MembersTaking on Israel’s Sex Trade

Prostitution has reached a crisis level in Israel.

By David Lazarus |
Matthias Oppliger
SOME FRESH A.I.R. Matthias Oppliger of Act, Inspire, Restore Photo: Matthias Oppliger

A government study notes that in 2014 there were upwards of 12,730 sex workers, each with approximately 660 clients a year. Of the men and women interviewed in the study, the majority said that they would like to escape the industry, but financial debts, intimidation by employers and a lack of job skills keeps them trapped in a desperate trade.


Matthias and Tabea Oppliger, a Christian couple, founded an organization in 2011 to address the issue of sex trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women in Switzerland and around the world. During a trip to Tel Aviv in 2014, a prostitute who recognized Tabea from Zurich wanted to sit down and talk with her. The woman’s pimp saw what was happening, grabbed his worker, and sent her back onto the streets. This prompted Tabea to take action to help people caught up in the sex trafficking industry in Tel Aviv, the heart of the Israeli sex trade.


Together with Christian volunteers and local believers, they started A.I.R. (Act,...

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