As part of its on-going rebranding campaign, the Israeli Ministry of Tourism held a Tel Aviv Beach Party in Central Park, New York City, on 21 June, 2009. Members of CODEPINK protested at the event and drew both public and media attention away from the effort to celebrate Tel Avivâs 100th anniversary and to promote the Israeli tourism industry, instead bringing the spotlight onto war crimes and the BDS movement.
The goal of the demonstration was to expose that the beach party as a tool being used to clean up the Israeli reputation. In addition to the Wall, settlements and blockade of Gaza, the recent massacre in Gaza has turned world opinion against the occupiers and has been a blow to their international images.
Protesters were also promoting CODEPINKâs âStolen Beautyâ campaign to boycott Ahava products, part of the global BDS movement. Ahava is an Israeli cosmetics company whose products are made from mud extracted from the Dead Sea, located in the occupied Jordan Valley and effectively closed to Palestinians. The bikini-clad protesters covered themselves in mud to represent both Israelâs dirty policies and to show the dirty side of Ahava products.
The protest was a media success, with conservative media giant, FOX News, covering it and torpedoing the PR goals of the beach day party.
Go here for more photos of the protest.