Lap danc­ing goes from risque to risky in Is­rael

Is­raeli pros­cu­tors launch crack­down on lap danc­ing in Is­raeli strip clubs

The Asian Age - - World -

Jerusalem, Sept. 2: Is­raeli pros­e­cu­tors have launched an of­fen­sive to end lap danc­ing in strip clubs, while law­mak­ers from across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum are back­ing a bill to out­law strip­tease across the board.

Po­lice spokesman Micky Rosen­feld said on Sun­day that law en­force­ment had re­ceived a state­ment from the state at­tor­ney’s of­fice say­ing lap danc­ing can be con­sid­ered a form of pros­ti­tu­tion and there­fore an of­fence.

Of­fi­cers are now await­ing in­struc­tions on how to en­force the rule, he told AFP.

“The phe­nom­e­non known as ‘ lap dance’ con­sti­tutes in cer­tain cir­cum­stances an ‘ act of pros­ti­tu­tion’,” says the pol­icy rul­ing, a copy of which was seen by AFP.

“The con­tin­u­a­tion of this ac­tiv­ity will con­sti­tute an of­fence and cause for tak­ing all the mea­sures in the law,” in­clud­ing against busi­ness own­ers, it added.

The po­lice have in­formed strip club on the change in pol­icy and warned that they would act to en­force it, the rul­ing said.

Rosen­feld con­firmed that “some letters have been sent out” to club own­ers.

While the state at­tor­ney’s of­fice is us­ing ad­min­is­tra­tive tools to toughen en­force­ment, MPs from both gov­ern­ment and Op­po­si­tion are also spon­sor­ing amend­ments to the law which would crim­i­nalise strip­tease as “part of the cy­cle of pros­ti­tu­tion.”

“The bill is de­signed to re­flect in Is­raeli law the di­rect con­nec­tion be­tween strip­tease and pros­ti­tu­tion, both of which per­pet­u­ate harm­ful and hu­mil­i­at­ing at­ti­tudes to­wards women and their bod­ies,” the draft amend­ment says.

“The strip­ping in­dus­try is closely linked to the pros­ti­tu­tion in­dus­try, and a large pro­por­tion of the strip clubs are used as broth­els.”

Though pros­ti­tu­tion it­self is le­gal in Is­rael, most re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties, such as so­lic­it­ing, pimp­ing and brothel- keep­ing, are crim­i­nal of­fences.

Last month the gov­ern­ment en­dorsed a bill to fine pros­ti­tutes’ clients, which is ex­pected to go be­fore par­lia­ment af­ter the sum­mer re­cess.

State at­tor­ney’s of­fice say­ing lap danc­ing can be con­sid­ered a form of pros­ti­tu­tion and thus an of­fence Law­mak­ers are back­ing a bill to out­law strip­tease Po­lice have in­formed strip club on the change in pol­icy

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