Miss Lebanon under fire over photo with Miss Israel at Miss Universe pageant

The photo posted on Instagram by Miss Israel (far left), in which Miss Lebanon (second from left) also appears. Credit: Screenshot from Instagram.

(JNS.org) Miss Lebanon Saly Greige is fielding off heavy criticism in her home country and calls for her to be stripped of her national title due to a photo posted on social media in which she appears with Miss Israel, Doron Matalon.

Matalon posted the photo from preparations in Miami for the Jan. 25 Miss Universe pageant. Israel and Lebanon are enemy nations, with the latest escalation in tension coming Monday over a reported Israeli airstrike in Syria that killed six members of the Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah.

Greige distanced herself from the Israeli contestant, saying on Instagram that Matalon photobombed her before posting the photo online.

"Since the first day of my arrival to participate to Miss Universe, 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, [and] Miss Slovenia, suddenly Miss Israel jumped in and took a selfie, and uploaded it on her social media,” Greige said.

Posted on January 19, 2015 .