Miss Universe contestants are keen to proclaim their desire for world peace, but this year's Miss Lebanon has declared war after claiming Miss Israel muscled in uninvited during a group "selfie."
Ms Saly Greige (right) took to her Facebook page to declare that Israel's Doron Matalon had pushed her way into a now widely- circulated photo showing the Middle Eastern beauties with Miss Japan and Miss Slovenia, AFP reported.
"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 Israel (that tried several times to have a photo with me)," Miss Greige wrote in English on her page.
"I was having a photo with Miss Japan, Miss Slovenia and myself, suddenly Miss Israel jumped in, took a selfie, and put it on her social media."
Israel occupied parts of Lebanon for 22 years until 2000, but the two countries are still technically at war and their armies occasionally skirmish along a United Nations-designated withdrawal line.
In 2006, a war between Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah killed more than 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and some 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.
The photo, taken in Miami where the Miss Universe pageant is being held, appeared on Miss Matalon's Instagram account on Jan 11. Miss Matalon responded to the controversy herself on Sunday, saying it made her "sad".
"It doesn't surprise me, but it still makes me sad. Too bad you can not put the hostility out of the game," she wrote in English and Hebrew.
Lebanese media picked up the story, running Miss Greige's allegations that Miss Matalon had "photobombed" the selfie, and local social media users both defended and attacked their beauty queen over the picture.
Some Lebanese have demanded on social media that Miss Greige lose her title for contacts with a citizen of the enemy state, reported Reuters.
This article was first published on Jan 20, 2015.
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