Sex in the Holy City - Part 2
Israel is recognized the world over for her many contributions towards the betterment of nearly every aspect of life (technology, medicine, agriculture, security...). It seems however, that the Government of Israel is not content to rest on its laurels, and is determined for Israel to become associated throughout the world with...
SEX! (For part 1 of "Sex in the Holy City", click here).
Can sex sell Israel?
"We felt there was a need to change the way people think about Israel beyond the traditional, cultural and religious experience it has to offer," said Uzi Gafni, director of the Israeli government's tourism office in the UK and Ireland, which is sponsored the campaign, which features scantily clad women.
To view the new, provocative advertisement, click here.
The campaign focuses on the appeals of sunbathing in Eilat, relaxing at the Dead Sea and partying in Tel Aviv, as the way to "Think Israel," ignoring the more typical imagery of Jerusalem, Masada or Tiberias.
Here are two other questionable ads from a totally unrelated campaign, also meant to promote Israel: AD #1, AD #2.
The production of these provocative pro-Israel ads, along with others like them, force us to ask ourselves a number of difficult questions:
* What messages & ideas do we want people (both Jews & non-Jews) to associate Israel with?
* Do the ends justify the means when promoting Israel? Is everything and anything OK so long as it increases tourism to Israel, or raises pro-Israel sentiment?
* How does Israel's identity as the Jewish State fit in with all of this? Are these messages serving to bring shame and dishonor on Judaism, the Jewish People and the Jewish State?
And, if so, does anyone care, and what can we be doing about it? What are alternative messages that we can be using that would be attractive but not offensive or shameful toward Judaism, the Jewish People and Jewish State?
* Lastly, is it any wonder that high school students in Israel feel at liberty to produce an adult film for a school project (or that their parents and teachers encouraged them), when the Government of the State of Israel (the Jewish State?) uses sex to sell Israel to the world at large?!?
Hat-Tip: Jameel of The Muqata & Joe Settler