A seemingly good-spirited selfie taken at the Miss Universe pageant has caused a political stir. Miss Lebanon, Saly Greige, is being criticized for being caught in a photo with Miss Israel, Doron Matalon, along with two other women.
After Matalon posted the snapshot on her Instagram 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.
Greige explained the situation on her Facebook page, saying she had been trying to avoid communicating with and taking a photo with Miss Israel since arriving at the competition, but while she "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." Greige said she hoped she would still have the support of the Lebanese people.
Matalon was less apologetic. She posted an article about the photo on Facebook and Instagram Sunday, saying the situation "doesn't surprise me but it still makes me sad." Matalon said she wished "hostility" could be forgotten for the three-week duration of the competition so that "we can meet girls from around the world and also from the neighboring country." Miss Israel served two years in the Israeli Defense Forces, according to her profile on the Miss Universe website.
The pageant will be televised next Sunday, Jan. 25, on NBC at 8 p.m. ET.
— Paul Goldman and Elisha Fieldstadt