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Miss Lebanon slammed after Miss Israel selfie

After the photo circulated on social media, some called for Miss Lebanon Saly Greige to be stripped of her title

Published: Updated:

Beauty contestant Miss Lebanon has defended herself against claims she posed for a selfie with Miss Israel during the latest iteration of the Miss Universe competition, saying that the latter “jumped in” to take the controversial picture.

Earlier, photos circulated on social media showing Miss Lebanon Saly Greige surrounded by the beauty queens of Israel, Slovenia and Japan caused uproar back in her homeland, Beirut-based newspaper The Daily Star reported.

Miss Lebanon Saly Greige (Photo courtesy of Twitter)
Miss Lebanon Saly Greige (Photo courtesy of Twitter)

Lebanon and Israel are foes and any contact with Israel is illegal in Lebanon. After the photo circulated on social media, some called for Greige to lose her title for fraternizing with a citizen of Israel.

But Greige said on social media that Miss Israel -Doron Matalon - had “repeatedly” attempted to take photos with her. “From the first day I arrived at the Miss Universe pageant I was very careful not to take any pictures with Miss Israel, who tried repeatedly to take pictures with me,” she said, according to the el-Nashra fan entertainment website.

“While I was preparing with Miss Slovania and Miss Japan to get our photograph taken, Miss Israel jumped in and took a selfie with her phone and posted it on social media.”

Miss Lebanon Saly Greige (Photo courtesy of Twitter)
Miss Lebanon Saly Greige (Photo courtesy of Twitter)

Matalon responded to the controversy herself on Sunday, saying it made her “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, Agence France-Presse quoted her as saying.

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.