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A Message to Moldova - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon — LiveJournal
May 20th, 2002
06:10 pm


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A Message to Moldova
I don't know anyone in Moldova; I don't know how to deliver a message to all Moldovans, or any Moldovans for that matter. I'll use this journal, and try to refer people to it, and urge them to try to bring this to the attention of as many Moldovans as possible.

Today I have read for the who-knows-what time of Moldovan young women who have been conned into slavery and forced prostitution in Israel, by Israeli criminals cooperating with Egyptian and Israeli Bedouins. These women are sold to brothels and pimps, forced into prostitution, and obviously have absolutely no rights or liberties. They are held against their will, in bad-to-terrible conditions, by heartless, evil men.

Some of these women have been found and rescued by the police, but there are other women still held in those brothels. Some of them are as young as 17. Those who were rescued are now deported, as they are illegal aliens, having been smuggled across the border. Some of the women awaiting their deportation have agreed to testify against the criminals who kidnapped them, and this is how it works, according to those testimonies:
1. A penniless family in Moldova (perhaps unemployed, perhaps with too many children to support, perhaps in debt) is approached by a local agent of the Israeli criminals, with promises of a "good job that pays well, abroad". They're not always told they'll end up in Israel, sometimes the destination is given as Egypt, sometimes it's not even specified. The job is offered only to young women.

2. A young woman decides to take the offer. She is put on a train to Moscow, and from there travels to Cairo. In Cairo she is handed over to east-Egyptian Bedouins, who cross the Sinai desert and deliver the girl (or girls, they're grouped together at this point, usually) to their brethren on the Israeli side of the border. Those Israeli Bedouins (two specific suspects of the Al-Azazma tribe have been arrested so far) bring them to Eilat, the southernmost Israeli city, a port and resort town. It turns out that the ringleader is an Eilatian millionaire by the name of Mark Gaman.

3. The girls work in Gaman's "establishments" in Eilat, often after being brutally raped by Gaman himself.

4. The women are subsequently sold to "women dealers", who in turn sell them again to brothels and individuals (as personal sex slaves) around the country.
This information is partly covered in this English translation of an Israeli news article from Ha'aretz.

So it seems that this particular ring may now be dismantled, but surely, it is just too lucrative for other individuals not to try their luck in the women trade.

Here, then, is my naïve message to Moldovans:


  • Do NOT be tempted by easy-money-overseas job offers made to women, young or not.
  • Do NOT believe promises made to you of plenty of dollars being sent to your family on a monthly basis.
  • Do NOT do this to your daughters, your sisters, yourselves.
  • There is very little we honest Israelis can do for you if you do.
  • Israeli Law-enforcement is NOT guaranteed to be able to rescue the victims.
I have no idea what Moldovans know about these cases, and whether women who have made it back have done their best to spread the word. Perhaps this message is ridiculously naïve and will prove ultimately futile. But perhaps not, and damn it, it's worth a shot. Please try to bring this information to any Moldovan you may know.

Thank you.

Current Mood: outraged
Current Music: Mendelssohn - Songs Without Words Op. 30: ..

(3 comments | Leave a comment)

Date:May 20th, 2002 08:53 am (UTC)

"What is the history of Fantine? It is society buying a slave? From what? From hunger, from cold, from misery." - Hugo

The fact that this goes on make me ill.
[User Picture]
Date:May 20th, 2002 09:23 am (UTC)
Actually, the law in Israel has been changed recently - it's now illegal to to sell or bartar another human being. Yes, it wasn't illegal before - probably because no one thought anybody was going to do it.
This now gives the law enforcement agencies some teeth for handling the matter, and it should become a lot less common.

By the bye, I wrote a paper giving some background about prostitution (mostly call-girls) in Israel, with some reference to slavery, especially the advertising it recives on the internet. If you're interested in it - the bibliography lists some good sources on this under-studies issue - let me know and I'll e-mail you a copy.
[User Picture]
Date:May 20th, 2002 10:25 am (UTC)
I don't know why it's so surprising to you, maybe the Israeli media in Hebrew didn't cover that bit, but it's been all over the Russian newspapers for the last 5 or 6 years. Another thing that has been all over the Russian newspapers are ads of the so-called "massage parlours" each and every of which is a place of work for some slave prostitutes. For the record: these prostitutes are brought not only from Moldova, but from all over ex-Ussr, as well as Bulgaria, Romania and some other countries. It's a whole industry that has been prospering in Israel for the last decade and police doesn't do anything about it. In fact, they almost always make sure they humiliate the victims prior to deportation and I've read about at least one case where such a prostitute awaiting deportation was raped by police officers.

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