Branding Israel, One Supermodel at a Time

Aluff Benn on an Israeli Foreign Ministry project (which included Israeli models posing in bikinis for Maxim magazine) to brand Israel as more Western, and less foreign:

Israelis tend to see their country as part of the West, and compare it to the United States and Britain. The problem is that the West is not too thrilled by the comparison and regards Israel as an oddity, a country using excessive force in permanent conflict with its neighbors. In Europe, and to a growing extent in the U.S., the use of military power is seen as primitive, something that belongs to the previous century, something that decent people don't do. When the Europeans apply force in Afghanistan or Kosovo, they are not proud of it like Israeli leaders who get excited about the bombing of Gaza.

Israel's public-relations machine has tried for many years to market Israel as a villa in the jungle, a Western frontier outpost against extremist Islam. We are hit by rockets in Sderot and bomb Gaza in order to save Paris and London. Israeli leaders complain that the West is unconcerned by the danger posed by Islam, and instead of dealing with it they criticize Israel for defending itself. But the media and public opinion in the West ignore this message and insist that Israel is at least as violent as its enemies.