Potential 2016 presidential contender and businessman Donald Trump has some words of advice for Miss Israel and Miss Lebanon, who appeared together in a Jan. 10 selfie from the Miss Universe pageant in Miami last week: “No more fighting!”
Trump, who owns the pageant in a joint venture with NBCUniversal, the parent company of msnbc, took to Instagram to offer his suggestion. “Miss Israel and Miss Lebanon are fighting like cats and dogs. It shouldn’t be happening. They’re at the Miss Universe pageant. We bring people together. Let’s get together. No more fighting,” Trump said in a video posted on his account.
So, how did we get here?
First, this happened:
That’s Miss Israel, 21-year-old Doron Matalon, on the left, and Miss Lebanon, 25-year-old Sally Greige, to her immediate right.
The image appeared innocent enough. But shortly after the photo was posted online, Lebanese fans of Griege criticized the pageant titleholder for disrespecting her home country. According to BBC News, an Arabic hashtag that translates to “A word to Miss Lebanon” had been used about 7,000 times as of Jan. 20. NBC News reported the Lebanese television station Al Jadeed “chastised Greige, saying the contestant should have remembered that Lebanon and Israel are sworn enemies.”
And so, Griege attempted to walk back the selfie incident with this explanation on her Facebook page:
Matalon, for her part, made it clear via her own Facebook page that she had no regrets about the photo.
“It doesn’t surprise me, but it still makes me sad,” she wrote. “Too bad you can not put the hostility out of the game, only for three weeks of an experience of a lifetime that we can meet girls from around the world and also from the neighboring country.”
Matalon and Greige have at least four days left together; the Miss Universe pageant airs live Sunday, Jan. 25. Will Trump’s request for peace have an impact?