Lebanon’s Miss Earth was sanctioned by her country for the grave offense of . . . taking a photo with Miss Israel.

By: United with Israel Staff

Miss Earth Lebanon was stripped of her title by her country after committing the grave offense of posing for a photograph with Miss Earth Israel during the international pageant in the Philippines, the Daily Mail reported.

The photo shows Miss Earth Lebanon Salwa Akar standing with her arm around Miss Israel, Dana Zreik, an Israeli-Arab, with both of them making a “peace” sign.

After the image appeared online, the organizers of Miss Earth Lebanon issued a statement saying they “categorically rejected the relationship with Israel” and that they had withdrawn Akar’s title.

Miss Earth is an international beauty pageant promoting environmental awareness.

On Wednesday, a bold Akar pledged to continue competing in the pageant.

“I don’t need a ‘title’ to be myself,” Akar wrote on her official Facebook page. “I will finish what I started with or without your support and love.”

Ofir Gendelman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesperson for the Arab media, tweeted that Akar “had her title revoked in Lebanon because she ‘dared’ to take this photo with Miss Israel.”

“Miss Israel Daza Zreik is an Israeli-Arab, who proudly represents her country. Lebanese apartheid must be condemned,” he demanded.

This is not the first time Lebanon has taken action against models for fraternizing with Israelis.

In 2015, Miss Lebanon, Saly Greige, nearly lost her title after she posted a photo on social media appearing with Miss Israel, Doron Matalon.

In August 2017, dual Swedish-Lebanese citizen Amanda Hanna, who won the Miss Lebanon Emigrant 2017 competition, was stripped of her title after it was revealed that she had visited Israel using her Swedish passport on an academic trip in 2016.