Israeli models Refaeli and Ginzburg at war over IDF

Esti Ginzbourg; Bar Refaeli

Esti Ginzburg has attacked fellow model Bar Refaeli for avoiding national service in the Israeli army

BY Seth Jacobson LAST UPDATED AT 14:27 ON Fri 2 Oct 2009

Israeli beauty Esti Ginzburg has slammed her fellow model Bar Refaeli for letting down their country by wangling her way out of the military service that is mandatory for all young Israelis.

Refaeli, the 24-year-old former girlfriend of Leonardo Dicaprio, took part in a sham marriage in 2004 when she was 18, allowing her to duck out of enrolling in the Israeli Defence Force for two years. Ginzburg (above left) on the other hand is currently in khaki, working at an IDF reception base where one of her duties is to explain to new recruits why joining up is so important.

"In order to contribute and help, in order to be part of the State," Ginzburg told Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, "enlisting is a duty, not a choice. There are a million of things I don't feel like doing, but I do them because I have to. Military service is part of the things I believe in, the values I was raised on."

But the global superstar Refaeli is unlikely to pay too much attention to Ginzburg's pointed remarks about patriotism, having told Yedioth Ahronoth herself that dodging the draft was one of the best things she ever did.

"I really wanted to serve in the IDF, but I don't regret not enlisting, because it paid off big time," she said. "That's just the way it is, celebrities have other needs. I hope my case has influenced the army."

Refaeli, the Sports Illustrated 2009 cover girl continued: "Israel or Uganda, what difference does it make? It makes no difference to me. Why is it good to die for our country? What, isn't it better to live in New York? Why should 18-year-old kids have to die? It's dumb that people have to die so that I can live in Israel."

It is perhaps unsurprising then that Refaeli - whose sizzling shots for surfwear clothing range Hurley have just been released (above right) - has now made her permanent home in Los Angeles. · 

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.