In Israel, Miscegenation Equals Rape
Posted on: Wednesday, July 21, 2010
On Monday, Sabbar Kashur, a young Palestinian man from East Jerusalem, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for something called “rape by deception.” Apparently, Mr. Kashur had consensual sex with a Jewish Israeli woman after assuring her that he was also Jewish. When she found out that he had lied to her, she went to the police.
Imagine living in a society where you can say, “I wish I had never slept with you. I’m going to the cops.” Only it’s not funny because Sabbar Kashur will probably go to jail for a year and a half. Meanwhile, efforts to combat actual sexual violence are undermined by a cynical distortion of the term rape. The real crime here, of course, is miscegenation.
Anyone from the US should recognize the Jerusalem District Court’s ruling for what it is: an anti-miscegenation measure on par with the now-defunct US laws against “race mixing” that were once used to uphold white supremacy. For most of us in the US, dating across race lines now seems about as edgy as wearing white after Labor Day. You can read Angela Davis’ Women, Race and Class for a reminder of how white Americans’ obsession with “racial purity” was codified to keep African Americans and white women in their place. That’s the paradigm in which we should understand this case.
In the US, anti-miscegenation laws were on the books until 1967, when the Supreme Court declared them unconstitutional. That was the same year that Israel began its occupation of Sabbar Kashur’s home in East Jerusalem. Since then, Israelis have fine-tuned their own obsession with racial purity. Only they like to call it “national purity,” since Jewish privilege in Israel depends on maintaining the Jewish character of the state. In fact, race-mixing is perceived as such a threat that more than half of all Israeli Jews agree that Jewish-Arab intermarriage is a form of treason.
In the East Jerusalem “neighborhood” (it’s really a settlement) of Pisgat Ze’ev, a group of men who call themselves "Fire for Judaism” actually patrol the streets in the hopes of spotting and disrupting relationships between Jewish women and Palestinian men. The Israeli towns of Petah Tikva, Kiryat Gat and even super-liberal Tel Aviv have government-sponsored municipal programs to prevent miscegenation. The programs include psychological counseling for Jewish women who stray and a hotline for people to inform on Jewish women who date Palestinians.
The goal of this week’s court ruling (and of Israeli laws governing marriage, adoption and surrogacy) is to prevent Jews and Palestinians from forming intimate or family relationships. In the West Bank, this degree of separation is ensured by a giant concrete wall that runs through much of the territory. But where there is no wall, the state will rely on other forms of power to maintain strict separation between the two peoples of this land. By the way, the Afrikaans word for separation is Apartheid.
(This article was originally posted on the myMADRE blog.)
Archives"Press Room" Home October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 July 2006 June 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 April 2005 March 2005 November 2004 October 2004 April 2004 March 2004 January 2004 December 2003 October 2003 September 2003 June 2003 April 2003 January 2003 September 2002 June 2002 January 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 January 2001
MADRE & Our Partners Make News
Forbidden Talk - Prostitution in the Middle East (Levant TV, October 7, 2014)
Women's Organizations Fighting Against Gender-Based Violence in Iraq (Girls' Globe, October 1, 2014)
We all know about jihadists, but what about those waging an 'anti-jihad'? (Reuter, October 1, 2014)
Breaking the gridlock of climate change negotiations: learning from allies (openDemocracy, September 29, 2014)
Arab and Jewish midwives find a common language (Haaretz, September 12, 2014)