The photo above is just another example of how wars are planned and waged between politicians rather than people.
But this show of amiability, though endearing, has backfired. The picture of Lebanese beauty queen Saly Greige posing with an Israeli competitor Doron Matalon during preparations for the event in Miami has caused a massive outrage in the former's homeland, which forbids its citizens from fraternizing with Israelis, and may just get her disqualified.
Ms. Greige has had to give explanations of the unexpected and unintentional breach:
To all my supporters and Lebanese citizens, I would like to thank you indeed for your continuous support of Miss Lebanon at the Miss Universe contest... 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 isreal, 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. This is what happened and I hope to have your full support in the Miss Universe contest
Most of her followers have positive comments after the apology, but her government may not be as forgiving.
Others on social media also fail to understand what the fuss is all about:
I hope the dark irony of Miss Israel [photo]bombing Miss Lebanon's selfie isn't lost on anyone. pic.twitter.com/fF3WLgYGNk— Mahmoud (@MahmoudRamsey) January 19, 2015
Saly Greige, however, has every right to fear for her fate as Ghada al-Turk, a former Miss Lebanon, had to give up her title in 1993 for a similar offense when she posed with Miss Israel Jana Khodirker. She would have been prosecuted for “collaborating with the enemy” had she not sworn she had no idea who she was standing next to.
It’s hard to believe but the situation is exactly the same more than two decades later.
“It doesn’t surprise me, but it still makes me sad,” wrote Miss Israel Doron Matalon in her response.
“Too bad you cannot 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,” she added.
Even though Lebanon was the first Arab League nation to signal a desire for an armistice treaty with Israel in 1949, relations between the two have been fraught for decades now.