The intense animosity between Israel and its Arab neighbors was put into sharp relief last week when a simple selfie at a beauty pageant triggered a full fledged criminal investigation. Miss Israel Doron Matalon (first from left) snapped a selfie at the pageant and posted it. Someone noticed that the smiling contestant next to her was Saly Griege, this year’s Miss Lebanon (second from left). The reaction was seismic and sad. It appears that fraternization, like beauty, remains in the eye of the beholder.
People around the Muslim world reacted in outrage that Griege would associate with an Israeli, even as part of an international competition. Lebanon bans its citizens from fraternizing with Israelis and Griege has been put under investigation. In 1993, the government actually disqualified its Miss Universe contestants for being shown arm-in-arm with her Israeli contestant.
Griege has responded by denouncing Matalon and saying that she was effectively set up. She posted a statement that “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.”
She does not appear particularly surprised in the photo. Indeed, the photo shows contestants enjoying what should be a moment of civility and celebration in making it to the event. She may have been surprised by the picture, though some have said that she was clearly interacting with Matalon. In my view, she was likely being polite and being a proper cultural ambassador for her country in the moment of fun. The very notion that this picture could be a criminal act shows how hatred can mutate into officially sanctioned blind rage.
For her part, Matalon said that the hoopla simply left her “sad” and added that it is “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 neighbouring [sic] country.”
It sounds like the law is unlikely to result in an actual criminal sanction as opposed to a disqualification if Griege is found guilty. That is still a ridiculous penalty for a selfie.
44 thoughts on “Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder? Lebanese Beauty Pageant Contestant Put Under Investigation After Appearing In A Selfie With The Israeli Contestant”
I love Ziva’s character! I used to watch NCIS all the time. I think she’s Brazilian, but she’s totally believable as Mossad.
Karen – I love Ziva and mourn her leaving the show. I like the new girl, but it really is not the same.
Bill – it’s true. JT is the only person who deletes comments after they were posted. Otherwise, they disappear due to the Word Mess filter, or some other obscure technical reason.
There have been many anti-cop comments on the blog, especially after allegations of police misconduct, and they get through. Darren, himself, has condemned officer wrongdoing in the past. And I have observed him retrieving posts from the filter that directly criticized his opinions, so he has a conscientious record.
If your post never appears, then post a comment asking for help retrieving it. If it posted, but then got deleted, then write to Professor Turley.
Perhaps Miss Israel purposely created the photo to bring international awareness to the inevitable antisemitism that would follow merely from having a picture with a Jew.
Karen – I am sure that since Ziva got on NCIS Mossad has been looking for an agent that could qualify for the Miss Israel pageant, just so they could get a picture with Miss Lebanon.
This is the reality of the massive anti-semitism in the Middle East. This also perfectly encapsulates why it is futile to pursue peace between Israel and Palestinians. The PA, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood have all said that their ultimate goal is the annihilation of Israel. How do you meet them halfway when they will only be satisfied with your death? They will never accept a non-Muslim state in the ME. No matter what concessions you make, they will not be satisfied until Israel is another extremist Muslim country. That is why there are relentless terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians.
I cannot imagine there would be much “it takes 2 sides to fight” rhetoric if we were in Israel’s shoes, and 9/11 was just one attack in a long list. And I sincerely doubt we would be dropping leaflets, like they do, with the time and location of our next bombing, urging people to evacuate.
What was especially sad was that Miss Lebanon deflected her trouble by blaming Miss Israel, and proclaiming no love was lost between them.
BarkingDog…I’d agree if the fly overs were Arc Light strikes. Repeatedly. It is very hard to mount piracy operations from a crater…or dozens of them. No B-1’s, just BUFFs at 30k altitude, wiping out 3/4 mile x 2 mile swaths…you gotta love the smell of 500 to 1000 pounders in the morning. 🙂
Pirate territories. Fly over if you must, but flush. Flush twice over Nigeria. The war is coming soon to a theatre near you. The Frogs are authorizing millions for defense. Soon they will be landing in Yemen.
Continued law breaking by one of our biggest allies and this Statesman is focused on a selfie. Just like the authorities…
Perhaps the organization putting this pageant together should comment. We do not allow religious issues to impact the pageant. All countries will be interacting with each other. If those rules are unacceptable, don’t send an entry.
But Miss Lebanon should strongly consider not going back to Lebanon, though there are crazies all over. Perhaps some plastic surgery before returning? I would seek asylum for myself and ask asylum for family members who want to come with her.
Jews should be very careful about this type of thing. People representing Israel should be counseled. No one should put anyone else in jeopardy. If Miss Israel got this selfie for political purposes, shame on her.
Mike, Mike, Mike….you keep letting simple facts get in the way of singular opinion. You may need a tune up 🙂
These Idiots belong in a cage, Oh how about Gitmo?
“Wait, what was the question?”
I’m not sure Mike, but my recollection is that it had something to do with Miss Japan.
Neither Darren nor any other weekend contributor edits, monitors or deletes comments. I’m not sure how many times we have to repeat that fact, but the contrary suggestion has become quite annoying.
My vote is for Miss Slovenia. Wait, what is the question?
Bill McWilliams said …
Uh, dawg, I think you’ve got it just backwards. If being objective is important, then …
…then you would not have seen fit to refer to Darren pejoratively as a cop who deleted your post.
I agree with Paul C …email Professor Turley and ask if your post was deleted, and if so by whom and why.
Never mind what I suggested may have been the cause…and what the temporary fix might be…you are sure of what you are sure of, so have at it. I won’t bother you again.
Uh, dawg, I think you’ve got it just backwards. If being objective is important, then my comment would not have been disappeared. Neither would those of a few other independent folks. Sheeple don’t have to worry. But really, no one here should have to worry about whether they can speak their mind and express their point of view. That includes U2.
Bill McWilliams if you clicked on “post comment” and the post appeared briefly, then vanished….that is when I suggest you try your browser’s refresh tab. It has happened to me, and a couple of others a few times recently…IMO it is a WordPress thing. Temporary solution is to reflresh.
As for your hostility toward “Officer Smith” …. let’s just say it doesn’t make you look objective. Darren has done more to clean up this place code-wise than just about anyone.
It posted, then disappeared. Hard to believe that JT would not allow it to stay. I figured it was Officer Smith’s doing – since it was a criticism of LEO’s taking property from vivilians.
Bill McWilliams – you can always email JT and ask him if he took it down and why. He is pretty good about explaining.
“Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep..”
Uh, Bill … last time I checked Darren does not have administrative authority to delete comments outright. Some of us have also had comments vanish recently…try refreshing your browser and see it if reappears…that has worked for a few of us recently. Maybe you tell us how you “know” Darren did this?
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