Thursday, 29 July 2010

What's in a name

Spent the day working on a story about an Arab man, married with two children, who told a Jewish woman his name was Dudu. They ended up having consensual sex an hour later in a nearby building.

Afterwards she found out he'd lied to her. His real name was Kashur and he was an Israeli Arab, not an Israeli Jew as she'd assumed from the name Dudu. He's now been charged with rape by deception and sentenced to 18 months in prison. This, after two years of house arrest.

It's an interesting story. On the one side there are those who say it's racism and that the real issue at play is that he's a Muslim who pretended to be a Jew - the message is don't touch "our women."

But the courts and rape centers in Israel say what's more important is that he presented himself as a single man, unmarried and without children - and that this was misleading.

Some of the questions it raises: If a man says he's French and it later turns out he's Italian, can he be sued? If a man says he loves a woman and she later finds out he doesn't, can she take him to court? When exactly is the line crossed? Kashur has been under house arrest for two years. He's now been sentenced to prison for 18 months, a sentence he plans to appeal.

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