Strip club [illustrative].
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Tel Aviv District Court ruled on Monday that strip clubs are not under the definition of entertainment and could not operate in compounds that are designated for entertainment by municipalities in their urban building plan.
Judge Michal Agmon-Gonen stated during the verdict that sex-related shows, such as strip shows, are an act of objectifying women, degrading them and offending them.
The court ruling came following a petition by the Ramat Gan Local Committee for Planning and Building against the municipality’s appeal committee, that ruled in favor of Eran Yerushalmy, an owner of a strip club that operated for 24 years in the Diamond Exchange Compound in the city.
The appeal committee decided in 2015 that operating such a club in the compound is permitted according to the city’s urban building plan.
The Local Committee for Planning and Building wants to change the characteristics of the Diamond Exchange Compound area – to shut down strip clubs and build dormitories for students and hotels next to the business center.
Agmon-Gonen said that the court “must stay on guard in order to prevent a reality in which sexual entertainment takes place.”
She added that when an urban building plan permits “entertainment” facilities or “clubs,” it does not mean that sex-related business, such as strip clubs, are permitted.
MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List), the head of the Knesset Committee for the Advancement of the Status of Women and Gender Equality welcomed the court ruling and said that finally an injustice came to an end.
“We all know that strip clubs a not entertainment, and all they do is objectify women,” said Touma-Sliman.
“Behind the scenes we often see there is oppression, humiliation and prostitution. I call on the police to implement the court’s decision and act forcefully to enforce it all over he county – it is about time to send an assertive message against these phenomenons,” she added.
Gila Oshrat, chairwoman of the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) called this court ruling “important and revolutionary.”
“Israel joins today a long list of counties in the world that imposed restrictions on strip shows,” she said. “Behind these shows stands a method of degrading women. This phenomenon, in which women are being used cannot be called ‘entertainment,’ as the appealing committee claimed.”