of Jewish Slappers: Supremacy And Talmudic Tribalism -
Racism No Boundaries
30 July 2010
By Gilad Atzmon
Introduction by Gilad Atzmon: Jewish racism knows no
boundaries. Though many people of many ethnic origins
live between the river and the sea, the Jewish State
is not exactly a multi- cultural society. The Israeli
legal system is racist to the bone; it is a true
mirror of Jewish supremacy and Talmudic tribalism. The
Guardian continues to follow the astonishing story of
Saber Kushour, a young Palestinian man who was
convicted of rape after having consensual sex with a
Jewish Israeli woman who had believed him to be a
Saber Kushour: 'My conviction for "rape by deception"
has ruined my life'
Saber Kushour, an Arab Israeli convicted of 'rape by
deception' of a Jewish woman, gives his side of the
story in an exclusive interview
Saber Kushour convicted Israeli Arab Saber Kushour
insists the partner of his casual sexual encounter was
willing and never showed any interest in his
Saber Kushour apologises as he asks his guests to move
the plastic chairs on his breeze-block balcony a
little closer to the door to his house. If he were to
sit where they are now, he explains, the electronic
tag attached to his ankle would set off an alarm.
Kushour's edginess is understandable – he is recalling
a 15-minute encounter almost two years ago which he
says "has destroyed my life".
Last week the married father of two from east
Jerusalem was sentenced to 18 months in jail for the
"rape by deception" of a Jewish woman who claimed she
would not have had sex with him had she known he was
an Arab. What might have been a tawdry episode –
casting neither Kushour nor the woman in a favourable
light – exploded into a debate in Israel about racism,
sexual mores and justice
"I am paying the price for a mistake that she made,"
Kushour, 30, told the Observer. "I was shocked at the
sentence – it shows a very vivid and clear racism."
The message from the judge, he says, was that "because
you are an Arab and you didn't make that clear, we are
going to punish you".
In his verdict, Judge Zvi Segal conceded that it was
not "a classical rape by force". He added: "If she
hadn't thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor
interested in a serious romantic 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."
At his home in Sharafat, where he is confined while
awaiting an appeal, Kushour tells a different story.
The woman has not been identified and has not gone
public with her account.
Kushour was buying cigarettes in September 2008 when
an unexpected opportunity presented itself for a
casual sexual encounter. "Any person in my shoes would
have done the same thing," he says.
A woman in her 20s struck up a conversation as he left
the shop to return to his job delivering legal papers
around Jerusalem by scooter. "She said 'you have a
nice bike' and other things which I don't remember."
Within minutes, he says, he realised that her interest
was not confined to small talk.
Kushour speaks fluent, unaccented Hebrew, as do many
Palestinians living and working in Jerusalem. The
woman asked his name and Kushour replied "Dudu" – a
common Israeli name. "Since I was a kid everyone calls
me Dudu – even my wife calls me Dudu. It's a
nickname." At no point, he says, did the woman – who
gave her name as Maya – ask if he was Jewish, although
he has acknowledged that he said he was single.
The pair went to a small roof area in a nearby office
block. "When we were having sex, she was worried that
someone would see us, but she never told me to stop.
She was more than willing – she initiated it."
It has been suggested that Kushour presented himself
as a bachelor interested in a long-term relationship.
If that had been Maya's concern, Kushour points out,
she might have asked him more about his background.
After the brief encounter, Kushour tapped Maya's
mobile number into his phone and left. "I didn't treat
her like garbage – this is what she wanted."
Unknown to him, Maya contacted the police after the
encounter to lodge a complaint. Kushour says he
doesn't know how or when she realised he was not
Jewish. The woman was given a medical examination,
presented in court, which showed, according to Kushour,
no signs of force or injury.
Six weeks later Kushour was idly flicking through
numbers in his mobile's address book. "I saw 'Maya'
and I thought 'who is Maya?' I had already forgotten
about her. I rang the number to see who it was, and
then I realised it was the girl. I said 'Can I see
you?' and we arranged to meet."
Maya didn't show up and didn't respond to Kushour's
calls and texts. But, crucially, she now had a vital
piece of information for the pursuit of her complaint
– his contact details.
Three days later Kushour received a phone call from
the police. "They told me I had a problem and to come
to the police station." He was interrogated for five
to six hours, without a lawyer.
In the final hour of questioning, the police began to
mention a rape claim. Eventually Kushour was
handcuffed and taken to a cell. Over three days the
questioning continued. "This was the hardest moment of
my entire life," says Kushour. "I didn't have a clue
what they were going to do." On the third day, Kushour
was taken to court – by this time represented by a
lawyer found by his brother – and charged with rape.
He spent the next two months in prison and since then
has been electronically tagged and confined to his
home. The case came to court last week. His lawyer has
told him that, because of the publicity surrounding
the case, the appeal may be expedited. In the
meantime, says Kushour, "I can't leave the house, I
can't work, I can't feed my children."
Kushour's conviction has transfixed Israel. Some see
echoes of a primeval – and racist – instinct to
protect "our" women against outside marauders. Others
are outraged at what they see as a blatant injustice,
pointing to a backdrop of widespread, systematic and –
some say – growing discrimination against Arabs who
make up 20% of Israel's population.
"This is a most amazing decision by the court," says
Tamar Hermann of the Israel Democracy Institute.
"Deception is one thing – but to be convicted of
rape?" It has, she says, "struck a sensitive chord in
the Israeli mainstream of Arabs pretending to be
The issue of identity is paramount in a land where
both communities regard each other with suspicion and
Yuval Yonay, a sociology professor at Haifa
University, in one of Israel's few mixed cities, says
Kushour's behaviour "might be improper but it is not
He says that in 16 years of teaching at a university
where 20-25% of the student population is Arab, he has
"never even heard of a mixed relationship".
Discrimination against Arabs is, he says, evident at
Some have defended the verdict. "We all have different
characteristics, and it is a person's right to have
sexual relations with a person knowing the facts about
those characteristics," Dana Pugach of the Noga Centre
for Victims of Crime told the Israeli daily Haaretz.
Kushour says he has had a lot of support over the past
week from Israeli Jews. "The problem is not with the
people themselves, but those in power," he says. "I
just want justice."
Whatever the outcome of his appeal, his brief
encounter with Maya has turned his life upside down.
His relationship with his wife has been severely
tested. "I asked her last night to forgive me. She
said yes, but I can see the pain and hurt in her