Sports Illustrated's vaunted swimsuit issue came out this week. Typically, it's greeted with mild protest, something about exploitation of women who make about eight figures. But this year, SI could not have picked a more politically controversial figure to grace its cover.
(In case your mailman swiped your copy)
The 2009 cover girl is Bar Rafaeli, an Israeli Jewish supermodel also known for her courtship with Leonardo DiCaprio. But Rafaeli got to where she is today by cunningly dodging the draft in Israel and now, serving as a recruiter for the IDF to atone for it.
Rafaeli arranged a sham marriage to evade conscription (mandatory for almost everyone in Israel when one turns 18, male or female) and made no apologies for it:
I really wanted to serve in the IDF, but I don’t regret not enlisting, because it paid off big time. That’s just the way it is, 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.
It seems capitalism caught up with Rafaeli before the IDF did. After signing a $300,000 deal with the Fox clothing chain, she became a target of enraged Israeli parents who lost children serving their country. Under pressure, Fox made an arrangement so that Rafaeli would "voluntarily" visit injured Israeli soldiers and encourage others to enlist.
Seems fair. You can live like Gilad Schalit or Bar Rafaeli. You know, celebrities have other needs.