|October 20th, 2008||#1|
Join Date: Mar 2008
Jews Dominate International Sex Slavery
Israel Sex Slavery Thrives
Jerusalem, ISRAEL NEWS AGENCY - May 31, 2006
They Say That The World's Oldest Profession is Prostitution
One person in Israel has taken up the challenge of confronting the sex slave trade in Israel. She does so at great risk. If you want to talk to Nomi Levenkron, be prepared to endanger her life. More than likely she'll be on the road when you call, pressing her cell phone to her ear as she speeds towards a women's lock-up in Haifa, or to a Knesset hearing in Jerusalem, or to the trial of a sex trafficker in Eilat.
She'll tell you she's happy to talk but is in a rush. Could you call again in a few hours?
As legal director for the Migrant Worker's Hotline-an organization that battles the scourge of trafficking in women for prostitution-Nomi's workday often starts at 5 A.M.
She carries two cell phones on her at all times. And she talks fast. Her fluent English outpaces most native speakers. When she switches to Hebrew, she seems to forgo drawing breath. Nomi's days are spent crisscrossing the country, encouraging victims to take the stand against their traffickers, lobbying the authorities to take more action, and suing dangerous men for compensation on behalf of the women they brutalized.
Once, after she filed suit in the case of a young Moldovan who had passed through the hands of six violent sex traffickers, friends came to Nomi's home to say goodbye, assuming it was the last time they would see her.
During her first six months on the job, Nomi worked full time without salary. She admits it's an addiction. "You don't really choose this kind of work," she says. "It's like heroin." Perhaps only an addict could spend 18 hours a day pursuing brutal criminals through the courts, have government officials call her a traitor for exposing Israel's dark side, and still not be discouraged when thousands more women are sold into sex slavery in her country every year. When she finally pulls up to the Hotline's offices in Downtown Tel Aviv, it's already ten at night. Nomi releases her seatbelt buckle and the belt slides up across her bulging belly. She is five months pregnant.
One of Tel Aviv's red light district is only a short walk from Nomi's office on Rehov Ha Hashmal. In all the Tel Aviv area has three red light areas - the old central bus station, the office skycraper section of Ramat Gan and the beaches of nearby Tel Baruch.
Most of the brothel-lined streets by the old central bus station are filthy, the buildings run-down. Trails of red arrows painted on the walls lead customers to sex "health clubs" and "massage parlors," all marked out by twinkling strips of colored lights that flash their patterns like cuttlefish enticing their prey. The billboard for "5 Star Peep Show" on Neve Sha'anan street features the silhouette of a naked woman balanced precariously on the end of a dollar sign. She sits astride the bottom curve of the "S," straddling its final phallus-shaped curl.
The Israel sex silhouettes are everywhere. On Rehov Fin-better known as "Rehov Pin" or "Penis" -a reclining nude beckons clients into "Club Viagra." On Rehov Yesod Ha Ma'ale the floating nude in one "Health Club" window tilts her head back as though in the throes of ecstasy, her feet pointed in the direction of a neighboring falafel stand. The real women don't seem quite so eager. Through open doorways one can spot them glumly applying make-up or styling their hair.
Sometimes these Israel sex prostitutes can be seen in brothel windows, chatting to each other and looking out onto the street as they smoke a cigarette. Most of the windows have bars on them. "In the majority of the brothels in Tel Aviv," says Meir Cohen, Head of Investigations for the Israeli National Police, "there is no question that most of the women there are trafficked."
The vast majority of women trafficked to Israel for sex come from Romania and the countries of the former Soviet Union. Seduced by agents of organized crime, they agree to be smuggled into Israel, hoping to make good money. The women are usually young girls, like "Anna" (her real name has been suppressed) a 23-year-old Romanian who testified about her experience to an Israeli court in 2002.
Anna says that in 2001 she was approached in her hometown by an Israel girl named Shula, who promised to get her work caring for the elderly in Tel Aviv. Shula booked Anna on a plane leaving from Bucharest, but Anna had no idea where it would land.
When it touched down in Cairo, she thought she was in Israel. Collected by a liaison, she and a group of other women were driven across the desert in an open car, escorted by masked Bedouin armed with automatic weapons.
At two in the morning, they left the cars and walked for several hours, then crawled on their stomachs under a chain-link fence. Often, it is the Bedouin who are the first to tell victims of sex trafficking they will be working as prostitutes, as justification for sexually assaulting them.
"As early as Egypt I found out that I was going to engage in prostitution in Eilat," one woman told the Hotline. "I tried to run away but a Bedouin got hold of me and beat me. In the evening, four Bedouin raped me, one after the other....I was bleeding and I couldn't walk, it hurt me so much between my legs....I wanted to die." Since Anna was "lucky" enough not to be raped in transit, she still had no idea what awaited her. After crossing the border she was picked up by a man identified in court records as George Ben-Abraham Yosef, who drove her to Tel Aviv.
There, Yosef took Anna to a hotel, and ordered her to strip in front of a roomful of men. The ordeal is known as an "auction." Like traders in a cattle market, the traffickers inspect the "goods" and bid for the women they want to buy. "[The woman] is made to stand naked in the middle of a room," a female trafficker told Maariv. "[The traffickers] touch her breast, her ass....They check her tongue, her teeth, to see if she's healthy. They touch her private parts....They tell her, 'walk forward, backwards, strike poses like a model, wiggle it honey, bend over. Lower. Let's see what you're worth.'" Traffickers are not necessarily picky about the venue of an auction. In one case a woman was stripped, inspected, and sold for $6,000 in the men's room of a McDonald's.
When the Hotline first contacted Nomi five years ago to ask for her help, trafficking in women was not even a crime under Israeli law. Nomi, then in law school, wasn't interested. She had studied criminology and was more intrigued by criminals than victims. But she had one skill that was crucial to the Hotline-she spoke Romanian. "Although I had a very hard childhood [in Romania], I'm very grateful for it now," says Nomi. Without Romanian, she would never have gotten involved.
The Hotline convinced her to volunteer for just a few hours, speaking to detained women in prison. What Nomi heard from them-the brutality they suffered from both criminals and police-shocked her into a new consciousness: "I started to say to myself, 'something is really wrong with this country on this issue.'" Two hours of volunteering a week became two hours a day, then 18 hours a day, until finally Nomi was getting only four hours of sleep. When she slept, she dreamt about work. The plight of the Moldovan sold to six different traffickers proved a watershed for Nomi. The woman wanted to testify but the police wouldn't listen. At the time, women who had been trafficked weren't considered victims.
"A prostitute was considered as a partner in crime," says Meir Cohen, the police investigator. Instead of testifying, victims were simply arrested and deported. Police were instructed not to intervene in brothels. The authorities preferred to use pimps as intelligence sources for other underworld investigations. The police in Beersheba told Nomi that her client was lying, that it wasn't important. So she sued the traffickers in civil court. She sued the police for not investigating. She even sued the ministry of interior for not issuing the woman a visa.
Suddenly, the police in Israel began to pay attention. More than 50 men were arrested almost immediately. "It was funny," says Nomi. "There were almost no men left in Beersheba." In May of 2000, Amnesty International had published an embarrassing report that condemned Israel for its cavalier attitude towards sex slavery. The resulting public clamor forced the Knesset to make trafficking in women an explicit crime with a maximum penalty of 16 years in prison.
Enforcing the new law was another matter. "No one wanted to deal with the problem," says Member of Knesset Marina Solodkin, who sits on the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee on Female Trafficking. "It was easier to just pretend that these women were new immigrants from the FSU and were not being trafficked into Israel."
But efforts by Nomi and other activists to publicize the issue finally paid off when, in 2001, the U.S. State Department placed Israel on a "blacklist," among countries that were failing to combat trafficking in women. The State Department's report was not simply a stain on Israel's reputation. United States law forbids the government from providing non-humanitarian aid to countries put on the blacklist. Washington had jerked back the economic reins. The Israeli government was forced to do a complete about-face. A national police unit was established to investigate the sex trade. And officials insist their entire approach has changed. "Today, one of the central elements of the war against organized crime is trafficking in women," says Cohen.
The challenge is daunting. Demand for prostitution in Israel is enormous, with an estimated one million visits to sex brothels every month. Human rights organizations estimate that 3,000 women are brought into the country as sex slaves every year. The women come primarily from Russia, Moldova, and the Ukraine, where the collapse of social safety nets in post-communist economies has created a ready supply of destitute women. In a Hotline survey of trafficked women conducted at Neve Tirza women's prison, one third said that they, like Anna, had no idea they would be engaging in prostitution when they came to Israel. Others knew they would be prostitutes, but were promised good conditions by the traffickers. They were told they would have to take only a limited number of customers each day and that they would earn a thousand dollars a month (a massive sum in most Eastern European countries).
Eventually, the traffickers said, they would be able to leave the brothels. In the parlor, laughter is forbidden. Girls must always smile and sit straight. "I would sit there wearing thin pantyhose and freezing in the air conditioning," "Natasha," a Russian victim of trafficking told the Hotline. "Laughing was not allowed because the client might think he was being made fun of and leave."
When Anna was first taken to a sex brothel, she didn't know what it was. Yosef had put her in the hands of a man identified in court records as Yuri Ben-Michael Gur. "Yuri told me that he had bought me for a lot of money and I had to do what he said-to do prostitution," Anna testified. "That's how I realized that I had been sold like an animal." Anna was given tight, see-through clothes and told to put them on. Then she was ordered into a room with a man identified in court records as Menasha Ben-Avraham Faraj. Another girl had already told Anna that this was the man who visited the brothel whenever a new girl arrived.
As the other men stood outside and laughed, Faraj raped and performed oral sex on her. The "right" to have sex, including by force and without a condom, with an acquired woman, is taken for granted by most traffickers. After her horrific initiation, Anna was forced to take clients whenever they selected her.
Customers paid 150 shekels (40 USD), which Anna had to give to Gur's underlings. For each client they would give her back only 20 shekels, with which she had to pay for food and contraceptives. In the end she was always left with nothing. According to other women interviewed by the Hotline, brothel owners made them work seven days a week and an average of 13 hours a day. They had to work during their periods, using diaphragms to prevent blood from leaking.
"The meetings with the clients were short-just 15 minutes," according to Natasha. After the client finished, she would rush to the tepid showers, then back down to the freezing lobby. The customers who frequent these brothels are regular Israelis.
Soldiers in uniform get discounts. Orthodox Jews stuff their skullcaps into their pockets when they enter, then replace them when they leave.
If a customer is dissatisfied, the girl is beaten. But as one 18-year-old victim told Hotline volunteers, "they beat you so as not to leave any marks, because clients don't like to see a woman with bruises."
If a woman gets ill or pregnant, she is taken to a veterinarian or a back-alley abortionist. About half the women interviewed by Hotline volunteers said they had been incarcerated in locked brothels. "Try and escape," one of Gur's employees told Anna, "and I'll crush your head in the door."
In one notorious case, two women were tied up in a cage on Tel Aviv's Rehov Pin and forced to provide sexual services. But even if the doors aren't locked, the women are always prisoners. Their traffickers confiscate their passports and threaten their loved ones. "The Russian mob knows exactly how to get to their families," says Nomi. "It is enough for them to say to the prostitutes, 'if you don't want to see your grandmother's house burned down or your 12-year old sister taken as a prostitute, you better do what we tell you.'"
At a conference on prostitution in August 2002, Israel Police Major General Moshe Mizrahi stepped to the podium and stated the obvious: "Trafficking in women here is run by organized crime." Though his announcement was no revelation, Mizrahi's willingness to make it was unusual. For years, Israeli officials have consistently denied or downplayed the existence of organized crime groups within Israel's borders. But faced with a multi-billion-dollar sex-slaving trade and its serious political implications, the elephant in the room has become too dangerous to ignore.
According to a report by Nomi and her staff, trafficking in Israel is made possible by "an international network of criminal organizations, most of whose members are from the countries of the former Soviet Union." Almost 80 percent of the women Nomi interviewed said their traffickers were Israelis whose origins are in Russia or other FSU countries. Their language skills and local connections give such traffickers a professional advantage.
"The Russians do quality work in crime....That's Russian education for you," says Police Superintendent and Spokesperson Gil Kleiman. Kleiman believes the trafficking networks are so successful because they are made up of individuals who grew up and served in prison together. Their connections and experience allow them to coordinate the complex arrangement of recruiters, bribes, intermediaries, and buyers that an international smuggling operation requires.
"It's always a 'Sasha,'" says Nomi. "One 'Sasha' recruits them in Moldova, another 'Sasha' is waiting for them in Egypt, another meets them when they arrive in Israel....it's organized perfectly." Once the women get to the brothels, traffickers use intimidation and violence to keep them enslaved, and to ensure that those who escape do not testify.
One former prostitute in Israel recounted how her trafficker drove her to a beach and threatened to drown her if she caused any trouble. When Anna refused to work and stayed in her room to pray, her pimp beat her with her own bible, screaming "this is not a church."
Traffickers prefer not to murder their prostitutes, since killing them would mean a loss of "merchandise." But sometimes examples are made of woman who break "house rules." In June 2002, police found the body of a woman dressed in revealing clothes, who had been strangled and dumped in the street of Eilat's red light district. In October of that year, 42-year-old prostitute Svetlana Lukatzky was bound, beaten, and stabbed to death. Trafficked woman also find themselves the victims of turf battles between organized crime groups. To assert dominance, traffickers will abduct women from their competitors, as in the case of one call girl who was ordered to a customer's hotel room only to be thrown in the trunk of a car and driven to her new owner.
In other cases, brothels have been firebombed as part of gangland feuds, leaving women burned and maimed. Fear and corruption outside the brothel combine to keep victims of trafficking enslaved. "People are scared," says Nomi. "When we try to convince them to go to the police to complain about the brothels operating in their neighborhood, they say, 'What are you joking? The traffickers will kill me.' There is a lot of fear in Israel of the Russian mob." If citizens do screw up the courage to complain to the police, they are quite likely to be met with indifference. "In Tel Aviv [the police] understand what is going on," says Nomi. But in most places "it's a different story. They couldn't care less and they don't see [trafficking] as a serious crime....they think these women really enjoy what they're doing."
Nomi acknowledges that the police today do listen much more. "In the beginning we had to sue for every victim. It was hard. But after two or three cases, they learned-don't mess with them." Nomi says enforcement has been improving since the state department's report. But she blames the police for creating the crisis by ignoring trafficking in the nineties. For her, the new efforts are far too little and much too late.
Even in Tel Aviv, Meir Cohen admits, most brothels operate freely. He says the law does not allow police to shut them down without proof that the women have been trafficked and kept there against their will. Since most women are too terrified to complain, the system favors the traffickers. But fear of reprisals is not the only reason prostitutes do not go to the police.
According to a Hotline survey, 40 percent of the ex-prostitutes interviewed said policemen were clients at their brothels. And some reported seeing money change hands between pimps and police officers. In one case, a woman said the police tipped her pimp off about an impending raid. And in another a woman claimed the police dragged an escaped prostitute back to their brothel. Police officials angrily dismiss such claims. "These allegations are bull****!" fumes Police Superintendent Gil Kleiman.
But they are not without proven precedent. In one noted case, a police officer named Oskar Siss was not only a customer but cooperated with traffickers to buy and sell women and coerce them into prostitution. "Without a doubt, there exists collaboration between the police and the pimps," says MK Solodkin. Though seeking the help of the police might seem risky to many women trapped in prostitution, their only other hope for freedom- buying it back-is a chimera. When a woman is trafficked to Israel, she is charged both for the cost of being smuggled and, paradoxically, for the price of being acquired. But while the traffickers make back the purchase price on a woman they buy in a matter of weeks through the money clients pay for her services, the woman herself is paid almost nothing. And her debt is compounded both by exponential rates of interest and numerous fines for invented "infractions," from refusing a client to chewing gum. The debt, of course, is never meant to end.
Being sold to another trafficker generates a new debt, and if a woman ever comes close to repaying it she is sold once again. "They are traded and sold from one trafficker to another like a piece of merchandise," says Cohen. And so the victim remains in bondage.
Anna was lucky. Shortly after Yosef picked her up, when she still thought she was being taken to her job as an elder-care worker, they stopped at Ben-Gurion airport on the way to Tel Aviv. Yosef briefly left her alone in the car to run an errand. As she sat in the passenger seat smoking a cigarette, a security guard approached her and asked her to move the car. "She spoke no Hebrew at all," says Nomi. "So she said to him in Romanian, 'Leave me alone.' And he replied in Romanian so they started talking. He made her take his cell phone number because he thought something was wrong. She said that everything was okay." After three weeks in the brothel, Anna happened to get a Romanian client. She asked him where exactly she was, then sneaked a call to the security guard on one of the employees' unattended cell phones. The security guard received the message and went to see her, posing as a customer. He then went straight to Tel Aviv's main police station and insisted on seeing the head of the vice unit.
Within 48 hours, the police stormed the brothel and arrested Yosef and Gur. Most victims of sex slave trafficking don't get the chance to orchestrate a police raid from within a brothel. A few pluck up the courage to flee (Nomi notes that most of those who do come to the Hotline, not the police). Others are arrested in chance raids.
Either way, the women are detained as illegal immigrants and scheduled for deportation. Nomi is a regular at the detention centers, informing the women of their rights and urging them to testify against the men who trafficked them.
Convincing a former prostitute to take the stand after all she's experienced is a tough sell. But "big court cases" aren't always so crucial. "If you told her a joke and made her smile, that's enough for me," says Nomi. "Just make those women laugh. It's just as important." Those who do decide to testify are put up by the police in unguarded hostels. Galit Saporta, who works with the Hotline, regularly takes a team of volunteers to one such hostel in Tel Aviv (to ensure the women's safety, Nomi and Galit insisted its location not be published). "There are approximately 40 women staying in the hotel waiting to testify," says Galit, who despite being eight months pregnant still visits the hostel each week. She makes sure the women are aware of their rights and are receiving the medical care and 150 shekels a week in pocket money (spent entirely on cigarettes) they are entitled to.
Galit's visits have another, unspoken purpose. Women in line to testify against traffickers have a habit of "disappearing" from the hostels. If Galit can account for all the girls she knows are among the hostel's guests, she can ensure they're safe. Still, women can wait up to a year to testify, giving the traffickers plenty of time to find out where they're staying. One day in the hostel, Anna's roommate handed her a cell phone. On the other end was a man who spoke Romanian. He said Gur and Yosef had paid him to hurt her family. If she didn't withdraw the complaint, he'd set her parents on fire.
In April 2002, Anna took the stand and testified against Gur, Yosef, and Faraj. Gur and Yosef were both found guilty of trafficking in women and were each sentenced to eight years in prison. Faraj received a two-and-a-half year term for rape.
The convictions are one more sign that Nomi's hard work is paying off. Since the beginning of 2002, Tel Aviv police have busted five major prostitution networks, culminating in the arrest and conviction of Mark Gaman, who police believe is the country's leading sex racketeer. Gaman - the owner of several massage parlors and gambling clubs - survived a car bombing in 1996 that left numerous shrapnel scars on his body.
Those distinctive mob markings allowed many of his victims to identify him to the police. Gaman was convicted and sentenced to ten years hard labor. Whenever they lecture, the prosecutors say 'look at Mark Gaman,'" says Nomi. She is standing by the bulletin board in her little office on the Hotline's floor, staring at a picture of the victim with whom she grew closest. She was forty years old with a child waiting back home and the main witness against Gaman. Six months after the trial she committed suicide. "Very few people know about it," says Nomi.
Other stories have happier endings. Nomi often gets invited to weddings of former sex workers who married Israelis. She points to a picture of another woman on the bulletin board. "The one in white is already a mother," says Nomi. "She was told by a gynecologist that she would never be able to have a child. But now she has a son."
Further along is a small wedding photo, a happy couple. The woman is Anna, smiling in her wedding gown. After testifying, she and the security guard who rescued her fell in love. "It was worth everything just to meet him," she told Nomi. "Divine intervention, of course," Nomi comments dryly. Nomi and her boyfriend recently got married themselves. But when people say "Mazel Tov" on hearing the news, she waves off their congratulations. "Ach," says Nomi. "We only did it so that my parents wouldn't say they had a prostitute in the family."
Some women, who are not forced into slavery, enjoy being in the sex trade. Many are young students who work at "Peep Shows" in Israel. They do not want nor do they perfrom sexual intercourse, rather they perform a strip tease followed by hand jobs. One girl stated: "I have nothing to fear, no diseases, good money and sometimes I actually get as excited as the client does."
And the Israel government, as many others for thousands of years, encourages the use of sex for national security.
Mossad Agent Cindy, the Mata Hari who seduced Mordechai Vanunu and was drugged, kidnapped, smuggled back to Israel and jailed for espionage. The Mossad, Israel's feared secret service, whose mission was to bring him back to Israel from Europe. Their honeytrap was Cheryl Hanin, codenamed Cindy, who then was an attractive, apparently open and, to Vanunu at least, very friendly 26-year-old. Gordon Thomas, author of Gideon's Spies, the Secret History of Mossad, wrote: "She was sent on practice missions, breaking into an occupied hotel room, stealing documents from an office. "She was roused from her bed in the dead of night and dispatched on more exercises: picking up a tourist in a nightclub, then disengaging herself outside his hotel.
Every move she made was observed by her tutors." After her training, Hanin joined the Mossad unit that worked with Israeli embassies, where she apparently posed as the wife or girlfriend of other agents. Her final mission began when she engineered a meeting with Vanunu in Leicester Square and suggested a coffee, saying she was a beautician on holiday. The next day they met in the Tate Gallery and began to see more of each other. Peter Hounam, the Sunday Times journalist who had debriefed Vanunu, warned him that she could be a Mossad agent, but Vanunu insisted: "She is just a tourist who is critical of Israel. I think you would like her." There were plans for Vanunu to bring his new girlfriend to Hounam's house but he cancelled because he "going out of the city". "Going out of the city" meant Vanunu had fallen for the Mossad trap - Cindy had lured him into going to Rome, where it would be easier to stage a kidnapping. Vanunu was then tried secretly on an espionage charge and began his 18-year sentence, much of which was spent in solitary confinement. Hanin went to Israel in triumph but when the Sunday Times discovered her living quietly in the northern Israeli town of Netanya in 1988, she left for her native United States.
Since then, Israel's largest circulating newspaper, Yedhiot Arhronot, says she and her family have been living a prosperous life. The newspaper reported that she had "a red Cutlass convertible" and estimated that her house in Florida is worth more than R3-million. She and her husband refuse to talk about her past. "For me this is a black story and I just want to erase it and forget it," Yedhiot quotes Hanin telling a friend in Israel.
But unlike "Cindy", many prostitutes are forced to perform sexual acts in Israel. Between 3,000 and 5,000 women have been smuggled into Israel over the past four years in this burgeoning, illegal sex industry, according to an Israel parliamentary committee report issued last March.
Zehava Galon, who heads the Committee Against Trade in Women, said the four-year inquiry showed how women are smuggled across the Egyptian border into Israel and "along the way, raped, beaten and then sold in public auctions."
Most of the women are from the former Soviet Union, she said. Galon, from the opposition Yahad Party, presented the report on Wednesday to the speaker of the parliament, Reuven Rivlin. The panel faulted judges for light sentences, sometimes only community service, for men running the prostitution rings. The report called for minimum jail terms of 16 years instead. The report said women are sold to pimps for as much as $10,000 each, work 14-18 hours a day, charge about $30 a client but receive only a small fraction of the money for themselves.
Galon said the biggest challenge in addressing the plight of foreign sex slavery in Israel was to change the attitudes of the public, and especially the police. When the committee met with the law enforcement agencies, she said, "the prevailing attitude was to treat the women as illegal residents." Since then the police have slowly begun to see the women as victims of crime, she said.
Israel is not unique in its apparent inability to protect women who have been trafficked for the purpose of prostitution. The AI report mirrors situations in many countries worldwide. As the sex trade grows at an alarming rate, governments are finding that they are unable to address the situation.
According to the UN Development Fund for Women, trafficking in women for prostitution is one of the fastest-growing organised criminal activities in the world, and follows, in frequency, only the trade in narcotics and weapons. The sex trade brings in $7-12 billion annually.
The United States State Department has estimated that over one million women are trafficked every year, primarily from economically unstable nations. Many women are abducted, but others are lured by offers of good working conditions and high salaries in the sex industry, or by false offers of employment entirely unrelated to prostitution. Travel documents are confiscated so as to ensure they are unable to escape.
The women frequently endure torture and imprisonment. Psychological trauma, disease and denial of health services are commonplace.
The UN has suggested that there is police complicity with traffickers in many nations, so women who report crimes are often returned to their abusers. Modern technology allows for captors to trace victims who flee, as some organised crime rings scan and electronically distribute photos of women who 'belong' to their syndicates.
Other countries have begun to take innovative steps in efforts to eliminate sex trafficking of women, and to implement protective programmes for those who have become victims of the sex trade. Italy has recently established a witness protection programme to help trafficked women denounce their exploiters, and has increased accessibility of work permits which would allow women to legally stay in the country.
India has begun to repatriate individuals from Bangladesh who have been trafficked from the country. In Nepal, a programme assisted by the International Labour Organisation has former victims of the sex trade monitoring border crossings, watching for signs of trafficking.
The United States Senate has recently passed a bill which proposes to increase penalties to traffickers, and give immigration relief for up to three years to allow sex victims to stay in the country and bring charges against their abusers. A conference in Istanbul last year on trafficking of women concluded that international actions are needed to protect and repatriate or resettle victims. The recommendations made by AI to Israel include the need to review government procedures concerning trafficking, and to enhance existing legislation to punish traffickers and abusers.
Perhaps most importantly, the country is advised to take action to protect women who have been sex victims of these human rights violations, and to avoid exacerbation of trauma through detention and ill protection. If all nations were to review and ensure compliance with such recommendations, women everywhere could begin to hope for an end to the horror of the sex trade.
With Hasdai Westbrook and Victoria Blint
ISRAEL NEWS AGENCY http://www.israelnewsagency.com
|October 20th, 2008||#2|
Join Date: Dec 2004
|October 20th, 2008||#3|
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: New Jersey
We need to post this on mainstream forums. They can't play the race card since it's from an Israelis newspaper.
|January 1st, 2009||#4|
Join Date: Mar 2008
Jews Dominate the Slave Trade
The Jewish Slave Trade
"Between 1870 and 1939 Jews played a conspicuous role in white slavery, as the prostitution of that era was called. Not only was this partricipation conspicuous, but it was, for the Jews, historically unprecedented, geographically widespread, and ** in an age of pandemic anti-Semitism ** fraught with collective political dangers."
Edward J. Bristow, PROSTITUTION AND PREJUDICE, The Jewish Fight Against White Slavery 1870-1939 - the book's jacket
Prostitution and Prejudice: The Jewish Role in Vice Exposed
by Wayne Tinsill
PROSTITUTION AND PREJUDICE does a superb job of demonstrating the extremely disproportionate Jewish involvement in the worldwide sex slave trade in the period under discussion. Jewish involvement with prostitution began in the old Pale of Settlement in Czarist Russia. Bristow ascribes this phenomenon, with partial validity, to Jewish misery and social disability. Whatever the causes there is no doubt of Jewish control over the sex slave trade in Czarist Russia and Eastern Europe generally. Thus, an internal census of the Russian Empire in 1889 showed that throughout the Pale of Settlement and European Russia Jewesses ran 203 out of 289 licensed houses. In this same year in Warsaw 16 out of 19 houses of prostitution were run by Jewesses. According to Bristow:
"By the 1860s a French visitor to Odessa wrote that Jews there were responsible for a white slavery market in Russian women to Turkey. This is feasible, especially since we know that Jewish brothel-keepers were already in place at the other end in Constantinople. The 1889 census shows that Jewish women ran 30 of 36 licensed brothels in Kherson province, where Odessa was located. In 1908 the American consul there claimed that the whole business of prostitution is almost exclusively in the hands of Jews."
Jewesses were prominent in the practice of prostitution. Thus, of 5127 licensed prostitutes in 1889, 1122 or 22 per cent were Jewish. Prostitution was particularly prevalent in the impoverished Habsburg province of Galicia. According to Rabbi Rosenak of the German Union of Rabbis in 1902:
"In fact I was assured by different doctors that there were between 30 to 50 per cent Jewish prostitutes. If this is terrible, it is even more startling if one speaks of the procurers of prostitutes. It is inconceivable how it could be that the owners of the tolerated houses are Jewish throughout."
Jewish procuring flourished throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire. One Jewish madam was known as "Lucky Sarah" so named because she was the founder of the Hungarian export trade. Equally famous was Sarah Grossman known as "The Turk" because of her practive of dispatching girls to Constantinople. Two major centers of sex slave exporting were the industrial towns of Czernowitz and Lemberg. In 1892 a very famous mass trial of 27 procurers was held in the latter. All 27 defendants were Galician Jews.
As Bristow notes the trial received so much attention that it marked a turning point in the use of the issue by the anti-Semites. A major device of the procurers was a Jewish ceremony referred to as the stillah chuppah. This included a religious wedding ceremony which had no civil validity. Thus, the soon-to-be abducted female would be misled into believing that she was married with the rights of a wife only to discover later that her legal rights were nil. Innumerable Jewesses found themselves tossed into brothels by this device.
The Jewish sex slave trade was international in scope. When the mass exodus of Jews out of Czarist Russia began in the 1880s the Jewish pimps and procurers soon found greener pastures in South America. A vast transatlantic trade in prostitutes began along the Warsaw to Buenos Aires route.
Adolf Weissman, Sigmund Reicher, Adolf Dickenfaden, the "King of the Traffickers", Noe Traumann, the Goldenbergs, the Springfeder brothers of Warsaw, the Goldstein brothers, Jacob Zabladovitch and his three sons and many, many others, including Israel Meyrowitz plied the transatlantic trade. These Jews eventually established the Zwi Migdal Society which institutionalized the prostitution business in Argentina until its power was broken in the 1930s.
A partial list of Zwi Migdal's formal directorate of 1926 is revealing: Zacharias Zytnitski, president; Felipe Schön, vice-president, Max Salzman, secretaty; Simon Brotkevich, treasurer; Abe Marchik; Jacob Zabladovich; Sally Berman; and Marcus Posnansky.
These Polish and Hungarian Jews were known to police on two continents as they made annual trips back and forth to Eastern Europe to trick, kidnap and recruit fresh faces for their brothels.
Prostitution was not accorded the same legal protection in North America as in the South, but in New York City too the Jewish prostitution and vice business flourished. Rosie Hertz from Hungary was one of the city's earliest and most successful prostitutes. Mortke Goldberg and the Soviner brothers, Max and Louis later came to dominate the New York sex business. As in Argentina, the "New York" pimps and procurers had a self-help and self- promotion organization the "Independent Benevolent Association".
Two of its founders were Martin Engel and Max Hochstim. The Jewish sex slave trade was so infuriating to real Americans that in 1910 Congress passed the Mann Act which made it a felony to procure for prostitution across state lines. The Mann Act had been preceded in 1907 by a famous essay by G. K. Turner "Daughters of the Poor" in McClure's Magazine (No. 34, 1908). Although Bristow insists that Turner was wrong to label New York City as the center of the world wide sex slave trade many of his charges against Jews did have a basis infact.
As noted earlier in discussing Odessa, the Jewish sex slave trade flourished in Constantinople under the Ottoman Sultanate. Although Bristow does not mention it Jews were strongly entrenched in Ottoman society from the time of the expulsions from Spain in 1492. Large numbers of Jews migrated to Turkey where they replicated their positions as tax collectors and financial advisors.
This privileged position was certainly an asset to those Jews who wanted to go into the prostitution business. The Jewish pimps and procurers were further aided by general Ottoman tolerance of prostitution and servitude in general. Writes Bristow:
"Nothing was more disturbing to the Jewish opponents of white slavery than the state of affairs at Constantinople on the eve of the First World War. The existence of a thriving community of Jewish traffickers and brothel keepers was confirmed over and over again by pained observers from the B'nai B'rith, ... ICA, Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden (Relief Organization of German Jews), Jüdischer Frauenbund (League of Jewish Women) and other interested organisations."
|January 1st, 2009||#5|
Join Date: Mar 2008
In 1915 the Turkish government finally decided to clean up the thriving prostitution business. Osman Bedri Bey, the prefect of police rounded up 176 suspects of whom all but a handful were Jewish. Hungarian and Rumanian Jews predominated in the Turkish sex slave trade along with the Odessan Jews. Two the most famous Hungarian Jews were Julie and Anton Hirshfeld, whom Bristow labels "probably the most prosecuted couple in the annals of white slavery". The Romanian city of Galatz on the Danube river served as one of the principal launching points for the Constantinople traffic. There was even an Argentinian link through the infamous David Felken. The road from Constantinople led further East. In Alexandria in Egypt police statistics in 1903 showed that "between 70 and 80 per cent of the prostitutes in tolerated houses there were Jewish women from Galicia, Bukovina, and Romania". A certain number of Jewish prostitutes followed the British Raj into India following the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. The Jewish prostitutes also followed the American military into the Philippines following the Spanish-American War of 1898. According to an interesting statement of the celebrated Rabbi Stephen Wise in 1902:
"According to the statement of my informant, a large number of Jewish women in Manila are to be found in the ranks of prostitution ... at one time the number reached 200, but ... now the number is less than 100, thanks to the measures of the American Government. These women are mainly of Galician, Russian or Rumanian birth. It is almost too shaking to put to paper, but according to Mr. Rubenstein, the statement of a man that he is a Jew is followed invariably by the question 'Have you any nice women to sell ?' ..."
From London the infamous Joe Silver moved to South Africa and established a thriving prostitution business.
These facts and many others conclusively establish the existence of a thriving, international and interconnected Jewish sex slave trade. What was the Jewish response to this horrible business? PROSTITUTION AND PREJUDICE makes very clear that Jews of the day were at least as concerned about the use anti-Semites were making of the issue as they were about the sex slave trade itself. For instance, Der Israelit, the German orthodox newspaper wrote the following against the Jewish liberals who insisted on airing the problem:
"First they commit a folly ... second they commit a chillul-hashem against God. Third their communities confront them with the words, 'You've given our enemies a sword to smite us with'."
The Jewish fight against white slavery, such as it was, consisted mainly of organising societies for the protection of women and children, establishing international coordination and exchange of information, watching docks and ports for suspicious characters and holding international conferences. This activity took place mainly in England and Germany. One early such society was founded in 1896 and named the Jewish Association for the Protection of Girls and Women. (Interestingly, several members of the Jewish Board of Deputies who were later to become prominent in the fight against the Balfour Declaration, such as David Aleksander, were involved in this work.)
In Germany, relations between the Jewish and non-Jewish members of these anti-white slavery leagues were less than cordial. German Jews were taking the heat for the Ostjuden and their activities. Bertha Pappenheim, the famous German-Jewish feminist, complained about this popular attitude long and bitterly.
Edward Bristow admits that despite laudable efforts by more enlightened western Jews the sex slave problem gradually faded because of considerations extraneous to organized attempts to fight the evil. The slowing down of the great Jewish migrations out of Czarist Russia, the equalizing of sex ratios in frontier parts of the world, the growth ofupward mobility all played a far greater role in eventually reducing the sex slave trade than all official and coordinated efforts.
PROSTITUTION AND PREJUDICE: The Jewish Fight Against White Slavery 1870-1939, is a thoroughly researched and documented study of a problem of major importance. But as the very title of the volume indicates, it is written from an inherently flawed and self-serving perspective. Bristow argues that Jews were the "good guys," even as he abundantly proves that they were not. Throughout his study prevails the attitude that it was and still is illegitimate for anti-Semites to make use of the sex slavery issue. In Bristow's own words (referring to the political effect of Jewish anti-white slavery activism):
"Did the work do anything to deny the issue to the anti-Semites ? After the war the argument that trafficking in Christian women was inherent in Jewish genes was resorted to even more insistently than before. In the relatively innocent years before 1914 one can understand how Montefiore, Maretsky, Pappenheim, and the others could place hope in a reasoned response. Their 'rationalist fallacy' was a product of their times. As difficult as the situation was, they had no way of knowing what was to come."
PROSTITUTION AND PREJUDICE makes no attempt to examine possible causes for Jewish predominance in the prostitution racket beyond the misery and suffering of the Pale of Settlement. Thus, there is no Israel Shahak-style examination of the Talmudic passages which teach that all non-Jewesses are whores or that the Jew may do with the non-Jewess what he will.
Nor is there any discussion of the general Talmudic injunctions to cheat, steal from or lie to non-Jews. These principles, followed literally in the real world, may have had much more to do with why Eastern European Jews played such a large role in the worldwide sex slave trade than general social conditions.
Bristow ends his account on a sour note by noting the political capital the Nazis made of the issue. He says nothing about the massive sex slave trade in kidnapped Ukrainian girls being shipped to Israeli brothels which is flourishing right now. As he says in his concluding paragraph "defending the good name of the Jews" is a worthy endeavour, whatever the facts might be.
|July 28th, 2012||#6|
Join Date: Nov 2003
Blog Entries: 34
Russia sentences Israeli to 18 years for sex trafficking
According to the court, from 1999 to 2007, Avi Yanai and his accomplices sold hundreds of women for prostitution to Israel, Italy, Spain, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and other countries.
By Eli Shvidler | Apr.27, 2011 | 2:48 AM | 26
An Israeli citizen was sentenced yesterday to 18 years in prison by the Moscow military court, for organizing a vast network of sex trafficking. According to the court, from 1999 to 2007, when most of the network's agents were arrested, Avi Yanai and his accomplices sold hundreds of women for prostitution to Israel, Italy, Spain, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and other countries. The minimal official estimate stands at 129 women, but some of the states still investigating the network put the number at several hundred. The women were lured from Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Uzbekistan.
Aside from Yanai, 83 people were arrested across Europe, 14 of them in Russia. The network is suspected to have produced tens of millions of dollars in profits for its operators, and some of the women trafficked may have been murdered by the Albanian mafia.
"Some people, using false documents, registered fictitious companies in Russia promising people legal work abroad, mostly in Western Europe," a senior Russian Federal Security Service investigator, Vitaliy Danilov, told the Izvestia newspaper. "They put out advertisements and people came in, bringing documents and pictures. By the time they came back to pick up their documents, work permits and Schengen-zone visas, the companies would be gone. Nobody, including the police, had any clue about why these documents were stolen." Some 2,500 passports were stolen in all. The man in charge of the passports and visas for the network was an officer, Lieutenant Colonel Dmitri Strikanov, who was sentenced by the same military court to 12 years in prison, after prosecution did not manage to prove he knew the forged documents would be used for women trafficking.
The network then recruited women with promises of legitimate work as dancers or waitresses. The women paid 3 to 5 thousand Euros, and received the passports stolen earlier with their pictures. In some cases, fake stamps were used.
"Once they got abroad, the women would end up in real slavery," Danilov said. "Sexual slavery. They didn't get any money, their passports were usually taken and there was no way home. The Albanian pimps were particularly cruel, beating them bloody for any attempted escape. From what we've heard they may have killed at least one woman."
Russian media reported Yanai was the brains behind most of the operation. Yanai, who moved to Russia in 2001, was arrested in May 2007, over a month after the rest of the group. His attorney, Karen Nersisyan, insists that his client was completely engrossed in running a legitimate business - a small filters factory - and had not broken any law.
The court refused Yanai's request to be released on a million dollar bail. The Russian media coverage was not without anti-Semitic undertones: "The Israeli Avi Yanai marched down the hall, concealing the face of a Jewish patriarch and clutching a Torah," website vesti.ru reported at one stage. The Israeli has previously been arrested in Israel on suspicions of trafficking in women. He was released under bail and had his passport confiscated, but in May 2001 managed to get the passport back under a bail of 30,000 shekels. In the six months since his arrest the Israeli prosecutors did not produce an indictment or even an indictment deadline.
His lawyer and family, however, protest his innocence. Nersisyan said that if Yanay was an organized crime boss he would have vanished in the month and a half that elapsed between the arrests of the other operatives and his own. Yanai's daughter, Limor Yanai, alleged "absurd" behavior on the part of the prosecution and accused the court of censorship. The Russian prosecutors said that Yanay would frequently accompany the women he sold to Israel, to personally present them to local mobsters. They said he would use a foreign passport on these trips.
|February 26th, 2013||#7|
Join Date: Jan 2013
Its disgusting. Those peoples' religions should be banned. Judaism, islam should be banned. How dare they mess with poor and helpless women?
|January 6th, 2015||#8|
Jews and White Slavery
From The Jewish Tribal Review.org
"Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion] could not imagine that Jewish women would stoop to crime or prostitution. When an associate, Meyer Weisgal, who resembled David Ben-Gurion, once told him humorously that a girl had walked up to him on a London street and offered her services, overwhelmed by the idea of sleeping with the 'Israeli prime minister.' Ben-Gurion, clearly troubled, was interested in only one thing: 'Was she Jewish?'" -- Dan Kurzman, 1983, p.39
At the end of the 19th and beginning of the twentieth century, Jews were deeply involved in what was popularly called "white slavery": international prostitution rings. "White slavery," notes scholar Albert Lindemann, "was a concern of Jewish leaders throughout the world, who recognized it as a special problem." [LINDEMANN, p. 33] [Jews have also dominated the pornography and commercial sexploitation business, a trend which continues to this day -- see Mass Media section]
"Between 1880 and 1939," notes scholar Edward Bristow, "the Jews played a conspicuous role in 'white slavery,' as the commercial prostitution of that era was dramatically called. Not only was this Jewish participation conspicuous, it was historically unprecedented, geographically widespread, and fraught with collective political dangers." [BRISTOW, p. 1] "Jewish trafficking," says Bristow, "was anchored in brothel keeping, women freelanced or kept houses while their husbands procured ... Jewish traffickers also supplied Gentile-run houses." [BRISTOW, p. 56-57]
Rooted largely in Eastern and Central Europe where they "dominated the international traffic out of the area," [BRISTOW, p. 2] Jews were involved in prostitution rings that networked, wrote Arthur Mora (of London's Jewish Association for the Protection of Girls and Women) in 1903, to "almost all parts of North and South Africa, to India, China, Japan, Philippine Island, North and South America, and also to many of the countries of Europe." [BRISTOW, p. 1] Jewish criminals trafficked women under their control virtually anywhere, also including the major cities of Bulgaria, Bosnia, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Ceylon, Manchuria, South Africa, Rhodesia, and Mozambique. [BRISTOW, p. 181]
"By 1900," says Bristow, "Jewish commercial vice was largely incorporated in underworld elements and many of it participants were predators of the poor." [BRISTOW, p. 89] Jewish pimps, procurers, and traffickers preyed mostly on non-Jewish women, but even large numbers of Jewish women were part of their stables.
In 1872, for example, Jewish prostitutes in Warsaw numbered 17% of the known prostitution population, in Krakow 27%, and in Vilna 47%. [BRISTOW, p. 23] Within the Jewish community itself, it was not uncommon for recruiters to marry innocent Jewish young women and "deposit them in foreign brothels." [BRISTOW, p. 25] Many of the Jewish criminal underworld figures apparently saw no gap between their day-to-day activities and their religious lives, often maintaining their religious obligations. A Warsaw thug, Shilem Letzski, organized a small synagogue for Jewish "prostitutes, madams, pimps, and thieves." This criminal community even had a rabbinical court "to settle disputes between pimps." [BRISTOW, p. 60] In Constantinople, prostitutes contributed money to "have their pimps called to Torah on holidays." [SCHNEIDER, p. 225] In New York City, "a public school and a large synagogue were situated right next door to the house of prositution." [RUBINOW, I., 1959, p. 114-115]
In Buenos Aires, Argentina, notes Donna Guy, the Jewish pimp organization called the Varsovia Society
"ostensibly functioned as a mutual aid society ... In fact, the Varsovia consisted of pimps who wanted to maintain their business and still lead a religious life ... Varsovia associates established their own synagogue on Guemes Street in the midst of the traditional bordello district." [GUY, p. 22]
Israeli scholar Robert Rockaway notes also, for example, that prominent Jewish American mobster Longy Zwillman "always remained sensitive to his Jewish upbringings." When a close friend died, and the funeral was conducted in a church, Zwillman refused to attend. As he explained it, he was an ancestral member of the Jewish priest caste (the Cohens) and it was religiously forbidden to him to be with a dead body in a room. [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 30]
Dr. Louis Maretsky, the head of the B'nai B'rith in Germany, forlornly noted in 1912 that at least 271 of 402 prostitution traffickers on a Hamburg police list were Jewish; in reviewing similar lists for Eastern Europe and South Africa at least 374 of 644 were from the Jewish community. [BRISTOW, p. 56] (No mention here is made of even higher possible percentages: as explored later, it has long been a tradition for many Jews in their diaspora to formally change their identifiable Jewish names). Concerning Galicia, Maretsky wrote that "the prominence of Jewish traffickers and brothel operators there is no doubt. From the files of the Austrian and German police there were 111 Jewish traffickers active in Galicia and the neighboring province of Bukovina for 1904-08 alone." [BRISTOW, p. 56]
By 1889 Jewish women ran 203 of 289 (70%) of the licensed brothels in the "Pale of Settlement" (encompassing over 20 provinces in eastern Poland and western Russia -- an area where Jews were about 12% of the population). 1122 of 5127 (22%) licensed prostitutes in this area were Jewish. [BRISTOW, p. 63] The grievous political dangers for local Jewry in the context of enduring interethnic hostilities, when 78% of the rest of the women were Gentile, many indentured in Jewish houses, is obvious.
Further in the West, 16 of 19 licensed brothels in Warsaw were run by Jewish women, prostitutes in the low-class establishments were expected to service 40-50 customers a day, up to 60-70 on Holy Days. (In 1905 the respectable part of the Jewish Warsa
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read full article at source: http://www.rense.com/general32/jewsandwhiteslavery.htm