Miss Universe Organization: Israel, Lebanon Selfie Flap “Unfortunate”

The group behind the Miss Universe beauty pageant said Monday that controversy over a photo showing Miss Israel and Miss Lebanon smiling together is "unfortunate." Miss Lebanon Saly Greige was criticized in her home country for appearing in the Instagram photo, with one TV station saying she should have remembered that Lebanon and Israel are enemies. Greige then responded on Facebook that she was "having a photo with Miss Japan and Miss Slovenia," when "suddenly Miss Israel jumped in, took a selfie, and put it on her social media." The Miss Universe Organization, which is owned by NBCUniversal and Donald Trump, said in a statement that "it is unfortunate to know a photo of four smiling women from different parts of the world, working together at an event, could be misconstrued as anything other than what it is, a celebration of universal friendship, which the Miss Universe pageant is all about."

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