At the recent Miss Universe contest, Miss Israel took a photo of herself and three other contestants. One of those other contestants was Miss Lebanon. The picture, of course, appeared on the internet, causing an uproar in Lebanon. Many Lebanese citizens called for their contestant to be stripped of her title…because she appeared in the photo with Miss Israel. The government of Lebanon launched an investigation. Lebanon, you see, forbids its beauty queens to have any contact with Israelis.
The current Miss Lebanon apologized profusely…to her country. In fact, she claimed that Miss Israel sabotaged her, taking the photo against her will. Miss Lebanon is smiling in the photo and is, oddly enough, not restrained in any way.
The ladies competing in these pageants are famous for their camaraderie. They tour the area together, shop and eat together, etc.
Their standard answers to pageant questions such as what they would most like to see, hope for, or achieve, revolve around “world peace,” and “living in harmony with others,” and “being non-judgmental.”
Miss Israel was happy to share a picture of herself standing with others, including a rival from Lebanon, and the Israelis never complained.
This little hubbub from a beauty pageant is sadly illustrative of the irrational hatred that Israel- and Israelis- face on a daily basis.