Israel was offended by your ad, and so was I.

She’s Thin.

She’s Tall.

She’s Hot.

She’s 71 and everyone wants a piece of her.

Happy Birthday Israel!

Today, on Yom Haatzmaut, Facebook was covered with these very distasteful words and sad portrayal of Israel on her 71st birthday. I guess if I had to conjure up an image of what Israel looked like after reading what was written about her, she was hurt, she was offended, and she was profoundly disturbed that after 71 years of miracles, war, loss, love, perseverance, innovation, and sacrifice that this was the message on her birthday. I’m sure that the person representing the organization who wrote it was just trying to write a short sexy ad, that it would get a good laugh, and that people would Like and Share, and any publicity is good publicity. The problem was, it wasn’t funny. It was offensive.

As we stand on the brink of the year 2020, it’s mind-blowing that this was thought to be OK. The objectification of women, reducing them to being thin, tall, hot, and something that everyone is grabbing at — Shameful! Equally as shameful the disrespect at using this objectification to describe the land and the state of Israel.

It’s odd because I think if you asked most people to conjure up Israel in the image of a woman you would get a very different picture. It might not be as sharp or sexy but you might see a picture of someone with rich olive colored skin, she’s not short but she’s not tall.  Her face is kind but you can tell she’s really strong. Her eyes are deep and beautiful, but maybe after 71 years a little tired. And around her eyes are lots of lines, these are from smiling as she’s so happy and proud of what she has accomplished. On her forehead, there are also a lot of lines, from worrying about what has happened to her in the past, and deeply concerned about what the future holds for her children. Her hands are tough on the bottom but soft on top. These are hands that drained swamps, that farmed, that planted for the future. Her arms, well these are arms that carried a heavy load, they have embraced and held many different people as they arrived on her shores, they have also picked up those that felt despair and needed a hand to hold in order to move forward. Her legs are strong as she has not sat down in 71 years because she knows that she stands ready to greet the future. A future that she has been working tirelessly to build for thousands of years. And what does she do? Well, she is a mother, a farmer, a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, a dreamer, a realist, a high-tech innovator, a bus driver, a soldier, a Knesset member, and a builder of bridges. And what you ask is in her heart? A prayer for peace.

To Israel with love on her 71st Birthday — Yom Huledet Sameach.

About the Author
A recent returnee to Israel. Yona works in women's health and is involved in helping to create opportunities for women to be empowered in their maternal health decisions.
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