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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Naked women - not a good way to sell Israel?

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/06/naked-women-not-good-way-to-sell-israel.html

Selling Israel with naked women? To each his own..., but puritanical legislators are not amused. Quoth one:
 
"It's unfortunate that the Israeli consulate chose to emphasize Israel's relevance with a portrait of a half-naked woman, instead of with one of women of substance and accomplishments," she told Yediot Achronoth.
But it is unlikely that posters of Golda Meir in a bikini would attract many tourists...
 
Ami Isseroff
 

APPLE'S ISRAELI CONSULATE IN BIKINI FLAP

By ANDY SOLTIS

HOT STUFF: A sexy invite from the Israeli Consulate (above) promotes an event celebrating the July Maxim's Israeli women photo spread.<bR>(Click to enlarge)
HOT STUFF: A sexy invite from the Israeli Consulate (above) promotes an event celebrating the July Maxim's Israeli women photo spread.

June 19, 2007 -- Israeli female legislators are baring their anger over what they call a "pornographic" tourism campaign - featuring a bikini-clad Israeli beauty queen.

The racy photo of 2004 Miss Israel winner Gal Gadot appears on formal invitations to an event hosted in New York tonight by the Israeli Consulate in conjunction with Maxim magazine.

The affair is to "celebrate" the magazine's "Women of the Israeli Defense Forces" article in the July issue.

But prominent Israeli women say using sex to market the Land of Milk and Honey is "an outrage."

Former Consul-General Colette Avital, a member of the Israeli parliament, yesterday demanded an urgent meeting with the Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik to get an explanation of what she called the "pornographic campaign," the newspaper Yediot Achronoth reported.

The consulate in New York says the campaign is just seeking good demographics.

"We found that Israel's image among men 18-38 is lacking," David Saranga, consul for media and public affairs said.

"So we thought we'd approach them with an image they'd find appealing."

That's the wrong image, said Zahava Gal-On, a Knesset member and chairwoman of the Meretz Party.

"It's unfortunate that the Israeli consulate chose to emphasize Israel's relevance with a portrait of a half-naked woman, instead of with one of women of substance and accomplishments," she told Yediot Achronoth.

Critics said the promotion is particularly inappropriate because it follows the resignation of senior government officers, including the Israeli president, after they were charged with sexual impropriety.

"Israel's image has been tainted by sex scandals involving high-ranking officials as it is," Avital said. "I wonder if the best way to encourage tourism is by advertising sex."

In March the Israeli foreign ministry encouraged Maxim to send a nine-member team of photographers, hair-stylists and makeup people for a five-day picture shoot in the Tel Aviv area.

Officials said then they wanted to show the diversity of Israel and change the perception that it was a land of conflict.

"Israel is viewed as a very macho society. We want to show that we are a normal society like others," Saranga said.

andy.soltis@nypost.com


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