Monday, September 6, 2010

Staying Focused: Israeli Rape By Deception Case

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 (Israeli Rape By Deception Case, Now With More Rape, Less Deception). Some are parsing the victim's testimony in the context of her deteriorated mental state. Others are busy dissecting the timeline of events, or questioning the motives of Israeli prosecutors. Such meandering is really what Lisa Goldman's post is all about.

That's all fine and good, and irrelevant. Whatever the "true" story may be, whether it was hard rape or soft rape that this poor woman with a wretched past experienced, whatever precise crimes the Arab Israeli man committed, and however it was handled by the prosecutor and public defender, all that is for the justice system of the State of Israel to decide. What made this story international news were not the particulars, but the purely invented racial aspects of the case, which were purposefully manufactured to distort reality for ideological gain.

This story became global news because of what was read into the verdict handed down to an Arab man in an Israeli court, what the truth of state-sanctioned racism would have meant for Israel's Jewry, for the notion of Jewish statehood, for the Jewish soul itself. Once again, Andrew Sullivan's brilliant writing style, marinated in sewage, is case in point:
But it's the visceral emotional core of this that is so offensive. It's about racism, religion and the risk of miscegenation. It's about the deep disgust of some Israeli Jews toward Arabs, upheld by the courts. It's a variant of the racial sexual panics of the Jim Crow South.
Without that element, that "visceral emotional core" that allowed Andrew to believe that a Jewish state and its people were predisposed to systematic racist prejudice, it would have been just another unfortunate, messy case of "he said - she said" rape between two less-than-upstanding citizens that every criminal system in the world must tackle on a daily basis. 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? Why, even after the truth has been made known, have retractions and apologies not been published?

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

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