‘Palestine Lives in My Heart Forever’: Greek Contestant Withdraws from Miss Universe Pageant in Israel

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) welcomed on Monday Greek contestant Rafaele Plastira’s decision to withdraw from the Miss Universe pageant, which is set to be held in Israel.

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that Plastira announced to her Instagram followers that she’s not going to participate in the pageant, citing the hosting country as a reason for her decision.

“I will not be attending ‘Miss universe’ this year. The reason for that is the country,” she said. “I can’t go up that stage and act like nothing is happening when people are fighting for their lives out there.”

In a separate post, Plastira expressed her admiration for the Palestinian people, writing: “I may not live in Palestine but Palestine lives in my heart forever”.

Earlier this month, the South African government announced in a statement that it has withdrawn its support for the Miss South Africa Pageant, following calls from various South African organizations to boycott the event and show solidarity with the Palestinian people.

In the statement, the Ministry cites “atrocities committed by Israel against Palestinians” to explain its decision, adding that the government, “as the legitimate representative of the people of South Africa, cannot in good conscience associate itself with such”.

(The Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

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