April Benayoun, a contestant in the Miss France beauty pageant was targeted with a slew of antisemitic tweets because her father is Israeli. The pageant took place on Saturday and since then she’s received a number of hateful messages on social media.
A number of Jewish groups have condemned the antisemitic messages and French prosecutors have reportedly opened an investigation into the matter.
One of the harassing tweets read, “Uncle Hitler, you forgot to exterminate Miss Provence.” The neo-nazi site “Daily Stormer’ also posted an altered picture of Benayoun standing in a concentration camp with a lampshade over her head with a large nose.
“It is sad to witness such behavior in 2020,” Benayoun reportedly told Var-Matin newspaper following the attacks. “But it does not affect me at all.”
It’s also not the first time there’s been such hate at a beauty pageant. In fact, at the Miss Universe pageant 2017 Miss Iraq Sarah Idan received backlash and even death threats for taking a selfie with Miss Israel.
Idan reacted to Benayoun’s situation, telling this reporter on Tuesday, “It’s not the first time beauty pageants inadvertently shed light on real issues, representing matters! Which is why hate cannot remain quiet, it cannot quiet, it cannot bear to watch humanity be the face of a country or a magazine,” Idan said.
She added, “I hope she will look at this as an opportunity to raise awareness about antisemitism and not be discouraged, I have been there and I wish I didn’t have all that anxiety but I understand. We must remain focused, keep fighting the good fight.”