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by Judith Bat-Ada·
uppose that in one year anti-Semitic violence in
the U.S. rose by 450/0, and a Jew was brutally
mutilated. Suppose, too, that year there had
been a 3000/0 increase in the sale of anti-Semitic
magazines and videotapes. Surely, American
Jews would demand an investigation of the
connection between these two phenomena.
In Israe1, there has been an acceleration of certain types.
of crimes in the past few y ears. During this same period,
there has been a drastic increase in the dissemination of
printed and visual materials glorifying certain kinds
of violence.
The crimes have been assaults on girls and women. The
materials are pornography. And Israeli women are begin­
ning to speak up on the connection.
While this article is not about pornography per se, but
about its proliferation in and effect on Israeli life, we
.
should take- just a sentence or two to provide a working
definition: pornography means the display of people as.
sexual objects rather than as total, complex human beings
. with complex histories, presents and futures, and the
reduction of such persons to easily' replaceable body parts
(breasts, thighs, vaginas, legs, etc.).

. �d.:;/. ��� .Y.i..:i. No. 11 Lilith 9
sraeli police statistics re­ left for a sexual encounter the night
veal a 45% increase in of her disappearance" wearing sexy
rape in Israel from 1980- underwear. (Parenthetically, I deliber­
1981, and a 10% increase ately use the term "girls" when speak­
in other sex crimes. The ing of young females "under the age
increase in rape cannot be of consent" -Le., up to 18. I do this
explained away by the standard out of a strong ideological conviction
"more reporting" argument. Dr. that the word implies a level of social
Court believes this argument is "over­ and legal protection adult society
stated by those who wish to deny the owes any youth below the age of 18.
association with pornography." Even Those who delight in the ultimate in
if public awareness led to increased female exploitation, that is, the
reporting of assaults, "it cannot ex­ purveyors of child porn, are happy to
plain rises prior to such public aware­ call girls of 10 or 15 "females,"
ness occurring," he said. In fact, some "women" or "young women." This
research suggests that fewer rapes are permits their exploitation of chil­
reported in Israel today (in the U.S., dren-redefined as women-with
as well) than in past years because of: "clear conscience.")
(1) the emergence of non-reporting Sexual child abuse is by no
rape crisis centers; (2) publicitY re­ means a new phenomenon in Israel.
garding the sometimes serious diffi­ We have had child molestation before
culties imposed upon the victims of and child rape before, but such cases
rape by the authorities; (3) the well­ were so few and far between that no
justified fear of retaliation from the statistics of child rape existed previ­
Dr. John H. Court, Associate rapists' friends or the rapists them­ ously. Such an overwhelming inci­
Professor of Psychology at The Flin­ selves when they are inevitably re­ dence of rape of children is new.
ders University of South Australia, in leased from custody; and (4) the real­ Israel has thus seen real changes
his paper on pornography presented ization that often no conviction will in its male behavior towards women
to the International Interdisciplinary be obtained. -and children-in a very short peri­
Congress on Women (Haifa, 1981), Shlomo Gal, chief of the Jerusa­ od of time. Our research supports the
concluded that the themes of pornog­ lem police force, in a -1981 interview mounting accumulation of feminist
raphy channel and direct violence to with Esther Stein of the Institute for and scientific opinion that an anti­
women and children. These themes the Study of Media and the Family, women propaganda blitz over the
include pleasure in pain, rape as re­ said police estimate that only lout of past several years has caused and/ or
warding, and sex as a mechanistic 20 rapes is reported. And this esti­ encouraged increased women and
event which one is entitled to wit­ mate does not take into account in­ child abuse. Much of that blitz
ness. He writes: creased incest and marital rape, about appears in forms of pornography.
which there ar«:- neither statistics nor Dr. Court has pointed out that a
"An extended case, starting in estimates. While our numbers of re­ larger danger than pornography itself
1970, has been made on the basis of ported rapes (142 in 1980, 277 in may be that its themes filter down
very dubious data from Denmark, 1981) are low compared to the U.S. into "legitimate" mass media and gen­
that sex crimes go down when por­ (the F.B. I. estimated, Newsweek eral society. The effect of these por­
nography becomes freely available reported, that U.S. rapes occur at one nographic themes is to increase the
....I remain . .. convinced [on the per six minutes), our sudden increase level and style of violence such as
basis of various studies] that sexual is what is significant. rape, wife battering, incest and gener­
assaults are not only increasing, but Moreover, the rape crisis center al abuse. These crimes appear to be
that this increase is in part influenced in Tel Aviv informs us, victims are incorporating the newer forms of
by the themes promoted by pornog­ getting younger (as in the U.S.). For abuse and humiliation depicted in
raphy." While minor sex crime reports the first time, parents are calling in pornographic materials.
declined in Copenhagen, rape did about attacks upon children as young My interviews with battered
not. Dr. Court writes: "In fact, the as five years of age. There was an wives substantiate statements on this
trend has been steeply up." He quotes outbreak of rape of children from phenomenon by Barbara Swirski of
British feminist Diana Russell: five to 16 after the brutal sexual the Battered Women's Shelter in
assault and chain-saw mu.ilation of Haifa. Battering husbands (as well as
"The point about the relationship ll-year old Nava Elimelech of Bat emotionally and verbally abusive
between pornography and rape is Yam in March, 1982; her severed men), she said, commonly use porno­
this: pornography, even at its most head and parts of her body were graphic photos and ideas to focus the
banal, objectifies women's bodies . . . . found along the Tel Aviv beach. Bull sexual activity they force their wives
Women are not seen as human be­ Magazine, in an article on Nava after into. These photos and "imaginative"
ings, but as things. Men are reared to she was originally kidnapped, ideas include the wives' copulation
view females in this way, pornogra­ described her as a sexually swinging with dogs brought home for the occa­
phy . .. feeds it, and rape is one of the U-year-old who engaged in sexual sion. (One woman who did have sex
consequences ." acts at parties with all the boys and with the dog as demanded, partici-

10 No. 11 Lilith
ot unclothed females writhing in vari­
ous states of arousal or just casually
decorating the pages crs images of de­
sirability. Here, the photos seem to
say, is a real female (the model), a de­
The Feb. 15-21182 cover of Anashim, a "fami·
sirable woman or child, and you, the
Iy" magazine, features the kind of sensuously
reader, are merely the pale imitation
brutal scene that is increasingly being
of this sexually uninhibited free spirit.
woven into the family, women's and general·
In Israel today, a five- or eight-year­
circulation media in Israel.
old child can open family newspapers
and find pictures of couples engaged
in foreplay.
In Israel, too, we appear to find
more visible phallic imagery than in
the U.S. While Playboy and Pent­
house cover the male genitalia as
carefully as they reveal the female

ill
genitalia, Israel's weekly Bull and its
recent imitations, such as Erotica, are
now offering semi-erect phalli.

11 the imported so-called

A
soft pornography (Play­
boy/Penthouse/Hustler) is
pated in the production of a porno­ Five years ago the incidence of sold at newsstands every­
graphic film made by her husband.) pornography in Israel was lower than where, in university book­
.
. Forced anal intercourse is common. in the U.S. Today it is found in "legit­ stores and by Steimatsky's,
Battered wives are clear in their testi­ imate" mass-circulation magazines as Israel's major bookstore and news­
mony and analysis that the pornogra­ well 'as movie-house, billboard, radio stand distributor. European pornogra­
phers' material is used as both inspira­ and newspaper ads. phy, and black-and-white child por­
tion and as "certified male authority" One major difference between Is­ nography is also available, at high
by their husbands. raeli and American pornography is prices.
"There is one message basic to all ;r.that the pornographic themes of sad­ The Tel Aviv bus station­
kinds of pornography," said activ:3t ism, ps.eudo-homosexuality and child supported by tax payers' money­
Andrea Dworkin in a speech at a pornography are being woven into permits porn peddlers a virtual
1979 March Against Pornography ral­ the daily family, women's and general monopoly. They have the liberty to
ly in New York: "She wants it; she circulation media, and the street and exhibit materials floor to ceiling in
wants to be beaten; she wants to be travel environment. Materials appear the ticket-selling area. I have
forced; she wants to be raped; she in Israeli family publications today personally seen pictures of children in
wants to be brutalized; she wants to which would still not be found in the pornographic poses sold there. No
be hurt. This is the premise, the first back pages of Playboy. In the last few other merchants have space there,
principle, of all pornography." years, women's, family and youth only the porn peddlers.
There is considerable evidence magazines have featured advertising The huge billboard film adver­
that porn triggers rape-as well as and "artistic" scenes which are "sen­ tisements for semi- or not so semi­
wife battery, incest, sexual suously" brutal; in one case, sexual pornographic films are unavoidable
harassment on the job and other as­ exploitation was combined with spe­ in Tel Aviv. In Natanya in 1981, a
saults on women. Is it any different cifically Jewish symbols of the Holo­ large billboard featured a naked teen­
from providing scope and social caust. ager astride an adult male, with an
place-often approval-in society to Barely a magazine issue appears "older" woman looking on.
anti-Semitic or racist plays, cartoons, today which does not include some "Blue movies" are growing in
films, jokes? If such scope is given, blatantly violent image assaulting fe­ fashionable chic in many social circles
anti-Semitism or racism, which is male dignity. For example, La Ishah, across the nation. In the rush to emu­
always present to some degree, will the best-selling women's magazine in late sophisticated Americans and Eu­
'
take root, grow, and become violent. Israel, ran two suggestively-posed ropeans, "Deep Throat" and "The
Pornography can be seen as the naked photos of Brooke Shields as an Babysitters" join a complete selection
anti...,semitism of women. Feminists eight-year-old, next to her "grown­ of "X" videos and films shown at pri­
need not seek out pornography as an up" image. Ladies' Home Journal or vate parties, and Chanukah and
issue: it "finds" feminists-just as any other legitimate American maga­ Purim celebrations. Even gatherings
anti-Semitism finds the Jew, assim­ zine would not run a picture of a to celebrate the birth of a baby girl
ilated or not. In the same way that naked IS-year old girl, yet some Is­ have been known to include "blue"
Mein Kampf was an issue for all raeli women's and family magazines movies; and, according to a col­
Jews, pornography can be seen as an have done just that, increasingly in­ league, in an Egged Bus Company
issue.for all women. cluding sexually exploitative images celebration in a city building last

No. 11 Lilith it
year, Egged bus drivers and their view it as a trivial issue, and
' the law
wives disco-danced while a is not enforced.
pornographic film· was screened. (By contrast, Reuters reported in
There are 100,000 video tapes in March that the French Government is
private Israeli homes, and pornogra­ considering a new bill under which
phic tapes are a major sales item, ac­ anyone presenting images in newspa­
cording to Kol Israel Radio. One can pers, magazines, TV, radio, advertis­
also now order "hard-core" video ing, texts and public speeches deemed
tapes via local community newspaper to be degrading to women through
supplements published in the daily incitement to discrimination, hatred,
papers. The supplements openly pro­ violence, insult or defamation could
mote full pornographic displays, ad­ face a prison term of up to one year
vertising the "Eros" sex shops and and! or fines of up to $44,000. Pre-o
their sex aids. senting the bill to a Cabinet meeting,
Children are increasingly acting Women's Rights Minister Yvette
out their new "lessons" in the class­ Roudy said it was modeled on
room, much to the distress of parents France's anti-racism law of 1972. A
and teachers alike, according to This spokesperson for the Ministry said,
Week in Natanya, a local newspaper. "Ideally the law would not have to be
Interviews with nursery school teach­ applied but, after a few test cases, its
ers and parents confirmed this phen­ yery existence would have a dissua­
omenon. sive and preventative value.")
For its primarily male student Many Israelis share an innocent
body, the Technion (Haifa technical belief that if the assault of such imag­ liThe clllJdren are upstaging me," reads the
graduate school) students' organiza­ es were really dangerous, the aca­ text for this advertisement for children S
tion procures and screens pornogra­ demic, medical and governmental clothing. Ads in Israeli family magazines "in­
phic films about once a month at all bodies, supported by public taxes to creasingly include sexually explotlative im-
major student events. Strip -shows protect and inform the dtizenry, ages of unclothed females. " 0

supplement the belly dances on Pur­ would have seen to it that these ma-
im and Student Day, while "live" so­ o. terials would not be permitted. Ergo
called "lesbian sex acts" were featured -the constant barrage of brutality
at Oneg Shabbats. All are advertised and hate must be harmless.
in full-color posters on the Technion
campus and on walls throughout Sexual violence as Israeli chic is only by its glamorization of anti-so­
Haifa. Student magazines have most explicitly demonstrated in Mon­ cial activities, including "soft" drug
blatant sexist drawings, photos, and itin, Israel's slick largest selling use, which is often pictured as
porno crossword puzzles. A major monthly. Monitin claims to be a desirable and Euro-American.
protest by the University Women's "family magazine" (for upper-Class Is- ' Monitin prints a regular column
Association produced no change. raelis). It is sophisticated and expen­ by Dr. Ami Shaked, a leading sexolo­
At a kibbutz in the far south, a sive, aimed at the influential male gist and a former lecturer for the
young mother argued in an interview and, secondarily, at his female part­ Ministry of Education. His columns
that since their friends began showing ner. Begun in September, 1978 and at are generally inane-except for the
"blue" movies, her husband's sexual times distributed free in affluent dangerous 'series in 1981 on incest,
demands had increased in proportion neighborhoods, it has reached a which cited the view of "many doc­
to his lessening sensitivity. This kib­ 250,000 circulation. tors" that all "loving" relationships
butz woman felt "betrayed" by her Women are slabs of meat to are good, even should they include
group of female friends, who claimed Monitin's photographic eye: cut up father-child sex. (He gives no such
that they enjoyed the "blue movie" into manageable portions-legs, equal space to the "many doctors"
Tuesday night screenings in members' breasts, thighs, lips. The magazine who point out that incest can destroy
homes. Instead of supporting her feel­ has run photo images of battered children, or to documentation of the
ings, she said, these women "in­ (nude-sexy) women, women bound harm it can do.) His columns are
creased my insecurity and feeling of and tortured, women running in fear. consistently illustrated with violent
isolation." And in one rape-murder sequence, a and humiliating misogynist images.
Displaying or selling pornogra­ woman, apparently dead, dangles up­ In one, a naked woman writhes in
phy, "materials which incite sexual side down in a bathing suit, one fear as a large screw is about to
lust," is, by the way, absolutely breast exposed. penetrate her vagina to "illustrate"
against Israeli law, and subject to Monitin cover women glare with Shaked's view of female fear of
three months' imprisonment and a vacant or hate-filled eyes, clenched sexual intercourse.
fine. However, as the courts, lawyers fists, and gnashing teeth, projecting Monitin has also featured sex!
and police are still under the errone­ the belief that women are either vic­ sadism photo displays in its issues.
ous impression that sex crimes de- timizers, like these, or victims like The most blatant and horrific exam­
creased in Denmark when pornogra­ those shown tortured or running. Its ple is what the Institute for the Study
phy was legalized, they continue to celebration of sex-sadism is surpassed of Media and the Family calls the

12 No. 11 Lilith
·r

high heels, her hand propped on her
hip and a provocative expression on
her face. In our interview with Zvi
Algar, the magazi�e's male editor, his
excuse for this brazen sexual exploita­
tion of �n adolescent was that the .
girl's mother had approved. He add­
ed: "Everybody's doing it. We can't
hide from the rest of the world. We
are a mirror of society. This
[children's exploitation] is happen­
ing-we just mirror it."
In fact, general fashion ads ev­
erywhere for children's clothing in­
creasingly pose children in provoca­
tive but "cute" poses.
Lee jeans and Gali shoe ads stress
stripping-females taking off their
clothes either in the presence of males
in the picture or with the males out­
Monilin's Dec. 79 issue featured a 6·page side it viewing the stripper-"putting
spread entitled 'ff locomotive is breathing out" and general alienation. These
down your neck-a fantasy on panties and ads clearly trigger youthful fears, in­
bras" shows fearful women clad in under· cluding the very realistic fear of
Some women's magazines seem to have pat·
wear (prices and stores are listed on the
terned themselves after Monilin and include young girls that they might not be
sides of the pages) fleeing and alongside are
'''fashionable' images of women in life· chosen.
Holocaust symbols such as a WWlI train and
threatening sduations." This rape scene, A'1982 Zivanit company boot ad
this furnace.
which was part of an ad for Hashi perfume, . shows two naked children of about
ran in Monllin-as well as in At and La Isha, three years of age; the boy is embrac­
both of them women's magazines. ing and about to kiss the girl. They
wear boots and hats and stand before
a full-length �irror on a shag rug­
like Mommy and Daddy. In this case,
Monitin Holocaust Fashion Spread. spread, on the hands of the men in the editor of La Ishah pulled the ad
In these pages in the Dec. '79 issue, the Archive photo standing at the because the text-pIus -photo, he said,
female victims clad in underwear are ovens pushing the bodies in. The were clearly structured "child pornog­
running away from Holocaust sym­ light fixture in Monitin could clearly raphy." The editor admitted that his
bols-a freight (cattle) train of World have come from the Yad Vashem art director was aware of the implica­
War II vintage, a furnace and a light photo of the "shower," which was tions but "explained" that since ev­
fixture resembling a shower-head. hanging next to that of the oven and eryone else in Israel was using this
Whether we are Jungian believers the gloved men. The purposeful use "purposefully pornographic" image,
or not, the collective memories of of Holocaust symbols. was never their magazine had originally includ­
any given people are a reality. Just as denied by Monitin's editor, or ed it as well.
Lincoln's face recalls the Civil War to Gerrard Elon, its photographer. Ma'ariv LaNoar (Maariv For
Americans and the four-leaf clover Monitin's silence continues. Youth, published by Ma'ariv daily)
signals luck and Irish culture, and just only five years ago (sans advertise­
as the swastika recalls Hitler to most ver the last few years, ments) was respected as a real youth
people, so half-naked fleeing people some women's magazines magazine. It now offers girls its
and burning ovens are a collective seem to have patterned whore-image-as-fashion: spend, be,
Jewish memory of the Holocaust. themselves after Monitin. look and "do" sexy, or you will be
Most of the people the Institute "Fashionable" images of out-left alone with no love and no
showed these pictures to registered women in life-threatening life. These are the powerful signals
shock. One would have to be unin­ surroundings, mirrors shrouded in the children are flashed week after
fonned about magazine photo-selec­ yellow sheets, opium-den environs, week in perfect classical "condition­
tion processes to consider the juxta­ children decorously ignored by ele­ ing" situations, as these magazine im­
position in Monitin "accidental." gantly dressed or whorehouse-dressed ages are usually received as "infonna-'
Volunteers from the Institute models, have all become common in tion" in the home.
went to Yad Vashem (the Holocaust At, a leading monthly women's mag- . As a result of various protests,
Memorial Museum and Archive) on a azine. the Ministry of Education reprimand­
tip from someone who cl aimed that La Ishah, the largest-selling Israe­ ed Ma'ariv LaNoar in 1981, urging it
there were photos there similar to li weekly, always offers bare breasts. to change its blatantly exploitative
those in Monitin. We found asbestos In September, 1981 it presented a advertising campaigns. Fewer sexual
gloves similar to those in the Monitin nude full-bosomed IS-year-old girl in attacks and oral sex scenes were in

No. 11 Lilith 13
sides. They claim that raising unwar­
ranted expectations ot the youth is re­
sponsible for the frustration which is
leading youngsters into anti-social be­
havior of all kinds.

Pornography did not drop from
the sky: it was a well-planned, expen­
sive effort, a concentrated marketing
assault on the minds, hearts, values
and pocketbooks of Israelis. Millions
of dollars are now earned in pornog­
raphy, and merchandizers look to it
and to other luxury items (stereos,
fashion, liquor) for astronomical
profits. In selling this "Playboy life­
style" package, the Israeli communi­
cations/ advertising experts under­
stood and exploited a relatively unso­
phisticated population anxious to be
This 1982 Zivanit company boot ad was orig· Gali shoe ads, like this one for "Scandalim"
a part of what they perceived as
inally to run in La Isha women's weekly, as it sandals for adolescents, stress "general
worldly Western culture.
had in other "family" magazines, but the alienation" and trigger "the very realistic
editor pulled it because he thought it was fear of young girls that they may not be . The reasons for its easy accep­
clearly child pornography. chosen" by teen tance are complex, but one, surely,
is the spiritual loss Israel has suffered
over the past ten years, particularly
since 1973-the loss of a belief in its
own ideals, in Zionism, Judaism, a
shared past and a shared future. As
Israelis began to lose confidence in
their own dream, they became sus­
ceptible to another to fill the void.
As Israelis began to lose their cultural
order, they said. However, since then far south in 1981. Before Purim, a pride, they embraced the glamour
the ads have actually become signifi­ group of 15-year-old boys sent a let­ and ideology of Western
cantly more viol�nt and more porno­ ter to parents and teachers warning consumption.
graphic. them and their small children to keep But the "Playboy lifestyle" is a
Images such as the pseudo-lesbi­ away from the pre-Purim festivities package deal. The growing consump­
an shampoo and clothing ads-where usually provided by the kibbutz tion of liquor, drugs and luxuries goes
three models nuzzle, gazing deeply youth. Why? Because these boys had · hand in hand with the growth of con­
into the eyes of the "beloved"­ cut out Playboy and Penthouse cen­ sumption of pornography. �ile Is­
appear in Ma'ariv LaNoar and in terfolds and other pictur. es of females raeli youth still retain an involve­
LaHiton, a magazine which caters to spread-eagled and fingering their ment, an interest, a commitment and
"the family" and reaches a large vaginas, and had pasted and hung an eager sense of humor and honor,
number of youth under 18. This them throughout the youth room time is not on their side. Things are
magazine focuses upon entertainment where they held their own elite Purim moving too fast-and we are not
and fun; half-nude, pornographically celebration. No corrective action was· responding to the changes adequat�ly.
posed females regularly surround taken regarding the. sexism, alienation Considering the high level of tension
such female heroines as the popular and elitism involved here. and anxiety under which the nation
Brooke Shields. LaHiton charge cards . lives, Israel may be at grave risk from
Significantly, the chorus of a
are also pushed on the 16-year olds. the problems triggered by pornogra-
popular new song "Another Sex"
goes, "We don't want our virgin girls phy. 0
It seems that what is being sold any more. Give us the ones from the
in all these cases is not pornography magazines ."
alone, but an Israeli version of the Police and juvenile officers are
"Playboy lifestyle." Research confirms seriously alarmed about the increased Dr. Judith Bat-Ada is director of the
that the major target audience for the vandalism, dope and liquor use as Institute for the Study of Media and
new Israeli "Playboy lifestyle" is, as well as the increase in youthful g�ner­ the Family, an educative and investi­
always, the under-35 market. The ef­ al crime. They believe that most Is­ gativ e organization concerned with
fectiveness of this new life-style cam­ raeli youngsters cannot buy all the the effect of anti-female image/infor­
paign can be observed in an event items-the package, the "Playboy mation upon the life and liberty of
that took place on a kibbutz in the lifestyle"-promoted daily on alI women and children in Israel.

-14 No. 11 Lilith