Prostitutes Demonstrate in Jerusalem, Yes Prostitution is Legal in Israel

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Violence against prostitutes Protested
On Friday May 29 Prostitutes marched in Jerusalem to and a number of other cities in Israel to denounce sexual assault on women because of their clothes, according to the report published by the newspaper “Yediot Aharonot”
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The march arrived downtown Jerusalem on Friday afternoon more than 600 prostitutes took part, demanding an end to sexual violence against women and lifted placards condemning discrimination against women and held signs “I do not care what I do not care about you? .. Women must wear whatever they want.
Prostitution in Israel is legal, but organized prostitution in the form of brothels and pimping is prohibited.

Prostitution has existed in the lands now referred to as Israel since ancient times. Prostitution was legalised in Israel in 1949 under the Prostitution and Abomination Act, although homosexual prostitution was not legalised till 1954. However in 1962 indoor prostitution but not street prostitution was prohibited and is controlled by the Israeli Criminal Law 1966, Sections 199-202. However indoor prostitution has continued to thrive. (Amir 2004) It was not perceived as a problem till the 1970s, (Cnaan 1982) and prostitution policy has been described as ‘benign neglect’. (Amir 2004) A 1975 inquiry (Ben-Eato) recommended legalisation but this was not implemented. (Cnaan 1982)
In the 1990s, as in other countries, trafficking in women became a political issue in women’s movements in Israel, who engaged in political lobbying for legislative action. In 2003, Israel passed a law that would allow the state to confiscate the profits of traffickers, but watchdog groups claim it is rarely enforced. In 2007 a ban on advertising was debated. In December 2009, a bill outlawing purchase of sexual services was introduced into the Israeli parliament. In February 2012 another draft bill received cabinet approval.
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The sex trade in Israel generates up to $900 million in revenue a year.

Israel is a country of immigrants, including a large number of Russians. Immigrant women have included prostitutes, while others turned to prostitution due to economic hardship in their new land. Prostitution in Israel has been dominated by immigrants from the former Soviet Union since the mass immigration in the 1990s. A study published in 2005 found 1,000 Russian prostitutes working in Israel, mostly in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. From 1991 to 1994 the number of “massage parlors” run by Russian immigrants rose from 14 to 111.
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According to the findings released in March 2005 by a Parliamentary Inquiry Committee, between 3,000 and 5,000 women had been smuggled into Israel and sold into prostitution in the previous four years. Most of the prostitutes came from Ukraine, Moldova, Uzbekistan, China and Russia, and many were smuggled through Egypt. In 2007, a report by the Knesset’s Committee on the Status of Women reported that in recent years the number of trafficked women had dropped to less than 1,000.

In 2007, the United States State Department placed Israel as a “Tier 2” in its annual Trafficking in Persons reports, meaning that it does not fully comply with the standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so.
An organization calling itself the Task Force on Human Trafficking claims that every month, men in Israel visit brothels up to one million times.
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Various groups have advocated legalising prostitution, criminalising it, or just criminalising the clients. Conservative religious political parties have consistently opposed legalisation on grounds of immorality.

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