Some Lebanese citizens have taken Miss Lebanon, Saly Greige, to task for posing with Miss Israel, Doron Matalon

By Alex Heigl
January 18, 2015 04:10 PM
Alexander Tamargo/Getty (2)

Even Miss Universe contestants have to deal with earthly problems.

Lebanese Miss Universe contestant Saly Greige has come under fire in her country for posing with Miss Israel, Doron Matalon, in a photo during preparations for the Jan. 25 Miss Universe competition in Miami.

Lebanon and Israel have technically been at war since 2006. Lebanese citizens can be imprisoned for contact with Israelis, and products from the country are banned in Lebanon.

Since Matalon, 21, posted the picture, Lebanese citizens have called for her title to be revoked, according to the New York Post.

Greige, 25, responded to the allegations on Instagram, claiming that, “Since the first day of my arrival to participate I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel, who tried several times to take a photo with me. I was having a photo with Miss Japan, Miss Slovenia [and] suddenly Miss Israel jumped in and took a selfie and uploaded it on her social media.”

Matalon then weighed in on the matter, posting a link to a news story about the controversy on Facebook and Instagram, writing, “It doesn’t surprise me, but it still makes me sad. Too bad you cannot put the hostility out of the game, only for three weeks of an experience of a lifetime.”

This is not the first time tensions between the two countries have flared during Miss Universe. In 2002, Miss Lebanon, Christina Sawaya, boycotted the competition because Miss Israel, Yamit Har-Noy, was also competing.

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