Withdrawal of Lebanon..

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..from the Miss Universe pageant?

There are rumors being spread on forums that Miss Lebanon Rahaf Abdallah has dropped out of the Miss Universe pageant, because she does not want to be in the same room as Miss Israel Bat-El Jobi (hat tip: John).

Miss Lebanon Rajaf AbdallahHate drives Miss Lebanon out

Reports that “Miss Lebanon has dropped out of the Miss Universe pageant because she doesn’t want to be in the same room as Miss Israel”.

This is pretty sad in itself, but it gets worst. The owner of the entertainment column mentions the following:

“A spokeswoman for the event confirms the story. “For years, there have been problems regarding the political situation and Miss Lebanons and Miss Israels,” spokeswoman Lark-Marie Anton tells. “For example, they can’t be photographed together or they might be exiled when they return to their own countries. This year, there is such turmoil, that Miss Lebanon will not be joining us.”

This is completely wrong – although I don’t doubt that Miss Lebanon, Rahaf Abdallah, would get into trouble if photographed with Miss Israel, the contrary is not true.

The spokeswoman says Miss Israel will not be wearing her sash in Vegas at the suggestion of pageant security.

“It’s a red flag,” she says. “She has such an interesting background. . . . She’s finishing up her first year of military service, and there’s a lot of interest in her. We have to make sure that she’s safe and comfortable so she can do what she’s here to do.”

My BS detectors are going off after reading this. Besides the fact that forums cannot be taken as the most reliable sources of information, I very much doubt the spokeswoman would have said that “they can’t be photographed together or they might be exiled when they return to their own countries.” Because while that might be the case in Lebanon, there is no way that would ever happen in Israel.



Furthermore, there is another reason being proffered for the supposed withdrawal of Miss Lebanon.

And speaking of real protests, Antoine Maksoud, the national director of Miss Lebanon Rahaf Abdallah, yesterday reportedly decided to withdraw Abdallah from the pageant because neither one approves of Miss Israel Bat-El Jobi’s Israeli Defense Forces uniform for her costume. This “controversy” has not been confirmed by the media, although it has been posted on several message boards. Maksoud supposedly also claimed that most Israeli delegates receive “special attention” from the U.S. press – which is debatable.

Are we really supposed to believe that the Israeli contestant would show up in an IDF uniform?

In any event, watch this space for the latest updates. Since somebody has to get the bottom of this, and it might as well be me.

Update: I’ve  tweeted the pageant spokeswoman mention in the forum post for confirmation.

Update: Pageant spokeswoman Lark-Marie Anton responds to my tweet and confirms what I suspected.

This story completely unfounded (and I did not make those remarks). Where and why do these rumors get started???

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