Like most of the Arab world, Iraq does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. Yet no one can prevent friendship from breaking out between people who don’t accept that they must be enemies. Which is what happened at a beauty contest in Tokyo last month when Miss Iraq and Miss Israel took a selfie that was posted on Instagram with the simple caption “Peace and love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel.”
“She’s a very intelligent girl and she did this so that people will understand that it’s possible to live together,” Ms. Gandelsman told Israel’s Channel 2 News. “In order for people to see that they can make a connection, at the end of the day, we’re both human beings.” Ms. Gandelsman added that because of death threats to her friend’s family, they had to leave Iraq “out of fear.”
Good for Ms. Idan. In a region where Israeli athletes are often slighted—last month at a judo tournament in Abu Dhabi officials refused to play the Israeli anthem or fly the Israeli flag after an Israeli won a gold medal—Miss Iraq has shown a better way forward. How much better everyone in the Middle East would be if politicians in the region had the decency and resolve that these two young women do.