Sex work law in Israel

Israel wages war against sex workers

23rd February

Updated: Miserable Israel...

Law proposal to criminalise the buying of sex

Enjoying the services of a prostitute in Israel may cost you more than money - it may get you time in jail, under a proposed law that would criminalize buying sexual services.

A few people demonstrated outside of Israel's parliament on Sunday to lobby lawmakers to adopt legislation making the purchase of sexual services from prostitutes punishable up to five months in jail. They would also have to attend a two-day educational program, known as the School for Johns. Similar protests took place in New York, Washington DC and London. The demonstrations were organized by group called Atzum,

Every country that has put this in place, the Scandinavian countries, England, San Francisco has seen a rapid decrease in the amount of prostitution both because the criminalization itself sends a message to prospective clients and the publication of their names, the shame proves daunting, especially in a society this small, said Rabbi Levi Lauer, executive director of Atzum.

A woman's body shouldn't be for sale. Women aren't a commodity, demonstrator Rose Prevezer told The Media Line. I believe that this bill ... is the best way possible to reduce violence against women, to reduce the rate of sex trafficking in the country. In countries where they have instituted it, it has been proved to be a very effective deterrent.

On February 12, Israel's Ministerial Legislative Committee will be weighing a law containing these provisions proposed by MK Orit Zuaretz, who belongs to the opposition Kadima Party. From there it will begin its journey in the parliament until it becomes law.

If this legislation is passed we will see a radical decrease in the amount of prostitution and consequently an even more radical decrease in the amount of trafficking of women into Israel, Lauer told The Media Line.

An earlier attempt to pass similar legislation in 2009 was rejected for a variety of reasons.

Update: Miserable law passes first stages

16th February 2012. See  article from

A bill that will make paying for sex services a criminal offense passed its preliminary reading in the Knesset plenum on Wednesday and will be forwarded to one of the parliamentary committees for further review and adjustments before becoming law.

The legislation was proposed by MK Orit Zuaretz (Kadima), chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Trafficking in Women, and is supported by many Knesset members from across the political spectrum. Related:

It will impose a sentence of six-months in jail or community service on any person who utilizes the services of a prostitute or pays for any other related sexual services.

On Sunday, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation gave the bill its initial stamp of approval, and the proposed draft is already being well-received by anti-prostitution groups.

Earlier on Wednesday, Zuaretz held a hearing in her committee to discuss the success of the bill thus far and to explore next steps if and when the law is finally passed

Update: Public oppose law proposal

23rd February 2012. See  article from

A majority of Israelis oppose proposed legislation which would make paying for sexual services a criminal offense punishable with a prison sentence or community service, according to a Dahaf Institute poll commissioned by the Knesset Channel.

While only 34% of respondents said they supported the bill, which passed its preliminary reading in the Knesset plenum last week, 59% answered that they oppose the proposed legislation.



More Strip Troubles...

Miserable Israeli prosecutors declare that lap dancing is tantamount to prostitution

Link Here30th August 2018
Full story: Sex work law in Israel...Israel wages war against sex workers

Israel's state prosecutor's office has issued a miserable new directive clamping down on such lap dances in the country's strip clubs, claiming that under some circumstances dances could be considered an illegal act of prostitution.

Deputy State Prosecutor Shlomo Lamberger  has instructed police to increase the enforcement against such lap dances, which, in certain circumstances (such as the duration of the dance and the nature of the physical contact between the dancer and the customer) will be considered as an act of prostitution-- which does not have a legal definition.

According to the new directive, law enforcement officials will be able to act against owners of strip clubs by issuing closing warrants, discontinuing the clubs' business licenses, and in case of violations of the directive, filing indictments against such institutions.

The police have begun issuing warning letters to strip club owners around the country detailing the change in policy and warning the owners of potential future police action. Anti-prostitution activists have hailed the new policy for giving the police an effective enforcement tool that will make it easier to close down strip clubs on the claim that prostitution activity is occurring on the premises.

The new policy was developed after a Tel Aviv district court judge ruled that a strip club near the Ramat Gan Diamond Exchange could not be granted a license as a place of entertainment. The prosecutor's office then assembled a team to look into grounds for deeming strip clubs as places of prostitution.



Miserable Israel...

Police close all strip clubs in Tel Aviv claiming that stripping is prostitution

Link Here11th February 2020
Full story: Sex work law in Israel...Israel wages war against sex workers
Israeli authorities issued administrative orders shutting down three strip clubs in Tel Aviv, following State Prosecution guidelines under which lap dancing is claimed to be prostitution and buying it is a criminal offence.

Closure orders were issued to the Baby Dolls, Shendu and GoGo clubs. The administrative order allows for the immediate closure of the clubs for 30 days, as police investigate their activities. When the order expires, in accordance with the findings of the investigation, the police and prosecution can decide whether to ask the court to extend it. There is now only one other strip club openly operating in Israel.

According to a law enforcement source, after the guidelines were issued by former State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan, the club owners were warned about the need to revamp their operations before being shut down. Prosecutors said in a statement:

The action was carried out in accordance with the state prosecutor's instruction regarding enforcement policy against violations that are affiliated with prostitution, including the act known as 'lap dance,' about which it was determined that under certain circumstances it is a forbidden act.



Miserable Israel...

New law comes into force criminalising paying for sex

Link Here16th July 2020
Full story: Sex work law in Israel...Israel wages war against sex workers
A new law criminalizing payment for sexual services took effect in Israel last week. A new survey by Tel Aviv University found that nearly one in every three Israeli men say they have paid for sex at least one time in their lives, and one in six say that they have paid on multiple occasions.

Sex work has long been legalized in Israel 204 but most of the activities that make professional sex work possible are not. Operating a brothel and pimping are outlawed in the country of about 8.8 million, and in January of last year, Israel's Knesset, or parliament, passed a new law making the payment of money for sexual services a crime.

That law finally took effect on July 10 of this year. Not only is paying for sex illegal under the new law, but even seeking the services of a sex worker can now be punished by a fine ranging from the equivalent of $530 for a first offense, to a maximum of $20,400 for repeat offenses, according to a report by The Times of Israel .

In fact, the law now makes it illegal even to be caught in a place where sexual services are offered, such as a brothel.

old Walking Street sign





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