Ms. magazine rejected a pro-Israel advertisement from the American Jewish Congress.
The ad highlights successful women in Israel. It shows photographs of three prominent Israelis – Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik, Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni and the president of the Supreme Court, Dorit Beinish – above the words “This is Israel.”
Harriet Kurlander, the director of the AJCongress Commission for Women’s Empowerment, said in a news release that she was told when she tried to place the ad that it “would set off a firestorm” and that “there are very strong opinions” on the subject, which she believed to mean Israel.
“What other conclusion can we reach except that the publishers – and if the publishers are right, a significant number of Ms. magazine readers – are so hostile to Israel that they do not even want to see an ad that says something positive about Israel?” AJCongress President Richard Gordon asked.
Ms. magazine’s executive editor, Kathy Spillar, disputes that version, telling JTA the ad showed political support for one of Israel’s parties and thus violated magazine standards.
“We only take mission-driven ads,” Spillar said. “Because two of the women in this ad were from the same political party,” that showed favoritism, and the magazine’s policy is not to get involved in the domestic politics of another country.
Gordon noted that the magazine in its Fall 2003 issue ran a cover story on Jordan’s Queen Noor, and the Winter 2004 issue contained an article on the Ramallah Film Festival called “Images of Palestine.”
Spillar responded that “ironically” this month’s issue, just coming to newsstands now, has a two-page spread profiling Livni.