Monday, September 6, 2010

Time to Demand Retractions

Back in July there were stories galore about an Israeli court which jailed an Arab, Sabbar Kashur, for having sex with a Jewish woman in Jerusalem while pretending he too was Jewish. It got quite a few good miles, that particular lie. At the time a lefty reader who no longer comments on this blog but writes me directly, demanded of me that I condemn the overt racism of our legal system. We had a long e-mail correspondence, in which I refused to write about the story since it wasn't credible.There are racists in Israel, but you don't generally find them among our judges. I was also puzzled that no-one seemed interested in defending the woman who'd been led into sex by the deception that the man was unmarried while in reality he is and has children. Where are all the feminists when you need them, I asked him? (The answer, it seemed obvious, being that they're lefties first, and feminists second).

Well, two months later a new version of the story is out, and it looks very dramatically different. Victor Shikhman has a detailed description with lots of links, which I recommend you read. He's also demanding an appology from Andrew Sullivan, which is unlikely to be forthcoming, and you can follow that part of the story here.

Interestingly, the Schocken publisher who owns both Haaretz and Ha'Ir, the local Tel Aviv sheet where the new story appears, has not yet found the time to translate it into English. Someone else did, as Victor tells, and this has led Lisa Goldman, a left-leaning blogger in Tel Aviv to ponder the story. She's not willing yet to accept that our courts may really be honorable, but she feels for the woman, something no-one was willing to do back in July. (One of the links notes that the Guardian was even worse than everyone else, when they published the name of the woman in contravention of Israeli law but also simple human dignity.)

I need to go take a shower. The amount of filth this blog has been dealing with recently is becoming unbearable. In the meantime, any support you can give to Victor in his lost battle will be worth it. And also, since the media isn't picking up on this, please forward it far and wide with whatever tools you've got - links, twitter, facebook, honing pigeons and so on.


Anonymous said...

I don't understand why anyone takes Haaretz seriously. It has three so called journalists that so regularly get caught lying it is amazing people are not ashamed to quote it...

Anyone here care to guess where the solitary source for those 3 million cluster bombs in South Lebanon came from? Hint Meron Rappaport.


Anonymous said...

Actually from the little I noticed from the story (I read Victor later in print) I liked the original version, hoping that there might exist some honesty laws in Israel contrarian to all the caveat emptor of these days.

In the ol' days in Germany a man who had gotten a woman into in intimate relationship by promising marriage could be dragged into court and I assumed that Israel had something of that left. Dumb as I am I couldn't see the racial aspect of it as dominating but rather the deceit. (I think women who had gotten men to make them gifts by promising marriage were subject to the same legal threat.)


Anonymous said...

what a pity Alex doesn't find us worthy of his insights any longer

it's a pity, because I had acquired a soft spot for him, because he so willingly got the finances of his outfit made public, but maybe that was a singular lapse into courage.


Anonymous said...

I forgot to point out it is Shikhman not Shinkman

Anonymous said...

This story is so strange. I thought something was strange when I first read about it several weeks ago.

She was also beat up, but not a good rape witness, so why not prosecute the assault? Surely, assault is a crime even if it occurs during consensual sex. Is not the deception of being married more important - and believable - than the deception of being non-Jewish? Something is very strange in this story.


Avigdor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Avigdor said...

Several commentators on my blog and others have tried to make an issue out of different ways to read into the facts of the case. Indeed, that's really what Lisa Goldman's post is all about.

That's all fine and good, but irrelevant. Whatever the "true" story may be, whatever trauma this poor woman experience, whatever crimes the Arab Israeli committed, what made it international news were not the particulars, but the purely invented racial aspect of the case.

Without that, it would have been just another unfortunate, messy case of "he said - she said" rape that every criminal system in the world must tackle. How many women were raped on the same day, in ways more and less brutal, all around the world? Why did THIS story break international headlines when none other did? What does that say about the state of the news media, in Israel and abroad, in the way they have conditioned themselves to accept the most vile insinuations about Israel and Israeli Jews without the minimum critical thought demanded by journalistic standards?

The illegitimate attacks on Israeli Jews as ethno-religious racists, protected in their bigotry by their unjust court system, are intolerable and must be confronted, beyond the exact particulars of this case.

...and then I decided to expand these points into their own post.

Soccer Dad said...

The New York Times has a new "public editor." I will send him an e-mail and ask him if he will get Robert Mackey to retract.

My guess is that no retraction will be forthcoming.

Avigdor said...

Never mind what they will or won't do today. Get them on the record and send the response to Yaacov for publication. They might be more "flexible" tomorrow.

Barry Meislin said...

What? And have them forego their absolutely most favoritist sport?

Not terribly likely....

(You seem to be under the impression that the truth matters to these people.)

Sylvia said...

OT - Freedom of speech issues:

The French newspaper on line just broke the story that Swedish police has performed a search on the site of the service provider for Wikileaks, PRO.

Anonymous said...

thanks Sylvia
lets hope that is good news and something'll come of it

somewhere I read that the Wikileaks that provided good service to people like Nick Cohen by protecting his sources has kind of shut down at the end of last year and been replaced by the current megalomaniac seeming version which is getting its money from whom?

a couple of days ago I read that Assange's Icelandic supporters wanted investigation of the charges of improper behaviour against him


Soccer Dad said...

Victor I've sent messages or left comments at various purveyors of the original story. (David Rothkoph, The Forward/Allsion Kaplan Sommer, The Atlanticist and the NYT.)

If I haven't received any responses, I'll hopefully check the sources tonight.

David Bernstein at Volokh, have written updates.

At Volokh, the discussion at the time was whether "deception" was grounds for a prosecution. The conclusion of the post was, yes, it was grounds - even in the U.S.