Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking in Women : Israel's Blood Money book cover
1st Edition

Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking in Women
Israel's Blood Money

ISBN 9780367582029
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

This book critically analyzes the sex industry in Israel, using feminist concepts and scholarship to elaborate on the power of prostitution to shape a world in which women are objects for fulfilling men's desires. A comprehensive collection of research-based articles that examine prostitution, trafficking in women and pornography from divergent disciplinary angles, it reveals the interconnectedness of these three aspects of the sex trade which objectifies, commercializes and exploits human – and in particular women’s – sexuality. Showing these practices to be embedded in a capitalist and patriarchal oppressive context that is accommodated by state institutions, this volume rejects the argument that it is possible to choose prostitution, and that feminist pornography is possible.

With case studies including the conspicuous context of migration that attracts sex traffickers, the liberal discourse introduced by cinema, the media and the arts that serve to legitimate prostitution and pornography, the chauvinist-macho culture that perceives and treats women as sex objects, and the issues of male prostitution and men as clients, Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking in Women: Israel’s Blood Money constitutes a study of Israel as a unique context in which the sex trade can prosper, in spite of geographical, religious and institutional constraints. As such, it will be of interest to scholars of sociology, anthropology, history, cultural studies and gender and women’s studies.

Table of Contents


Part I The State and The Sex Trade

1. Prostitution and the State

2. Women who Traffic for Sex, and Criminal Court Rulings

3. [Trade in] Women and the Israel Police

Part II Women in Prostitution

4. Prostitution and the White-Slave Trade in Palestine

5. Cycles of Voiceless Silence and Silencing

6. Circles of Influence

Part III Cultural Aspects of Prostitution

7. Prostitution: Myth and Reality

8. Feminist Israeli Cinema

9. Male Prostitution, Morality and Dissident Pleasures

Part IV The Feminist Struggle Against Pornography

10. The Liberal Disguise of Pornography in Public Discourse in Israel

11. Controversy amd Consensus, Pornography and Hate Speech

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Esther Hertzog is a social athropologist and a feminist activist. She is the former head of the Social Science Department and the founder of the Anthropology program at Beit Berl Academic College, Israel, and Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology and Gender Studies at Zefat and Levinsky Academic Colleges, Israel. Prof. Hertzog is the author of Patrons of women: Literacy projects and gender development in rural Nepal and Immigrants and bureaucrats, Ethiopians in an Israeli absorption center, the editor of Life, death and sacrifice: Women and family in the Holocaust, and the co-editor of Serendipity in anthropological research: The nomadic turn and Perspectives on Israeli anthropology.

Erella Shadmi is an independent scholar and activist. Formerly, she was the head of the Women’s Studies Department and Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Law Enforcement at Beit Berl Academic College, Israel. She also taught women's studies and the sociology of policing at Ben Gurion University and Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies. Dr. Shadmi is also a retired police Lieutenant Colonel. She is the author of Fortified land: Police, policing and the politics of security and Thinking as a woman: Women and feminism in Israel, the editor of Mother's way (on the maternal gift economy and modern matriarchal studies), and the co-editor of Sappho in the Holy Land: Lesbian experiences and dilemmas in Israel and The pursuit of justice: Studies in crime and law enforcement in Israel.


"Rizkalla’s article, together with the other articles in this book, contribute to a ‘must read’ volume for anybody trying to make sense of how Israel has become the sex trade capital of the Middle East and how Israeli society reconciles the systematic sexualization and abuse of women within her borders and by her citizens outside of her borders."

Tamara Klinger Levi, Director- Resource Development