Female Knesset members are outraged: A photo of former Miss Israel Gal Gadot, wearing nothing but a skimpy bikini, appeared on a formal invitation to an event being held by the Israeli consulate in New York.
"This pornographic campaign sponsored by the Foreign and Tourism Ministries is an outrage," MK Colette Avital (Labor), former Consul-General to New York said Monday.
"Israel's image has been tainted by sex-scandals involving high-ranking officials as it is. I wonder if the best way to encourage tourism is by advertising sex," she added.
Avital approached Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik demanding an urgent session be called to discuss the matter.
MK Zahava Gal-On, chairwoman of Meretz, seconded Avital's feelings: "It's unfortunate that the Israeli consulate chose to emphasize Israel's relevance with a portrait of a half-naked woman, instead of with one of women of substance and accomplishments,' she said.
"We found that Israel's image among men aged 18-38 is lacking," explained David Saranga, consul for media and public affairs at the consulate, "so we thought we'd approach them with an image they'd find appealing."