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Lola in The Guardian: Miss Israel belongs at Obama's state dinner

[Originally published in The Guardian]
Yityish Aynaw will fit in fine at the president's table – it's time to shake off the notion that intelligence and beauty don't mix

As President Obama gets ready to visit Israel next week, news that Yityish Aynaw, the newly crowned Miss Israel, has been invited to dine with him and other VIPs at the state dinner has raised a few eyebrows. Why would a beauty queen be invited to attend a 120-person event that will feature political heavyweights such as Binyamin Netanyahu and the IDF chief of general staff, Lt general Benny Gantz? My answer to that question is: why not?

From what I've heard of Aynaw's life story and political views, she is not only thoughtful and smart, but also well aware of the power and responsibility that her position wields. As an orphan – her father died when she was two, her mother when she was 12 – her life story is one of triumph over adversity. In other words, she's really no airhead. Aynaw knows tha…