It’s more than a major accomplishment to win the crown as the first black Miss Isreal, and Yityish “Titi” Aynaw did it.
The 22-year-old is an Ethiopian Jew who moved to Israel at the age of 12 through one of the many programs that facilitated thousands of Ethiopian Jews to Israel. Aynaw, who won the title last year, was recently in the States by invitation of the Israeli Embassy and spoke to BuzzFeed about the state of the middle eastern country.
“I’m not ashamed to say that there is racism in Israel; it’s a problem, but it’s a problem that Israel is working on and it’s something that Israel is trying to fix and it’s actually improving,” she told the publication. “I don’t feel the racism, me, exactly. But my family feels it sometimes.”
Speaking quite candidly about the issues in the country, Aynaw raises eyebrows by sounding slightly xenophobic about certain types of refugees.
“If you feel like you’re going to be segregated then you end up being segregated, but if you feel like you’re going to be part of the society then you’ll be accepted.” Adding, “A lot of the refugees are not refugees of war, they’re economic refugees. You reach a place where there’s actually places in Tel Aviv where you can’t walk around because there’s rape and violence and it’s a bad situation.”
Her experience seems unique, in a country with a lot of color friction. Aynaw overall tones seems naïve, which is surprising for someone with her platform.
On the upside, she’s pretty.