Powered by WebAds

Thursday, November 01, 2007

On blaming the government for immodest advertising

Two weeks ago, I ran a post from NRO's the Corner that discussed an advertisement promoting tourism to Israel that was attacked by an anti-Iraq War Christian blogger who was trying to drive a wedge between Israel and its Evangelical Christian supporters. If NRO or I or any of the other bloggers who posted the story knew then what I know now, the Christian blogger would not have gotten any mileage out of the ad. The ad - which pictured Israeli women imitating Eve before the Sin (almost) - was not made, sponsored or promoted by the Israeli government or any of its agencies:

Months ago, an Israeli marketing firm introduced an English language viral commercial aimed at Western audiences. Part of a new strategy to brand Israel as an exciting destination for young Westeners, it mixed biblical themes with more modern sensibilities.

Well, maybe only one biblical theme, and an unfortunate one at that. The commercial displayed (no, I am not going to link to it or even make it easy to find) a number of females trying to emulate Eve before the Sin, at least in basic manner of dress. Their habitat was a sun-drenched Israeli beach, not the Garden of Eden. Some very masculine types, clearly post-Sin and very much infected with the venom of the primordial Serpent, express their admiration for the scenery, at least the two-legged kind. Their language of expression was basic Anglo-Saxon, mostly (between swallowing their saliva) things like “Holy F—-!“, and “Holy Mother of G-d!”

The latter phrase, in particular, did not please committed Christians, who saw sacrilege in the Holy Land, which they assumed was the work of the government of the Jewish State. It evoked some strong comments from individuals who are usually very friendly to Israel. These comments, in turn, provoked nasty countercharges, and very mainstream sites like Israpundit and NRO got involved.

I started making phone calls to friends in Israeli diplomatic circles. They made phone calls to the Ministry of Tourism. It did not take long for me to learn that the Israeli government did not commission, vet, or approve the ad. The Ministry of Tourism never used the ad, which achieved a life of its own on the internet after being left there like a foundling by the marketing firm that had created the ad to demonstrate new ways in which Israel could sell itself. Maybe, in this case, sell itself short. The Government officials I spoke to reacted – unequivocally and univocally – with regret, embarrassment and consternation.

The ad is offensive to Christians, Jews, women and common decency. All the more so at a time in which there is a full-court press on friendly church groups to reconsider and repent for the sin of supporting Israel. This is not what we needed.

Things aren't always what they appear to be. Hopefully that story is now cleared up.


At 2:19 AM, Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

I saw that whole ad and, wow, it was indeed scandalous.

Unlike our Islamist brethren, I'm not an extremist who'd want to put half of the human race in burkas, as unfit to be seen on G-d's earth.

However, I am a Christian and believe our Jewish and Christian moral rules come from the same Source. There's a reasonable standard of feminine modesty and dignity on which believing Jews and Christians ought to be able to agree.

A good rule of thumb test for that standard is the "Would you want your wife or daughter to ___". In this case, the answer to "Would you want your wife or daughter to be in that ad" would be NO! That ad certainly breached that Judeo-Christian moral standard.

Coincidentally, I saw a YouTube video the other day of Israeli women soldiers. It was a beautifully done video, a series of informal photos showing these young ladies, all modestly dressed in their uniforms, individuals and groups, in various settings. What came through in the video was a sense of their fellowship with their Israeli sister-soldiers, and their inner beauty and strength of character, as well as their (nice but far less important) outer loveliness. Pity THAT video didn't get the same amount of media coverage!

At 9:42 AM, Blogger M. Simon said...


I did a post on that YouTube video and its two companion videos several months ago on Classical Values.

BTW I'd have liked a lady with a little more vavoom in the fake commercial.

i.e. I like it all. Especially women toting assault rifles. Now that would be hot. Israeli women in bikinis with assault rifles.

As to my wife - she doesn't have the nerve. My daughter - semi-modest one piece suits.


Post a Comment

<< Home