Bar Refaeli’s latest gig is causing some controversy.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry featured the nation’s famous supermodel in an upcoming public relations campaign that focuses on the country’s technological innovations, NBC reports. But the Israel Defense Forces isn’t happy with the government agency’s talent choice. In a strongly worded letter an IDF spokesman said Refaeli’s choice to not complete her mandatory military service sends a negative "message of forgiveness and turns a blind eye towards people that chose to enlist,” Haaretz reports.
The Foreign Ministry responded with a statement describing Refaeli’s world renowned beauty and that, “There is no reason to bring up the past when it comes to a campaign of public diplomacy of this kind.”
The new deputy foreign minister Ze’ev Elkin told the Times of Israel that the IDF’s complaints may be warranted but it’s not his job to investigate.
“The question is, ‘Why did she not complete her military service?’ If it’s a question of evasion, then that’s a problem,” he told the news outlet. “A symbol of the State of Israel cannot communicate values that are in contradiction with the values of the state.”
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According to Israeli law, after turning 18-years-old, citizens are required to serve in the military. Women enlist for two years and men serve for three.
In 2003, Refaeli took advantage of a loophole in the law which states that married women do not have to serve. She married a family friend who she soon divorced and did not enlist, ynetnews reports.
Refaeli responded to the controversy on Twitter.
Writing in Hebrew she tweeted: “Use the Foreign Ministry clip or not. My Instagram has more readers than the newspaper of the country [a reference to Yediot Aharonot]. I will continue to focus.”