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The haredin (orthodox Jews) who crowd the Tel Aviv brothels

Victor Malarek, The Natashas; The New Global Sex Trade

"David is on a roll and there is no stopping him.

"With prostitution you have no rapes. You bring in these women and innocent girls are not raped. That is why I believe in prostitution and would very much like to see it legalized everywhere. I believe because of it a lot of rapes are prevented. Men, because of the way we are built, our sexual will, our potential, our necessity, we need to do this. We need sex."

While he blathers on about the important service he provides for his brothers, there are many people in Israel who are deeply disturbed by what's happening on the side streets and back of their country. In a modest apartment in a comfortable section of Tel Aviv, far from the red-light district, Leah Gruenpeter-Gold and Nissan Ben-Ami shake their heads in disgust at the opening of so many brothels and the wholesale trafficking of young Natashas. Leah and Nissan are co-directors of the Awareness Centre - a non-governmental group that specializes in research on trafficking in women and prostitution in Israel.

"Israeli men have simply grown up to the idea that women can be bought,"Gruenpeter-Gold began."Both married and single women no longer want to work at relationships. For them it is easier to purchase sex when they want it."

"On the Jewish New year, I went down to the old bus station area to see what was happening,"Ben-Ami recalled."there were young men queuing outside each brothel. When you look into the reception area you could see all these sad and upset women, and when they see you, they suddenly look up and smile. They are happy to see you because they have to be happy or else."

What particularly offends Ben-Ami is the haredin (orthodox Jews) who crowd the Tel Aviv brothels on Friday mornings and afternoons for a pre-Shabbat tumble.

When you go to the area of the Stock Exchange or the Diamond Exchange, you see a lot of prostitution and a lot of very, very religious men - because these men need sex but the women in their society cannot give it to them when they want it. They also cannot masturbate because they cannot waste their sperm. So they have to do it with a women. These men also do not use condoms, therefore they must pay the pimps more. So in order to satisfy the needs of these men, we have to sacrifice these women.

"Because these women are not human beings,"Greunpeter-Gold said indignantly."They are foreign women. The religious prefer it to be with foreign women because then they don't wrong Jewish women."

"Yet officially,"Ben-Ami said,"the religious are very much against trafficking and prostitution. So, on one hand, many religious are against these brothels and, on the other hand, they need sex."

"It is all very hypocritical,"Gruenpater-Gold added.

Victor Malarek, The Natashas; The New Global Sex Trade
Viking Canada (2004) pg. 76-8

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