Running against billionaires like cosmetics heir Ron Lauder, Einat Wilf didn’t have much of a chance of winning the election to lead the World Jewish Congress, and ultimately she bowed out of the race. The former foreign policy adviser to Shimon Peres tells the blog Jewess that she had “no realistic expectation of winning,” but was rather running to promote certain ideas. You can read the full interview here.
One interesting tidbit is that Wilf apparently sees nothing wrong with the Israeli Consulate in New York’s collaboration with Maxim on the magazine’s salacious “Women of the Israeli Defense Forces” photo spread. The Israeli government’s partnership with the raunchy lad-mag drew fierce criticism, particularly from several female Knesset members. Wilf, however, tells Jewess: “Too much has been made of it. It’s a nice initiative, and the IDF could do worse than being associated with beautiful women.”
As we noted earlier this week, not everyone in Israel is pleased with their government’s collaboration with Maxim magazine on its “Women of the Israeli Defense Forces” photo spread.
But that didn’t put the kibosh on the New York Israeli consulate’s plans to co-host a celebratory bash Tuesday night with the raunchy lad mag.
Gawker was there, and its correspondent wasn’t too impressed: He wrote that he “fully expected to find a platoon of ultra hot IDF commandos,” but instead “it seemed more like your everyday UJA meeting.”
Israel needs allies — and it will take them where it can get them. Occasionally this has meant embracing some dubious characters. Sometimes these alliances come back to bite the Israeli government in the rear end. And that’s exactly what has happened with Israel’s latest such ally: Maxim magazine.
In its upcoming July issue, the bawdy lad-mag is running a racy pictorial spread devoted to the “Women of the Israeli Defense Forces.” Invitations to a celebratory bash co-sponsored by Maxim and the Israeli consulate in New York featured a photo of a provocatively posed, bikini-clad former Miss Israel beneath Jewish state’s seal.
Some Israeli lawmakers, unsurprisingly, are not amused. Knesset member Colette Avital — a former consul general in New York — slammed the “pornographic campaign.”
Also not surprisingly, the always-puckish New York Post has had a field day, with Miss Israel splayed across today’s front page, accompanied by the headline “Piece in the Mideast: Hebrew-haha over Israeli beauty queen.”
The Post has some great quotes that illustrate the mindset of those at the consulate who apparently thought this was a good idea:
“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.”