Monday, February 20, 2012

The Oldest Profession... Really?

Those of you who have been reading our blog this past year know that we try to be as upbeat and positive as possible about life here in Israel. We take this stand mostly because there are so  many false reports, twisted interpretations and just plain lies about the Land. We have not buried our heads in the sand and we do not deny that there are negatives to Israel. To know these things exist though is not to cast doubt on G-d, who is the giver of all good things, but to realize that we are all in the process of tikun olam.... redemption. We are responsible each for our part in that redemption. It is not the time to throw our hands up in defeat or become weary in well doing. It is the time to fight the good fight. Today, we are presenting a very difficult situation... and a possible solution. It is in the solution that we are finding our 'good report'.

Warning: we have never shown a side of Israel that is this dark. We ask that you not turn your hearts away because it is too hard to handle but that you, in prayer, help seek the solution.

Anti-Prostitution Bill
by Mati Shoshoni (from The Jerusalem Institute of Justice)

On Wednesday, February 15, the Israeli Knesset voted in favor of a law making the act of purchasing prostitution illegal. This vote was the first of three in the Knesset needed to officially approve the law. The law sets the criminal responsibility on the client, thus attempting to eliminate the demand, rather than deal with the supply end of the trade. The model presented to the Israeli Knesset is one already successfully implemented in four countries including Sweden, who was the first to pass such a law in 1999.
The act of prostitution is currently legal in Israel. It is estimated that the industry generates over 2.4 billion NIS annually, most of which goes directly into the pockets of organized crime syndicates. There are between ten to fifteen thousand prostitutes, who receive more than one million clients per month.
The women (95% are female) are regularly exposed to extreme violence, repeated rape, assault, emotional and physical torture, STD's, and post-traumatic syndrome at higher rates than soldiers returning from combat. The mortality rate of women in the sex trade is FORTY TIMES HIGHER than that of average women. The “profession” of prostitution leaves those who partake in it emotionally, physically, and spiritually depleted and destroyed.
In the weeks leading up to this Wednesday's vote the topic of prostitution became a hot topic, as articles in newspapers, blogs, and TV news shows debated the merit of the proposed law. Some of the liberal secular media has come out in support of legalized prostitution.
The Jerusalem Institute of Justice (with whom I work) has been instrumental in passing this law. ... In the following weeks a Knesset committee will be working on the final content of the law. There are two obstacles which could possibly prevent it from passing in the two upcoming votes: enforcement and financing.
If passed, this law will be a quantum leap in ethical legislation in Israel. Public consensus on this matter currently leans in favor of prostitution. We have received numerous complaints from people who are opposed to this law, but believe that with sufficient public debate, public opinion can be swayed. Please pray with us for this law to pass. We are praying to see the promise made in Isaiah 1:26-27 fulfilled; for justice and righteousness to be restored in Israel, from the top down.
Here are some statistics published in the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot February 15, 2012:
  • Between 10,000 – 20,000 men and women work with prostitution in Israel
  • Approximately 1 million “customers” visit houses of prostitution every week
  • 1/3 of all prostitutes started between the ages of 12 and 14
  • 55% of prostitutes were sexually abused as children
  • Over 75% of prostitutes are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol
  • Approximately 60% have been raped or sexually attacked during their work
  • 46% – 59% were raped over 5 times
  • Approximately 68% of all prostitutes suffer from post-traumatic syndrome


For more information on The Jerusalem Institute of Justice go to their website
Be sure to check them out on Facebook also.

Zona--Project NOA- with subtitles from Project NOA on Vimeo.

Ending the Scourge of Prostitution

Israel Approves Bill

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