A group of top 10 contestants pose in ther evening gown on stage during the 2018 Miss Universe Pageant in Bangkok on December 17, 2018. - Miss Philippines was crowned Miss Universe on December 17 in Bangkok after a trailblazing ceremony praised for featuring its first transgender candidate but marred by gaffes about the English-speaking ability of two Asian contestants. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Miss Universe could be crowned in Israel as early as this December, an Israeli daily is reporting.

Representatives of the Miss Universe Organization have met with Israeli producers in New York and have secretly visited Israel, Israel Hayom reported Saturday. The interest comes on the heels of the success of Eurovision in Tel Aviv this year.

Hosting Miss Universe would be more complicated than Eurovision — all 41 of the participating Eurovision countries had diplomatic relations with Israel. More than 100 countries participate in Miss Universe, including several mostly Arab countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel. Their participation in a pageant in Israel would require special visas and security approvals.

In addition, approval of such an event would have to wait until after national elections in September, when government ministries can be involved in the planning process and a budget can be approved.

Nearly 600 million people watched the last Miss Universe pageant. By comparison, Eurovision in Tel Aviv had about 200 million viewers.

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