Miss Israel, Doron Matalon, took an innocent selfie with some of her fellow competitors on January 11 and posted it to Instagram. Little did she know this would start a firestorm of epic proportions throughout the Middle East.
Because that is the type of world we live in now.
The issue here is that- along with Miss Slovenia, and Miss Japan – Miss Lebanon, Saly Greige, is also in the photo. And her country is not very happy about it, since they consider Israel to be an enemy state (they are technically still at war).
According to Lebanon's The Daily Star, some citizens want her to be stripped of her crown for such an atrocity.
"You could have avoided mingling with the Israeli contestant like previous Lebanese contestants have done throughout the years. And if you were harassed like you say, you could have at least avoided the huge smile [we see] on your face," wrote one critic on Twitter.
Matalon thinks the the whole thing is absurd.
"It doesn't surprise me, but it still makes me sad," she wrote on Instagram. "Too bad you cannot 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."
Miss Lebanon is taking a different approach to the outcry by both apologizing and denying any responsibility for the photo. In a re-post of the photo on Instagram (with Miss Israel cropped out) Greige says Matalon jumped in to take the shot last minute.
"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," she wrote.
The Miss Universe pageant issued the following statement in response to the controversy:
"It is unfortunate to know a photo of four smiling women from different parts of the world, working together at an event, could be misconstrued as anything other than what it is, a celebration of universal friendship, which the Miss Universe pageant is all about."
Thanks to this incident, the competition which airs on January 25, will likely have a much bigger audience.