Ms. Response:

The Jewish Telegraph Agency reports, apropos the "This is Israel" ad controversy:

Ms. magazine's executive editor, Kathy Spillar, disputes [the AJC's version of the story, which is that the AJC was told the ad "would set off a firestorm" and that "there are very strong opinions" on the subject], telling JTA the ad showed political support for one of Israel's parties and thus violated magazine standards.

"We only take mission-driven ads," Spillar said. "Because two of the women in this ad were from the same political party," that showed favoritism, and the magazine's policy is not to get involved in the domestic politics of another country.

Gordon noted that the magazine in its Fall 2003 issue ran a cover story on Jordan's Queen Noor, and the Winter 2004 issue contained an article on the Ramallah Film Festival called "Images of Palestine."

Spillar responded that "ironically" this month's issue, just coming to newsstands now, has a two-page spread profiling Livni.

I'm happy that Ms. is willing to profile Israeli politicians; but the question remains just why they rejected this particular pro-Israel ad -- and my tentative thought is that the Ms. claim is a bit implausible. It just seems pretty odd for an American magazine distributor, which I imagine has few readers outside the U.S., to see this clearly pro-Israel ad as somehow advocacy for the party to which two of the three women belong. But in any event, I'm glad to pass along the magazine's side of the story. Of course, if anyone has facts supporting or rejecting its side of the story (e.g., prior references to this policy), I'd love to hear them.