- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 14, 2017

An Iraqi beauty pageant contestant recently had to usher her family out of the country after she publicly admitted a friendship with Miss Israel.

Social media posts by Adar Gandelsman of Israel and Sarah Idan of Iraq captured global headlines in November after the two snapped pictures together in Tokyo. Islamic extremists caught wind of the bond between the International Beauty Pageant 2017 contestants, then the death threats began rolling in.

Miss Gandelsman recently told Israel’s Hadashot newspaper that her friend’s family fled the country to ensure their safety, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

“She [took the picture] so that people can understand that it’s possible to live together,” Miss Gandelsman said. “In order for people to see that we can connect, in the end we are both human beings.”

Miss Idan, 27, currently resides in the U.S. She recently attempted to quell anger over the original post on Nov. 13 by noting her desire “for peace between the two countries” on Instagram — but to no avail, the newspaper reported.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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