DISCLAIMER : I do not believe Sally Greige is a spy or a traitor to the nation. I do not also believe that every Lebanese that have relations with an Israeli must be considered as so.
There are more important subject than a selfie, even if it does symbolise a lot. Let’s admit that Sally Greige said the truth, that the Israeli miss was trying to take pictures with her but she didn’t agree, so at the end, she “photobombed” herself in and boom. The controversial picture was taken.
“The truth behind the photo [is that] 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,” Greige, 25, wrote on Instagram Saturday with a cropped version of the photo that Matalon had posted on Jan. 11. “I was having a photo with Miss Japan [and] Miss Slovenia [when] suddenly Miss Israel jumped in and took a selfie, and uploaded it on her social media.”
I wouldn’t mind if Sally Greige took a picture with every innocent Israeli woman. But the Israeli Miss represents much more for Israel than ours. I personally believe that the Israeli miss is a tool in the hands of Israel Propaganda. Or famous Hasbara.
Israel always tries to represent itself as a peace-loving country, a welcoming country where all people and “races” are equal in it. But the reality is very far from it. They have multiple “tools” for Hasbara, per example, greenwashing, appearing as a green eco-friendly country to all the people from the world when they contaminate Gaza’s water. Or “Pink-washing”, using the LGBT rights as a propaganda tool to appear very open-minded and welcome all gays (and counter all these backward Middle East countries (sarcasm).
Is Miss Israel a tool in the hands of Israel ?
I’d like first to introduce you to the ex Israeli Miss. Famously Black. Here’s what David Sheen, an Israeli independent journalist and filmmaker said about her in online newspaper Electronic Intifada.
In February 2014, Aynaw was ferried around the United States in an attempt to improve Israel’s image. She allowed herself, and her dark skin and Ethiopian origins, to be held up as supposed proof that Israel is a post-racial society. But she was not content to “black-wash” Israel’s image with her token success story; she also used her newfound fame to specifically smear non-Jewish Africans in Israel.
Israel is everything but a post-racial society, it is a racist one where asylum seekers that fled war-torn countries are considered as “infiltrators”, where they are rounded up and enclosed in what it is a modern concentration camp. Please watch this video about Israel racism and their persecution of black migrants.
Ex-Miss Israel also played with Israel stereotypes and added.
Even worse, she went on to echo the rhetoric of Israel’s most racist political agitators, characterizing non-Jewish Africans as savage sexual predators: “There’s actually places in Tel Aviv where you can’t walk around because there’s rape and violence,” Aynaw said.
Israeli police statistics show that the crime rate for Africans is considerably lower than that of the Israeli general public.
Aynaw’s tenure as Israeli beauty queen has since elapsed, but her face — and body — continue to be featured prominently in pro-Israel propaganda.
Let’s get back to Matalon.
What if Israeli Hasbara used her to promote itself as a peace-loving country and oppose itself to all these Arab countries that literally try to run away from Israel.
By reading Matalon wikipedia page, something interesting came out.
In December 2011, Matalon gained national publicity after a sex segregation incident on a Jerusalem bus. She said a 45-year-old Haredi man demanded she move to the back of the bus, threatening her and calling her a prostitute, but she refused. The incident was covered extensively by the Israeli media, and she became a symbol of women’s empowerment. Matalon pressed charges and the man was later convicted of sexually harassing her.
Matalon may have moved hearts with this story. But isn’t the occasion so beautiful ? Now Israel can use the Miss to make itself appear as against all forms of segregations, including Jewish one. This Rosa Parks-like story I believe is widely used to promote Israel as a feminist country.
Matalon has also served for Israel’s “Defence” Army, you know, the “Army” that killed mostly civilians months ago and removed entire generations of the same families ?
Let’s admit that Sally Greige story is true, Israel photo(bombing) her, (see the irony) wouldn’t be a surprise. Matalon did try multiple times to include herself according to Miss Lebanon. And Matalon picture with Miss Lebanon is a win win situation. Win to make Israel appear as a country of peace and pardon. And win over Lebanon to make Lebanese appear as backward and a peace-hating country. It’s always a great public relation win. Matalon responded to Miss Lebanon with a revealing commentary.
Matalon, 21, responded Sunday, writing on Instagram, “It doesn’t surprise me, but it still makes me sad. Too bad you cannot put the hostility out of the game, [in which] only for three weeks of an experience of a lifetime [it is] that we can meet girls from around the world and also from the neighboring country.”
Reading those words it’s exactly what I tried to explain earlier in the win-win situation. The Peace loving country Israel trying to make peace with the unsurprising Lebanon that loves War.
If Sally Greige did take that picture, and I stress on my following words : We must NOT denounce her as some kind of spy or traitor to the nation. Enough with the shaming. I am sure that if she did take the selfie, it was innocent. And we do not want to patronise her or “teach” a lesson about what’s right or wrong. Let’s support her by admitting she is a victim in this awful story, and let’s share how Israel Hasbara use their Israeli misses to lie about their true nature.