It’s a selfie that may have caused an international incident!
While competing at the Miss Universe pageant in November, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, took a photo with her friend Adar Gandelsman, Miss Israel. The photo came with the caption “Peace and love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel.”
Now, you may have heard that Jews and Muslims don’t like each other very much, but I can assure that’s a load of… what’s that? They don't like each other?
Okay, so apparently the photo greatly angered many in Iraq, who took the photo to be an endorsement of Israel’s settlements in the Gaza strip and aggression against Palestinians. According to Gandelsman, Idan’s family has had to flee Iraq and go into hiding after receiving death threats.
People in Iraq were also reportedly angered over Idan competing in a bikini, which is forbidden by Muslim law. But, Miss Israel and Miss Iraq are sticking with their conviction during this controversy. Miss Israel said: “She did it so that people can understand that it’s possible to live together.” Idan herself lives in the United States and is not in danger.
She addressed the issue on Instagram, writing: “I want to stress that the purpose of the picture was only to express hope and desire for peace between the two countries." She added that the photo is not intended as an endorsement of the Israeli government.
Gandelsman and Idan have a close friendship, and frequently take photos together at competitions. Gandelsman captioned her Facebook photo, “Practicing bringing world peace.”
Iraq and Israel do not have formal diplomatic relations, so maybe this is an opportunity for the two to come together.
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