15 Dec

It’s about time to close the Pussycat Club

TFHT repeatedly confronted the Tel-Aviv Municipality and Israeli Police about the Pussycat Club, a strip club notorious for running a brothel in its back rooms undisturbed by any local authority. Finally, the police raided the Club, founding evidence of sexual services solicited, and ordered the destruction of its “private” rooms.

Subsequently, last week TFHT filed an administrative appeal against the Tel-Aviv Municipality and its Mayor, Ron Huldai, asking the court to cancel it’s license and close the Club.

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As in many other places in Israel, strip clubs serve as a portal to the degradation of prostitution for many young girls and women, as they soon realize what will be demanded of them between the shows, on customers’ laps and in the private rooms.

Nevertheless, many Municipalities choose differently – The Haifa Municipality recently permanently closed a club operating in violation of a court order, and the Eilat Municipality recently declared it would not permit any activity of strip clubs.

Within the framework of the TFHT’s Project 119, volunteers will write to the Mayor of Tel-Aviv, Ron Huldai, to join this advance against prostitution and trafficking and close the Pussycat club. Enclosed is the letter:

“Dear Mr. Mayor of Tel-Aviv-Yafo, Ron Huldai,

Last week an administrative appeal was filed, asking the court to cancel the business license of the Pussycat Club. The appeal was filed after repeated requests to the Tel-Aviv City Council clearly evidencing the club operates as a brothel and violates its business license went unanswered.

As you are surely aware, the police raided the Club and found solid evidence of the sex services and prostitution provided in back rooms and demolished those rooms. But demolishing the rooms is not enough! The main activity in the Pussycat is the facilitation of severe felonies including pimping, coercion to prostitution and sexual harassment in the “workplace”.

Strip clubs serve as a portal to the world of prostitution for many young Israeli girls and women. “The National Survey on Prostitution in Israel”, conducted by the Ministries of Social Affairs and Public Security, stated last year that strip clubs are integral part of the sexual services “industry”. It is your and the City Council’s responsibility to close the Club and revoke its license.

Tel-Aviv will not be the first to take this action. Recently, other municipalities, Haifa, Eilat and Ramat-Gan have closed strip clubs in cooperation with the police and the courts adding their strength to the fight against the exploitation of women on Israel’s streets.

I call upon you, a mayor who raised the banner of protecting women’s rights and promoting social equality, to join this fight to eliminate prostitution and women’s exploitation within the Tel-Aviv-Yafo municipal area under your authority and order the revoking of the business license of the Pussycat Club.”

Click here to read the appeal sent by TFHT (in Hebrew)

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