Avadim, Adyin

As we start making preparations for the holiday marking Jewish liberation from slavery, it’s appropriate to call attention to the shocking and disgusting fact that there is a flourishing slave trade here in Israel today.
Haaretz reports,

Between 3,000 and 5,000 women have been smuggled into Israel and sold into prostitution over the past four years, according to a Knesset committee investigative report examining the status of the sex trade in Israel…. The trafficking in women amounts to around a billion dollars every year. The women, sold to pimps for $8,000 to $10,000, are forced to work seven days a week and between 14 and 18 hours a day.

Human rights group ATZUM adds that

Israel has been ranked as a “tier 2” country by the US State Department, reflecting the fact that Israel is a country who does not yet accord with minimum standards for battling human trafficking….44% of the victims report that [Israeli] police officers were among their customers. In a few instances, policemen have been more actively involved in the trafficking process by taking bribes or tipping off brothels of raids…. Often, women are raped and assaulted even before the cross into the country.

The Haaretz story is here. For more information and some ideas on what to do, check out ATZUM‘s site, or email Pidyon: The Rabbinic Coalition Against Slavery in Israel at [email protected].

8 thoughts on “Avadim, Adyin

  1. ck – even if we don’t, history indicates that there will always be some subset of men who will go. Therefore because prostitution is inevitable and unpreventable it should be brought under governmental health regulation to prevent slavery and the spread of disease.
    People might say that is unacceptable because it creates the appearance of governmental approval of prostitution.
    But if the choice is between slavery + the unchecked spread of AIDS, OR the appearance of governmental approval of prostitution, I would choose the latter in the interest of harm reduction.
    If people would choose the former, that makes me think they value the pointless and ultimately purely symbolic moral stand over the reduction in actual harm to human life.

  2. John,
    Don’t you know that israel “legalized” prostitution not too long ago. You see they were becoming more “enlightened.”
    ” Knesset Offers Bill to Legalize “Home” Prostitution:
    Israel’s Knesset introduced a bill in December that legalizes male and female prostitution as long as it is conducted in private apartments. MK Avraham Poraz, a member of the dovish Meretz party, initiated the bill that bans prostitution in public places, but legalizes it in private settings provided that it is not “a nuisance to neighbors.” ”
    A country that does not fear G-d eventually turns into Sodom and Gemorrah.

  3. John, you there is always going to be a subset of men who rape women as well, so maybe we should hand out free condoms to potential rapists so that they could practice “safe rape” without the risk of pregnancy or disease. I hope you don’t consider that unacceptable because it creates the appearance of governmental approval of rape.

  4. J – I agree with you on law enforcement.
    But… we have also largely given up on SHAME. And that comes before law enforcement.
    We have also given up on CONSISTENCY. It used to be 100 percent clear that sex followed and was restricted to marriage. Everyone knew what was considered “a moment of weakness”.
    Now the signals are much more confusing. The ideal of committed relations has been replaced by a self-centered ideal and a meat-market mentality that objectifies others. Even geographically – images that you used to have to go “downtown” to see are now invading the home. Paying with cash used to be a world away from “normal” relationships – now it is just a half-step away.
    I am sure there are many creeps justifying themselves that “these women have it better here than back in Croatia”. But they are able to frame it that way because there’s been a genereal coarsening of the zeitgeist.

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