Israeli model Bar Refaeli was panned online for memorializing Israel’s fallen soldiers when she deliberately avoided military service to further her modeling career.
Refaeli, the highest paid Israeli model whose image has appeared all over the world, posted a photograph of a flame on her Facebook page with the word “Remember,” a typical image to mark Israeli Memorial Day, which honors deceased soldiers.
Internet commenters were quick to point out what they saw as hypocrisy.
“The people of Israel will remember that you did not enlist,” one commenter wrote, according to Israel’s Maariv news site. “Before you think you represent the state, you have to have a background of compulsory service or national service,” the commenter continued, saying she was “not like the rest of us” who served in the Israeli Defense Forces.
Others came to the model’s defense, with one saying, “everyone does what they can for the state.”
Refaeli skipped out on military service by marrying a family friend twice her age (married women receive an automatic exemption from IDF service) and then quickly divorcing him.
In 2013 an IDF spokesman tried to get Refaeli kicked off of an Israeli hasbara or public relations campaign because, in his view, her inclusion sent a negative message to other Israelis about the value of military service.