The New York Post says that the pictorial of Israeli babes in Maxim was "encouraged" by the Israeli consulate in New York. A Globe and Mail article posted by Israel21c, a lobbying organization, is blunter: Maxim’s expenses for the April junket were paid for by Israeli groups and the Israeli government.
"We want to show them that Israel is not a one-dimensional place of just
wars and politics and conflicts," said David Brinn, editorial director
of Israel 21c, an organization that lobbies journalists, usually at
more austere publications than Maxim, to write non-conflict stories
about the country.
Mr. Brinn said that his organization, along with the
American-Israel Friendship League and the Israeli Foreign Ministry,
would subsidize "all [Maxim’s] expenses" while the magazine was in
Israel, including flights, hotel rooms, a bus and a tour guide.
This kind of thing goes on all the time. And I remember when Alex Cockburn lost his job at the Village Voice because he had gotten some grant from an Arab friendship organization…