Sex Slavery - The Growing Trade in Israel
March 30, 2006 - Adar 30, 5766
Trafficking in women a worldwide epidemic, Malarek says, Up to - 10,000 trafficked women in Israel and more than 280 brothels in Tel Aviv alone
- By Julie Lesser - Tribune Correspondent
MONTREAL - Calling human trafficking one of the greatest human rights abuses of our time, Canadian journalist and social activist Victor Malarek addressed the Jewish community at a Montreal synagogue last Thursday.
Promoting a book he has written on the subject, Malarek said destitute Third World and Eastern European females as young as 12 are tricked into leaving their homelands with promises of wealth and prosperity in the West, as well as Israel. Instead, they are sold into the sex trade by organized crime, gangs, pimps and brothel owners.
"Newspaper ads from modelling and employment agencies promise exciting jobs, but the women are duped," Malarek told the Jewish Tribune. "They must submit, or they are raped, beaten and tortured. There are between 5,000 and 10,000 trafficked women in Israel and more than 280 brothels in Tel Aviv alone. It is a human rights issue the Jewish community knows about. They have a voice and they must use it."
The United Nations has cited human trafficking as an international crime generating more than US $12 billion worldwide. More than 800,000 people are trafficked annually, forced into prostitution and threatened with death should they attempt to escape the clutches of their captors. Canada is both a means of access to the United States, as well as a final destination for approximately 2,000 women each year.
"Governments should be held accountable," said Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, who also addressed the crowd. "It is a very serious problem in Israel, and Canada has been inadequate in the protection of victims of trafficking. It is a global slave trade."
As the previous federal justice minister, Cotler aided in the implementation of several bills addressing the protection of vulnerable individuals, yet he openly admitted there have never been any prosecutions made for human trafficking. He focused on raising the public's awareness of trafficking as a method to prevent what he called the fastest rising criminal industry in the world today. Responding to an audience member's question, he said the problem of mistakenly granting Canadian visas to people who should not obtain them is "an issue for the immigration department."
As customers' demands for slave trade workers who do not have HIV or AIDS increases, the age of victims proportionally decreases. UNICEF has determined that approximately 1.7 billion children are victimized annually. Ironically, Malarek didn't realize the gravity of the situation until he personally witnessed how many young girls were trafficked into Kosovo to service troops sent by the United Nations.
"There is both national and international indifference," said Malarek. "The public looks at the victims with apathy or scorn and foreign women are not the priority of most governments. Governments are complacent because the sex industry brings in money."
Cotler noted that governments must work together in prosecuting oppressors while protecting their victims. He said the RCMP is part of an international trafficking unit that reflects cooperation among a number of governments. Human trafficking should be a priority on international policy-making agendas, he added, and complimented the United States on taking the lead in exercising what he called moral leadership.
"Most people don't know how big this problem is," said Larry Sakow, who attended the public event. "As a Jew, I am upset about the trafficking in Israel. It is surprising that Jews have gotten into it and are making money."
Victor Malarek's book, The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade, is currently available.
Sex Slavery - The Growing Trade in Israel - The Jewish Mafia and White sex slave trade
Sex slavery: The growing trade in Israel, thousands of Eastern European and Russian girls lured to TelAviv and enslaved into prostitution. Up to - 20,000 trafficked women in Israel and more than 280 brothels in Tel Aviv ... As customers - demands for slave trade workers who do not have HIV or AIDS ...
Similar pages: http://www.israelnewsagency.com/sexisrael69690531.html
"Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life....." (Leviticus 25:44-46)
There are an estimated 20,000 female sex slaves forced into prostitution in Tel-Aviv each year. According to a report released in 2005 by the Knesset Subcommittee on Trafficking in Women, between 10,000 and 15,000 women had been smuggled into Israel over the previous four years to work as prostitutes. According to the report, the women, who were mostly from the former Soviet Union, were sold at public auction for as much as $10,000 and forced to work up to 18 hours a day. On average, the women received only three percent of the money they earned from prostitution, and many were raped and beaten. Most of the women had been smuggled over the Egyptian border and lured from Russia and Eastern Europe on false promises of secretarial jobs.
Israel Sex Slavery Thrives - Israel and the Ugly Slavery Trade
Human rights groups have long demanded actions against the trade in women in Israel. These women many from the former Soviet, are working as prostitutes in a condition of virtual slavery. Many of the Russian women who have ended up in Israel's brothels, some smuggled into the country from Egypt on the back of camels, expected to find jobs a cleaners and or working in childcare. There are certain places where auctions are taking place. The Israeli police well know the names. They are nightclubs or regular bars. The women are brought there, buyers come and look at their bodies and their teeth, then the bidding starts. They are held by the pimps, beaten and totally isolated
Dozens of brothels and peepshows have sprung up in Tel Aviv and Haifa in the last few years. There are over 20,000 women in prostitution in Tel Aviv. Their customers pay for 45,000 acts of prostitution every day. Women are held in apartments, bars and brothels where they are bought by up to 25 men a day. They sleep in shifts, four to a bed. (Police officials, Michael Specter, "Traffickers' New Cargo: Naive Slavic Women, "New York Times, 11 January 1998, They cannot walk freely. They cannot leave the apartment as they wish. Usually the passports have been taken.
Amnesty International investigation of the trade in Russian women suggests Israel's police and government officials have largely ignored the abuse.
The arrest of prostitutes is frequent, as illegal workers, the men who brought them to Israel many of whom are Israelis are not arrested. The Justice Ministry spokeswoman Etty Eshed (1998)said the government would think about making legal changes to address trafficking in the "near future" but had no date or plan for doing so. (Elisabeth Eaves, "Israel not the promised land for Russian sex slaves," Reuters, 23 August 1998)
The Israeli police say they are powerless to stop the flow of trafficked women until the laws change. "They (trafficked women) are very much afraid to come to the police and complain, so the police really can't do anything," said a police spokeswoman Linda Menuhin. "Israel has no law against trafficking people, and no law against prostitution." Rachel Benziman, legal adviser to the Israel Women's Network, said there are a variety of crimes, rape, abduction, battery, deceit and theft which the authorities rarely bother to prosecute for, even though they have the power to do so. "It's not a problem of finding the right section in the criminal code. It is more a problem of finding the women who will testify and finding the motivation. she said. (Elisabeth Eaves, "Israel not the promised land for Russian sex slaves," Reuters, 23 August 1998)
Israel does not have a specific law against the sale of human beings. (Michael Specter, "Traffickers' New Cargo: Naive Slavic Women," New York Times, 11 January 1998). There is no law related to bringing women from another country into Israel for prostitution. (CEDAW Report, 8 April 1997) If trafficked and prostituted women are caught they are deported. Since 1994, not one woman has testified against a trafficker. (Betty Lahan, director of Neve Tirtsa Prison, Michael Specter, "Traffickers' New Cargo: Naive Slavic Women," New York Times, 11 January 1998)
There are no official numbers regarding the extent of prostitution and the traffic of women in Israel, but there is a general consensus that it is becoming more prevalent. (CEDAW Report, 8 April 1997). There has been a steady increase in the numbers of foreign women involved in prostitution who are arrested for illegal stays in Israel and who are detained before being deported to their home-countries; in over 95% of the cases, they were from the former USSR. The average time these women spend in prison is 50 days. The women themselves are supposed to pay for their expenses to leave Israel, but when their resources are inadequate, the Ministry of Interior finances their deportation from a special budget. (Authorities, Neve Tirza women's prison, CEDAW Report, 8 April 1997)
Traffickers and pimps earned US $50,000 - $100,000 a year from each prostituted woman, resulting in a US $450 million sex industry. ("A modern form of slavery," The Jerusalem Post, 13 January 1998). 1,500 Russian and Ukrainian trafficked women have been deported from 1995-1997. (Michael Specter, "Traffickers' New Cargo: Naive Slavic Women," New York Times, 11 January 1998)
Russian women are bought and sold by pimps in Israel for prices ranging from US $5,000 to $20,000. (Police sources, "'Invisible' Women Shown In Russia's Demographics," Martina Vandenberg, St. Petersburg Times, 13 October 1997). A small brothel with ten women can make up to 750,000 shekels a month (US $215,000). (Michael Specter, "Traffickers' New Cargo: Naive Slavic Women," New York Times, 11 January 1998). Article Confirms Israel's White Slave Trade
News/Comment Posted in National Vanguard 2003-12-08
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- By Jeff Hook
Have you read the article "Fighting the Flesh Trade?" If not, please do. It confirms every fact revealed by the late Dr. William L. Pierce in his various American Dissident Voices broadcasts on the subject of Israel's White Slave Trade. On December 5, 2001, the article appeared on the Jewsweek.com Web site -- complete with accompanying images. I hosted a copy of it on the old Jeffsarchive Web site, until I received an e-mail from a law firm representing Jewsweek, informing me of their intent to sue if the article wasn't removed immediately. I removed the article, and linked directly to their site. They then removed the article.
I then linked directly to the site of the copyright holder, the Jerusalem Post. By that evening, the Jerusalem Post had also removed the article. Well, that was two years ago. Now the Jerusalem Post has seen fit to re-activate the URL, so you might want to take a gander at what the Jews are doing to the women of our race. Here's a synopsis:
1. 3,000 White European women per year are smuggled into Israel as sex slaves.
2. They are promised legitimate jobs, but put to work as prostitutes.
3. They are locked in apartments with barred windows.
4. They are relieved of their passports.
5. They are beaten, tortured, and gang-raped (Jewish method of "breaking them in").
6. They are sold at pimping auctions! - during which they are forced to undress.
7. They are forced to service up to 15 Jews a day, 7 days a week, in Israel's 400+ brothels.
8. There are 280 brothels in Tel Aviv alone!
9. Pimps and traffickers are ignored by police - prostitution is not a crime.
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Fighting the Flesh Trade
alternative URL for article, which should remain up, Here's more information on the subject from the National Alliance:
Jews and the White Slave Trade: - http://www.natvan.com/free-speech/fs982a.html
The Evil Among Us - http://www.natvan.com/free-speech/fs007c.html
The Nature of the Beast - http://www.natvan.com/free-speech/fs008b.html
Here are excerpts from another excellent article (which has been removed from the Jerusalem Report's website). Luckily, another site has picked it up; see link below.
Source: The Jerusalem Report, | November 2001
March 23, 2005 http://www.fpp.co.uk/online/05/03/Israel_slavetrade.html
White slave trade now earns US$1 billion annually in Israel.
Worldwide Lack of Concern Over Israel's White Slave Trade
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- By Frederico Napolitano - 04 14, 2004
Worldwide Lack of Concern Over Israel's White Slave Trade News
Women from Eastern Europe continue to be preyed upon by Jewish slave dealers in Israel. In a deceptive and vile fashion, the Jewish slave racketeers often lure poverty-stricken girls from Russia, Ukraine, and other eastern European nations with the false notion of becoming a well-paid teacher or secretary. Many of these women are mothers or daughters who see these phony job listings as wonderful opportunities to improve their family's economic situation. (illustration: one of thousands of White women enslaved by Jewish gangs)
Even the fraction who know they will work in the sex trade are not aware they will be abused and enslaved. Once they arrive in Israel, their passports and visas are destroyed. A process of utter intimidation to force the girls into compliance follows. Jewish pimps often rape and beat their victims in order to break their will to resist.
There is a little media recognition of the problem. In an article from the November 12 edition of the Jerusalem Post, editor Isaac Herzog writes that, "in the past few years Israel has been flooded with thousands of women who are smuggled into the country in order to engage in prostitution, as part of a vigorous trade." In the past few years alone, Herzog states that nearly 3,000 women have been forced into sex slavery in Israel. Most of the women come from countries bled dry by over half a century of Jewish communism. With little prospects for a better life for themselves and their family, they trustingly come to Israel for a better job and are usually never heard from again. A very small percentage has escaped either by their own courageous efforts or due to a raid by Israeli immigration authorities.
Working in collusion with Jewish organized crime gangs in Europe, the girls are funneled into the slave state of Israel in a variety of atrocious ways. Acting in accordance with their Talmudic sanctioning of treating Gentiles like cattle, the Israeli dealers savagely compel the "cargo" to trek across the unforgiving Egyptian desert at all times of the day in any type of weather. "Women who complain of any kind of pain during the taxing march are drugged with medications and painkillers, and anyone who breaks down and collapses is abandoned on the roadside in the desert, as if she were a dying freight animal," says Herzog.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the same tribe who engages in this trafficking of White women is the same tribe who owns and manages nearly all of the mass media in America and Europe. Jews make up only a tiny fraction of all White nations, yet occupy most of the managerial and ownership positions of the news and entertainment media. The profound lack of knowledge about the plight of these women would most likely not be the same if the victims were Jewish and the traders were Gentiles.
Jerusalem Post article on sex slave 'industry'
Factbook on Global Sexual Exploitation
There are no official numbers regarding the extent of prostitution and the traffic of women in Israel, but there is a general consensus that it is becoming more prevalent. (CEDAW Report, 8 April 1997)
There has been a steady increase in the numbers of foreign women involved in prostitution who are arrested for illegal stays in Israel and who are detained before being deported to their home-countries; in over 95% of the cases, they were from the former USSR. The average time these women spend in prison is 50 days. The women themselves are supposed to pay for their expenses to leave Israel, but when their resources are inadequate, the Ministry of Interior finances their deportation from a special budget. (Authorities, Neve Tirza women's prison, CEDAW Report, 8 April 1997)
Traffickers and pimps earned US $50,000 - 100,000 a year from each prostituted woman, resulting in a US $450 million sex industry. ("A modern form of slavery," The Jerusalem Post, 13 January 1998)
1,500 Russian and Ukrainian trafficked women have been deported from 1995-1997. (Michael Specter, "Traffickers' New Cargo: Naive Slavic Women," New York Times, 11 January 1998)
Russian women are bought and sold by pimps in Israel for prices ranging from US $5,000 to $20,000. (Police sources, "'Invisible' Women Shown In Russia's Demographics," Martina Vandenberg, St. Petersburg Times, 13 October 1997)
A small brothel with ten women can make up to 750,000 shekels a month (US $215,000). (Michael Specter, "Traffickers' New Cargo: Naive Slavic Women," New York Times, 11 January 1998)
Women trafficked from Eastern Europe, were stripped and sold naked as slaves to Tel Aviv traders for US$500-1,000. Smuggling, fraudulent documents, collaboration between police and brothel owners are involved. There are routine brutal beatings and sexual abuse. (New York Times 11 January 1998)
The non-profit Israel Women's Network estimates that 70% of prostituted women in Tel Aviv, Israel's commercial center, come from the former Soviet republics, and that about 1,000 women are brought into Israel illegally each year. At any one time, as many as 100 women may be awaiting deportation in Neve Tirza women's prison near Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion airport, a prison spokeswoman said. (Elisabeth Eaves, "Israel not the promised land for Russian sex slaves", Reuters, 23 August 1998)
A poll by the Women's Network showed 44% of Israelis believed all Russian immigrant women provided sexual services for pay. Illegal immigrants in Israel, who are mostly Russian, are often stereotyped as having brought crime and prostitution while exploiting Israeli laws enabling anyone with a Jewish grandparent to immigrate.(Elisabeth Eaves, "Israel not the promised land for Russian sex slaves," Reuters, 23 August 1998)
Official Response and Action
While trafficked women are frequently arrested as illegal workers, the men who brought them to Israel -- many of whom are Israeli citizens -- are not. Justice Ministry spokeswoman Etty Eshed said the government would think about making legal changes to address trafficking in the "near future" but had no date or plan for doing so. (Elisabeth Eaves, "Israel not the promised land for Russian sex slaves," Reuters, 23 August 1998)
Police in Israel say they are powerless to stop the flow of trafficked women until the laws change. "They (trafficked women) are very much afraid to come to the police and complain, so the police really can't do anything," said spokeswoman Linda Menuhin. "The problem is there is no law against trafficking people, and no law against prostitution." Rachel Benziman, legal adviser to the Israel Women's Network, said there are a variety of crimes -- rape, abduction, battery, deceit and theft -- which the authorities rarely bother to prosecute for, even though they have the power to do so. "It's not a problem of finding the right section in the criminal code. It is more a problem of finding the women who will testify and finding the motivation. When it comes to drug dealing, the police don't wait for someone to come into their office and say they have found drugs. They look for it. We expect them to do the same thing for the trafficking of women -- but they don't," she said. (Elisabeth Eaves, "Israel not the promised land for Russian sex slaves," Reuters, 23 August 1998)
Policy and Law
Israel does not have a specific law against the sale of human beings. (Michael Specter, "Traffickers' New Cargo: Naive Slavic Women," New York Times, 11 January 1998)
There is no law related to bringing women from another country into Israel for prostitution. (CEDAW Report, 8 April 1997)
If trafficked and prostituted women are caught they are deported. Since 1994, not one woman has testified against a trafficker. (Betty Lahan, director of Neve Tirtsa Prison, Michael Specter, "Traffickers' New Cargo: Naive Slavic Women," New York Times, 11 January 1998)
One woman's story:
Lyubov, 17, arrived in Israel from a Russian coal mining city only to be sold into prostitution. Now she sits in a prison cell awaiting expulsion as an illegal worker. Six months ago, a man in Lyubov's hometown told the young woman he could get her a plane ticket, a visa and a job abroad. She entered Israel with a tour group and was met by a hotel owner who befriended her and gave her a job as a cleaner in exchange for a room. The hotel owner introduced her to friends, showed her around and taught her some Hebrew until one day he told her to get out of his car and into another. Then he drove away. "At first I didn't know I had been sold. Then my owner told me he had bought me for $9,000," Lyubov said in an interview in a prison office. Her new "owner," as she calls him, told her she would work as a call girl.
It was the beginning of a stint as an unpaid prostitute -- part of an international crime phenomenon which women's groups see as a modern slave trade. Lyubov's "owner" kept her and eight other women in two apartments. He never paid any of them but instead said they were indebted to him for their plane tickets and every expense incurred, from doctors' visits to haircuts. Transported to clients by drivers and often under guard, Lyubov had sex with an average of six men a day for about $75 an hour. All she could keep were tips. She worked round the clock, seven days a week, with no holidays except for Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. "You have to have very strong nerves to do this kind of work," she said.
Life in Russia was very difficult. "There were days when I had nothing to eat," Lyubov said. She weighed 50 kg (110 pounds) when she left Russia, and gained 20 kg (45 pounds) after arriving in Israel. She said circumstances had made it hard for her to quit (leave her "owner"). "I came into this circle and then it was very hard to get out. My papers were fake, I had no money, I had no acquaintances and I was in an enclosed place," she said. The nearest police station was across the road from the apartment where Lyubov was kept but she never went there, inhibited, like many others, by the double bind of fear of her owner and fear of deportation. "I kept hoping some day I would earn some money. But when they actually caught me, I was relieved," she said. (Elisabeth Eaves, "Israel not the promised land for Russian sex slaves," Reuters, 23 August 1998)
There are over 10,00 women in prostitution in Tel Aviv. (CEDAW Report, 8 April 1997)
Men pay for 25,000 acts of prostitution every day. There are 250,000 foreign male workers who help create a demand for prostituted women. Women are held in apartments, bars and brothels where they are bought by up to 15 men a day. They sleep in shifts, four to a bed. (Police officials, Michael Specter, "Traffickers' New Cargo: Naive Slavic Women," New York Times, 11 January 1998)
The Russian mafia has moved into Israel to profit from trafficking and prostitution. Police in Israel have been keeping around 30 organized key crime suspects under surveillance. (Kevin Connolly, "How Russia's mafia is taking over Israel's underworld," BBC, 3 April 1998)
£2.5 billion (US$4 billion) of organized crime money from the former Soviet Union has been invested in Israeli real estate, businesses and banks in the past seven years. Gregory Lerner, who was arrested in 1997 for defrauding four Russian banks of £70 million (US$106 million), was reputedly sent to Israel to head up one of the money laundering operations. One highly profitable area in which organized crime thrives is prostitution. Dozens of brothels and peepshows have sprung up in Tel Aviv and Haifa in the last few years. (Former police chief Asaf Hefetz, Kevin Connolly "How Russia's mafia is taking over Israel's underworld" BBC, (3 April 1998)
Israel's demand for prostituted women may be bolstered by three groups -- foreign workers, Orthodox Jews and Arabs. Many of Israel's nearly 200,000 legal and illegal foreign workers are young, unattached men likely to buy sex. (Elisabeth Eaves, "Israel not the promised land for Russian sex slaves", Reuters, 23 August 1998)
Amir, a Tel Aviv pimp, said a woman could cost up to $20,000, depending on her looks. "It's like a car. It depends how valuable she is," he said, standing on a street lined with flashing lights advertising brothels near Tel Aviv's old central bus station. Arabs and Orthodox Jews have "very strong taboos against sexual connections outside of marriage and therefore go to a place where they can do it more anonymously. It's a matter of supply and demand," he said. (Elisabeth Eaves, "Israel not the promised land for Russian sex slaves," Reuters, 23 August 1998)
Health and Well-being
In Israel, there is a significant correlation between prostitution and drug abuse. Of the 200 women prisoners in Neve-Tirza Women's Prison, 70% are drug-addicts (mainly to heroine, which is the most common drug in Israel);10% are in a process of getting treated. Of the 80% with drug addictions, over 60% were involved in prostitution in order to finance their addiction. (Neve Tirza prison's officials, CEDAW Report, 8 April 1997)
The Tropicana in Tel Aviv is one of the busiest brothels. The women are all Russian. There are 12 cubicles where 20 women work in shifts, 8 during the daytime, 12 at night. Buyers are Israeli soldiers, business executives, tourists, and foreign workers. The brothel owner said, "Israelis love Russian girls. They are blonde and good looking, and they are desperate. They are ready to do anything for money." (Michael Specter, "Traffickers' New Cargo: Naive Slavic Women," New York Times, 11 January 1998)
Policy and Law
Within the legal framework it is theoretically possible to criminally charge the clientele of the sex-industry under at least one section, namely section 210 of the Penal Law-1977, which states that approaching a minor under 16 or an adult woman with indecent insinuations is punishable by up to three months in prison. This section however, has never been enforced against clients of prostitutes. (CEDAW Report, 8 April 1997)
The current Israeli legal framework for dealing with prostitution is based upon the abolitionist approach. However, the current legal arrangement and its method of enforcement suffer from inconsistencies and lack of protocol for dealing with the reality of prostitution. (CEDAW Report, 8 April 1997)
Prostitution in itself is not, and has never been, a crime under Israeli law, and the woman who engages in prostitution is not considered a criminal. The legal system engages in selective prohibition, by criminalizing exploitive conducts that surround prostitution, so that both the exploitative and practical aspects of prostitution are criminalized. Engaging in prostitution as a client or sponsor is a criminal act, while prostitution itself is not. (CEDAW Report, 8 April 1997)
"Procurement," defined as living off the profits or taking all or some profits from a woman who engages in prostitution, and solicitation of a woman to engage in prostitution, are crimes according to sections 199-201 of the Penal Law-1977, punishable by 5 years in prison, and up to 7 years under aggravating circumstances. Such aggravated circumstances include the following: when the woman is a minor under 18 years old; when the woman is the perpetrator's daughter, wife, or when he is her custodian, teacher, or otherwise in charge of her; when the perpetrator accused of soliciting was armed during the act. Case law, however, had interpreted solicitation to mean proven engagement in prostitution, thus making it much more difficult to prosecute for solicitation. Under section 202 of the Penal Law, soliciting a woman to leave her home with the intention of engaging her in prostitution is punishable by 5 years imprisonment, and if the woman is a minor - by up to seven years. Soliciting a woman to leave the country for the same purpose is also punishable by seven years. Section 207 imposes mandatory imprisonment on perpetrators convicted under sections 199-202, with no possibility of a suspended sentence. This is a highly unusual provision in the context of the Israeli criminal law and indicates the gravity that the legislator had attributed to these crimes. (CEDAW Report, 8 April 1997)
Laws against procurement and soliciting are rarely enforced. Instead, the prostitutes themselves are often arrested, not for engaging in prostitution - since that is not a criminal offense, but for related practices such as the enticement of others to engage in indecent acts in public places, a felony punishable by three months in prison, according to section 209(a). Usually prostitutes are released after several hours, but sometimes they are charged under section 209(a), which was never intended to serve as a regulation of prostitution, or under section 216(a)(5) which prohibits "strolling." Another criminal offense directly applicable to women who engage in prostitution, is section 215(c) which states that being in a place for the purpose of engaging in prostitution, in circumstances which pose disturbance to neighbors or obstruction of traffic is punishable by up to one year in prison. (CEDAW Report, 8 April 1997)
There has been a proliferation of sex industry advertisements in daily newspapers. An ad-hoc public committee offered guidelines to publishers regarding these concerns. The significant consequences of this initiative were: 1) the cessations of advertisements that specifically mentioned or alluded to the age (under 18) of the women whose sex-services were being advertised. 2) The moderation of the overall tone of these ads and the pictures which accompany them. (CEDAW Report, 8 April 1997)
There is a growing market for child-pornography in Israel. It is not produced in Israel, but is imported and sold freely in response to growing demand. The use of child pornography is explicitly dealt with under the section 214 of the Penal Code, which prohibits the publication and presentation of obscene materials. (CEDAW Report, 8 April 1997)
Sex slavery rife in Israel:
News 24, March 24, 2005 "Thousands of foreign women have been smuggled into Israel and sold into prostitution, earning the criminal underworld millions of dollars a year, a parliamentary investigation has found. For the last four years, between 3,000 and 5,000 women have been sold as sex slaves for 8,000 to 10,000 dollars and forced to work up to 18 hours a day, said the head of the inquiry, Zehava Gal-On, of the left-wing opposition Yahad party. On average the women receive four dollars for every 120 dollars that clients pay their pimps for their services. "We began this inquiry to investigate the extent of this phenomenon and raise political awareness of their plight and the brutal nature of the trafficking of women in this time of globalisation," said Gal-On. "People must understand that sexual slavery is going on under our noses and must be obliterated," she said, praising tough laws against people trafficking and prostitution already in place. London-based rights group Amnesty International and the US State Department have also reported an alarming increase Jerusalem - Thousands of foreign women have been smuggled into Israel and sold into prostitution, earning the criminal underworld millions of dollars a year, a parliamentary investigation has found ... London-based rights group Amnesty International and the US state department have also reported an alarming increase in prostitution rackets in Israel."
Sex slavery rife in Israel- 24/03/2005 17:01 - (SA)
Jerusalem - Thousands of foreign women have been smuggled into Israel and sold into prostitution, earning the criminal underworld millions of dollars a year, a parliamentary investigation has found.
For the last four years, between 3,000 and 5,000 women have been sold as sex slaves for 8,000 to 10,000 dollars and forced to work up to 18 hours a day, said the head of the inquiry, Zehava Gal-On, of the left-wing opposition Yahad party.
On average the women receive four dollars for every 120 dollars that clients pay their pimps for their services.
"We began this inquiry to investigate the extent of this phenomenon and raise political awareness of their plight and the brutal nature of the trafficking of women in this time of globalisation," said Gal-On.
"People must understand that sexual slavery is going on under our noses and must be obliterated," she said, praising tough laws against people trafficking and prostitution already in place.
London-based rights group Amnesty International and the US State Department have also reported an alarming increase Jerusalem - Thousands of foreign women have been smuggled into Israel and sold into prostitution, earning the criminal underworld millions of dollars a year, a parliamentary investigation has found.
For the last four years, between 3 000 and 5 000 women have been sold as sex slaves for $8 000 to $10 000 and forced to work up to 18 hours a day, said the head of the inquiry, Zehava Gal-On, of the left-wing opposition Yahad party.
On average the women receive $4 for every $120 that clients pay their pimps for their services.
"We began this inquiry to investigate the extent of this phenomenon and raise political awareness of their plight and the brutal nature of the trafficking of women in this time of globalisation," said Gal-On.
"People must understand that sexual slavery is going on under our noses and must be obliterated," she said, praising tough laws against people trafficking and prostitution already in place.
London-based rights group Amnesty International and the US state department have also reported an alarming increase in prostitution rackets in Israel.
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Nov. 12, 2003 0:44 | Updated Nov. 12, 2003 22:06
Time to crack down on white slavery
- By ISAAC HERZOG
Here is a subject on which we can all be united: the fight against trafficking in women in Israel.
For a change, everyone from all walks of society, Right and Left, must demand we uproot this scourge, raise our moral standards and mercilessly punish everyone involved in this disgusting business. If it were possible, even hang them. I kid not.
A reminder: in the past few years Israel has been flooded with thousands of women who are smuggled into the country in order to engage in prostitution, as part of a vigorous trade.
According to current estimates, we are talking about the horrifying number of 3,000 women, mostly from the former Soviet Union.
In most cases, they are located and brought in under the auspices of international crime networks by seduction, fraud, coercion and threats. They are smuggled into Israel by various routes, the most common one being through the Egyptian border. Israeli police have been astonished to discover hundreds of women over the years marched through the Egyptian desert, by day and by night, in cold and in heat. A veritable exodus.
Women who complain of any kind of pain during the taxing march are drugged with medications and painkillers, and anyone who breaks down and collapses is abandoned on the roadside in the desert, as if she were a dying freight animal.
The police have shocking surveillance recordings of scenes you just cannot believe. This slave trade is taking place on the borders of the Promised Land in the 21st century.
A SPECIAL parliamentary investigative committee headed by MK Zehava Galon, who studied the phenomenon, initiated a series of amendments that substantially increased the punishment for anyone trafficking in women.
But it goes on as severely as ever. Just last week we learned about the shocking case of a Middle Ages-style isolation cell secured with three iron doors which housed two prostitutes smuggled into Israel from the Ukraine across the Egyptian border. They were sold to a Tel Aviv pimp, who jailed them for many months in a cage-like, moldy cell. The women served as sex slaves for 18 hours a day in order to "pay back" their debt to the pimp for the deal he made by their purchase. They hadn't seen daylight for months and lived in the foul cage under the watch of guards who claimed, of course, that they were only following orders.
The most amazing part of the story is that not a shred of information about those women leaked out for many weeks until one of them, in tears, begged one of her clients to let her use his cell phone to call her family in Ukraine. Only then was contact made with the outside world and made its way to the authorities. The police officer who found them after a complicated storming operation that looked more like the conquest of a fortified military position described a classic scene of slavery, of the kind we thought had passed out of the world in the 19th century.
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Sex slavery: The growing trade
March 8, 2001 Web posted at: 10:57 AM EST (1557 GMT)
In this story:
Trafficking in young girls
Kidnap fears in Britain
RELATED STORIES, SITES Downward pointing arrow
LONDON, England http://archives.cnn.com/WORLD/maps/england.london.jpg (CNN) -- The plight of women and children being sold into sex slavery around the world is being highlighted as part of International Women's Day.
An estimated two million women and children are sold into the sex trade every year, the U.S. research group Protection Project states.
Launching a report by the group, U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski described the sex trade as "a repugnant and despicable practice that has no place in the 21st century."
Women in society - http://community.cnn.com/cgi-bin/WebX?13@@.eeecec6
She said: "No human being anywhere in the world should be regarded as a commodity."
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton sponsored a law last year toughening the penalty for human trafficking.
Trafficking in young girls
The ground-breaking law offers protection and an opportunity for permanent residency for victims who testify against those who enslave them.
Calls for similar laws to be introduced in Europe are also being made to coincide with International Women's Day.
Up to 120,000 women are smuggled into western Europe, mainly from central and eastern Europe, and forced into prostitution.
A report by the Protection Project, based at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland, has documented the rising trends in the sex slave trade.
It says more than 15,000 women are trafficked into the United States every year, many of them young girls from Mexico.
The project also claims that Asian women are sold to brothels in North America for $16,000 each.
Almost 200,000 girls from Nepal, many of them under the age of 14, are working as sex slaves in India.
An estimated 10,000 women from the former Soviet Union have been forced into prostitution in Israel.
The Thai government reports that 60,000 Thai children have been sold into prostitution.
As many as 10,000 children aged between six and 14 are virtually enslaved in brothels in Sri Lanka.
Some 20,000 women and children from Burma have been forced into prostitution in Thailand.
The project also says that of 155 cases of forced prostitution brought before the courts in The Netherlands, only four resulted in convictions of the traffickers.
The Protection Project is compiling a database on laws on trafficking, forced prostitution, slavery and debt bondage in 190 independent states and 63 dependencies.
Kidnap fears in Britain
In Britain, details are surfacing of dozens of teenage girls in the care of social services who may have been kidnapped by organised gangs and forced to work as prostitutes abroad, mainly in Italy.
The girls in question are child asylum seekers from Africa, who enter the care of West Sussex social services after arriving at Gatwick Airport in the south of England.
A West Sussex council spokesman said: "It is true to say that a certain number of asylum seekers, minors, have gone missing from social services care. We believe they may have been taken by gangs abroad.
"We have always done as much as we can to prevent this happening, but we cannot force people to stay inside all the time.
"We are reducing the numbers who are going missing by working very closely with all the agencies, including the police. We are doing everything in our power to stop this."
Jewish Gangsters Raped, Killed Children As Young As 2 On Film
JEWISH CHILD PORN / SNUFF FILM RING DISCOVERED
Subject: Jew Kiddie Snuff Porn Date: Fri, Oct 13, 2000, 12:24 am Italian and Russian Police Brake Up Child Snuff Porn Ring Mon Oct 9 17:39:53 2000
According to the Talmudic En-cyclopedia: 'He who has carnal knowledge of the wife of a Gentile is not liable to the death penalty, for it is written: "thy fellow's wife" rather than the alien's wife; and even the precept that a man "shall cleave unto his wife" which is addressed to the Gentiles does not apply to a Jew, just there is no matrimony for a heathen; and al-though a married Gentile woman is forbidden to the Gentiles, in any case a Jew is exemp-ted.' This does not imply that sexual inter-course between a Jewish man and a Gentile woman is permitted - quite the contrary. But the main punishment is inflicted on the Gentile woman; she must be executed, even if she was raped by the Jew: 'If a Jew has coitus with a Gentile woman, whether she be a child of three or an adult, whether married or unmar-ried, and even if he is a minor aged only nine years and one day - because he had willful coitus with her, she must be killed, as is the case with a beast, because through her a Jew got into trouble. The Jew, however, must be flogged, and if he is a Kohen (member of the priestly tribe) he must receive double the number of lashes, because he has committed a double offense: a Kohen must not have inter-course with a prostitute, and all Gentile wo-men are presumed to be prostitutes.
Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion, Pluto Press, London 1994, page 87
Rome, Italy -- Italian and Russian police, working together, broke up a ring of Jewish gangsters who had been involved in the manufacture of child rape and snuff pornography.
Three Russian Jews and eight Italian Jews were arrested after police discovered they had been kidnapping non-Jewish children between the ages of two and five years old from Russian orphanges, raping the children, and then murdering them on film. Mostly non-Jewish customers, including 1700 nationwide, 600 in Italy, and and unknown number in the United States, paid as much as $20,000 per film to watch little children being raped and murdered.
Jewish officials in a major Italian news agency tried to cover the story up, but were circumvented by Italisn news reporters, who broadcasts scenes from the films live at prime time on Italisn television to more than 11 million Italian viewers. Jewish officials then fired the executives responsible, claiming they were spreading "blood libel."
Throughout history, various groups have accused sects of Jews of ritually murdering small children. One such account, that of Hugh of Lincoln, led to the expulsion of all Jews from Britain in the 13th Century. Such accounts have generally been discounted, but are so wide spread that Jewish organizations have developed a name for them -- "blood libel".
The American group the ADL was founded to defend a Jew, Leo Frank, accused of raping and murdering a five year old girl, Mary Fagan, in his Atlanta pencil factory in 1913. The ADL claims he was innocent. A mob lynched him after the governor commuted his death sentence to life in prison.
Though AP and Reuters both ran stories on the episode, US media conglomerates refused to carry the story on television news, again saying the story would prejudice Americans against Jews.
Jewish gangsters in Russia have become increasingly linked to traffic in "white slaves" and prostitutes through Israel, according to a recent report in the Jerusalem Post. Israel turns an official blind eye to forced prostitution, and does not punish Israeli citizens who choose to own "sex slaves", as long as the slaves are foreign and non-Jews.
London, Sunday, 01.10.2000
British link to 'snuff' videos
Jason Burke in London, Amelia Gentleman in Moscow, Philip Willan in Rome
Observer - Sunday October 1, 2000
Britain is a key link in the biggest ever international investigation into the production and supply of paedophile 'snuff' movies - in which children are murdered on film - an Observer investigation can reveal.
The key suspect in the inquiry, a Russian who was arrested last week in Moscow for distribution of thousands of sadistic child porn videos and pictures, was traced following the seizure of his products from British paedophiles.
Dmitri Vladimirovich Kuznetsov, a 30-year-old former car mechanic in Moscow, was identified after British Customs and police traced the origin of violent child porn videos found in the UK back to Russia.
Last week Italian police seized 3,000 of Kuznetsov's videos on their way to clients in Italy, sparking an international hunt for paedophiles who have bought his products. The Italian investigators say the material includes footage of children dying during abuse. Prosecutors in Naples are considering charging those who have bought the videos with complicity in murder. They say some may have specifically requested films of killings.
British authorities yesterday confirmed that scores of Kuznetsov's videos, produced in his small flat in Moscow's rundown Vykhino district, have been found in the UK. They are concerned that 'snuff' movies in which children are killed may have also been imported.
Around a dozen British men have already been arrested and charged with offences alleged to be connected to the Russian tapes. A second Russian child porn ring, which allegedly had a British distributor, was broken up earlier this year. The investigation into the importing of violent Russian child porn which led to the identification and subsequent imprisonment of Kuznetsov started about 15 months ago after Customs seized material coming into the country. Since then there have been dozens of other finds.
'We have seen some very, very nasty stuff involving sadistic abuse of very young children, but actual deaths on film takes it a whole step further. That is very worrying,' said one senior customs officer this weekend.
British paedophiles were paying between £50 and £100 for Kuznetsov's tapes, the officer said. Further fees were paid for access to a website that features pictures of extremely violent abuse.
Though two men arrested with Kuznetsov have also been imprisoned by Moscow authorities, only one of the three remains behind bars. Dmitri Ivanov was sentenced to 11 years for actually participating in the abuse that was being filmed. The others were released under an amnesty aimed at clearing Russia's overcrowded prisons.
When officers from the Moscow Criminal Investigation Department raided Kuznetsov's flat they found two boys in a makeshift studio. They seized a huge quantity of films and other pornographic material as well as lists of clients in Italy, Germany, America and Britain.
Last week Italian detectives moved in, following months of inquiries, and arrested eight people. The police searched more than 600 homes and say they now have evidence against about 500 people. Among the suspects were businessmen, public employees and a university student. Several of them were married, with children of their own. Hundreds of people are also under investigation in Germany.
The Russian videos, which had been ordered over the internet, were intercepted when they came into Italy by post, repackaged and then delivered by undercover police officers. They cost between £300 and £4,000, depending on what type of film was ordered.
Covert film of young children naked or undressing was known as a 'SNIPE' video. The most appalling category was code-named 'Necros Pedo' in which children were raped and tortured until they died.
Police in Russia and the UK believe that Kuznetsov and his associates have been in business for more than two years in which time they are believed to have recruited around 100 boys - aged between nine and 15 - to be filmed.
'Most of the children were rounded up from railway stations. A lot of them came from the suburbs, or surrounding regions and were from deprived, problem families,' said Kiril Mazurin, a police spokesman.
'Usually when children like this arrive in the capital, they've got no idea where to go and hang around in the station. It's very easy to entice this kind of teenager - with a promise of a warm bed or a trip to the cinema.'
Many were lured away from orphanages. 'Children are not locked in,' said Mazurin. 'Anyone can come along and promise them a meal at McDonalds. It doesn't take any more than that."
Some children were paid a commission to find other boys willing to be filmed, according to reports in the Russian press, for a fee of between 100 and 300 roubles (£2.50 - £7).
Kuznetsov had given up his job in 1998 to devote himself to the lucrative pornography industry. A self-taught computer expert, he was in the process of upgrading his equipment to allow him to e-mail videos directly to clients when police raided him.
Many customers repeatedly ordered videos from him. The Naples newspaper Il Mattino published a transcript of an alleged email exchange between a prospective client and the Russian vendors.
'Promise me you're not ripping me off,' says the Italian.
'Relax, I can assure you this one really dies,' the Russian responds.
'The last time I paid and I didn't get what I wanted.'
'What do you want?'
'To see them die.'
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Friday, May 19 2000 (14 Iyar 5760)
Amnesty: Israel failing to deal with white-slave trade
By Dan Izenberg and Heidi J. Gleit
JERUSALEM (May 19) - Israel has failed to take adequate measures against human rights abuses of women who have been brought here and forced to provide sexual services, Amnesty International charged.
"This is so," a special Amnesty report on the trafficking of women from the former Soviet Union said, "even though many of them have been subjected to human rights abuses such as enslavement or torture, including rape and other forms of sexual abuse, by traffickers, pimps, or others involved in Israel's sex industry."
Amnesty International also criticized Israel for not providing a procedure to grant asylum to women who have been smuggled into the country often on the basis of false promises of work having nothing to do with sex.
Fighting the trade in women and bringing foreign women here to work as prostitutes is a priority for the Israel Police, but it is a very difficult phenomenon to fight, police investigations head Cmdr. Yossi Sedbon said yesterday.
One of the main problems is that there is not a law against selling women, he explained, adding that he is aware of the initiatives to pass such a law and hopes they are successful.
Justice Minister Yossi Beilin told Amnesty International representatives yesterday that Deputy Attorney-General Yehudit Karp is preparing an amendment to the Penal Law which would address the trafficking phenomenon and provide immunity for trafficked women. He predicted that the legislation would be presented to the Knesset at its winter session.
According to Amnesty International, hundreds of women are brought to Israel from the former Soviet Union every year.
According to Amnesty International, Israel is bound by international law and by international covenants that it has signed to stamp out the sex trafficking.
Police are arresting suspects on related charges such as kidnapping, pimping, raping, and assaulting the women, Sedbon said.
The other major problem is that the women are scared to file police complaints and testify against the pimps, he said. Since most of them are in the country illegally, they are scared to approach police. Fear of reprisal by the pimps further paralyzes them. Police try to get around this both by promising to protect complainants and by initiating operations to collect evidence against and raid brothels, he said.
An additional complication is that prosecutors need the women who complain to testify in the court cases against the pimps, which can be months after the initial complaint is filed. Since the women are here illegally and there is a chance that the pimps will harm them if they are left to their own devices here, they have often ended up sitting in jail until the trial is completed.
Sedbon said that they now try to send the women home and bring them back here for the trial.
Sedbon declined to comment on the complaints filed against Afula police chief Ch.-Supt. Shlomo Marmelstein and Tel Aviv police chief Cmdr. Shlomo Aharonishky for not acting against the problem, saying he could not comment on specific cases.
Sedbon emphasized that the issue is a priority for police and that each police district's serious crimes division is dealing with the problem.
Statistics police released earlier this year show an increase in the number of cases opened against pimps: 279 in 1997; 370 in 1998; and 506 in 1999.
Sedbon also said that only a minority of the foreign women working here as prostitutes are kidnapped and forced into prostitution.
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Jews are allowed by their God to keep slaves. The modern day Israel takes advantage of this divine permission.
"Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly." (Leviticus 25:44-46)
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Factbook Table of
Contents CATW Homepage
Israel Sex Slavery Thrives
Jerusalem, ISRAEL NEWS AGENCY - May 31, 2006
They Say That The World's Oldest Profession is Prostitution
There are two basic instincts in the character of the normal individual; the will to live, and the will to propagate the species - sex. It is from the interplay of these instincts that prostitution took origin, and it is for this reason that this profession is the oldest in human experience, the first offspring, as it were, of savagery and of civilization.
From the gospel accounts, we know that Mary Magdalene or Virgin Mary was possessed by "seven demons" until Jesus drove them out. How was Mary able to travel with Jesus in Israel at a time when such opportunities were a rarity for women? The money had to come from somewhere. There were no Jewish fund raising organizations established back then. Sex for money was always an integral part of history.
The harlot and the pandar were familiar in ancient Rome despite laws related to sex. If, prior to the time of Augustus Caesar, the Romans had laws designed to control the "social evil", we have no knowledge of them, but there is nevertheless no lack of evidence to prove that it was only too well known among them long before that happy age or sex orgies, wine and accepted homosexuality.
Before the advent of Greek and Roman civilizations, there were no orgies: there were just groups of people wantonly having sex willy-nilly in a big pile or some other such unsophisticated clustering. Early and tribal cultures appear to have had some group sex rituals associated with fertility and spring, but these are not especially well-documented. It took right up until the Age of Empires and Alphabets for people to invent a word for it (orgia, in both Latin and Greek) and to twist the childlike fun of random group sex into a constrictive societal institution.
It really is the oldest profession. Ishtar, the famous goddess first of the earliest known civilization Sumer, then of Babylonia, was a prostitute. Her many other names over the centuries included Great Whore of Babylon, Heavenly Prostitute, and Mother of Harlots as well as Har and Hora, from which the words harlot and whore derive. She was said to call herself a "compassionate prostitute". Babylonian sculptures honoring Ishtar depict her as a sacred prostitute in a window, awaiting customers. For thousands of years, high priestesses dutifully performed ritual sexual couplings with Sumerian kings to grant them Ishtar's power.
Over 4,300 years ago, one of these prostitute - priestesses, Enheduana, wrote the oldest words by an author whose name is known today; archeologists have unearthed many clay tablets of her cuneiform poetry. The Babylonians emulated the Sumerian custom on a larger scale: prostitutes called ishtaritu inhabited the temples of Ishtar, offering themselves to any male worshipper who paid the required contribution. In fact, every Babylonian woman was expected to go to a temple and perform the rite with a stranger at least once in her life. There was no shame in such temple prostitution; on the contrary, it was a sacred means of attaining divine union between man and goddess. Indeed, in the epic of Gilgamesh (written around 2,000 BC) a Babylonian temple prostitute civilizes a wild man of the forest by sleeping with him. "The Birth of Venus" (1482?) by Sandro Botticelli
Aphrodite the Courtesan Aphrodite was not only the Greek goddess of love, but also the patron goddess of prostitutes. Dozens of temples were raised in various cities to Aphrodite the Courtesan, Aphrodite of Brothels, Aphrodite of Streetwalkers, etc., and the prostitute-priestesses within conducted worship in much the same way as the ishtaritu of Babylon. In fact, Aphrodite was based on Astarte, who was the Phoenician counterpart of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar. Even the hetairae, the famed high-class courtesans of Ancient Greece, assisted in public ceremonies devoted to the gods. At the conclusion of the Eleusinian Mysteries, Phryne would appear at the gateway of the temple and perform a slow striptease. She was also the piece de resistance at the festival of Poseidon and Aphrodite. According to historian William Sanger, Phryne "slowly disrobed herself in the presence of the crowd. She next advanced to the water-side, plunged into the waves, and offered sacrifice to [Poseidon]. Returning like a sea-nymph, drying her hair from which the water dripped over her exquisite limbs, she paused for a moment before the crowd, which shouted in a phrensy of enthusiasm as the fair priestess vanished into a cell in the temple." This performance, representing the myth of Aphrodite's birth from the sea, inspired a series of depictions by painters beginning with Phryne's own lover Appeles and culminating with Botticelli two millennia later.
The Romans and Greeks were obsessed with sex. When they weren't busy writing Illiads, waging war, or inventing architecture and indoor plumbing, they were engaging in sex almost non stop. Given their obsession with sex and sensuality, it's actually kind of amazing they got anything done. Although the Greeks and Romans were sex-crazed, their orgia were not what modern folk imagine when the word "orgy" is used, with a few exceptions. The original orgies were associated with the Greek cults of Orpheus and Dionysus, who was literally the god of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll (or as they were known then, sex, wine and ritual dance). A fertility icon, Dionysus was attended by mythical creatures known as satyrs and nymphs, who later lent their names to the Freudian complexes that house sex-crazed quacks.
Of course, in the final days of the empire, there were a few brave pioneers such as Caligula, whose legendary sexual excesses helped give the orgy its good name (or bad name, depending on your moral stance). Outside of the cradle of the classics, there were mostly inconsistent sexual practices that varied pretty substantially from region to region. Of these, India was another early pioneer in sexual adventurism, and ancient Indian temples contain numerous depictions of almost every conceivable sexual configuration, with participants coming in duets, trios, quartets and more.
The peculiar story of the Bacchanalian cult which was brought to Rome by foreigners about the second century B.C., and the comedies of Plautus and Terence, in which the pandar and the sex harlot are familiar characters. Cicero, Pro Coelio, says: "If there is anyone who holds the opinion that young men should be interdicted from intrigues with the women of the town, he is indeed austere!"
Ludi Florales Flora was thought by Renaissance thinkers to have been a human prostitute turned goddess. The Floralia was a Roman sex festival associated with prostitutes. The Floralia, first introduced about 238 B.C., had a powerful influence in giving impetus to the spread of prostitution. The account of the origin of this festival, given by Lactantius, while no credence is to be placed in it, is very interesting. "When Flora, through the practice of prostitution, had come into great wealth, she made the people her heir, and bequeathed a certain fund, the income of which was to be used to celebrate her birthday by the exhibition of the games they call the Floralia". In the same book, he describes the manner in which they were celebrated: "They were solemnized with every form of licentiousness. For in addition to the freedom of speech that pours forth every obscenity, the prostitutes, at the importunities of the rabble, strip off their clothing and act as mimes in full view of the crowd, and this they continue until full satiety comes to the shameless lookers-on, holding their attention with their wriggling buttocks."
Perhaps not much has changed in Rome. Italian sex porn star and prostitute Chicholina (who performed with live snakes in Israel) moved on to become a respected and elected M.P. But these women, as hundreds of thousands throughout history chose to become prostitutes. They chose money for sex. In many countries throughout the world today, prostitution is legal. Red light districts have been established under government control from Amsterdam to Bankok. These women were not pushed into prostitution in contrast to many women in Israel who have been forced to become sex slaves in Tel Aviv, Eilat and Haifa.
One person in Israel has taken up the challenge of confronting the sex slave trade in Israel. She does so at great risk. If you want to talk to Nomi Levenkron, be prepared to endanger her life. More than likely she'll be on the road when you call, pressing her cell phone to her ear as she speeds towards a women's lock-up in Haifa, or to a Knesset hearing in Jerusalem, or to the trial of a sex trafficker in Eilat.
She'll tell you she's happy to talk but is in a rush. Could you call again in a few hours? As legal director for the Migrant Worker's Hotline-an organization that battles the scourge of trafficking in women for prostitution-Nomi's workday often starts at 5 A.M.
She carries two cell phones on her at all times. And she talks fast. Her fluent English outpaces most native speakers. When she switches to Hebrew, she seems to forgo drawing breath. Nomi's days are spent crisscrossing the country, encouraging victims to take the stand against their traffickers, lobbying the authorities to take more action, and suing dangerous men for compensation on behalf of the women they brutalized. Once, after she filed suit in the case of a young Moldovan who had passed through the hands of six violent sex traffickers, friends came to Nomi's home to say goodbye, assuming it was the last time they would see her.
During her first six months on the job, Nomi worked full time without salary. She admits it's an addiction. "You don't really choose this kind of work," she says. "It's like heroin." Perhaps only an addict could spend 18 hours a day pursuing brutal criminals through the courts, have government officials call her a traitor for exposing Israel's dark side, and still not be discouraged when thousands more women are sold into sex slavery in her country every year. When she finally pulls up to the Hotline's offices in Downtown Tel Aviv, it's already ten at night. Nomi releases her seatbelt buckle and the belt slides up across her bulging belly. She is five months pregnant.
One of Tel Aviv's red light district is only a short walk from Nomi's office on Rehov Ha Hashmal. In all the Tel Aviv area has three red light areas - the old central bus station, the office skycraper section of Ramat Gan and the beaches of nearby Tel Baruch.
Most of the brothel-lined streets by the old central bus station are filthy, the buildings run-down. Trails of red arrows painted on the walls lead customers to sex "health clubs" and "massage parlors," all marked out by twinkling strips of colored lights that flash their patterns like cuttlefish enticing their prey. The billboard for "5 Star Peep Show" on Neve Sha'anan street features the silhouette of a naked woman balanced precariously on the end of a dollar sign. She sits astride the bottom curve of the "S," straddling its final phallus-shaped curl.
The Israel sex silhouettes are everywhere. On Rehov Fin-better known as "Rehov Pin" or "Penis" -a reclining nude beckons clients into "Club Viagra." On Rehov Yesod Ha Ma'ale the floating nude in one "Health Club" window tilts her head back as though in the throes of ecstasy, her feet pointed in the direction of a neighboring falafel stand. The real women don't seem quite so eager. Through open doorways one can spot them glumly applying make-up or styling their hair.
Sometimes these Israel sex prostitutes can be seen in brothel windows, chatting to each other and looking out onto the street as they smoke a cigarette. Most of the windows have bars on them. "In the majority of the brothels in Tel Aviv," says Meir Cohen, Head of Investigations for the Israeli National Police, "there is no question that most of the women there are trafficked."
The vast majority of women trafficked to Israel for sex come from Romania and the countries of the former Soviet Union. Seduced by agents of organized crime, they agree to be smuggled into Israel, hoping to make good money. The women are usually young girls, like "Anna" (her real name has been suppressed) a 23-year-old Romanian who testified about her experience to an Israeli court in 2002.
Anna says that in 2001 she was approached in her hometown by an Israel girl named Shula, who promised to get her work caring for the elderly in Tel Aviv. Shula booked Anna on a plane leaving from Bucharest, but Anna had no idea where it would land. When it touched down in Cairo, she thought she was in Israel. Collected by a liaison, she and a group of other women were driven across the desert in an open car, escorted by masked Bedouin armed with automatic weapons.
At two in the morning, they left the cars and walked for several hours, then crawled on their stomachs under a chain-link fence. Often, it is the Bedouin who are the first to tell victims of sex trafficking they will be working as prostitutes, as justification for sexually assaulting them.
"As early as Egypt I found out that I was going to engage in prostitution in Eilat," one woman told the Hotline. "I tried to run away but a Bedouin got hold of me and beat me. In the evening, four Bedouin raped me, one after the other....I was bleeding and I couldn't walk, it hurt me so much between my legs....I wanted to die." Since Anna was "lucky" enough not to be raped in transit, she still had no idea what awaited her. After crossing the border she was picked up by a man identified in court records as George Ben-Abraham Yosef, who drove her to Tel Aviv.
There, Yosef took Anna to a hotel, and ordered her to strip in front of a roomful of men. The ordeal is known as an "auction." Like traders in a cattle market, the traffickers inspect the "goods" and bid for the women they want to buy. "[The woman] is made to stand naked in the middle of a room," a female trafficker told Maariv. "[The traffickers] touch her breast, her ass....They check her tongue, her teeth, to see if she's healthy. They touch her private parts....They tell her, 'walk forward, backwards, strike poses like a model, wiggle it honey, bend over. Lower. Let's see what you're worth.'" Traffickers are not necessarily picky about the venue of an auction. In one case a woman was stripped, inspected, and sold for $6,000 in the men's room of a McDonald's.
When the Hotline first contacted Nomi five years ago to ask for her help, trafficking in women was not even a crime under Israeli law. Nomi, then in law school, wasn't interested. She had studied criminology and was more intrigued by criminals than victims. But she had one skill that was crucial to the Hotline-she spoke Romanian. "Although I had a very hard childhood [in Romania], I'm very grateful for it now," says Nomi. Without Romanian, she would never have gotten involved.
The Hotline convinced her to volunteer for just a few hours, speaking to detained women in prison. What Nomi heard from them-the brutality they suffered from both criminals and police-shocked her into a new consciousness: "I started to say to myself, 'something is really wrong with this country on this issue.'" Two hours of volunteering a week became two hours a day, then 18 hours a day, until finally Nomi was getting only four hours of sleep. When she slept, she dreamt about work. The plight of the Moldovan sold to six different traffickers proved a watershed for Nomi. The woman wanted to testify but the police wouldn't listen. At the time, women who had been trafficked weren't considered victims.
"A prostitute was considered as a partner in crime," says Meir Cohen, the police investigator. Instead of testifying, victims were simply arrested and deported. Police were instructed not to intervene in brothels. The authorities preferred to use pimps as intelligence sources for other underworld investigations. The police in Beersheba told Nomi that her client was lying, that it wasn't important. So she sued the traffickers in civil court. She sued the police for not investigating. She even sued the ministry of interior for not issuing the woman a visa.
Suddenly, the police in Israel began to pay attention. More than 50 men were arrested almost immediately. "It was funny," says Nomi. "There were almost no men left in Beersheba." In May of 2000, Amnesty International had published an embarrassing report that condemned Israel for its cavalier attitude towards sex slavery. The resulting public clamor forced the Knesset to make trafficking in women an explicit crime with a maximum penalty of 16 years in prison.
Enforcing the new law was another matter. "No one wanted to deal with the problem," says Member of Knesset Marina Solodkin, who sits on the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee on Female Trafficking. "It was easier to just pretend that these women were new immigrants from the FSU and were not being trafficked into Israel."
But efforts by Nomi and other activists to publicize the issue finally paid off when, in 2001, the U.S. State Department placed Israel on a "blacklist," among countries that were failing to combat trafficking in women. The State Department's report was not simply a stain on Israel's reputation. United States law forbids the government from providing non-humanitarian aid to countries put on the blacklist. Washington had jerked back the economic reins. The Israeli government was forced to do a complete about-face. A national police unit was established to investigate the sex trade. And officials insist their entire approach has changed. "Today, one of the central elements of the war against organized crime is trafficking in women," says Cohen.
The challenge is daunting. Demand for prostitution in Israel is enormous, with an estimated one million visits to sex brothels every month. Human rights organizations estimate that 3,000 women are brought into the country as sex slaves every year. The women come primarily from Russia, Moldova, and the Ukraine, where the collapse of social safety nets in post-communist economies has created a ready supply of destitute women. In a Hotline survey of trafficked women conducted at Neve Tirza women's prison, one third said that they, like Anna, had no idea they would be engaging in prostitution when they came to Israel. Others knew they would be prostitutes, but were promised good conditions by the traffickers. They were told they would have to take only a limited number of customers each day and that they would earn a thousand dollars a month (a massive sum in most Eastern European countries).
Eventually, the traffickers said, they would be able to leave the brothels. In the parlor, laughter is forbidden. Girls must always smile and sit straight. "I would sit there wearing thin pantyhose and freezing in the air conditioning," "Natasha," a Russian victim of trafficking told the Hotline. "Laughing was not allowed because the client might think he was being made fun of and leave."
When Anna was first taken to a sex brothel, she didn't know what it was. Yosef had put her in the hands of a man identified in court records as Yuri Ben-Michael Gur. "Yuri told me that he had bought me for a lot of money and I had to do what he said-to do prostitution," Anna testified. "That's how I realized that I had been sold like an animal." Anna was given tight, see-through clothes and told to put them on. Then she was ordered into a room with a man identified in court records as Menasha Ben-Avraham Faraj. Another girl had already told Anna that this was the man who visited the brothel whenever a new girl arrived.
As the other men stood outside and laughed, Faraj raped and performed oral sex on her. The "right" to have sex, including by force and without a condom, with an acquired woman, is taken for granted by most traffickers. After her horrific initiation, Anna was forced to take clients whenever they selected her.
Customers paid 150 shekels (40 USD), which Anna had to give to Gur's underlings. For each client they would give her back only 20 shekels, with which she had to pay for food and contraceptives. In the end she was always left with nothing. According to other women interviewed by the Hotline, brothel owners made them work seven days a week and an average of 13 hours a day. They had to work during their periods, using diaphragms to prevent blood from leaking.
"The meetings with the clients were short-just 15 minutes," according to Natasha. After the client finished, she would rush to the tepid showers, then back down to the freezing lobby. The customers who frequent these brothels are regular Israelis. Soldiers in uniform get discounts. Orthodox Jews stuff their skullcaps into their pockets when they enter, then replace them when they leave.
If a customer is dissatisfied, the girl is beaten. But as one 18-year-old victim told Hotline volunteers, "they beat you so as not to leave any marks, because clients don't like to see a woman with bruises."
If a woman gets ill or pregnant, she is taken to a veterinarian or a back-alley abortionist. About half the women interviewed by Hotline volunteers said they had been incarcerated in locked brothels. "Try and escape," one of Gur's employees told Anna, "and I'll crush your head in the door."
In one notorious case, two women were tied up in a cage on Tel Aviv's Rehov Pin and forced to provide sexual services. But even if the doors aren't locked, the women are always prisoners. Their traffickers confiscate their passports and threaten their loved ones. "The Russian mob knows exactly how to get to their families," says Nomi. "It is enough for them to say to the prostitutes, 'if you don't want to see your grandmother's house burned down or your 12-year old sister taken as a prostitute, you better do what we tell you.'"
At a conference on prostitution in August 2002, Israel Police Major General Moshe Mizrahi stepped to the podium and stated the obvious: "Trafficking in women here is run by organized crime." Though his announcement was no revelation, Mizrahi's willingness to make it was unusual. For years, Israeli officials have consistently denied or downplayed the existence of organized crime groups within Israel's borders. But faced with a multi-billion-dollar sex-slaving trade and its serious political implications, the elephant in the room has become too dangerous to ignore.
According to a report by Nomi and her staff, trafficking in Israel is made possible by "an international network of criminal organizations, most of whose members are from the countries of the former Soviet Union." Almost 80 percent of the women Nomi interviewed said their traffickers were Israelis whose origins are in Russia or other FSU countries. Their language skills and local connections give such traffickers a professional advantage.
"The Russians do quality work in crime....That's Russian education for you," says Police Superintendent and Spokesperson Gil Kleiman. Kleiman believes the trafficking networks are so successful because they are made up of individuals who grew up and served in prison together. Their connections and experience allow them to coordinate the complex arrangement of recruiters, bribes, intermediaries, and buyers that an international smuggling operation requires.
"It's always a 'Sasha,'" says Nomi. "One 'Sasha' recruits them in Moldova, another 'Sasha' is waiting for them in Egypt, another meets them when they arrive in Israel....it's organized perfectly." Once the women get to the brothels, traffickers use intimidation and violence to keep them enslaved, and to ensure that those who escape do not testify.
One former prostitute in Israel recounted how her trafficker drove her to a beach and threatened to drown her if she caused any trouble. When Anna refused to work and stayed in her room to pray, her pimp beat her with her own bible, screaming "this is not a church."
Traffickers prefer not to murder their prostitutes, since killing them would mean a loss of "merchandise." But sometimes examples are made of woman who break "house rules." In June 2002, police found the body of a woman dressed in revealing clothes, who had been strangled and dumped in the street of Eilat's red light district. In October of that year, 42-year-old prostitute Svetlana Lukatzky was bound, beaten, and stabbed to death. Trafficked woman also find themselves the victims of turf battles between organized crime groups. To assert dominance, traffickers will abduct women from their competitors, as in the case of one call girl who was ordered to a customer's hotel room only to be thrown in the trunk of a car and driven to her new owner.
In other cases, brothels have been firebombed as part of gangland feuds, leaving women burned and maimed. Fear and corruption outside the brothel combine to keep victims of trafficking enslaved. "People are scared," says Nomi. "When we try to convince them to go to the police to complain about the brothels operating in their neighborhood, they say, 'What are you joking? The traffickers will kill me.' There is a lot of fear in Israel of the Russian mob." If citizens do screw up the courage to complain to the police, they are quite likely to be met with indifference. "In Tel Aviv [the police] understand what is going on," says Nomi. But in most places "it's a different story. They couldn't care less and they don't see [trafficking] as a serious crime....they think these women really enjoy what they're doing."
Nomi acknowledges that the police today do listen much more. "In the beginning we had to sue for every victim. It was hard. But after two or three cases, they learned-don't mess with them." Nomi says enforcement has been improving since the state department's report. But she blames the police for creating the crisis by ignoring trafficking in the nineties. For her, the new efforts are far too little and much too late.
Even in Tel Aviv, Meir Cohen admits, most brothels operate freely. He says the law does not allow police to shut them down without proof that the women have been trafficked and kept there against their will. Since most women are too terrified to complain, the system favors the traffickers. But fear of reprisals is not the only reason prostitutes do not go to the police.
According to a Hotline survey, 40 percent of the ex-prostitutes interviewed said policemen were clients at their brothels. And some reported seeing money change hands between pimps and police officers. In one case, a woman said the police tipped her pimp off about an impending raid. And in another a woman claimed the police dragged an escaped prostitute back to their brothel. Police officials angrily dismiss such claims. "These allegations are bullshit!" fumes Police Superintendent Gil Kleiman.
But they are not without proven precedent. In one noted case, a police officer named Oskar Siss was not only a customer but cooperated with traffickers to buy and sell women and coerce them into prostitution. "Without a doubt, there exists collaboration between the police and the pimps," says MK Solodkin. Though seeking the help of the police might seem risky to many women trapped in prostitution, their only other hope for freedom- buying it back-is a chimera. When a woman is trafficked to Israel, she is charged both for the cost of being smuggled and, paradoxically, for the price of being acquired. But while the traffickers make back the purchase price on a woman they buy in a matter of weeks through the money clients pay for her services, the woman herself is paid almost nothing. And her debt is compounded both by exponential rates of interest and numerous fines for invented "infractions," from refusing a client to chewing gum. The debt, of course, is never meant to end.
Being sold to another trafficker generates a new debt, and if a woman ever comes close to repaying it she is sold once again. "They are traded and sold from one trafficker to another like a piece of merchandise," says Cohen. And so the victim remains in bondage.
Anna was lucky. Shortly after Yosef picked her up, when she still thought she was being taken to her job as an elder-care worker, they stopped at Ben-Gurion airport on the way to Tel Aviv. Yosef briefly left her alone in the car to run an errand. As she sat in the passenger seat smoking a cigarette, a security guard approached her and asked her to move the car. "She spoke no Hebrew at all," says Nomi. "So she said to him in Romanian, 'Leave me alone.' And he replied in Romanian so they started talking. He made her take his cell phone number because he thought something was wrong. She said that everything was okay." After three weeks in the brothel, Anna happened to get a Romanian client. She asked him where exactly she was, then sneaked a call to the security guard on one of the employees' unattended cell phones. The security guard received the message and went to see her, posing as a customer. He then went straight to Tel Aviv's main police station and insisted on seeing the head of the vice unit.
Within 48 hours, the police stormed the brothel and arrested Yosef and Gur. Most victims of sex slave trafficking don't get the chance to orchestrate a police raid from within a brothel. A few pluck up the courage to flee (Nomi notes that most of those who do come to the Hotline, not the police). Others are arrested in chance raids. Either way, the women are detained as illegal immigrants and scheduled for deportation. Nomi is a regular at the detention centers, informing the women of their rights and urging them to testify against the men who trafficked them.
Convincing a former prostitute to take the stand after all she's experienced is a tough sell. But "big court cases" aren't always so crucial. "If you told her a joke and made her smile, that's enough for me," says Nomi. "Just make those women laugh. It's just as important." Those who do decide to testify are put up by the police in unguarded hostels. Galit Saporta, who works with the Hotline, regularly takes a team of volunteers to one such hostel in Tel Aviv (to ensure the women's safety, Nomi and Galit insisted its location not be published). "There are approximately 40 women staying in the hotel waiting to testify," says Galit, who despite being eight months pregnant still visits the hostel each week. She makes sure the women are aware of their rights and are receiving the medical care and 150 shekels a week in pocket money (spent entirely on cigarettes) they are entitled to.
Galit's visits have another, unspoken purpose. Women in line to testify against traffickers have a habit of "disappearing" from the hostels. If Galit can account for all the girls she knows are among the hostel's guests, she can ensure they're safe. Still, women can wait up to a year to testify, giving the traffickers plenty of time to find out where they're staying. One day in the hostel, Anna's roommate handed her a cell phone. On the other end was a man who spoke Romanian. He said Gur and Yosef had paid him to hurt her family. If she didn't withdraw the complaint, he'd set her parents on fire.
In April 2002, Anna took the stand and testified against Gur, Yosef, and Faraj. Gur and Yosef were both found guilty of trafficking in women and were each sentenced to eight years in prison. Faraj received a two-and-a-half year term for rape.
The convictions are one more sign that Nomi's hard work is paying off. Since the beginning of 2002, Tel Aviv police have busted five major prostitution networks, culminating in the arrest and conviction of Mark Gaman, who police believe is the country's leading sex racketeer. Gaman - the owner of several massage parlors and gambling clubs - survived a car bombing in 1996 that left numerous shrapnel scars on his body.
Those distinctive mob markings allowed many of his victims to identify him to the police. Gaman was convicted and sentenced to ten years hard labor. Whenever they lecture, the prosecutors say 'look at Mark Gaman,'" says Nomi. She is standing by the bulletin board in her little office on the Hotline's floor, staring at a picture of the victim with whom she grew closest. She was forty years old with a child waiting back home and the main witness against Gaman. Six months after the trial she committed suicide. "Very few people know about it," says Nomi.
Other stories have happier endings. Nomi often gets invited to weddings of former sex workers who married Israelis. She points to a picture of another woman on the bulletin board. "The one in white is already a mother," says Nomi. "She was told by a gynecologist that she would never be able to have a child. But now she has a son." Further along is a small wedding photo, a happy couple. The woman is Anna, smiling in her wedding gown. After testifying, she and the security guard who rescued her fell in love. "It was worth everything just to meet him," she told Nomi. "Divine intervention, of course," Nomi comments dryly. Nomi and her boyfriend recently got married themselves. But when people say "Mazel Tov" on hearing the news, she waves off their congratulations. "Ach," says Nomi. "We only did it so that my parents wouldn't say they had a prostitute in the family."
Some women, who are not forced into slavery, enjoy being in the sex trade. Many are young students who work at "Peep Shows" in Israel. They do not want nor do they perfrom sexual intercourse, rather they perform a strip tease followed by hand jobs. One girl stated: "I have nothing to fear, no diseases, good money and sometimes I actually get as excited as the client does."
And the Israel government, as many others for thousands of years, encourages the use of sex for national security.
Mossad Agent Cindy, the Mata Hari who seduced Mordechai Vanunu and was drugged, kidnapped, smuggled back to Israel and jailed for espionage. The Mossad, Israel's feared secret service, whose mission was to bring him back to Israel from Europe. Their honeytrap was Cheryl Hanin, codenamed Cindy, who then was an attractive, apparently open and, to Vanunu at least, very friendly 26-year-old. Gordon Thomas, author of Gideon's Spies, the Secret History of Mossad, wrote: "She was sent on practice missions, breaking into an occupied hotel room, stealing documents from an office. "She was roused from her bed in the dead of night and dispatched on more exercises: picking up a tourist in a nightclub, then disengaging herself outside his hotel.
Every move she made was observed by her tutors." After her training, Hanin joined the Mossad unit that worked with Israeli embassies, where she apparently posed as the wife or girlfriend of other agents. Her final mission began when she engineered a meeting with Vanunu in Leicester Square and suggested a coffee, saying she was a beautician on holiday. The next day they met in the Tate Gallery and began to see more of each other. Peter Hounam, the Sunday Times journalist who had debriefed Vanunu, warned him that she could be a Mossad agent, but Vanunu insisted: "She is just a tourist who is critical of Israel. I think you would like her." There were plans for Vanunu to bring his new girlfriend to Hounam's house but he cancelled because he "going out of the city". "Going out of the city" meant Vanunu had fallen for the Mossad trap - Cindy had lured him into going to Rome, where it would be easier to stage a kidnapping. Vanunu was then tried secretly on an espionage charge and began his 18-year sentence, much of which was spent in solitary confinement. Hanin went to Israel in triumph but when the Sunday Times discovered her living quietly in the northern Israeli town of Netanya in 1988, she left for her native United States.
Since then, Israel's largest circulating newspaper, Yedhiot Arhronot, says she and her family have been living a prosperous life. The newspaper reported that she had "a red Cutlass convertible" and estimated that her house in Florida is worth more than R3-million. She and her husband refuse to talk about her past. "For me this is a black story and I just want to erase it and forget it," Yedhiot quotes Hanin telling a friend in Israel.
But unlike "Cindy", many prostitutes are forced to perform sexual acts in Israel. Between 3,000 and 5,000 women have been smuggled into Israel over the past four years in this burgeoning, illegal sex industry, according to an Israel parliamentary committee report issued last March.
Zehava Galon, who heads the Committee Against Trade in Women, said the four-year inquiry showed how women are smuggled across the Egyptian border into Israel and "along the way, raped, beaten and then sold in public auctions."
Most of the women are from the former Soviet Union, she said. Galon, from the opposition Yahad Party, presented the report on Wednesday to the speaker of the parliament, Reuven Rivlin. The panel faulted judges for light sentences, sometimes only community service, for men running the prostitution rings. The report called for minimum jail terms of 16 years instead. The report said women are sold to pimps for as much as $10,000 each, work 14-18 hours a day, charge about $30 a client but receive only a small fraction of the money for themselves.
Galon said the biggest challenge in addressing the plight of foreign sex slavery in Israel was to change the attitudes of the public, and especially the police. When the committee met with the law enforcement agencies, she said, "the prevailing attitude was to treat the women as illegal residents." Since then the police have slowly begun to see the women as victims of crime, she said.
Israel is not unique in its apparent inability to protect women who have been trafficked for the purpose of prostitution. The AI report mirrors situations in many countries worldwide. As the sex trade grows at an alarming rate, governments are finding that they are unable to address the situation.
According to the UN Development Fund for Women, trafficking in women for prostitution is one of the fastest-growing organised criminal activities in the world, and follows, in frequency, only the trade in narcotics and weapons. The sex trade brings in $7-12 billion annually.
The United States State Department has estimated that over one million women are trafficked every year, primarily from economically unstable nations. Many women are abducted, but others are lured by offers of good working conditions and high salaries in the sex industry, or by false offers of employment entirely unrelated to prostitution. Travel documents are confiscated so as to ensure they are unable to escape. The women frequently endure torture and imprisonment. Psychological trauma, disease and denial of health services are commonplace.
The UN has suggested that there is police complicity with traffickers in many nations, so women who report crimes are often returned to their abusers. Modern technology allows for captors to trace victims who flee, as some organised crime rings scan and electronically distribute photos of women who 'belong' to their syndicates.
Other countries have begun to take innovative steps in efforts to eliminate sex trafficking of women, and to implement protective programmes for those who have become victims of the sex trade. Italy has recently established a witness protection programme to help trafficked women denounce their exploiters, and has increased accessibility of work permits which would allow women to legally stay in the country. India has begun to repatriate individuals from Bangladesh who have been trafficked from the country. In Nepal, a programme assisted by the International Labour Organisation has former victims of the sex trade monitoring border crossings, watching for signs of trafficking.
The United States Senate has recently passed a bill which proposes to increase penalties to traffickers, and give immigration relief for up to three years to allow sex victims to stay in the country and bring charges against their abusers. A conference in Istanbul last year on trafficking of women concluded that international actions are needed to protect and repatriate or resettle victims. The recommendations made by AI to Israel include the need to review government procedures concerning trafficking, and to enhance existing legislation to punish traffickers and abusers.
Perhaps most importantly, the country is advised to take action to protect women who have been sex victims of these human rights violations, and to avoid exacerbation of trauma through detention and ill protection. If all nations were to review and ensure compliance with such recommendations, women everywhere could begin to hope for an end to the horror of the sex trade.
With Hasdai Westbrook and Victoria Blint
ISRAEL NEWS AGENCY http://www.israelnewsagency.com