“Why hadn’t I known Jews could be so sexy before?” asks a tourist visiting Israel in Miriam Libicki’s illustrated essay. American Jews like to joke about the aphrodisiac powers of the Holy Land, which can turn even the most ardent universalists into fetishists of their own people. Is it the sun? The complexion-flattering tendencies of nationalist pride? Libicki, who grew up Modern Orthodox in Ohio and moved to Israel to enlist in the IDF, has another idea. We’re suckers for the transgressive, and as Israel’s reputation on the world stage gets more controversial, coveting a man or woman in uniform just gets kinkier. You know the pick-up line: Baby, you can occupy my territory any time. To read Libicki’s essay, click on the thumbnails below, starting with the top left. (Tip: Once a page opens, you can click anywhere to close it.)
These pictures have been scaled for ease of visibility, but if you would prefer, feel free to download a PDF of the whole series.