The family of Miss Iraq have been forced to flee the country after the winner posed for a picture with Miss Israel.
Iraqi beauty queen Sarah Idan posted a selfie of her Israeli counterpart Adar Gandelsman attending the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas, US.
Idan’s intentions, as per her caption, was to promote ‘peace and love’ but some social media users weren’t having any of it.
Such was the backlash in Iraq over the picture that Idan’s family have since left the country for fear of a violent retribution.
Gandelsman told Israeli TV:
People made threats against her and her family that if she didn’t return home and take down the photos, they would remove her title, that they would kill her…
Out of fear, they left Iraq at least until the situation calms down.
Idan, 27, said Gandelsman wishes ‘that one day there will be peace between the two religions (Judaism and Islam) and that her children will not have to do military service’, reports Mail Online.
She asked for a photo and I agreed, saying that I too hoped for peace and wanted to help pass on the message.
This picture doesn’t mean I support the Israeli government or its policies towards Arab countries. I apologise to everyone who it as an insult to the Palestinian cause – this was not its purpose.
One critic commented:
Your peace with Israel, which has burned the Arab world for its own interests, does not honour us…
I respect pacifist Jews who oppose the state of Israel, but we don’t want their peace built on the ruins of our country.
Idan was born and bred in Baghdad. After the 2003 invasion she worked with the American military in 2008, later moving the to the United States and getting a degree in Los Angeles.
As per Wikipedia:
Iraq and Israel do not have any formal diplomatic relations as the former does not recognize the latter. Iraq declared war on the newly established Jewish state in 1948 and since then the relations between the two states have remained hostile at best. Iraqi forces also participated in the subsequent wars against Israel in 1967 and 1973.
In 1981, Israel, afraid of another attack from Iraq, bombed an Iraqi nuclear reactor under construction at Al Tuwaitha, southeast of Baghdad, claiming a threat to national security. Iraq did not respond. During the Persian Gulf War, Iraq fired 39 modified Scud ballistic missiles at Israel despite there being no aggression from Israel at the time. Israel, under pressure from the United States, never retaliated.
Crazy times we live in.