A man who visits a prostitute should be sent to jail, according to a special religious opinion drafted by prominent Religious-Zionist Rabbi Yuval Sherlo.
After being approached by National Religious Party Chairman Zevulun Orlev, Sherlo recommended that faction members back MK Zahava Gal-On's bill, which calls for a six-month prison term for men who solicit the services of a prostitute.
"The desire to prevent prostitution in Israel should be one of the major moves in maintaining the sanctity of Israel and the status and dignity of women," Sherlo wrote in his response to Orlev's query. "Therefore, one should seemingly be a party to any initiative that advances this reality."
However, the rabbi said that the bill proposed by Gal-On is partial and added that some responsibility should also be born by society. As such, he ruled that men should not be the only ones to be held accountable, unless this proves to be more effective.
"The ban on prostitution in line with the Torah position is not meant to only protect the woman, but rather, speaks of a promiscuous reality of prostitution to which the woman is also a party," Sherlo wrote in his opinion. "Our position against prostitution draws on much deeper places: The sanctity of the country, the sanctity of the family in Israel, and many other matters."
Meanwhile, Knesset Member Orlev characterized prostitution as a "disaster first and foremost for women who were forced into this state."
"Israeli society must do everything possible in order to curb this inappropriate phenomenon, and therefore I saw fit to assist in saving the women and backing the bill," he said. "I thought it would be appropriate to receive the backing of the Hebrew law and Jewish sources."