This has been a difficult couple of weeks for your Blogger -- subjected to in personam attacks, misrepresentations of my alleged actions, fingers pointed at this Blog, etc. I have even had trouble finding the humor in what has happened in New York these last 10 days. So this Musing:
DAVID BEN GURION'S DREAMS
The recent, um, travails of now Former Governor Eliot Spitzer brought to mind David ben Gurion's dreams for a Jewish State. He said something like "I will know when we have a real State when we have Jews who are bus drivers and service station attendants, farmers and...prostitutes." Well, maybe that's not exactly what he said, but it's close. So on a recent trip to Israel I was not surprised to read a headline in a local Israeli paper that "80% of Israelis Against Punishing Prostitutes." What surprised me was the source. (And I do recall that 47% of all statistics are invalid.)
It seems that the poll that released this astounding data was commissioned by the Knesset's "Committee on the Status of Women." Yes, the Knesset's Research Department and its consultant, Teleseker Company, interviewed 500 people...500 people...to learn that less than 1/5th of them believe that prostitutes or the men and women who employ them should be tried in court. (Helllooo Eliot Spitzer, aliya now? Call your local shaliach.)
Now, here in the US of A we poll just about everything -- in fact there are some who believe...actually believe...that our government's policies are determined by the poll results. Yet, now I have read of a Knesset poll on this critical issue, apparently so vital to the Israeli polity that 500 of them would actually respond to the question.
The Knesset will no doubt debate the issue and some will point to this poll as dispositive. The Executive Director of Israel's Women's Network, in response to the poll, urged "...a massive re-education campaign to sway the public sentiment on prostitution." We have learned on our travels that 1/3 of Israeli children today live below the poverty line, do you think that changing that reality might move those who practice prostitution away from that line of work? Just asking.