June 22, 2009

Bikini-clad mudstrewn counter-hasbara in Central Park

See, this is what happens when you spend millions trying to "rebrand" your image as a fun, beach-going, leisure society, rather than being the land of apartheid, seige, house demolitions, growth-stunting, land theft & shooting phosphorus at schools. Someone is bound to flip your paradigm on its head and use it against you. That's exactly what several bikini-clad women from CODEPINK did yesterday. This Fox 5 NY story on the Israeli Foreign ministry's attempt to show New Yorkers that life's really a beach in the Holy Land became almost entirely about the skimpily-attired protestors -- and on the local FOX affiliate, no less:


Bikini-Clad Activists Crash Tel Aviv Beach Party

Published : Sunday, 21 Jun 2009, 5:01 PM EDT

Erica Emmich

Bikini-clad activists from the women's group CODEPINK covered themselves in mud and stood outside the Israeli Ministry of Tourism's Tel Aviv Beach party in Central Park on Sunday.

El Al Israel Airlines turned the bandshell into Israel's mediterranean beach to celebrate Tel Aviv's 100th Anniversary and the first day of summer.

The beach was complete with games, tanning spots, and a rock concert.

The protest grabbed attention as they chanted, "Tel Aviv - you can't hide, we can see your dirty side!" CODEPINK states the mud they covered themselves in was to represent the "dirty policies Irsrael holds towards Palestine."

Holding pink umbrellas outside the artificial Tel Aviv Beach, the women held signs that read, "Say no to Israel's war crimes."

The Tel Aviv Beach Party was sponsored by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in New York, Israel Ministry of Tourism, Israel Government Tourist Office in New York, and the Tel Aviv-Yafo Centennial Administration.

Try best they can, it's tough to shed the bellicose image Israel has managed to accrue. A photo caption in a YNet article last Dec. 20 announcing the beach event ominously inquired:
"Central Park, New York. Getting ready for Israeli invasion?"

More photos here. For extra credit: Why Israel's campaign to rebrand its image is doomed to fail.

UPDATE: CODEPINK explains why they've scrawled "Ahava" on themselves.

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