Miss Universe Philippines criticized for ‘appropriating’ Palestinian culture on trip to Israel


Social media users accused Miss Universe candidate of impersonating Palestinian culture as Israeli after posting photos of herself preparing Palestinian food and wearing traditional Palestinian dresses

The Miss Universe pageant will take place in the city of Eilat on December 12 [Getty]

Miss Universe Philippines has been criticized for passing off Palestinian culture as Israeli when she visited the Jewish state for the Miss Universe pageant.

Beatrice Luigi Gomez posted on Instagram photos of herself and her fellow students preparing Palestinian food and wearing traditional Palestinian dresses, but captioned them with #VisitIsrael – angering social media users.

It comes just days before Gomez takes part in the 70th Miss Universe in the city of Eilat on December 12, which Israeli organizers hope to promote their country as a tourist destination, despite activists calling for a boycott of the contest against human rights violations by Israel. against the Palestinians.

“The organizers of Miss Universe in Israel and the contestants are making Palestinian culture their own … without any recognition of the hundreds of generations of Palestinians who have passed on this cultural identity,” Twitter user Layth Hanbali said. noted in response to Gomez’s message.

“Needless to say, there isn’t even a hint of the Palestinians who saw this cultural identity suppressed, denied and stolen by Zionism,” Hanbali continued.

Some accused the contest and its competitors of “whitewashing colonialism”, others denounced Israel for attempting to “steal everything relating to the Palestinians”.

Still others called the scenes “cultural theft and appropriation”.

Gomez’s other contenders have also sparked controversy as the competition draws near.

A video showing Miss Universe Thailand, Anchilee Scott-Kemmis, entering the grounds of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem sparked anger among Palestinians last week.

Candidates from Indonesia and Malaysia withdrew from the competition following calls for a boycott.


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