Saturday, January 18th | 22 Tevet 5780

August 24, 2017 12:41 pm

Terrorists and Tiaras

avatar by Ruthie Blum


Dual Swedish-Lebanese citizen Amanda Hanna, who won the Miss Lebanon Emigrant 2017 competition earlier this month. Photo: Facebook.

It is hard to feel sorry for Lebanese-Swede Amanda Hanna, who was stripped ‎of her Miss Lebanon Emigrant 2017 title this week — some nine days after ‎being crowned in the annual expat beauty pageant — when it was discovered ‎that she had visited Israel last year as part of an academic tour.‎

Hanna, who expressed her gratitude on Facebook at having won the August 12 ‎finals, was declared unfit to fill the role of best-looking Lebanese expat in a ‎statement released by the organizers of the event, held in Dhour El Choueir. ‎‎”After communicating our decision with Lebanon’s minister of tourism,” the ‎communique read, “he decided that Hanna should be stripped of her title ‎because her visit to Israel violates our country’s laws.” ‎

Hanna should have known this was going to happen, and not only because ‎Lebanon is the Jewish state’s sworn enemy. Indeed, had she done her ‎homework, she would have learned that any contact with Israelis in Lebanon is ‎punishable by imprisonment. She also might have discovered that the movie ‎‎”Wonder Woman” was banned from its theaters because it stars Israeli actress ‎Gal Gadot. A simple Google search, too, would have revealed that Miss ‎Lebanon Saly Greige came under heavy fire two and half years ago for ‎appearing in a selfie with Miss Israel, Doron Matalon, during the Miss ‎Universe pageant in Miami. After Matalon posted the photo (of herself with ‎Miss Slovenia, Miss Japan and Greige) on Instagram, Greige was criticized ‎widely in her country for being a traitor. To defend herself against the ‎accusations, Greige said that she had been taking a photo with Miss Slovenia ‎and Miss Japan, when suddenly “Miss Israel jumped in.” ‎

It is not Hanna’s fault that Lebanon is one large base for the Shiite terrorist ‎organization Hezbollah. But it was her choice to participate in an event ‎sponsored by the powers-that-be in Beirut, who are not only evil in and of ‎themselves, but who enjoy warm relations with the regime in Tehran.‎

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This makes perfect sense to anyone who has been paying attention, since ‎Hezbollah is the Islamic Republic of Iran’s proxy in Lebanon. Furthermore, ‎Lebanese President Michel Aoun and his government, headed by Prime ‎Minister Saad Hariri, are openly pro-Hezbollah. In fact, Aoun met with Iranian ‎Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari ‎on Monday morning at the Baabda Palace in Beirut, and received an invitation ‎from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for an official visit to Tehran for the ‎purpose of enhancing their relationship. ‎

Iran’s burgeoning position next door to Lebanon, in Syria, was the focus of ‎Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip to Russia this week. In a meeting with Russian ‎President Vladimir Putin at the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Wednesday, ‎Netanyahu warned that he would take military action, if necessary, to prevent ‎Tehran from expanding its presence in Syria. Like Lebanon, Syria borders ‎Israel in the north. Hezbollah fighters, Shiite militias and Iranian Revolutionary ‎Guard Corps soldiers, who joined forces to safeguard the regime of Syrian ‎President Bashar Assad against Islamic State and other Sunni rebels — all of ‎whom also promote jihad against the Jews — pose a grave danger to the Jewish ‎state.‎

‎”We cannot forget for a single minute that Iran threatens every day to ‎annihilate Israel,” Netanyahu told Putin, who has been supporting Assad and ‎his Tehran-backed allies since 2015. “Israel opposes Iran’s continued ‎entrenchment in Syria. We will be sure to defend ourselves with all means ‎against this and any threat.”‎

This was Netanyahu’s sixth meeting with Putin in the past two years. During previous ‎conversations between the two, the Russian leader apparently agreed to allow ‎Israel unfettered access to Syrian airspace to launch limited strikes on ‎Hezbollah convoys carrying Iranian — and North Korean — missiles. Putin ‎allegedly told Netanyahu in the past that his sole interest in Hezbollah was its ‎battle to keep Assad in power, not its aim to eviscerate Israel. Whether the ‎Russian president responded to Netanyahu’s latest plea with similar ‎‎”sympathy” is not clear.‎

What is plain as day is that jihad is alive and well across the region; even the ‎most incidental association with Israel is enough to rid a beauty queen of her ‎crown. Now that she is safely back in Europe, Hanna should respond to the ‎travesty by railing at her Lebanese hosts. She is unlikely to do so, however, as ‎Sweden considers all acts of hostility toward Israel to be Israel’s fault. Let ‎Hanna contemplate that while crying over the loss of her tiara.‎

Ruthie Blum is an editor at the Gatestone Institute.‎

This piece first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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