Israel's army has a new enemy in its sights – a model called Bar Refaeli.Hat Tip: Stormbringer. Also at New York Magazine, "Bar Refaeli Dodges Israeli Draft But Gets Hit by Military Boycott."
The face and body of the popular lingerie label Passionata is in the firing line after avoiding military service and applying for non-resident status in her native Israel so she can pay less tax.
Now a senior officer with the Israel Defense Forces has called for a boycott of products advertised by the 24-year-old, who has had an on-off romance with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Major General Avi Zamir, addressing students in Herzliya near Tel Aviv, said: "I can't take on Bar Refaeli, but you can."
Military service in particular is a touchy subject. About a third of the eligible population in Israel is estimated to avoid national service, a figure which is worrying the country's military leadership.
It is not the first time she has run into trouble. Last year her racy billboard advertisements, for Fox, a local clothing chain, attracted the anger of ultra-orthodox rabbis.
The offending adverts were eventually replaced with pictures showing Miss Refaeli and a male model fully clothed.
In 2004 she was granted an exemption from military service after marrying a family friend. Married women are not required to serve.
However, the couple divorced soon after and she was dating the Titanic star within a year.
Their relationship ended in June although the new year has brought reports of a rekindled romance.
The latest controversy erupted this week when it emerged that Miss Refaeli, who spends most of her time in Los Angeles, was setting up an offshore company in order to reduce the amount of tax she would pay in Israel.
Her attitude is often contrasted with that of another Israeli model, Esti Ginzburg, who is six months into her two-year tour of duty.
She is now juggling acting commitments with her military role. Yesterday, Refaeli's mother hit back at the public criticism, telling an Israeli website: "The general is a disgrace. Before they attack Bar they should check the government and see who in government did not join the army."
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Bar Refaeli is seriously the kind of woman that dreams are made of, but whenever I've posted her as part of my babe-blogging routine I've gotten a few scowls at her leftist radicalism. So, I'm actually not surprised that some in the IDF aren't not too happy with her. See, "Israeli Army Calls for Boycott Over Model's Refusal to Serve":