The Israeli Consulate in New York has come up with an ingenious idea to promote tourism to Israel in the United States: officials there have managed to twist the arms of the most popular US men's magazine, Maxim, to write a feature about stunning Israeli models.
The idea came about when Israeli officials read that public opinion studies about Israel's image in the US found that the average American knew three things about their tiny country: war hotspot, stubborn people, and beautiful women.
The Foreign Ministry asked its delegates in New York to come up with a project that would encourage American tourists to come to Israel cashing in on the country's reputation for being home to some of the world's most beautiful women.
Maxim editors initially rejected a proposal by the Israeli Consulate to cover the personal stories of famous Israeli models, but when the Consulate sent pictures of 12 carefully selected beauty queens, Maxim was quick to acquiesce.
Seven out of the 12 Israeli models will feature in the men's magazine: Sharon Markovitch, Natalie Niv, Yarden Harel, Moreyal, Nivit Bash, Tali Hendel and former Miss Israel Gal Gadot.
The magazine is sending a team of three top photographers to Israel for a photo shoot of the models at several locations in the center of Israel that will include stops in Yaffo, Neveh Tzedek, the financial center in Ramat Gan, and Tel Aviv beaches.
The project includes the production of a video featuring the models which the consulate plans to send to American television broadcasters.
"The project aims at attracting young audiences and to stress the beautiful face of Israel," Israeli Consul General in New York Ariyeh Mekel said.
David Saranga, the Consul for Media and Public Affairs, said, "A study we conducted taught us that Israel is not relevant to men aged 18 to 34 and the project aims at showing that Israel is a modern, lively, young and dynamic country."
The America Israel Friendship League and the Israel21c organization will contribute to the cost of the project.