Miss Universe Israel responds to criticism about her picture with Miss Iraq

After the picture of Miss Universe Israel and Miss Universe Iraq from the pageant preparations caused outrage in Iraq, so much so that the lives of the Iraqi representative’s family have been threatened, the Israeli representative officially responded. In an interview with Channel 2 News, Miss Universe Israel Adar Gandelsman spoke about her new close friendship and the message that the two beauty queens wish to share with the world.
Miss Universe Israel (left) and Miss Universe Iraq (right) Photo Credit: Adar Gandelsman/Channel 2 News

About a month ago, Miss Universe Israel Adar Gandelsman met her Iraqi counterpart, Sara Idan, during preparations for the pageant. A close friendship ignited between the two and they even uploaded a picture together to Instagram, causing much outrage in Iraq, so much so that the lives of Idan’s family have been threatened and they have been forced to flee the country. Today (Wednesday), Gandelsman responded to the storm and spoke about the special friendship the two have built and the personal price that Idan has been forced to pay.

“We met each other on the second day and right away we connected,” Gandelsman described of what occurred behind the scenes of the international beauty pageant. “We decided to take the picture and we continued on together for the rest of the day. We've stayed in touch ever since. We speak every day.”

Gandelsman said that the lives of Idan’s family parents were threatened in Iraq both due to their daughter’s participation in the Miss Universe pageant, which includes pictures of her in swimwear, and following her selfie with the Israeli representative. “She’s a very intelligent girl and she did this so that people will understand that it’s possible to live together,” Gandelsman said. “In order for people to see that they can make a connection, at the end of the day, we’re both human beings.”

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