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June 19, 2007

A new form of hasbarah?

And speaking of immaturity featuring women...

When I first heard that there was a ruckus over an invitation issued by the Israeli consulate in New York with a photo of a scantily clad Miss Israel 2004, Gal Gadot, I assumed that the ruckus involved the ultra-orthodox.

Wrong. It was the feminists: "'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,' [a female Knesset member] told Yediot Achronoth."

OK, I know you came here looking for the photo, so let's get that out of the way. [UPDATE: In case that one's down, try this.]

The consulate's invitation, by the way, is to an event with the men's magazine Maxim, which will feature in its July 2007 issue "The Women of the Israel Defense Forces." I'm sure it will be very tasteful.

Now, if you can believe this, and I have absolutely no reason to doubt it, then maybe the feminists have a little bit of a grievance here:

"Maxim was approached by the Israeli consulate to be a part of reshaping Israel's public image, specifically because of our unmatched mainstream reach to men aged 18 to 35," the magazine said in a statement. "We are pleased with the result of our work together."
I don't know. I suspect men aged 18 to 35 would go more for this.

Why go to Maxim, though, if you can have a serious photographer take photos of the women of the IDF? This photo shoot, by Rachel Papo, is completely tasteful. (via Kesher Talk)

I guess working with Maxim is a new form of hasbarah.

UPDATE: A commenter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs links to the official (or so it says) blog of the State of Israel.