The Israeli consulate in New York is hailing as a success the latest issue of men’s magazine Maxim which features semi-naked photographs of women who are all ex-soldiers from the Israeli Defense Forces but others have slammed it.
According to the consulate, the move is aimed at raising awareness of Israel to young American men and the magazine was invited to Israel earlier this year to do the photoshoot.
In a statement, the magazine said it was contacted by the consulate to help improve Israel’s image. “We were 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. We are pleased with the result of our work together.”
Israeli politician Colette Avital slammed the public relations stunt as a “pornographic campaign”.
But a spokesman for the consulate said the move will have positive impact. “Males that age have no feeling toward Israel one way or another, and we view that as a problem, so we came up with an idea that would be appealing to them.”
Among those featured are former Miss Israel Gal Gadot and model Nivit Bash.
“I’m very proud,” Gadot said of her appearance. “Everybody is entitled to their opinion. Israel is a democracy and that’s what it’s all about.”
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