Many in Lebanon are outraged and the Lebanese government has initiated an official investigation into the circumstances surrounding an instagram post of Miss Israel, Miss Lebanon, Miss Japan and Miss Slovenia while in south Florida recently.
While the photo isn’t one that would normally merit news coverage, because the photo shows Miss Lebanon and Miss Israel in a friendly picture, in Lebanon, such an image is worthy of investigation as that country has laws against fraternizing with the nation of Israel.
Miss Lebanon, Saly Greige, defended the fact that she was in the image, calling it a photo-bomb and saying, “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.”
Miss Lenanon is hoping to avoid the fate of former Miss Lebanon, Huda al-Turk, who was stripped of her title in 1993, after she was pictured with that year’s Miss Israel.
Miss Irael, Doron Matalon, replied to the Lebanese outrage, after she re-posted it with her 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.”
The countries of Lebanon and Israel have technically been at war since 1948 and are considered to be enemy states. Israeli citizens are banned from entering the country, and even foreigners are banned if their passport has been stamped with Israeli stamps.
Lebanese citizens are banned by law to speak to any Israeli and risk imprisonment if they do so. Israel does not even exist on Lebanese maps.