Prostitution: Yes, No
Sir, – Prostitution dates back to ancient times and
although not encouraged, it was not frowned upon, and most certainly neither the
practitioner nor her visitor was stigmatized as a criminal.
“Legislation to criminalize prostitution on its way after ministers back bill”
(February 13) and “Stopping prostitution” (Editorial, February 15) rightly claim
that the practice in our time has attracted a variety of associated negative
elements. These are the low-lifes who are engaged in human trafficking and the
degradation of women and children, and it is they who should be the objects of
vigorous arrest and prosecution. Instead, the proposed legislation misdirects
its focus and vehemence against those who contribute least to the sadism, greed
and violence that dominate today’s reality.
The sad truth about the
legislation is that it has very little chance of successfully accomplishing what
it purports to do.
It will, however, succeed in diverting attention from
the ugly criminal elements and even permit them to flourish, while the necessary
protection against the exploitation and abuse of women will flounder under an
avalanche of verbiage.ZEV CHAMUDOT
Sir, – I decry the abuse,
exploitation and trafficking in the human body, and the victimization of
prostitutes, sexual enslavement and all that is associated therewith. However,
this is a far cry from the current move toward outlawing the services of the
Sure, it should be a serious criminal offense to perpetrate
the full list of abuses of the basic sex instinct, only some of which are listed
above. But the free choice of willing parties to the purchase and sale of sexual
services should not be a crime.
Not for nothing is prostitution referred
to as “the oldest profession.”
In biblical times, it was not looked down
upon; rather, it was seen in the context of a social necessity, a pressure
valve, an uncomplicated means of allowing for the release of the pent up sexual
urge that nature provided in each and every one of us.
It is this
instinctive, natural urge that has and will maintain the existence of the human
It is not dirty – it is nature at its sophisticated
The damage done by persons suffering under severe sexual
frustration far outweighs the supposed defects in the prostitution arena. It is
to be noted that men who are incarcerated for lengthy periods are provided with
prostitution facilities. This is because psychologists see this as essential for
the sanity of the individual.
Yes, punish the abusers and punish them
harshly, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.LAURENCE BECKER
Sir, – Your editorial seems to be on the right track, but a bit too
soft. If such a situation really comes to truth (making prostitution illegal) it
would be a strong step forward in the crusade to help helpless females. I just
wonder whether such a law can really be made to work.
There are many
sides to the issue, not only the women and their pimps. Many, if not most, of
the women could find themselves out of work unless our government can find a way
to teach them other skills (assuming they are willing to learn).
who profit most from this way of life would certainly not stand still while
their means of making a living are threatened.
I welcome such a law
although I doubt it can be made to work.LEONARD ZURAKOV
The effort will have some interesting and perhaps beneficial results. For one
thing, there should be plenty of work for the police since there are many
thousands of sex workers and far more johns. No more wasting tax payers’ money
on fruitless attempts to solve bank robberies while brothels go
Equally important, foreign workers, mostly male and unmarried,
instead of frequenting bordellos can give more energy to finding a sexual life
based on love. Naturally, this will encourage relationships with Israeli women,
which might bring a valuable contribution to the Israeli genetic
Tel Aviv ‘Judaization strategy’
Sir, – Were “UN
investigator calls West Bank housing policy a ‘Judaization strategy’” (February
13) really accurate and true, we could celebrate! How seriously Israel is
censured for wanting its Jewish nation to reflect its identity! It is perfectly
okay with the UN that the Arabs proclaim loudly and frequently that wherever
they live, it has to be judenrein. There was an eerie silence when the
terrorists of Hamas and Fatah declared solidarity despite the Hamas’s declared
goal of destroying Israel and Jews, and teaching that killing Jews is a
Sir, – I was very upset reading “UN
investigator calls West Bank housing policy a ‘Judaization strategy.’” Wasn’t
that the aim of the UN when it agreed to partition? I guess it’s a terrible
“violation” when it comes to Judea and Samaria, but it’s okay to make the new
Palestinian state judenrein.
By the way, I’ve never heard the UN condemn
any country for being “Islamicized.”SUSAN COOPERSMITH
Ma’ale Adumim True
Sir, – The op-ed by Mudar Zahran (“A Palestinian Spring for Jordan?,”
Comment & Features, February 13) should be required reading for anyone who
is interested solving the Palestinian problem. It has all the main ingredients
Zahran sincerely empathizes with his fellow Palestinians as
human beings. He is not interested in using them as pawns and resents those who
cynically do. He wants to make sure they have full political and civil rights,
and fairly focuses his criticism on all countries guilty of discrimination, most
notably Jordan. He also emphasizes the importance of “daily bread” for his
people, a welcome, downto- earth concern.
A Palestinian Spring marked by
fairness and a simple call for freedom and prosperity is the one that will lead
to a radiant summer.DAVID KATCOFF
Jericho, Vermont Oily figures
The article by Michael Sussman (“American military spending and oil dependency,”
Comment & Features, February 9) contained factual errors.
consumes about 22 percent of the world’s oil production, not 50% as stated. It
also produces 9%, not 2% as stated. Most of the oil that is imported comes from
Canada and South America. Very little comes from the Middle East.
goes on to promote the “alternative energy” industry as a means for reducing
dependence on oil imports. So far, alternatives to oil have proven mostly to be
overly expensive and ineffective. Using corn to produce ethanol has cost
billions in subsidies and has pushed up food prices disastrously.
power is expensive and unreliable.
The one exception is natural gas,
which has hardly been promoted at all. A serious drive to switch vehicles to
natural gas, of which the US has a huge surplus, would be a smart
The technology is available today. All that is required is a
government incentive to make natural gas widely available. If it were, the 50%
reduction in cost in comparison with gasoline would ensure that oil imports drop
precipitously.STEPHEN S. COHEN
Ma’aleh Adumim The Op-Ed Editor responds:
The figures were indeed incorrect.In the past decade the US has consumed
22-25% of the world’s oil and produced 9- 12%. According to Michael Sussman, the
2% figure actually referred to the US proportion of the world’s proven oil
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