Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sex trafficking in Israel

This morning, I was reading Nicholas D Kristof's article on sexual slavery of teenagers in Cambodia. To his credit, Krostof has made this issue, one that we'd all like to pretend doesn't exist, his personal crusade. It's hard to read the article. It's even harder to view the accompanying video, but it's important to be aware of such cruelty in the world.

The problem is, we often mentally and emotionally relegate such horrible things to far-off places like Cambodia & Thailand, where it seems strange and foreign to most Americans anyway. But the truth is, sexual slavery goes on the world over, even in western democracies.

And shockingly Israel is one of the worst among those democracies. I don't even need to provide a link. Just google "sexual slavery Israel" to see article after article outlining the disgusting and shameful truth, with women being brought into Israel under false pretenses, and are tortured and forced to "work" under terrible conditions. Most Israelis don't notice, or choose not to notice, this going on right under their noses. And for those who actually frequent these "businesses", a special place in hell is reserved for you. The best I can say is that perhaps these men are not aware that these are not voluntary prostitutes but rather slaves, with their entire lives in the hands of their pimps.

Thankfully, Israel has improved in this regard. According to this article:

Israel was among 23 nations placed on a US 'Watch List' regarding trafficking in human persons in 2005, the second lowest category on an annual State Department report. This year, in an assessment of the issue in 2006, Israel was one of 10 nations to succeed in rising to a higher category.

But the problem still remains huge.

Some will question my bringing this up now, when Israel is in danger and fighting a war against Hamas. But it is precisely at times like this that we cannot allow this repulsive underside of Israeli society to be forgotten and lost in the shuffle.

If Israel & the Jewish people are "Or LaGoyim" (A light unto the nations), this is hardly the way to show it.

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