If I were a Jewish man: the Arab fiddler on the roof

The rape (by deception) conviction, last month, of an East Jerusalem Arab who posed as a love-seeking Jewish bachelor in order to get into the knickers of an Israeli Jewess prompted me to recall some of the more spurious yarns I have spun, over the years, to get my wicked way.

One summer, for instance, on a road trip across the US (during our break from Manchester University), I scored – with a Smiths-obsessed frat girl – with the whopper that Morrissey was our next door neighbour (a claim to fame which left her with no choice).   

In fact, the absolute ludicrousness of both the recent conviction and the 18-month prison term (appealed) handed down to Sabbar Kashur – a married, 30-year old, father-of-two who introduced himself to the complainant as “Dudu”, an Israeli nickname – caused me to do the unprecedented (forbidden?) and concur with Haaretz’s Gideon Levy: see He impersonated a human.   

“If she hadn’t thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship,” ruled Jerusalem District Court Judge Zvi Segal, “she would not have cooperated.” 

After approaching Kashur as he exited a grocery store in the capital, that fateful midday in September 2008, the “serious romantic” Israeli – in her late twenties – clearly did not need an awful lot of persuading to accompany “Dudu” for a quickie on a nearby roof (it is not only the Tel Avivit, it would seem, who possesses the Subtle Art of Seduction).   

Sabbar “Dudu” Kashur in his East Jerusalem home

And Kashur maintains that he “didn’t pretend” anything. “I said my name is Dudu because that’s how everybody knows me. My wife even calls me that.” (The penny perhaps dropped for our nice, naive yiddishe girl with Kashur’s cry, at the height of passion, of “Allahu akbar!” Okay, I made that bit up.)

The court then heard that Kashur – who has been under house arrest ever since – departed the scene without waiting for his Jewish princess to get dressed. 

But what exactly was he expected to do? To hold her for a few minutes and, looking into her eyes, tell her that she was his best first-date bunk up since his morning coffee break? 

“The court is obliged,” continued Judge Segal, “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.”   

While Kashur’s oral physiology and abilities are not matters about which I care to speculate, I suspect that his ‘victim’ may not have been quite as chaste as Judge Segal would have us believe. “Sanctity of bodies and souls,” indeed!   

“When the very basis of trust between human beings drops, especially when the matters at hand are so intimate, sensitive and fateful, the court is required to stand firmly at the side of the victims,” concluded Judge Segal, “otherwise, they will be used, manipulated and misled.”   

“Intimate” and “sensitive”?! Shagging a complete stranger on a roof?! 

No. The only thing that “drop[ped]” in this case was a pair of loose-fitting knickers (if, indeed, there were any to begin with). And, regarding our nice, virtuous Jewish meydl, the words that spring to mind are “gagging for it”.   

One thing is for sure: If an Israeli male had nailed an Arab woman by telling her that he was a Muslim, there would have been no case to answer (except, of course, with her brothers). Indeed, this whole sorry affair is an uncomfortable reminder of certain 1935 racial purity laws. And just when one thought it impossible for Israel’s world image to sink any lower.   

Anyway, if you happen to be reading this, you poor innocent thing: I really am a Jewish bachelor . . . and like nothing more than a bit of “serious” rooftop “romance”. 

http://www.justgiving.com/melchettmike

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23 responses to “If I were a Jewish man: the Arab fiddler on the roof

  1. Nicely said. 🙂

  2. Yes, Mike, even those of us who don’t know you well know of your sometimes less than romantic proclivities. 😉

    Now if he were Jewish, did you want him to call out, “Jesus Christ, I’m c**ing!”? … Or to paraphrase Rushdie, Allah be praised! She needs to take a page from another nice Jewish girl — Monica Lewinski — & set her sights a bit higher.

    They arrested him? … & put him in jail?? They should have deported him & sent him over here — he’s fully qualified to run for political office here!

  3. Geoff Melnick

    I think the point here is very clear. As you say quite rightly, had the man been Jewish and pretending to be a Muslim, nothing would have happened.

    On the other hand there seems to be something I am missing here. In my batchelor days I very rapidly learned that I hardly needed to say anything. Just listen, nod at the right places and the girl was mine. No room for a whopper and indeed no need.

  4. Tamar Meijers

    Well Geoff, not everybody has such a natural charm…………

    Mike, I had read Gideon Levy’s article and some other bits and pieces. This seems too dodgy to be true. I would really like to get the complete story. What premises did she have to even file a complaint???

    Did he tell her he was Jewish (not that I think there is anything wrong with that. I often deny my religion – especially to God. Maybe one day he will sue me!!!) and single or did she just assume. Did he say he worked for a lawfirm and she just assumed he was a partner while he is a courier. How did she sell this in court???????

  5. Like any confidence trickster – I would imagine that this gentleman chose the easiest route to gain the confidence of his prey and access to their underwear. The fact that he’s an arab should not factor into it, it’s heinous to trick a woman using any made up story.

    I don’t think there are any sinister racial undertones
    on Dudu’s part per sé, simply the speculation that if the man were a Jew he would have walked from the court scott-free.

    As you are a lawyer, maybe you would be able to find similar cases or precedents as I suspect there are Jewish gentlemen in Israeli jails for similar offences.

  6. I think the judgement was the right one and the message to Mike and other Lotharios is be truthful, or be prepared to suffer the opprobriuim of the bench testing the veracity of your chat up lines!

  7. Geoff, I never realised that you were such a ladies’ man!

    Tamar, I don’t believe she actually asked him whether he was Jewish. She (reasonably) took it for granted, I believe, after hearing “Dudu”.

    Steve, (being a northerner!) you have, of course, totally missed the point – the “sinister racial undertones” were on the court‘s part.

    And, Tricky, would you be prepared to testify against my standard “Of course I am looking for a serious relationship”?!

    Anyway, the news this morning – “Dudu” has been released from house arrest pending the result of his appeal: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/high-court-frees-arab-in-case-of-rape-by-impersonating-jew-1.305845

    The electronic tag should rather be round his knob!

  8. Tamar Meijers

    Mike, this is what we understood from the articles.
    Yet, I still find it hard to believe that if this is true – the woman assuming many things about her courter – the court actually regards her as a victim. Hence my questions……….

  9. I don’t think the problem here was racism. I think the problem is ridiculously extreme feminism (supported by the courts) where the woman is a”victim” even after sleeping with a stranger after half an hour.
    Apparently there was a Jewish man convicted under this law after he pretended to be a tax collector or something and said he’d only let the women off the hook if they slept with him.
    I also read somewhere that she originally tried to have him convicted of forcible rape. When that wouldn’t hold, she went for rape by deception, which may answer your question Tamar.
    Either way, the court system is a joke and poor “Dudu” picked the wrong woman.

  10. saul schneider

    Maybe all suiters should be forced to become facebook friends with potential prey first as we all know that noone lies there!

  11. I find it hard to believe that there was no racism involved here, meri. The “ridiculously extreme feminism” you mention would not even have got a look-in had a Jewish guy calling himself “Yasser” porked a Muslim bird on a roof.

    Anyway, it has been argued that the court’s attitude was anti-feminist in its paternalism, suggesting that women wouldn’t (shouldn’t?) shag for fun (in Tel Aviv, that’s all they do!)

    Quite, Saul. Not to mention Internet dating and JDate . . . coming soon on melchett mike!

  12. Daniel Marks

    What an excellently written page and what a wonderful chance for everyone to kiss and then, albeit decades later, tell.

    While as a Jew, I can say nothing that could be perceived as justifying non-Jews having sex with Jews, however, I agree that this case seems to smack much more of racism than of authentic Judaism.

    I do think that a Jew who did such an act with an Arab woman could easily have met the wrong judge and be punished too. The question is anyway quite hypothetical as few Arab women would reach such a situation with any man. Two weeks ago I began to teach a new course and while most of the ladies had plunging necklines etc there were three modestly dressed ladies sitting at the front. “How wonderful!” I thought, “Finally irreligious Israelis who respect their bodies.” After a few minutes I heard one of them talking to the others in Arabic.

    To my mind the real question what the Jewish judge’s decision would have been had the perpetrator have been a white non-Jew from the US, unfortunately the question is rhetorical. In my wildest imaginings I cannot imagine the Israeli police even agreeing to open an investigation.

    Everything else is vanities. Kashur was not found guilty because he was not a Jew. He was punished because he was an Arab, and that is what I call good old-fashioned racism.

  13. Who would have thought it . . . melchett mike and “Ma’ale” Marks in broad agreement – including on the appalling thought of Jews having sex with non-Jews (especially, perish the thought, the blonde haired, blue eyed, large breasted variety) – and both decrying racism against our Arab cousins?!

    Whatever next . . . Osher Baddiel and Shuli Meyers demanding an annual Gay Pride Assembly at Hasmonean High School for Boys?!

  14. Daniel Marks

    Yup Mike,

    Like the broken clock that never moves, but is accurate twice a day, your time has come. You got it right.

    As far as the “blonde haired, blue eyed, large breasted variety” I’m currently surrounded by German tourists and can report that your description is spot on regarding both the men and women-folk.

  15. Oh, you tease, Daniel!

    If you put a nice Heidi or Heike my way, I’ll take* you to one of those TA clubs that you were so obsessed about . . . y’know, the ones with the toilet naughties.

    * after advance warning to the regulars, of course.

  16. Daniel Marks

    Just make sure it’s kosher.

  17. It cannot be racism since “Dudu” and his paramour were both semitic. Further, as we are reminded on many occasions, Jews are not a race.

  18. Daniel Marks

    Now that’s just plain daft Bill. Racism implies discrimination against another BECAUSE of his perceived “race”. You don’t have to belong to a different “race” in order to discriminate. Otherwise, no Jew or Arab could ever be anti-Semitic whatever he did. It’s the equivalent to a woman claiming that she couldn’t have discriminated against other women because she is one herself.

    Secondly, as Jews we do not accept the concept of “race” at all. That doesn’t mean that someone can’t discriminate against another person if he wrongly accepts some barmy racial theory and PERCEIVES the other guy to belong to a different race.

  19. There is no question this ruling was bad, immoral and racist.

    But, it certainly shows Israel is fitting into the region and being more ‘middle eastern’, precisely with which her detractors are charging her with insufficiency.

    You can’t get much more cultural ‘Arab middle eastern’ than that.

  20. It appears that there was a lot more to this case than initially reported – see the following, by my friend Lisa Goldman (who is a bit of a leftie, but an excellent journo all the same!) . . .

    http://lisagoldman.net/2010/09/06/a-rapist-who-dodged-jail-or-a-man-unjustly-accused-because-he-was-palestinian/

  21. And now this . . .

    http://www.thejc.com/blogpost/the-rape-b-and-media-lynch-followed

    Of course, I now take back everthing in my post above, based as it is on misinformation.

    But why haven’t Haaretz, and Gideon Levy in particular (I thought it too good to be true that we were actually in agreement!), been as quick to jump off the bandwagon as they were to climb on it? Because it doesn’t fit their Israel-bashing agenda?

  22. Well, plea bargain it may have been, but the judge should have left it at that.
    The fact that he gave a detailed judgment describing a new kind of rape by deception makes it the law – it is a binding precedent in a country where the legal system is based on court precedent, and his judgment does sound rather something out of the 1930s deep south.
    The judge still said that “if she hadn’t thought he was a Jewish batchelor…she would not have cooperated”
    So no letting the judge off the hook.

  23. It seems like rape by deception (not an entirely “new” offence, I understand) was used as the best-fitting peg to hang the plea bargain on, on the basis that “B” would not have gone anywhere near the roof if she had known that “Dudu” was not really a Jewish bachelor.

    But this was a case of straightorward rape . . . only with a problematic victim for testimony purposes.

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