Monday, February 09, 2004

West Bank settlers stage beauty contest


This is about the most ridiculous thing I've heard in years. "The guards at the door packed M-16 rifles and the mid-show entertainment was a trio rapping about suicide bombers blowing up coffee shops.
But on the runway, 20 young women in sizzling swimsuits and high-heeled black boots strutted their blow-dried manes and lithe bellies with a single goal: to claim the rhinestone tiara of Miss Samaria 2004, the beauty who would be judged the embodiment of the women of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

"People think all settlers have horns and beards and guns," said Ron Nachman, mayor of Ariel, the 20,000-resident settlement that hosted the Saturday night beauty pageant before an overflow crowd at the local sports center. "This shows that we are normal people, we're like everyone else."

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