Spring break in Israel!

The country targets American men with soldiers turned bikini-clad bombshells.

Published June 20, 2007 8:36PM (EDT)

Check out this teaser for the upcoming issue of Maxim: "They're drop-dead gorgeous and can take apart an Uzi in seconds." Oh yes, the big guns were brought out for the cover of the July issue: We're talking former Israeli soldiers ... in bikinis. It gets better yet: The spread was arranged as a public relations effort by Israel's New York consulate after research revealed that the country is largely irrelevant to most young American men. David Dorfman, a consulate media adviser, told the Associated Press: "Males that age have no feeling toward Israel one way or another, and we view that as a problem, so we came up with an idea that would be appealing to them." Cue the breasts!

Some Israeli lawmakers aren't so happy with the decision to court desirous American dudes by stripping down former Israeli Army soldiers for a Maxim photo spread. Lawmaker Colette Avital, a former Israeli consul general in New York, called for the House to debate "the pornographic campaign to encourage tourism to Israel, sponsored by the Tourism and Foreign Affairs ministries." (The minister of tourism denies sponsorship.) In case you're unclear what Avital is getting at, she reiterated that it was an attempt to develop "a sex tourism industry."

Mostly, the spread -- and the inevitable coverage of the partnership -- seems an odd attempt at scoring cool points by targeting the (perceived) psyche of the American male. The whole thing screams: "Israel is like the cool uncle who slips you beers and copies of Playboy before you're of age! Israel totally gets the hot babes in bikinis thing! In fact, Israel has hot babes in bikinis!" Maxim readers might not gain a greater awareness of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the issue, but at least they'll have, as the media rep said, a feeling toward Israel, that, uh, far-flung spring break destination.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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