12 September 2019 - 12 Elul 5779 - י"ב אלול ה' אלפים תשע"ט
Controversy at Miss Earth 2018 beauty pageant E-mail

Miss Earth Lebanon was forced to withdraw from the Miss Earth 2018 annual beauty pageant after posing in a photo with Miss Earth Israel. The annual event was held in the Philippines.

A photo posted on Facebook on 17 October, showing Miss Earth Lebanon Salwa Akar with Miss Earth Israel Dana Zreik, went viral. Akar posted the picture with the caption: “My advocacy is to help people find peace and love within themselves so they can love each other and become peaceful with our mother earth.”

According to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Arabic-language spokesman Ofir Gendelman, Akar’s title was “revoked in Lebanon because she ‘dared’ to take this photo with Miss Israel... Lebanese apartheid must be condemned.” Israeli news website Ynet said Akar claimed she did not know Zreik was Israeli because the Israeli-Arab contestant spoke to her in Arabic. However Miss Lebanon’s pageant organisers did not accept the explanation, as the photo shows that Zreik was wearing an Israel sash.

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