Israel Bans Escort and Sex Service Advertising and Marketing

Prostitution is legal in Israel, meaning that if you wish to sell your body for sex there is no legal problem with it.  The law prohibits pimping, forcing another to work in prostitution or drive someone to do so.  Up until now the law has prosecuted human traffickers, pimps, especially those who have abused under aged women and men (under 18 years old) and have used violence, intimidation and forced drug abuse inorder to make them stay and work in the dark world of prostitution. Amendments to the law have been added over the years limiting the advertising of escorts and sex services to specific media forms that do not target the general population audience, but with no real deterrence or enforcement.  The new amendment to the law prohibiting the advertising and marketing of prostitution comes to break the chain between the traffickers and pimps to the end client, making it harder for him to contact sex service providers.  The advertsing of escort services, massage parlors and incall escort places has been legal to this point as long as it didn’t target under age audiences and wasn’t advertised in areas where the general population regarded it as offensive such as in religious areas.  Since the law only regarded in this case the feelings of the general population to the issue, the new law passed in April 2011 now takes into account the exploitation of prostitutes and women who are forced in one way or another to become one.  The exploitation of the women by their pimps in the form of advertising them in various magazines, newspapers and websites, and making a huge profit due to this practice that also finds its way to the pockets of gangsters and other criminals is what the law seeks to stop.  The raw logic of this law is that if advertsing the escort and sex service business will be prohibited the pimps and the exploiters will be financially hurt.  The Israeli Supreme Court addressed this issue and provided legitimacy to this law after motions to ban it due to freedom of speech and expression.  The reasoning was that freedom of speech can be limited as long as it doesn’t deal with religion or political views for example, and in this issue the advertising of sex services is not only a trade or financial issue but also deals with the fact that it  limits the freedom and rights of the explioted women working in prositution, harming and scaring  them physically and emotionally, and hence limiting and even banning such advertising is legal.  The current law that was passed this month targets not only the pimps and human traffickers but also legitimate businesses such as advertising agencies, printing services, website designers, website owners of escort directories and all who deal in one way or another with the creation, advertising and marketing of escort and sex services in Israel with harsh jail time of three years and high fines.

What do we think about this new law?  We are always for harsh laws and harsh punishments for thos who are human traffickers, force women and men to work as prostitutes, hire or force underage women and men to work in the sex business, drive people to use drugs and alcohol, and all who use violence in all its forms so that they can exploit them to make a profit.  However, banning the advertising of escort services, massage parlors, incall places and whore houses, who hire women over the age of 18 that come to work as escorts or erotic massuses freely, for their own reasons, and fully aware of the type of job they will be doing and all that is involved in is, is not understandable.  Yes, we are well aware that nobody wishes to grow up to become a prostitue, and we know that working as one, whether walking the streets or being a high priced escort is not a normal girl’s dream, but since being a prostitute is legal in Israel the law blockes these rather legitimate businesses from working.  Many escorts prefer to work for an agency since the escort agency takes care of the advertising, the phone calls and bookings and problems that might arise.  They turn to escort services to manage them under their own free will perfectly aware of the sharing of monies and so on.  Some girls prefer to work as an independent escort and handle the business by themselves.  Both are legitimate options in our eyes, and smart and honest escort service managers have no need to use force or violence since the demand for being an escort and the chance to make thousands of Sheckls or Dollars per day is high and doesn’t require “pimps” to use human traffickers or any other coersion practices.

To sum up, the new law passed this month in Israel banning the advertising and marketing of escort services and other sex services is based on the assumption that all escort and sex businesses use violence, under age prositutes, and other illegal and immoral practices when in fact most escort services and massage parlors hire women that come to work at these establishments of their own free will perfectly aware of what they will be doing.  The fact that most sex workers come from broken homes, suffered sex, alcohol and drug abuse is a sad side to the story but can’t be a reason to prevent them from making a living if they want to in the adult entertainment industry.  Under this logic maybe the next step will be outlawing strip clubs and porn movies in Israel making the only free and liberal country in the Middle East, and considered free and liberal worlwide, closer to religious led countries such as Iran.  We all hope that day will never come and that one day this new law will be dismissed under its current provisions, so that if a person wants to get laid or get a good body massage and “happy ending” he will be able to do so freely and without the fear of doing something illegal.

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