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Miss Iraq, Miss Israel 'peace and love' selfie causes mixed response online Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Miss Iraq, Miss Israel 'peace and love' selfie causes mixed response online

Iraq and Israel do not hold any official diplomatic relations [Instagram]

Date of publication: 16 November, 2017

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A picture of Miss Iraq and Miss Israel posing together has caused an online stir, with some lauding coexistence and others viewing it as normalisation.
Israeli and Iraqi pageant queens caused an online stir when they posed for photos together at the Miss International Beauty Pageant in Japan on Tuesday.

Miss Israel's Adar Gandelsman captioned a picture of herself with Sarah Idan saying: "Get to know, this is Miss Iraq and she's amazing" and uploaded it to her official Instagram account.

Miss Iraq similarly uploaded a picture and captioned it, "peace and love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel".

Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel ❤️❤️💕💕 #missuniverse

A post shared by Sarah Idan (Sarai) سارة عيدان (@sarahidan) on

Currently, Iraq and Israel do not hold any official diplomatic relations.

In 2015, Miss Lebanon's Sally Greige risked losing her title and contestant spot in Miss Universe after a selfie of her and Miss Israel was uploaded.

Lebanon views Israel as an enemy state and the two countries are officially at war. Greige was able to maintain her title after claiming that Miss Israel had "photo-bombed" her and posing with her was "unintentional".

The posts by the two beauty pageant participants have caused mixed reactions online.

One user commented: "You're both beautiful - especially because you are showing what coexistence looks like!"

Another user posted: "Thank you for sharing this picture with the world. It shows leadership and courage, and a hope for a better tomorrow."

Others however were not impressed. One user asked: "Those of you placing the Israeli and the Iraqi flag emojis side by side, don't you know that Iraq is always with justice, never with the oppressor?"

Some social media users felt the caption and selfie trivialises the true nature of the Israeli occupation and treats the conflict as one of two equal sides. 


Miss Iraq has defended the picture and said it does not signify her support to the Israeli government, nor is it an acceptance of the Israeli government's policies, but was merely an expression of hope and a wish for peace for all the world. Idan apologised to the those who took the image as an insult to the Palestinian cause. 

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