While Israel and Iraq do not hold any official diplomatic relations, the countries' two beauty queens on Tuesday made a bold move by deciding to pose together for a picture each posted to her official Instagram account while attending this year's Miss International Beauty Pageant in Japan. Miss Israel's Adar Gandelsman post introduced the fellow Middle Eastern stunner with the proud caption: "Get to know, this is Miss Iraq and she's amazing," while Iraq's Sarah Idan went for an even more deliberate diplomatic message of unity, writing to her followers "Peace and love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel." Both Gandelsman and Idan are slated to participate in the Miss Universe contest in Las Vegas later in November.
The decision by the Iraqi contestant to pose alongside Israel's representative is especially impressive after earlier this year a fellow Middle Eastern belle who hails from a country Israel has a problematic relationship with came under the harsh fire of the critics for opting to visit the Jewish state.Miss Lebanon Amanda Hanna lost her title in August 2017 after it was learned that she visited Israel in 2016 on an academic trip. A year prior to that, then-Lebanese beauty queen Miss Lebanon Sally Greige was threatened with losing her status after she posted a selfie of several competitors on Instagram that featured Miss Israel. Greige was able to maintain her crown after she claimed that she did not intentionally pose alongside the Israeli representative. JTA contributed to this report.