we can do better than that

13th of Tishrei 5775 Jerusalem by Chanoch Ne’eman

Most people, it seems, don’t get so excited about signs. But I do. I have strong opinions about the public space, and what is appropriate in it.

And while I find highway and other ads ugly in America, when I get home to my beloved Israel, I am more ruffled.

My angst is piqued from when I arrive at Lod Airport. There, in the baggage claim, as well as the check in area when you depart, are giant ads for a German sunglasses firm! Hello. Sleek, platinum blonde women sporting sunglasses dominate the massive hall, underscored by the name of the firm and the word “Berlin”.

Yeah. Or should I say, “Ya”.

First of all, as you will hear me often repeat, a woman’s beauty should not be used to sell things.

Secondly, Berlin, Germans? Is this the ad or image (if any) we need greeting the world to Israel? First of all for ourselves, the Israelis. Secondly for all the Jews coming to visit. Thirdly for all the tourists who come form so many lands. Africans, Asians, North Americans, Europeans, religious.

“Welcome to Israel, proud purveyors of German sunglasses, modeled by German women.”

We can do better.

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