The Israeli foreign ministry has a new spokesmodel for its latest campaign to promote the country overseas: 27 year-old Israeli supermodel, Bar Rafaeli, and already the drama is in full effect. Turns out, the Israeli Defence Forces officials are not amused, in part because the Sports Illustrated cover model did not complete the mandatory two years of military service. The Defense Forces Brigadier General has reportedly requested that the Foreign Ministry consider “the negative message sent out to Israeli society from the inclusion of Bar Refaeli, who did not complete national service, as Israel’s representative in a public relations campaign.”
In Israel, there is a minimum term of national service in the armed forces, which Rafaeli did not complete. According to the NY Post: Refaeli argued that it would interrupt her modeling career. “That’s just the way it is,” she said at the time. “Celebrities have other needs. I hope my case has influenced the army. Israel or Uganda, what difference does it make? It makes no difference to me. Why is it good to die for our country? What, isn’t it better to live in New York? Why should 18-year-old kids have to die? It’s dumb that people have to die so that I can live in Israel.” Other sources claim the model managed to get out of the service by marrying a family a friend in 2003 and divorcing him shortly after.