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As Miss Universe 2017 contestants congregate in Las Vegas, it’s not surprising that many of them are looking for opportunities to photograph together.
But when Miss Iraq, Sarah Eadan, published a selfie with her partner, Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, they did not foresee the enormous and varied reaction they would provoke in social networks.
Gandelsman shared a similar photo on her Instagram account in which she called Miss Iraq “amazing.”
The publication received almost 3,000 “likes”.
- Copyright of the imageSARAH IDAN / INSTAGRAM
There are many other photos with other competitors that appear on the Facebook page of Gandelsman, but none caused as many positive and negative emotionsas Miss Iraq.
Eadan, who can also be written as Idan, grew up in Iraq and moved to the United States to study music.
According to her on Facebook, she feels “very honored” to be the first Iraqi woman to represent her country in the contest in 45 years.
Since there are no diplomatic relations between Israel and Iraq, some comments, such as that of Sabrina Bennoui on YouTube, say that publishing a photo of the two together is not “universally accepted.”
Some in the Arab world, who accuse Israel of abuse, reacted angrily.
Asaad Abukhalil, a US-based professor, tweeted: “The beauty queen of Iraq is posing happily with the beauty queen of occupation and brutality.”
ملكة جمال العراق تصوّرت (مبتسمة) مع ملكة جمال الاحتلال والوحشيّة في انتخابات ملكات الجمال في لاس فيغاس. هل من غضبة واستفظاع في العراق لذلك؟
— asad abukhalil (@asadabukhalil) November 15, 2017
But the Iraqi activist @Alaa tweeted: “A picture of an Arab or Muslim with an Israeli does not reflect an agreement with the policy (of the Israeli Foreign Ministry) of hostility towards the affairs of humanity and peace.”
In response to criticism, Eedan published a statement on Instagram stating that Miss Israel had approached her in a photo shoot and expressed her hopes for peace between her two peoples.
“He asked me if I wanted to pose for a selfie together, I told him I would love to help spread the message, the objective of the photo was an expression of hope for world peace,” he wrote.
He added that the photo did not show support for Israel .
“I want to apologize to anyone who thinks that the photo is offensive to the cause of the Palestinian people since this is not the goal of the publication, it was simply a request for peace and a hope for a solution to the crisis.”
However, in Israel, the prime minister’s spokesman, Ofir Gendelman, praised the photo, calling it “a great message of hope for the region.”
Miss Iraq Sarah Idan and Miss Israel Adar Gandelsman (no relation…) met at the Miss Universe beauty pageant and became friends. Miss Iraq posted this photo on her Instagram. What a great message of hope for the region. Good luck to both Sarah and Hadar. pic.twitter.com/GV9L9JW7Rg
— Ofir Gendelman (@ofirgendelman) November 14, 2017
There was also Armond’s support on Twitter, who said: “Peace starts with people.”
The Israeli news site, Ynet, praised Gendelsman for “trying to bring hearts together.”
And Israel’s Times newspaper described the publication as ” an unusual display of coexistence emanating from a divided Middle East.”
But Srugim News requested that the crown be removed from Miss Iraq.