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View Full Version : Beauty contestants solve problem


squire
10th Feb 2004, 15:00
ARIEL, West Bank (Reuters) - Jewish settlers have crowned their first beauty queen, a raven-haired girl of 15, in the hope of softening their militant image.



Natali Mizrahi was chosen from 20 finalists at the weekend in a packed gymnasium in Ariel, a large enclave of 17,000 people in the occupied West Bank.


"I'm not a settler who carries a gun," the wide-eyed Mizrahi, pictured in a tight black gown, told the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronoth after winning a two-year modeling contract as first prize.


"Ariel is a regular city just like Tel Aviv," she said.


Ariel Mayor Ron Nachman told reporters the world visualized settlers as wearers of Orthodox skullcaps and carrying a gun "but this event shows the whole world that we are normal people exactly like everyone else...and want to live in peace."


Most countries see the 145 settlements with 230,000 Jews in the West Bank and Gaza as obstacles to peace between Israel and 3.6 million Palestinians, who seek a state in the two territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.


Palestinians began an uprising against Israel in 2000 and settlements have been prime targets of militant attacks.


Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (news - web sites) said last week he wanted to remove most of the Gaza enclaves under a "disengagement" plan.


Polls show most Israelis favor evacuating exposed settlements in return for lasting peace with the Palestinians.

Smedley
12th Feb 2004, 03:31
"Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (news - web sites) said last week he wanted to remove most of the Gaza enclaves under a "disengagement" plan. "

True, BUT, he wants to establish them in the West Bank.