Israeli government must restore dignity to women by eradicating prostitution

No society that I am aware of has succeeded in completely eradicating prostitution, but that should not deter us in our efforts to diminish it in Israel.

Haaretz; By Calev Myers

Trafficking in human beings has been a crime in Israel for several decades, but while empirical data suggests that nearly all people (and they are primarily women) who are imported into the country against their will are forced to work in the sex industry – prostitution itself has to date been perfectly legal. It is important to point out, however, that human trafficking is just one crime that typically accompanies prostitution. Since the sex industry is usually run by organized crime rings, such crimes as tax evasion, illegal gambling, narcotics use and trafficking inevitably surround brothels and their owners.

In fact, prostitution is one of the only areas that comes to mind in which law-abiding Israeli citizens happily pay into the coffers of organized crime. For this reason, the Knesset made an important and courageous decision on Wednesday when it gave preliminary approval to a legislative initiative to outlaw prostitution in Israel by criminalizing the client. The bill, which was submitted by MK Orit Zuaretz (Kadima), is based on the Swedish regulatory model that has been adopted recently by France and other Western nations. Apparently, the societal stigma created in these countries by making it a criminal offense to purchase sex services has gone far to curb the phenomenon and rid the streets of all sorts of other ancillary crimes. Read more

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