Miss Iraq and Miss Israel just took a selfie and people are concerned.
"With Miss Iraq," wrote Miss Israel, real name Adar Gandelsman, "practicing bringing world peace." That's hilarious to anyone who knows the beauty pageant trope, but the good people of the internet hardly wanted to reminiscence about the movie Miss Congeniality at all. All they wanted to talk about was how Israel and Iraq are sworn enemies, and the last time something like this happened at Miss Universe contest, there were consequences.
In 2015, Miss Lebanon had to explain herself extensively after Doron Matalon, then Miss Israel, posted a photo alongside her and two other contestants.
According to the New York Times, that implied "to all the world that the Lebanese beauty queen [Saly Griege] had been fraternizing with the enemy." Israel had just led an airstrike in neighboring Syria, and tensions were high. In 2017, Iraq and Israel are—to say the least—not friendly. The countries hold no official diplomatic relations.
In 2015, Miss Lebannon claimed the photo was taken without her permission after the photo "led to calls to strip Greige of her title," according to the Times of Israel. Miss Iraq hasn't made any excuses, posting the photo herself on Instagram:
Commenters across all social platforms expressed concern for Miss Iraq. When the photo was posted on Reddit, one of the highest voted comments said the following:
Unfortunately, I assume that Ms. Iraq will suffer greatly for this.
So far, she hasn't been stripped of her title or apparently faced any official backlash. That's a good thing. Can't we all just agree that hot people, no matter their country of origin, are all equally better than us? That's the world I want to live in.