Contestants for Miss Universe 2017 have arrived in Las Vegas to begin rehearsals for the pageant. As a lot of selfies were expected to be made and indeed happened, one picture sparked major outrage on the internet.
What might seemed to be a harmless selfie from two beauty pageants, the caption of “world peace” has received major backlash from some Arab social media users'.
Many were reminding Idan who is an Iraqi model and titleholder of Miss Universe Iraq 2017, that Iraq has no diplomatic relations with Israel and it is considered an occupying state.
And because of the tensions between the two countries aren't good, the Photo of the two women together promoting "peace" was "not to everyone’s taste".
A user has even said that Idan is "happily posing with the beauty queen of occupation and brutality."
Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel #missuniverse
However, not everyone was offended by the photo. Many users have praised the two pageant for using their positions to promote the message of peace.
A spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister Ofir Gendelman, commented that both Idan and Gandelsman are sharing "a great message of hope for the region".
The Israeli Foreign Ministry also retweeted Gandelsman’s post, saying that “Loving this beautiful message of #peace!”, along with Israeli news site, Ynet, hailing Gendelsman for trying to “bring hearts closer”.
But because the backlash happened, Idan issued a statement apologizing for any offence the photo caused. She said that the aim of the picture was to promote a "mutual desire for world peace".
"Miss Israel approached me during a photo session. After kindly greeting me, she asked if we could take a photo together and I agreed because I saw it as an opportunity to express our mutual desire for world peace. Her photo of us received praise, while I only got negative comments," she said."This photo does not mean I condone the Israeli government or its policies. I’d like to apologize to anyone who considered this an insult to the Palestinian cause."