Sex slur enrages Russian Jews
Friday 22 September 1995
Studies indicate that Russians have largely taken over prostitution in Israel, though the prostitutes mostly come not from the immigrant community but from Russia or Ukraine. They are paid $1,000 (pounds 650) a month in advance and usually stay for three months. At any one time there are about 1,000 Russian prostitutes working in Israel, mostly in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. From 1991 to 1994 the number of massage parlours run by Russian immigrants increased from 14 to 111.
The arrival of so many Russian prostitutes in Israel was part of a world- wide phenomenon, said the daily Haaretz. They had also gone to the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Greece. In Turkey they are common in Istanbul and Trebizond, partly because a visa is easy to obtain. Israel is a popular destination because, as 10 per cent of the population are recent arrivals from the former Soviet Union, links between criminals are easy to establish or already exist.
The prostitutes say their main clients are ultra-orthodox Jews and Palestinians from Israel and the West Bank. In interviews with anthropologists they said they preferred Israeli Arabs, whom they referred to as "white Arabs", to the ultra-orthodox - known as haredim, which means God-fearing - or West Bank Palestinians. Russian Jewish immigrants who enter prostitution usually do so as call girls, who are reputedly organised by the Georgian mafia.
Russian immigrants resent the slur that they are behind a crime wave. Rinat Cohen, of the Zionist Forum, a lobby for Russian immigrants, quoted police figures indicating that Russians (the term in Israel includes Ukrainians and Central Asians) were less likely to commit a crime than native-born Israelis. She attacked negative stereotypes about Russian Jews, such as the statement by a politician in Beersheba that all the immigrants had brought to the town was "crime, prostitutes and alcoholism".
None of these allegations is wholly justified. It is true that in prostitution Russians have largely replaced Moroccans, who once predominated. But the organised import of women from Russia appears to be largely in hands of well-established Israeli syndicates. For organised crime in the former Soviet Union - the Russian mafia - Israel is less a place to make money than to launder it and establish residence.
There is some evidence, however, of the growing involvement of Russian immigrants in everyday crime.
Recently a man entered a bank and silently gave the teller a note in broken Hebrew and Russian which she could not understand. Only after several minutes did he finally succeed in making clear that he was armed and was trying to rob the bank.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...