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Meta Culpa September 6, 2010 6:57 PM   Subscribe

Meta Culpa: looks like she might not be a racist liar after all.

There was a post in late July that attracted lots of comments. The gist of the story was that a married Israeli Arab had been convicted of "rape by deception" for sleeping with a Jewish Israeli woman while pretending to be a Jewish bachelor. I was uneasy about the claims at the time, because they were all based on the claims made by the defense. We didn't hear anything from the woman's perspective.

Frankly, this woman has been treated very badly. Her name was revealed in the newspapers (by The Guardian, of all things) and the public attitude towards her was that she was asking for it. The same views were expressed on Metafilter. The general line was that this was an expression of Israeli racism, and again our commentators followed along - sometimes quite offensively.

The court records have been unsealed and it turns out that the facts are very different. Here's a summary from lisagoldman.net:
the plaintiff, identified in the article as “B*,” was an emotionally traumatized woman in her 20s who had been raped by her father from the age of six. On the day she met Kashur, she was living in a women’s shelter. Before that, she had worked briefly as a prostitute and spent some time living on the streets. Kashur lured her into the building on Hillel Street with the claim that he worked there and wanted to show her his office; he then assaulted her and raped her, leaving her naked and bleeding – which is how the police discovered her.

B. was later hospitalized in a psychiatric institution, where the police questioned her about the rape, which led them to Kashur. During the trial, after it became apparent that B’s past, combined with her emotional state, made her a vulnerable witness, the prosecution came up with a plea bargain of rape by deception.
Obviously I don't expect people here to have magical powers of discernment, but there's something I would like us to take to heart. Legal disputes are antagonistic and confrontational. When you only hear from one of the parties you are almost always getting only part of the story. This applies especially to accusations of rape, because the alleged victim's identity is usually shielded. Please, show some class and don't just uncritically repeat the defense or the prosecution's talking points. [via]
posted by Joe in Australia to MetaFilter-Related at 6:57 PM (69 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

Hunh. Fascinating and sad. Thanks for this.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:05 PM on September 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


The same views were expressed on Metafilter.

In any thread about rape there are at least a few people who question the recounting of events. From a personal perspective, that makes me uncomfortable, but from a realistic perspective it is always going to happen. If you can't have a conversation with people who disagree with your understanding of what happened you're going to have a difficult time on MetaFilter. Pulling a few quotes out of context from a long thread on a really touchy pair of topics [rape and Israel] and then using a MeTa thread to "tut tut" the community about it seems an awful lot like another excuse to argue about this pair of topics again [especially given your lede] and not really a good faith effort to talk about ... anything really.

If you're not happy with how MetaFilter deals with issues like Israel and rape--and I'm not saying you should be, I think there's a lot of room for improvement--this post is not a good way to get things moving in a better direction.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:10 PM on September 6, 2010 [19 favorites]


In any thread about rape there are at least a few people who question the recounting of events.

That happens in a lot of threads about a lot of things. We do have a problem with facts, with assumptions. I guess its to be expected in an internet forum where people bring their own stuff to each thread.

But I know I need to read each post carefully twice and ask myself if I've got the facts right.

Here it seems like it was a crazy story to begin with. Prosecutors generally do not just bring rape charges on things like this.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:19 PM on September 6, 2010


Pulling a few quotes out of context from a long thread on a really touchy pair of topics [rape and Israel] and then using a MeTa thread to "tut tut" the community about it seems an awful lot like another excuse to argue about this pair of topics again [especially given your lede] and not really a good faith effort to talk about ... anything really.

Amen.
posted by stoneweaver at 7:20 PM on September 6, 2010


Nthing jessamyn - I remember that thread as particularly ugly. Nothing good will come from opening this discussion up again.
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 7:20 PM on September 6, 2010


The reason for the "rape by deception" charge would have cleared up a lot of the initial ambiguity:
The Defense planned to use B.’s past complaints to shatter her credibility. Wanting to avoid another traumatizing event, the Prosecution formulated a plea bargain with the Defense that reduced the charges to “rape by deception”. Essentially, using the threat of once again subjecting a vulnerable rape victim to a traumatizing interrogation, the Defense was able to reach a plea agreement with greatly reduced charges, which didn’t correspond with the facts of the incident.
posted by psyche7 at 7:23 PM on September 6, 2010


This really sounds like you're using this woman's sad, sad story as a way to score points in some ongoing You vs. MetaFilter narrative that you have going on.
posted by neroli at 7:26 PM on September 6, 2010 [30 favorites]


Nothing good will come from opening this discussion up again.

Not saying it needs to stay open, but this post will at least let people see what really happened.
posted by inigo2 at 7:26 PM on September 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


OneMonkeysUncle: "Nthing jessamyn - I remember that thread as particularly ugly. Nothing good will come from opening this discussion up again."

Except maybe a more complete version of the truth, which I think is Joe's point. And if it makes us re-think our original reactions that's also a good thing.
posted by psyche7 at 7:27 PM on September 6, 2010 [7 favorites]


Pulling a few quotes out of context from a long thread on a really touchy pair of topics [rape and Israel] and then using a MeTa thread to "tut tut" the community about it seems an awful lot like another excuse to argue about this pair of topics again [especially given your lede] and not really a good faith effort to talk about ... anything really.

I don't see this post as an attempt to "tut tut" anyone, but more as a reminder that while things appear clear-cut from where we are sitting behind our computers, there is often much more that we don't see. Someone who reads this post in good faith may take a more nuanced view when discussing any subject on Metafilter in the future, which could only benefit us all. I realize that Joe has a controversial history, but I don’t see any ill intent here.
posted by Simon Barclay at 7:33 PM on September 6, 2010 [8 favorites]


Oh man I had to stop reading the linked story because it was so fucking depressing.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 7:49 PM on September 6, 2010


Two wrongs don't make a right.

And rape doesn't excuse bigotry on the part of the Israeli government and its laws.
posted by bardic at 8:11 PM on September 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


"This really sounds like you're using this woman's sad, sad story as a way to score points in some ongoing You vs. MetaFilter narrative that you have going on."

Ya think?
posted by bardic at 8:12 PM on September 6, 2010


Two wrongs don't make a right.

And rape doesn't excuse bigotry on the part of the Israeli government and its laws.


Sorry, did somebody here say or imply that it did?
posted by Wordwoman at 8:38 PM on September 6, 2010


This really sounds like you're using this woman's sad, sad story as a way to score points in some ongoing You vs. MetaFilter narrative that you have going on.

Just ignore him.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:38 PM on September 6, 2010


one of the areas that "the internet" falls down horribly in is it's feeding into people's seeming innate ability to rush to judgment prior to knowing what actually happened. I mean this has happened long before the internet, it just is now we can do so with stories halfway around the world on an hourly basis now, and it is so easy to find "communities" that reinforce your already set belief. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad follow up data is available for this particular case, but so often it is not.

I'm seriously thinking that I may last all of another 5 years before I go back to strictly email.
posted by edgeways at 8:40 PM on September 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


...but more as a reminder that while things appear clear-cut from where we are sitting behind our computers, there is often much more that we don't see.

Sure, but "things may not be so clear-cut" seems to be a rather generous reading of "you were all wrong to call her a racist liar."
posted by griphus at 8:41 PM on September 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


When people post a story like that you can only discuss it based on the facts presented and your interesting or otherwise perspective on those facts. Context later is great, but the person in any given article is not necessarily the matter for discussion. Had a comment suggested that he 'probably' raped her and it was plea bargained down to rape by deception, that would have been laughable and possibly racist itself.

So agreed, attacking the woman herself, unfair. Attacking the point of the article, not so. And the point of the article was that rape by deception was legally possible if the man said he was Jewish and was in fact knowingly an Arab.

And this call out sucks because it's an obvious ha-ha don't you feel stupid now you anti-semites immediately believing any anti-semitic story, and not ha-ha you consistent rape apologists (which might fly with me here on metafilter occasionally).
posted by shinybaum at 9:11 PM on September 6, 2010


I have to defend Joe in Australia and this post. It's pretty common for people to use Metatalk to update closed Mefi posts when new information becomes available that changes our understanding of the original story. Why should this story be any different?

And Joe is right that many people in the original thread used this story as an excuse to delve into yet another "Israeli's sure are a bunch of racist jerks, AMIRITE" rant (and, in fairness, I'm pretty ashamed of my own comment in that thread now that this new information has come to light).

I'm really not understanding the defensiveness against learning more accurate information about this story. While I agree the framing could have been less heavy-handed and contentious, I can't help but suspect that some people are holding Joe in Australia and this post to a different standard than other "here is an update to an old Mefi post" threads because he is known for holding a different position on I/P issues than the majority of the Mefi populace.
posted by The Gooch at 9:20 PM on September 6, 2010


While I agree the framing could have been less heavy-handed and contentious

Framing and tone matter, a lot. "might not be a racist liar after all" is a pretty uncharitable summary of that highly problematic thread and asking people to "show some class" isn't something you usually see at the end of update threads. This bears very little resemblance to an updatefilter post.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:24 PM on September 6, 2010 [10 favorites]


I'm really not understanding the defensiveness against learning more accurate information about this story.
Because accuracy is no substitute for truth.
posted by planet at 9:25 PM on September 6, 2010


The one fact that remains constant between both stories is that it is potentially illegal enough to be jailed for what he was accused of in court and not just what he apparently did, which is awful.

She might not be a racist liar but the Israeli justice system certainly still is.

Agreed that the conversation hadn't gone very well in that thread. I can't see how people are supposed to conclude on their own that the earth might be round when all the facts thus far have suggested flatness though.
posted by shinybaum at 9:32 PM on September 6, 2010


Please, show some class and don't just uncritically repeat the defense or the prosecution's talking points.

so instead of prosecuting him for rape - which he damn well should have been - they prosecuted him for being arab

it's sad, ugly and racist - and it is NOT the media's or metafilter's fault

frankly, this version of the story makes the israeli justice system look worse - that they were willing to make up a story that appeals to xenophobia rather than prosecute an asshole for being an asshole

they dishonored the woman, they dishonored themselves and they dishonored israel's arab population
posted by pyramid termite at 9:33 PM on September 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


I have to defend Joe in Australia and this post.

You know, me too. For the record I think it is almost always a bad idea to mine an old thread to pull out particularly nasty bits to support an argument. But I think in general there is a very valid point here. Human situations - messy, complicated, ambiguous and uncertain - are routinely mined by politicians, media and partisans to produce simplistic sound-bite morality for the sake of driving particular ideological narratives. One thing I value about Metafilter is that I find greater than average push-back against this tendency. I seldom dive into an issue here that I don't experience valid opposition to whatever preconceived ideas I come in with that makes me think. I think this is a valid update and admonition to a story that, for the most part successfully, got played on the internet in the service of a particular political ideology.

...rape doesn't excuse bigotry on the part of the Israeli government and its laws.

And bigotry on the part of the Israeli government and its laws doesn't excuse rape.
posted by nanojath at 9:36 PM on September 6, 2010


Thank you, Joe In Australia, for keeping us all focused on what's important here: shame. Now that the poor woman who experienced this can be freed from the shame the media piled on her, you're doing your part to make sure the shame doesn't end there by bringing it back to metafilter and trying to pass it on to everybody here. 'Meta Culpa?' That's a really ugly way to say 'I told you so.'
posted by koeselitz at 10:40 PM on September 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


This really sounds like you're using this woman's sad, sad story as a way to score points in some ongoing You vs. MetaFilter narrative that you have going on.

Just ignore him.


If you really wanted to ignore him, you wouldn't have made that comment, or any comment in this thread.
posted by John Cohen at 10:42 PM on September 6, 2010


Ironmouth: “Here it seems like it was a crazy story to begin with. Prosecutors generally do not just bring rape charges on things like this.”

That's absolutely correct. Prosecutors generally do not bring any charges on any cases like this, because Israel doesn't have any prosecutors. Or was that what you meant?
posted by koeselitz at 10:50 PM on September 6, 2010


What is it called when people act like experts when in fact they have no expertise whatsoever?
posted by koeselitz at 10:52 PM on September 6, 2010


This bears very little resemblance to an updatefilter post.

Especially since I didn't think we were doing those here anymore.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:57 PM on September 6, 2010


what is it called when people act like experts when in fact they have no expertise whatsoever?

den Besting, I believe
posted by Rumple at 11:04 PM on September 6, 2010 [18 favorites]


because Israel doesn't have any prosecutors.

what?
posted by andoatnp at 11:14 PM on September 6, 2010


If you really wanted to ignore him, you wouldn't have made that comment, or any comment in this thread.

He was advising other people to ignore him, what is your purpose in pointing it out?
posted by mlis at 11:16 PM on September 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


I saw the original story on Andrew Sulivan's blog... it's evident now that it was widely misreported and misanalyzed. The least that can be done, for the woman's sake if nothing else, is to set the record straight.
posted by zompist at 11:21 PM on September 6, 2010


Seems like a reasonable request. We need to be a bit more critical and a little less Grarr about these kinds of stories. I certainly didn't see this post as a "I told you so" and I think we should assume JIA's intent is good.
posted by seanyboy at 11:33 PM on September 6, 2010


Unless we don't like him. Then we should attribute his post with all the negativity our cognitive dissonance can muster. Whichever.
posted by seanyboy at 11:39 PM on September 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Neroli wrote: This really sounds like you're using this woman's sad, sad story as a way to score points in some ongoing You vs. MetaFilter narrative that you have going on.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by a "You vs. MetaFilter narrative" but your attitude surprises me. I posted this both to correct the original post (although I doubt the victim would know or care) and to serve as a cautionary example. The defense strategy revolved around blaming the victim - alleging that she had spontaneously accepted an invitation to sexual intercourse in an empty building from a stranger, and that only her racism had led her later to complain.

I'm sure there are cases when a complainant genuinely agreed to sexual intercourse but later brought rape charges because she had changed her mind. But in this case we never had any reason to accept the defense's account. We never heard from the victim. The media uncritically accepted the rapist's story despite its obvious holes(*) and so did most of the commentators here. I'm sure that the reason for this ready acceptance was that the story fits into a narrative about Israeli racism, but that's not important. The important thing is that people need to be more critical when they're presented with one-sided accounts, particularly when the other side is potentially unable to present their version.

(*) When did she discover that he was married and that he was not Jewish? Did she withdraw consent at any point during the intercourse? Why was she taken to a hospital immediately after the intercourse? If the intercourse was consensual, why accept a plea bargain?
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:43 PM on September 6, 2010


In the Metafilter discussion jeffburdges does actually address the question that most of the media failed to ask: I'm afraid this doesn't quite add up : The girl originally lied by claiming he violently raped her, then prosicutors dropped those charges based upon later evidence, but he still plead guilty to rape by deception? Don't you plea bargin for lesser crimes than what you actually did?

So, I think that the take-away is that as skeptically analytical as Metafilter often (perhaps "usually") is, we can be sufficiently distracted by Big Question issues that typically interest us (here, both racism and the concept of legal "consent," with a side-helping of religion) that we don't always apply that doubt or cynicism regarding the media to the basic facts, instead of the larger questions they represent. I don't fault people for not discussing the story they didn't know about instead of the one that was reported, but I agree that we need to be alert to media misdirection or ineptitude, especially in cases that are sufficiently novel and/or complex, and most especially in cases that seem to confirm our own best or worst beliefs about how the world works.
posted by taz at 11:45 PM on September 6, 2010


People discussed the contents of the links. That it later turned out to be bullshit is more an argument for not posting this recreational outrage stuff, at least in their early stages.

I still think that this charge is even possible is pretty ridiculous, whatever the facts of this particular case are. There's no winners here.
posted by cj_ at 12:25 AM on September 7, 2010


So, it looks like the woman isn't racist, but the prosecutor's office is? And it figured a judge or jury would be too, reasoning that if it's too difficult to charge someone with being a violent rapist, it's easy enough to charge someone with being an Arab "passing" as a Jew?

Well, that's reassuring. No wait, in many ways, that's far worse.
posted by orthogonality at 12:36 AM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


when people post a story like that you can only discuss it based on the facts presented and your interesting or otherwise perspective on those facts.

No. you can be very cautious in the way you approach the damned facts. MeFi, AskMe, you name it , people here often jump to conclusions based on low facts. Hell, people. In general do that.

The thing is that news stories have to be taken with a grain of salt. They represent one quick view of the truth which is usually not accurate. Slow is better than fast.

The stories are perfect for us to pour our prejudices into. That's why we should be cautious.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:01 AM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


So, it looks like the woman isn't racist, but the prosecutor's office is? And it figured a judge or jury would be too, reasoning that if it's too difficult to charge someone with being a violent rapist, it's easy enough to charge someone with being an Arab "passing" as a Jew?

Well, that's reassuring. No wait, in many ways, that's far worse.


Uh, this is exactly what we are talking about. This is not racism, its pleading to a lesser offense. You are just ressurecting the same story and somehow saying that's what the prosecutors office is saying happened. They are just plea barganing him down. They are not racists. Did you interview the prosecuting authority? Did they tell you that they are doing this for some sort of racist reason? No.

WE DON'T KNOW SHIT ABOUT THIS. PLEASE STOP CALLING PEOPLE RACISTS IN CASES IN WHICH YOU DO NOT KNOW THE FULL FACTS. Seriously, you're doing the same dumbass thing, again with zero facts.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:12 AM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I still think that this charge is even possible is pretty ridiculous, whatever the facts of this particular case are. There's no winners here.

Its just a plea bargain. Nobody's saying the facts were as earlier represented. Its just where the plea negotiations settled.

Amazing.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:18 AM on September 7, 2010


No prosecutors in Israel? Gee this article in the Jerusalem Post sure seems to say there are.
http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Features/Article.aspx?id=186085
posted by Ironmouth at 1:29 AM on September 7, 2010


The man involved here seems to be a bigger psychopath than one might have previously thought. The woman here seems to suffer from mental issues which prevent her from many common sense behaviours and from being a consistent and reliable witness. It's clearly unfortunate that these two encountered one another.

But it's also clear that the prosecutors and nearly everyone involved really screwed up. It's one thing to agree to a plea of lesser sexual assault instead of going to trial for rape when the case is weak. But it's another to create (or allow to be created) an entirely fictitious story in the same case.

And I don't think that the issue was ever mainly about the woman being a "racist liar". (Aside from possibly a few comments). I think the real issue was that this looked to be another example of Israel's institutionalised racism. I can't think of anything other country generally regarded as a free democracy which still has (and uses) overtly racist and discriminatory laws to marginalise and punish a significant segment of its population in as harsh a manner as Israel does. I didn't feel the original post was that newsworthy (I don't recall even commenting on it, but maybe I've forgotten). But it had been true, it hardly seemed like an out-of-character move by Israel.

Obviously I don't expect people here to have magical powers of discernment

Joe, your remarks in the original post made inaccurate assumptions and relied on the facts as they were presented at that time as well. For you to even imply that you might "expect" anything of anyone here, with all the sense of superiority and arrogance that goes along with it, is disingenuous. You were wrong, too, and now you've created a post with out of context quotes in an attempt, as Jessamyn says, to "tut tut" everyone here. Shame on you.

I'm thankful for the update, but it was posited in a misleading and egotistical way.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 1:48 AM on September 7, 2010 [11 favorites]


Dee Xtrovert wrote: ... now you've created a post with out of context quotes ...

The only quotation I used was the summary from lisagoldman.net. I don't think it's at all out of context. Do you mind explaining what you mean?
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:46 AM on September 7, 2010


Its just a plea bargain. Nobody's saying the facts were as earlier represented. Its just where the plea negotiations settled.

The fact that an Arab in Israel can be charged with anything because they are "passing as a Jew" is what people are worked up about. The reason it came down to that charge in this particular case is completely irrelevant.

Is this thread here so people can argue about this some more, or.. ?
posted by cj_ at 3:30 AM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I can't believe this isn't already closed.
posted by nevercalm at 3:31 AM on September 7, 2010


What is it called when people act like experts when in fact they have no expertise whatsoever?

The internet.
posted by Grangousier at 3:42 AM on September 7, 2010 [20 favorites]


I'm sure that the reason for this ready acceptance was that the story fits into a narrative about Israeli racism, but that's not important.

I don't believe you. Why are you always on about Israel, Joe? Let it go, it only leads to heartache for all involved... it almost seems like you want a fighty argument against the anti-Israel folks...
posted by Meatbomb at 4:10 AM on September 7, 2010


In any thread about rape there are at least a few people who question the recounting of events. From a personal perspective, that makes me uncomfortable, but from a realistic perspective it is always going to happen.

"Realistic"? A questioning should happen about everything, including recounting of events of crimes and including crimes that are rape and including events that the other guy says were not crimes, including claimed-non-crimes that are not-rape.
posted by DU at 5:28 AM on September 7, 2010


I dunno - I sometimes wonder if having a strong countervailing opinion on one topic brands you a one-trick pony, simply because that's the only thing that sticks out when you think of them. Joe's got a pretty impressive collection of FPP links and informed comments on other topics - but he's a very effective champion for the Israel side of the I/P debate, whenever it comes up, which sends a few people through the roof.

It's not fair to demand Joe shut up because he has a contrary opinion, especially if it's well stated and genuine.

(As for myself, I tend to be sympathetic to both sides as victims of Cold War gamesmanship and disgustingly colonial attitudes from foreign activists, I just don't have the stamina to put up with the frothing lunacy and depressing lack of nuance surrounding the issue, so I avoid it.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:40 AM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


This isn't purely an update, but for the update, I thank you Joe.

I also think your substantive point about suspending judgment before the facts are in is eminently reasonable. However, it seems fair to say that on the basis of this update we have more facts, not that we have "all the facts." So perhaps we should still suspend judgment?
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:35 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Meatbomb asked: Why are you always on about Israel, Joe?

Because people are being wrong on the Internet ...

Seriously, I don't think I'm always on about it. I think I've made two FPP posts about Israel, ever, one of which was deleted. I'm not responsible for the FPP that sparked this, and my contribution there was limited to a discussion of the legal points. I didn't go after the Israel-bashers in that thread because really, what's the point. The only thing that has changed since then is the revelations about the victim.

I think that given what we now know the behavior of people in that thread was pretty bad. They didn't know that at the time, but that's my point: the pile-on was entirely based on the claims made by one side. I felt like saying that at the time but I refrained because I felt that people would question my motives. Consider your own reaction to this thread - "oh, he's just banging on about Israel again." Other people wouldn't have been so restrained.

The Israel side of this doesn't really interest me. I think the people calling the rape-by-deception law racist are ill-informed, but you get the same sort of shallow responses to most law-related stories. I've seen other FPPs overturned by subsequent revelations but I didn't feel it was worth bringing them to people's attention. The reason this one stands out is that it involves an identifiable victim (and not, say, a government department, or a principle or other abstraction). It would be nice if we were all more careful about this sort of thing generally, but this is an actual person who has been very badly treated because of a general tendency to rush to judgment.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:51 AM on September 7, 2010


"The fact that an Arab in Israel can be charged with anything because they are "passing as a Jew" is what people are worked up about"

But isn't the law about deception, not race? If a person falsely claimed to be a fighter pilot to get laid, they would run afoul of this law. As would a Jew claiming to be an Arab.
posted by rosswald at 6:52 AM on September 7, 2010


The fact that an Arab in Israel can be charged with anything because they are "passing as a Jew" is what people are worked up about. The reason it came down to that charge in this particular case is completely irrelevant.

A cursory Google reveals that "rape by deception" laws are also on the books in Tennessee and California. Presumably, a zealous prosecutor could also bring charges against an Arab for "passing as a Jew" in Tennessee or California under similar circumstances. This "rape by deception" case was reported in the Israeli press precisely because it appeared to be an unusual and controversial application of the law. It seems that many posters here are concerned that this law was designed to target Arabs. This is not so. Here is a discussion of the law.
posted by Wordwoman at 7:18 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Joe, your remarks in the original post made inaccurate assumptions and relied on the facts as they were presented at that time as well. For you to even imply that you might "expect" anything of anyone here, with all the sense of superiority and arrogance that goes along with it, is disingenuous. You were wrong, too, and now you've created a post with out of context quotes in an attempt, as Jessamyn says, to "tut tut" everyone here. Shame on you.

The comments he's linked to weren't taken out of context or excerpted. He's not misframing them in any way. The thread he's calling out was quite acrimonious.

Someone took a single, deeply upsetting case of something that happened in Israel and made a snarky, Israel / Nazi comparison. As is par for the course in just about any conversation around here that involves Israel. If any of us are offended by that, are you telling us we should not be allowed to speak up about it?

I would have personally preferred that Joe had just posted this to the Blue and spared us the sanctimony. But this thread certainly didn't happen in a vacuum. If Joe wants to talk about it, let him.
posted by zarq at 7:22 AM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


But it's another to create (or allow to be created) an entirely fictitious story in the same case.

As far as I can tell, they didn't. They brought forward the contrarty evidence to the press.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:23 AM on September 7, 2010


I think I've made two FPP posts about Israel, ever, one of which was deleted.

Ah, but that's not all you do. You regularly defend Israel (and Jews/Jewish interests) in conversation threads for posts you didn't make as well.

As do I. But I daresay I'm more critical than you are.
posted by zarq at 7:28 AM on September 7, 2010


They are not racists. Did you interview the prosecuting authority? Did they tell you that they are doing this for some sort of racist reason?

the big question is what kind of plea bargain would have they offered him if he was a jew - obviously, it would have been something different
posted by pyramid termite at 7:31 AM on September 7, 2010


the big question is what kind of plea bargain would have they offered him if he was a jew - obviously, it would have been something different

"Obviously?" Please cite a precedent or two to prove your point.
posted by zarq at 7:32 AM on September 7, 2010


Ah, but that's not all you do. You regularly defend Israel (and Jews/Jewish interests) in conversation threads for posts you didn't make as well.

As do I. But I daresay I'm more critical than you are.


I call bullshit on this whole line of thought. Why don't you just come out and ask him what religion or ethnicity he is?
posted by Ironmouth at 7:41 AM on September 7, 2010


I call bullshit on this whole line of thought. Why don't you just come out and ask him what religion or ethnicity he is?

Go do a search for "Israel" in his posting history. Read thoroughly. Pay careful attention to the comments he's made regarding the Palestinian situation for more than the last year, and be sure to read any subsequent comments by various MeFites in response to him.

Then when you're done, feel free to come back and apologize.
posted by zarq at 7:46 AM on September 7, 2010


Oh, and since you seem to believe I'm not more critical of Israel than Joe is, feel free to do the same for me.
posted by zarq at 7:50 AM on September 7, 2010


To be fair, Benjamin Netanyahu is probably more critical of Israel than Joe is.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:51 AM on September 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


"Obviously?" Please cite a precedent or two to prove your point.

it IS obvious - a jew would have not been accused of deceiving someone that he was a jew

an arab was

it's really not debatable

so what kind of plea bargain would have they offered him if he was a jew - and why wasn't he offered that instead?
posted by pyramid termite at 7:58 AM on September 7, 2010


I've been reviewing some of the earlier articles, and there are some things that don't seem to fit:
According to the complaint filed by the woman with the Jerusalem district court, the two met in downtown Jerusalem in September 2008 where Kashur, an Arab from East Jerusalem, introduced himself as a Jewish bachelor seeking a serious relationship. The two then had consensual sex in a nearby building before Kashur left.
Why did the woman file a report claiming the sex was consensual? Or, if she didn't file such a complaint, as the new report suggests, why did the Guardian claim that she did?

It looks like the facts in the indictment were rewritten as a part of the plea bargain:
“Plea bargains never match the original narrative of the plaintiff, because the two sides have to bridge the gap between them and reach an agreement,” explains Wittman, “in this case we gave up on the ‘forcible’ element and agreed to a rewriting of the indictment, according to which the defendant had sex with the woman with her consent that was obtained with deception. This formulation fully corresponds with the demands of the article in the law [Israel’s Criminal Code- E] that defines the alternative ‘rape by deception’”.
That's an odd way to deal with a plea bargain: in the US, we don't change the facts to fit the newly plead charges, we simply agree that some facts are not going to be litigated. But then the Guardian erred in claiming that they were quoting the woman's complaint rather than the prosecutor's indictment. And what an error!
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:01 AM on September 7, 2010


Agreeing with some of the "update useful, framing maybe not so great" take from upthread, but at this point is there something we need this metatalk for other than an extended do-over argument on the subject? I don't think that's really going to be great for anyone and it'd be a lousy way to kick off the week.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:02 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


...is there something we need this metatalk for other than an extended do-over argument on the subject?

Well, I for one can't wait to hear Ironmouth's explanation for how a guy who's twice accused me of victim-blaming regarding Israel is somehow less or equally critical of that country than I am.

I'd also like a fucking apology for the implication that I'm being antisemitic.
posted by zarq at 8:05 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


That feels like something that may need to be for you to either work out over email or accept disliking one another about. The GRAR and demanding-satisfaction type stuff that seems to come out of this sort of thing is pretty much precisely why I think this is an increasingly bad idea for a thread. I'm gonna close it up.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:09 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


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