The last thing you think when you Instagram yourself is “Yes, THIS is the selfie that’s going to cause a major international issue.” It’s the rare person who can get entire nations up and arms simply by updating her social media feed.
Yet that’s exactly the situation that Doron Matalon AKA Miss Israel found herself in when she snapped a selfie of herself with fellow Miss Universe contestants Miss Lebanon, Miss Slovenia, and Miss Japan. Check it below:
For those of you who majored in Global Studies (or just pick up a newspaper every once in a while) you know what it was about this photo that caused all the outrage: Lebanon and Israel have a strained (to say the LEAST) relationship, and several Lebanese outlets were furious that Saly Greige AKA Miss Lebanon would allow herself to be photographed with Miss Israel.
One Lebanese correspondent snarked that since Greige claims one of her favorite hobbies is reading, she should have known that Israel and Lebanon were “enemies,” while other outlets demanded for Miss Lebanon to be dethroned.
Greige took to Facebook to explain her side of the story:
“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, who tried several times to take a photo with me. I was having a photo with Miss Japan, Miss Slovenia, suddenly Miss Israel jumped in and took a selfie, and uploaded it on her social media.”
And Matalon took to Facebook and Instagram to respond:
“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.”
While Greige claimed she was essentially photobombed in the picture, after she reportedly caused outrage in her home country, Matalon is embracing the photo and the message it sends.
“I hope for change and I hope for peace between us, and even just for three weeks, just between me and her,” she told NBC News. “We need to remember that we represent the country and the people, not the government and not the political issues.”