea bargain with the Defense that reduced the charges to “rape by deception”. Essentially, using the threat of once again subjecting a vulnerable rape victim to a traumatizing interrogation, the Defense was able to reach a plea agreement with greatly reduced charges, which didn’t correspond with the facts of the incident.

The Israeli media has failed to thoroughly investigate this matter, resulting in widespread victimization of a rapist and mockery of the “gullible” woman. B. was victimized and abused by her surrounding from an early age, and unfortunately, the Israeli and foreign media, pundits and the blogosphere, victimized her once again.
Thus, the victim reported that she was brutally raped but the charge was plea-bargained down to "rape by deception" or "sex through fraud" (depending on translation).

Heller, who derived much of his content from the original Haaretz story, asserted that the sex had been consensual and quoted the perpetrator but omitted any testimony from the victim, has yet to apprise his readers of this update and interview published in Haaretz.

Perhaps he views it as interfering with his preferred narrative of Israel as a racist society which seeks to prevent intermingling between Arab and Jew.

Or perhaps pseudo-feminist Allyn Fisher-Ilan will pick up the story.  One can always hope.

Hat tip: EoZ

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