When it comes to competitions like Miss Universe, most people hope that conflicts of ideology, religion or race can be left behind for the politicians and religious leaders to deal with.
But as the recent Miss Israel selfie scandal proved, even the Miss Universe beauty pageant is not immune from racism and hatred.
As the story goes, Miss Lebanon, Saly Greige, had been trying to avoid Miss Israel, Doron Matalon, for the duration of the competition in Miami recently.
As she wrote on her Facebook page, “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).”
Really Saly? You were very cautious to avoid any communication with Miss Israel, because she is Israeli? Jewish? Perhaps too light skinned or too short or too fat?
Shamelessly, Greige continued to display her anti-Semitic sentiments, adding, “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.”
Did Greige consider that perhaps Miss Israel doesn’t espouse the same views as the government of Israel? That perhaps she didn’t even vote for them or vote at all? Or was Greige just so keen not to be photographed with a Jew that she couldn’t hide her contempt any longer?
Did Greige consider how poor Miss Israel felt, being alienated like that in Miami, simply for her nationality or religion?
Miss Israel responded to Griege’s open racism, saying it made her feel “sad.” “It doesn’t surprise me, but it still makes me sad. Too bad you can not put the hostility out of the game,” she wrote in English and Hebrew on her Facebook page.
Regardless of the details of the ongoing conflict between Israel and certain terror factions in Lebanon, like Hezbollah, there is no need for politics and religion to be brought into an arena such as Miss Universe.
Hopefully, Miss Lebanon will realize that soon enough and stop fuelling the flames of hatred, racism and radical Islamist ideology.