JERUSALEM — An Arab man jailed for 18 months for duping a Jewish woman into consensual sex by lying about his ethnicity has appealed his sentence to Israel's supreme court, media reported on Thursday.
The man's lawyer, Elkana Laist, told the Ynet news website that he had appealed because the severity of the sentence did not reflect the reality of the case.
Sabbar Kashur, 30, was sentenced to jail last week after a court found that the married Arab had had sex with the woman by posing as a Jewish bachelor interested in a long-term relationship.
When the woman found out he was not a Jew, she filed a police complaint that led to charges of rape and indecent assault. In a plea deal, Kashur later agreed to the charge of rape by deception.
"It's difficult to believe that a woman who has sex with a man just minutes after their first meeting is seriously basing her decision on his promises of a long-term relationship," Laist told Ynet.
Because the incident was not premeditated and Kashur had no criminal past, defence lawyer Laist said, the court should have sentenced him to the time already served of two years under house arrest and 55 days in prison.
The case has caused an outcry in Israel, with many saying the decision was racist.
The argument that obtaining sex by false pretences is a form of rape has been used in several countries, including the United States.
Israel's Arab community numbers 1.3 million, about 20 percent of the population. It includes descendants of the 160,000 Palestinians who remained in Israel after the 1948 war and the establishment of the Jewish state.
Relations between the two communities have always been controversial as Israel describes itself as both a Jewish and a democratic state.
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