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Bill Could Make Prostitution ‘kosher’

Israel’s prostitutes may be able to practice their profession indoors and above board, if a bill supported by the government passes the Knesset.

Justice Minister David Libai said the spread of the sexually transmitted virus that causes AIDS lends urgency to passage of a bill that allows prostitutes to get off the streets and conduct business within the safer confines of a home or hotel room.

Libai heads a Cabinet committee that on Monday endorsed a private members’ bill that would also permit prostitutes to advertise services that now are published under the guise of massage parlors and escort services.

Skepticism over the bill’s chances of getting through the Knesset over the opposition of the Orthodox was expressed by the leader of a group of Knesset members submitting the bill.

Avraham Poraz of the left-wing Meretz bloc said he feared the government would ultimately surrender to pressure from its fervently Orthodox coalition partner, the Shas party, and abandon the bill altogether.

Attempts to legalize prostitution have been unsuccessful for 15 years.

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