A chilling story about an Arab man sentenced to 18 months in prison by and Israeli court for rape of a Jewish woman because he posed as a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious relationship. The court ruled that the consent of the woman to have sex was obtained under false pretenses, and therefore the sex was non-consensual.

Let’s put that in plan English. In Israel, only Jewish men are allowed to lie to get a woman into bed. An Arab man doing the same is a rapist. I wonder how this applies in other situations. Let’s say the man was a Christian? What if he said he was Jewish, but it turns out he had a reform conversion? What if only his father was Jewish, not his mother? What if he was a Mischlinge of the second degree? What if he said he owned a villa in the south of France, when in fact the villa was more centrally located? What if that wasn’t his real hair? What if that story about her college roommate wasn’t the most interesting story he’d ever heard?

Maybe this isn’t an interruption of the Holocaust series, maybe this is a reflection of how the racial policies of Nazi Germany have left a deep mark on the Israeli pysche. The court’s argument doesn’t hold any water, legally speaking. There is no legal duty of honesty in dating, as we well understand. Rather, what the court did was establish a racist principle as Israeli law: that an Arab must declare his racial identity or risk prosecution for otherwise legal acts. Let’s say that a Jew sold an Arab posing as a Jew some land. Could that Arab now be charged with theft, because the Jew would not have sold him the land if he knew the buyer was an Arab? At what point do you just have Arab citizens sew yellow crescents onto their clothes, so that Jews will know for sure to treat them differently?

When my wife heard the story she said “I’m so ashamed of being a Jew right now.” I responded “I’m fine with being a Jew, I’m ashamed of being an Israeli.”

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