Miss Lebanon distances herself from photo with Miss Israel

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Beauty queen selfie sparks diplomatic row between Miss Israel and Miss Lebanon.

Miss Lebanon has claimed she was ambushed by Miss Israel for a selfie in the run-up to the Miss Universe contest, after she faced criticism at home for consorting with the citizen of an enemy state.

BEIRUT: A selfie showing Miss Lebanon Saly Greige posing next to Miss Israel Doron Matalon, a wide smile on their faces, caused uproar in Lebanon as the hashtag “Two words for Miss Lebanon” trended over the weekend. Just like the real UN, however, sometimes there’s just no seeing eye to eye, as was the case with this week’s spat over a controversial selfie showing Misses from warring Israel and Lebanon.

Lebanese media picked up the story, running Greige’s allegations that Matalon had “photobombed” the selfie, and local social media users both defended and attacked their beauty queen for the picture. After Matalon posted the snapshot on her Facebook profile, Lebanese television station Al Jadeed quipped that, since one of her hobbies is reading, she should have read that Lebanon and Israel are enemies. Israel occupied parts of Lebanon for 22 years until 2000, but the two countries are still technically at war and their armies occasionally skirmish along the UN-designated withdrawal line.

The offending selfie—which, to be clear, just shows several women from the same beauty pageant sitting approximate to each other—reportedly had some demanding she be stripped of her crown. Israel fought a bloody war against Lebanon’s Hezbollah in 2006, which killed more than 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and some 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers. Now Greige appears to have thrown her pageant-mate under the bus over the image, posting a version of the photo with Matalon cropped out on Saturday with the following caption: 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 isreal, who tried several times to take a photo with me. “It doesn’t surprise me, but it still makes me sad,” wrote Matalon on Facebook. “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.”

One user tweeted: “You [Greige] could have avoided mingling with the Israeli contestant like previous Lebanese contestants have done throughout the years. And if you were harassed like you say, you could have at least avoided the huge smile [we see] on your face.” Some called for the Miss Lebanon title to be taken from Ms Greige. But not all of the comments were critical of Greige, with one twitter user saying “the beautiful ones take selfies and the trolls start hashtags.” Another user was very concise stating: “Kick her out,” in reference to Greige.

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