What does the Miss Universe Pageant have to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict?
Here’s what happened.
Miss Israel, Doron Matalon, posted a selfie to her Instagram account that showed her next to Miss Lebanon and two other contestants.
Lebanese media jumped into the fray, with predictable criticism of Miss Lebanon for appearing in a photo next to Miss Israel. Talk about priorities. With all the crises in the region including Hezbollah’s continuing destabilization of Lebanon, the carnage in Syria and the advance of ISIS, how dare a Lebanese woman get publicly photographed next to an Israeli woman at an international event. The horror!
Miss Lebanon alleged she was the victim of photo-bombing. No matter how the photo came together, who can blame her now. She has to protect herself and her family. So sad.
The conflict between Israel and her neighbors is complex and difficult to solve. However, we’ve said it before and we’ll have to say it again:
The underlying issue and challenge is that Israel’s neighboring countries refuse to publicly accept the idea of the Jewish state of Israel (in any geographical configuration) and they continue to foment anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hatred among their citizenry. That’s much easier, and better, for them than to confront their own societal challenges and opportunities.