Politics Invades the Miss Universe Pageant

A week ago, Miss Israel, Doron Matalon, posted this nice photo of herself with Miss Lebanon, Miss Slovenia and Miss Japan on her very active Instagram account:

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Nothing happened immediately, but the picture began attracting negative attention in Lebanon, where some criticized Miss Lebanon, Saly Greige, for appearing in a photograph with an Israeli. That led Greige to disown the picture. She wrote on Facebook:

To all my supporters and Lebanese citizens, I would like to thank you indeed for your continuous support of Miss Lebanon at the Miss Universe contest …The truth behind the photo: Since the first day of my arrival to participate to Miss Universe, I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel (that tried several times to have a photo with me) … I was having a photo with Miss Japan, Miss Slovenia and myself; suddenly Miss Israel jumped in, took a selfie, and put it on her social media…this is what happened and I hope to have your full support in the Miss Universe contest.

The photobomb heard round the world.

Miss Matalon took the high road, responding on Instagram with a link to a Missology article on the controversy:

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She added these comments:

It doesn’t surprise me, but it still makes me sad. Too bad you can not put the hostility out of the game, only for three weeks of an experience of a lifetime that we can meet girls from around the world and also from the neighboring country.

We probably haven’t heard the last of this controversy. To me, this doesn’t seem like an ideal time for a representative of an Arab country to make a fetish of trying to ostracize Israel.

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