Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Prostitution In Israel

anti-Prostitution ad
Prostitution is a major problem in Israel and many are trying to find a way to decrease and minimize it. Rosenthal paints a clear picture of this billion-dollar institution that seems to be part of Israel life. An estimated 700-massage parlor/ brothels operate in the country with 250 in Tel Aviv alone, sex for sale is blatant and lucrative she states. (Rosenthal 383) Due to the money involved in prostitution the Russian Mafia now control most Prostitution in Israel? Prostitution in Israel is legal, running a brothel or living off the earnings of prostitution is not. (Rosenthal 384-385)
devastating picture of an abused prostitute

In Y Net news an article on Israel sex trade Booming they report that about 5,000 women are smuggled to Israel annually and sold into prostitution industry, were they are subjected to violence and abuse. According to this article many of these foreign prostitute are from Ukraine, Moldova, Uzbekistan and Russia most of the time brought though lies of job offers. The Parliamentary Inquiry Committee headed by Knesset Member Zehava Golan are trying to get State prosecutor’s to reframe from making plea bargains with sex traders and offer financial compensation to the victims.
In the same regards to minimize the prostitution industry Knesset member Orit Zuaretz who’s bill is trying to outlaw the solicitation of prostitution. If this passed the law will punish the clients as criminals and force them to take responsibility for their behavior. Zevulun Orlev agrees stating that “ it’s not enough to punish the pimps and the traffickers but in order to dry up the swamp and to reduce demand, we have to hit the clients themselves. ” The bill was introduced during a special session of the committee on trafficking of women. The large opponents are the Knesset members from the Shas party stating that the women are the ones to blames for they tempt the men and so the men seeking should not be punished.   She is quit outraged as I at this way of looking at it and responds, “The real obstacle to progress here is the idea that men cannot help themselves. It is “human nature” for the poor, victimized men to hump the nearest skirt when the opportunity presents itself, according to men like Zeev( Shas Knesset member).Orits bill was inspired by a similar one passed in Sweden in 1999 and resulted in women working as prostitutes shrinking by two-thirds.
         The United Nations named Israel as one of the main destinations in the World for Trafficked women, The U.S State Department as well listed Israel as number two in the trafficking of people report. Israel prostitution industry is devastating to many women and a current problem that Israel is trying to contain. The Daily Jewish forward is a religious site that is pro women and so would feature an article on Knesset member Orit Zuaretz a female effort to contain Prostitution. The data used is consistent with that of the article in Y Net. Whose figures are form the Knesset Inquiry committee. The Y Net article has reliable information and is an informative new article for the Jewish news site.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Druze Brides

Druze Bride crossing border never to return home to her Family

The Honor of Druze Women is sacrosanct that they are not required to have photos on official Israeli documents as Rosenthal states in her book The Israelis. (Rosenthal 311) In her interview of a young Druze girl Salwa goes to say, “I will live at home until I marry. All of us do that is not questioned.”(Rosenthal 311) The Druze is a very religious group that abides to there strict religious laws. In an article titled Druze Bride cannot return to the Golan Heights after her marriage, Druze women are leaving there home for marriage never to return. This article proves true to the young Salwa statement in Rosenthal’s book but to an extreme.
 Israel and Syria have been in a state of war since Israel was created in 1948. Since the 1980’s Israel and Syria have allowed a small number of Golan Druze to cross the Frontier on religious pilgrimages or to study. Druze women can also cross both directions to get married, but they cannot cross back. Twenty-five year old Abushahen from a Druze village of Buqata on the Golan Heights is a bride marring a Druze in Syria and is to leave her family never to return. Abushahen’s family was separated when Israel took the Golan Heights from Syria and has not seen relatives in Syria but at reunions in Jordan who has diplomatic relations with Israel and Syria. It was in Jordan at a family reunion that Abushahen met her Husband Hareb twenty-six. Abushahen father is sad and wishes there wasn’t a fence that forbids him from seeing his daughter in Syria, but knows that he could meet her In Jordan to see her again. “I’m so happy to be married today,” Abushahen said ‘ But “ I’m sad to Leave my family.” The Red Cross Officials escorted her over the Border and into Syria. Their relatives and members of Hareb’s family greeted her.
Movie cover for the The Syrian Bride
            According to Yael Segev-Eytan, a spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, since 2001, 70 Druze brides have come from Syria to Golan, but Abushahen’s departure is the first time since 2001 that a Golan Bride has gone to Syria. This situation seems to me more and more common. In 2004 “ The Syrian Bride” and Israeli film tells the story of a young Druze woman who leaves her family on the Golan Heights to marry a Syrian Druze knowing she can’t return. In my research I cam across video clips of Druze brides leaving there family on there wedding day.
The article was on a pro women’s rights cite, called Women living Under Muslim laws. The article was written in a reporting style nevertheless it was put on the web site to show viewers what women are subjected to in their cultures and religions in this case Druze women marriages that force them to leave there families.The following link takes you to a news cite reporting on a Druze Bride to cross to Syria from the Golan Heights She is interviewed and her crossing is shown. It doesn't get more real than watching this happen in Israels Golan Heights.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Haredim Women Lifestyle

sign forbidding women entrance

Reading about haredim women was quite fascinating yet shocking at the same time. Rosenthal describes the Steins haredim way of life  “Sarah takes her grueling schedule, split between clients and children, in stride: She Always has lived in a world where men learn and women work. Being married to a full-time Talmudic scholar means she is terminally tired but has a prized place in Israeli society.”(Rosenthal 188) It becomes apparent that haredim Jews way of life is extreme to secular Jews in Israel. They follow religious law and women’s free will or choice does not exist.
Group of Haredim women and the children.

Many secular Jew and Feminist women don’t agree with this haredim women life style. In an article The Feminine Mystique Shobat a Feminist who speaks  against haredim women life style is quoted saying “haredi women would not opt for a life of slavery. It is doubtful whether most ever had the opportunity to make any personal choice whatsoever in their lives.” It is clear that a haredim women’s daily life can seem unfair, hard, exhausting to a feminist or an outsider like me. The article defends the haredim way of life. The article wants feminist to really look at all the aspects of a haredim women’s way of life and not just the negative. Kaufman a sociologist and self described feminist Interviewed 150 ba’alot tesheva and saw the whole picture of these women’s life and understood them as women and realized the good side as of these women’s religious life. In interviewing them and learning about them and their way of thinking and feelings, she found that women felt no dought about her theological equality in Orthodox Judaism.  That many are vary much content with their life and enjoy the power they do have. Kaufman states that some women think there "able to make demands on men as husbands and fathers in ways they believe less possible in the secular world and When it comes to there sexual life they enjoy "The family purity laws are so in line with me as a woman . . . [I] t is commanded that I not be sexually taken for granted, that I have two weeks each month for myself,"
Haredim women reading while pushing a stroller.

The hard work and the many rules and customs these haredim women must follow to me are unthinkable. The issue feminist Shobat advocates the lack of women’s choice or free will is one I personally can’t get passed. Nevertheless I can respect these women’s beliefs and see them as strong women, but realize that for women not raised in the haredi world would find it difficult to fully understand it and willing to accept it. The article the feminine mystique is a religious one that advocates for the haridim women. It’s a direct defense article against feminist Shobat advocating her anti-haredim women way of life. The article is ten years old and that takes credibility away for its not current on today’s haredim women. Nevertheless I like the way it set the issue of the perception of the haredim women lifestyle I think Rosenthal deals with.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Israel’s Military Acceptance of Homosexuals
Israeli soldiers ready for combat waving an Israeli flag.


Israeli solider holding a rainbow flag
 Author Donna Rosenthal captures the attitudes on gays in the army in her chapter Oy! Gay? “ the army is showing it to soldiers now because it’s the army of the people, everybody has to go  we don’t care if you’re gay.” Israel has one of the world’s most active military. Israel Defense Forces drafts both men and women at the age of eighteen.  Israel is one of the only country’s in the world that maintains obligatory military service for women. Although there is general exemption from compulsory service to various segments of the population and women usually take advantage of these exemption. IDF asks men to serve a three years and women twenty- one months.
            It wasn’t until 1983 that IDF permitted homosexuals to serve. Nevertheless the discrimination still occurred and many soldiers were banned from intelligence and top-secret positions until 1993 when the Knesset removes such restrictions against gays became illegal. The Knesset decision would open the homosexual issue in the army allowing many to serve and feel free to express themselves. Many in the IDF feel “ It’s a non-issue.” As see in the video Yermi Brenner article being open about homosexuality is still an issue for the individual. The military institution can be very accepting of homosexuality, but tension among soldiers still exist. As Tomar Azaria shares his experience which was positive, he does state it depends on your unit and there level of acceptance of the issue. The machismo way of thinking is very much part of society still today, and homosexuality contradicts that.
            Tel Aviv is one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world, but outside of the Liberal metropolis most Israelis are conservative concerning homosexuality. The Israeli military acceptance of homosexuals has open society to this issue. Nevertheless religious Jew, Arabs and Muslims still look down on homosexuality and many men live in the closet. The openness of the Israeli military towards homosexuality is used today to reflect on the “ don’t ask don’t tell” policy in the U.S.  Several articles I came across talk about the well adjusted military has been in regards to this issue. In an article  In Israeli Army Gay is no Big Deal  the author criticizes the U.S policy calling it ridiculous.
The sources I used were relatively pro gay rights in the army. In two of my sources which are article they set the Israeli army example not just to profess their pro gay rights but also use it as an example to advocate for the U.S to adapt to the same mind frame in regards to homosexuals in the army. I really liked the article by Yermi Brenner his video accounts add credibility to his article.  The third source was a website that contained the structure and facts about the Israeli army.
gay right rally Israeli and Rainbow flags being waved.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Barkat: 'Just Say No' to Splitting Jerusalem


Barkat a retired businessman and now Mayor of Jerusalem spoke on Monday in Atlanta at the annual Jewish National Fund conference saying no to splitting Jerusalem. For the last decade the Palestinians have tried to take Jerusalem back. Recently Palestinian Authority has demanded that Israel hand over all parts of the city that were under Jordanian occupation between 1948 and 1967.  They want this land to become the capital of a new Arab State. The city has been unified for decades, since annexed after the Six Day War of 1967.
The Mayor is adamant that Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel. In august Barkat released an outline of his vision for Jerusalem's future, stating "The vision I have for the city is to return Jerusalem to the role it played two and three thousand years ago as a world center - a destination for pilgrims and believers throughout the world." Barkat strives to develop Jerusalem to a great leave of tourism that he feels will help create jobs and help Jerusalem to get out of the poverty its suffers today. The separation of the city would only create hostility in a place that Jew’s and Arabs live relatively well together.
He is clear in his speech, Monday that they must simply say “NO” to the Arab request and move on. He believes that the division of Jerusalem would never work. Khaled Abu Toameh a Muslim Arab journalist also shares Mayor Barkat’s view on not splitting Jerusalem. He wrote a piece himself on the issue in which he talks about how many Arabs in Jerusalem prefer Israeli rule rather than Palestinian Rule. Toameh points out that Arabs are in titled to many of the Israeli benefits that perhaps would not be in the case of Palestinian rule. He further states that the division of the city of Jerusalem would be a “ nightmare of traffic snarls surrounded by security barriers, check points and border crossings.” More importantly Toameh in his article asks that the 200,000 Arabs living in Jerusalem be asked what they want.
The author of the article is Maayana Miskin who is a journalist for the Israel National News and is a part of other news blogs. She has written and published many articles generally focusing on the Israel and Palestinian events. The article is straightforward and she leaves her personal view to herself, I found no content that she is pro or against the splitting of Israel. She also provides links to both the Mayors vision for Jerusalem’s article as well as Journalist Toameh piece on the issue as well. I used both the articles is my review of her article and found them helpful in getting more information in regards to the issue.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Phyllis Chesler: Potentially, Israel Faces a Second Holocaust


Israel facing the second Holocaust can be an attention catcher. In the article professor Chester gives her take on the anti-Israelworld view and is quite passionate about it. More than an Article it’s an opinion piece advocating for the search of the truth about Israel. Today in Rome there is a “For the truth for Israel” movement organized by Fiamma Nirenstein journalist a vice-president for the committee of affairs to the Italian, the article was commissioned for the cause. Chester’s voice is quite passionate about the unjust hatred and lies that are advocated all over the world against Israel and is appalled by it. She states that the media has been “Palestinianized and Stalinized” she references President Ahmadiejad’s view that Israel should be wiped out and will soon be in statement made in 2005. She feels that not only does president Ahmadiejad statement but the worlds anti-Israel view is turning to the second Holocaust. In 1975 the UN resolved that Zionism as a form of racism and has since passed 322 resolutions condemning Israel and not one condemning any Arab country. She believes that these resolutions as well as the boycotts on Israel industries from European and Americans are unjust and unfair. In her eyes its fifty-seven Islamic nations against one democratic state. Israel is wrongly blamed for the failed peace talk by U.S. Pres. Obama and the western intelligentsia. They feel that asking the Palestinians to accept Israel, as a Jewish state is Islam phobic. Nevertheless she finishes her piece with “Big Lies and monstrous hatred have gone global. Stand against this. Stand for the values of the Enlightenment, stand for truth over lies. Otherwise, we will all be bombed back into the Arabian 7th century, the women who survive will wear burqas, and theocratic barbarians will rule us all. More than the lights will go out, and not just over Europe; this time, the lights will dim over the entire world.”

Phyllis Chester is a PHD. Professor and well known author because of it her arguments are legitimized. Her piece deals with a variety of topics in which she proves how Israel has been condemned by the world in different aspects. Her voice and opinion are very present and because of it a bias point of view. Her peace is very passionate and she is advocating for Israel. I found the piece inspiring and also interesting because it’s a challenge to find out the real story about many of the issues in Israel and Palestine today. The search for the truth is very much important not only for Israel but the Middle East in general. Part of this class is to be aware of bias opinions and to really look for the truth of the situation to enable us to talk about such hot issues as Israel and the Middle East and why I liked the article it advocates the search of the truth.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Young Israelis are moving to Berlin in droves.

 The Holocaust was a horrific act that still enrages many all over the world. Germany became very much hated by the affected Jews for good reason but time has passed and many have come to put it in the past and look past it. It seems that today Berlin has become a place full of freedom and comfort for many young Jewish Israeli students. The article discusses the growing migration of  Israeli Jews to Germany many of them students in search of art expression as well as for security purposes. It seems that Germany has turn away from its anti Jews view and embraces the Jewish culture much more making the growing Jewish population to feel Germany embodies freedom tolerance and an easy going spirit.  An example of this is Nirit Bailer Hebrew radio stations. Nirit granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor provides music talks and interviews all in Hebrew which attract many Jewish listener in Germany. According to the article the German's and Jews can live in harmony embracing each others  culture and accepting there past and not letting it get between them today.

In my opinion Jews migrating to Germany is a good thing. It shows how much people have grown to look past such a horrible past between the two culture and have embraced each other in order to live in harmony. Although its safe to say the many Jews still aren't fond of the Germans and to many this seems out rages it is occurring. As stated in the article the exact number of Israeli that migrated to Germany is not known. It can be said that its a relatively small number compared to the Jewish population in Germany that before the Nazi came in to power. Collecting the correct data of such migration number would help give the article more credibility. Only time will tell if this migration of Israeli Jew will consistently grow. The conflict of the middle east can be a cause for some of this migration to Germany as well as other places in search of stability and peace. 

for full article