Pret-a-Reporter

Miss Israel, Miss Lebanon Respond to Uproar Over Controversial Selfie

Associated Press
Miss Israel, left, and Miss Lebanon

Both Miss Universe contestants took to social media after their photo sparked an online debate.

A photo of two Miss Universe contestants is causing an uproar online.

Miss Lebanon, Saly Greige, and Miss Israel, Doron Matalon, have sparked an online debate given the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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The image in question features Greige and Matalon posing for a photo alongside Miss Slovenia and Miss Japan. Matalon Instagrammed the photo Jan. 11 with the caption: "Good morning from us! Miss Japan, miss Slovenia, miss Lebanon & I"

On Saturday, Greige took to Facebook to explain how the photo came to be.

She wrote: "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."

 

Matalon also weighed in on the controversy Sunday with a Instagram post of her own: "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."

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The Miss Universe pageant is set to take place Sunday, Jan. 25, from Miami and will air live on NBC.

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