Gay-Porn Mogul Hopes to Arouse Interest in Israel

Barack Obama's administration has introduced a harsher line toward Israel than those of his recent predecessors, more Americans favor a two-state solution, and a U.N. panel has found evidence of war crimes in Israel's Gaza offensive last winter. The country could really use some positive attention, says filmmaker Michael Lucas.

And he has a simple solution: gay porn. Yes, Lucas is that kind of filmmaker─but that's no problem for Israel, he told Haaretz The Forward:

"It's free PR for Israel, and it's much better than the PR they're getting on the news," he said during a tour of the company's expansive second-floor offices, with views of the New York Times building across the street. "The reality is that Israel has only one face to people on the street, and that's the West Bank and Gaza. All people see in the media is a country of disaster. They get images of a blown-up bus."

His company is Manhattan-based Lucas Entertainment, a company that's had success in the past drawing attention to New York's hunks (in, you guessed it, New York Hunks) and his star's feet (in, again, Feet Extreme!). Now he hopes to do for Israel what he did for feet with Men of Israel, a porn movie with an all-Israeli cast that he released last month. He says he hopes the movie will, um, stimulate tourism to Israel.

Lucas, 36, was born in Russia as Andrei Bregman, a name he changed when he moved to New York. Stateside, he's become a controversial figure. He has been outspoken on a range of political opinions, offering them up both on his blog (as you might expect, very NSFW) and in political speeches on university campuses─perhaps to nubile young frat boys? That's made Lucas a target for those who disagree with him. Some gay news blogs have taken issue with his more inflammatory views, which include likening the Quran to Mein Kampf and calling Orthodox Jews "parasites." He's now poking around in the Israeli LGBT scene, complaining in a letter to GoGay (Hebrew) about closeted gays. And he'll soon be able to deliver that opinion in person. After receiving positive feedback on Men of Israel, the newly minted Israeli citizen is thrusting forward on a sequel titled, subtly, Inside Israel. No, it's not a documentary.

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