Israelis Prove That Size Doesn't Matter

Published: February 22nd 2010

Screen Grab from the Size Doesn't Matter Campaign
Pic: Size Doesn't Matter Campaign


If sex truly sells, then the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy just boosted tourism in Israel. In conjuction with the Israel consulate in Toronto, CIJA recently released a 54-second spot as part of the Size Doesn’t Matter campaign, which aims to entice Canadian university students to visit the Middle Eastern country. The ad depicts a couple in bed, with the woman looking at the man’s crotch saying she can’t go there because “it’s too small.” The man replies, “I consider this a spot of worship. It may be small, but it’s brought the driest places to life. Baby, this is paradise.” The camera then pans to Israel maps and pocket guides placed strategically on the man’s lower body parts.


The video attempts to promote the more attractive side of Israel, but not everyone seem to be pleased. Jewish blogger Richard Silverstein thinks the ad was made in “bad taste” and says it ignores the cultural complexities any tourist will discover while visiting Israel. He says, “I’m simply flabbergasted that Israel would use the promise of fellatio and cunnilingus to promote itself.”


Writer Neal Ungerleider, who is based in New York but spent a good amount of time in Israel, believes the ad was humourous but completely missed the mark in promoting the country itself. He says, “It is hard to believe even a single viewer will show interest in visiting Israel or have a higher opinion of Israel because of the ad. As even a first year employee at an advertising agency will tell you, associating your country with small genitalia isn’t the smartest move to attract tourism.”


This is not the first time, however, that Israeli governing bodies have opted for sex-themed promotional material. In 2007, four bikini-clad women from the Israel Defense Forces posed in sexy army-wear for Maxim magazine’s July issue. David Saranga, consul for media and public affairs in New York, said to the New York Post that the spread was supposed to improve the image of Israel among men aged 18-38 years old. But the Maxim photos received a lot of backlash from critics and even Israeli female legislators who found the images to be pornographic. Fast forward to present times and Israel promotions continue to stir controversy with the Size Doesn’t Matter campaign.


Shalom Life made an attempt to contact the CIJA for comment, however no one was available. But since then, Shalom Life has gotten in touch with Maya Kadosh, spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. Despite previous notions, Kadosh said that a conversation with the Israeli consulate in Toronto "indicated that the Consulate had no part in the movie, did not initiate it and did not participate in its planning or its distribution."


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