Miss Iraq took a selfie with Miss Israel, and now she's in hiding

Miss Iraq Sarah Idan has gone into hiding after taking a picture with her friend, Miss Israel Adar Gandelsman

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published December 15, 2017 3:15PM (EST)

Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman and Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan (Instagram/sarahidan)
Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman and Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan (Instagram/sarahidan)

Miss Iraq has gone into hiding after posting a good-natured selfie with herself and her friend, Miss Israel.

In an Instagram photograph with the caption "Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel," Sarah Idan (Miss Iraq) showed a picture of herself standing next to her friend, Adar Gandelsman (Miss Israel) back in November, according to Newsweek. A recent interview with Gandelsman reveals that Idan has paid a heavy personal price for her attempt at a conciliatory photograph.

"People made threats against her and her family that if she didn’t return home and take down the photos, they would remove her [Miss Iraq] title, that they would kill her," Gandelsman told Israeli TV.

Idan confirmed the story on Twitter.

Idan, who according to her Twitter profile lives in Los Angeles and Cairo, emphasized that the photograph was not meant to be pro-Zionist. In an Instagram post, Idan explained that her photograph was not intended to "signal support for the government of Israel and does not mean I agree or accept its policies in the Arab homeland." She also apologized to anyone who thought the picture was "harmful to the Palestinian cause."

She made it clear that her goal instead was to "express hope and desire for peace between the two countries."

Israel and Iraq are considered to be enemies due to Iraq's opposition to Israel's foreign policies toward the Palestinian territories. Tensions between Israel and the Arab world have worsened since President Donald Trump announced he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital last week, although the photograph in question was taken before that announcement was made.

Gandelsman also pointed out that Idan had received heavy criticism for appearing in a bikini in her photograph.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012, was a guest on Fox Business in 2019, repeatedly warned of Trump's impending refusal to concede during the 2020 election, spoke at the Commonwealth Club of California in 2021, was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022 and appeared on NPR in 2023. His diverse interests are reflected in his interviews including: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (1997-2001), director Jason Reitman ("The Front Runner"), inventor Ernő Rubik, comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, voice actor Rob Paulsen ("Animaniacs"), mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, World War II historian Joshua Levine (consultant to "Dunkirk"), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (2013-present), dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), comedian and writer Larry Charles ("Seinfeld"), seismologist John Vidale, Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), Senator Martin Heinrich (2013-present), Egyptologist Richard Parkinson, Rep. Eric Swalwell (2013-present), Fox News host Tucker Carlson, actor R. J. Mitte ("Breaking Bad"), theoretical physicist Avi Loeb, biologist and genomics entrepreneur William Haseltine, comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2"), linguistics consultant Paul Frommer ("Avatar"), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (2007-2015), computer engineer and Internet co-inventor Leonard Kleinrock and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Adar Gandelsman Arab-israeli Conflict Iraq Israel Miss Universe Miss Iraq Miss Israel Sarah Idan