Lucy Aharish

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Lucy Aharish
Lucy in Happiness Wrapped in a Blanket.jpg
Aharish in 2013
Born(1981-09-18)18 September 1981 (age 37)
Alma materHebrew University of Jerusalem
Tsahi HaLevi (m. 2018)

Lucy Aharish (Arabic: لوسي هريش‎, Hebrew: לוסי אהריש‎; born 18 September 1981) is an Arab-Israeli news anchor, reporter, television host and actress. She is notable for being the first Muslim Arab news presenter on mainstream Hebrew-language Israeli television.[1]

As of 2018, Aharish serves as a news anchor at Reshet 13, and was previously a morning anchor on a current-affairs show on its predecessor Channel 2, a presenter of the Evening Edition at i24news, a news presenter and reporter at Channel 10, a co-host at Radio 99, a late-night co-host on Channel 1, as well as a co-host on KAN 11.[1][2][3][4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Aharish was born in Dimona, Israel, to an Arab-Muslim family.[6] Her parents Maaruf and Salwa Aharish were originally from the city of Nazareth. She is the youngest of three daughters. Growing up, she was the only Arab student at her school. On Purim she dressed up as Queen Esther, and on Israeli Independence Day she wore blue and white.[7] Later, in 2015, Aharish praised her former high school principal Meir Cohen (currently a Knesset member with the Yesh Atid party) for having fostered an uncompromising stance against racism.[8]

In the summer of 1987, a few months before she turned six years old, she was slightly injured when a Molotov cocktail was thrown at her family's car by Palestinian militants, while driving in the Gaza Strip.

During her adolescence, she says she was able to relate to right-wing voters: "I am an Arab who grew up among Moroccan Jews [in Israel]. That's the worst. You learn the hard-core shticks; they have a very short fuse. I was a right-wing Muslim, a fan of Beitar (Jerusalem soccer club with nationalistic fans)."[9] In 2009, she identified with the left.[9]

While at university, she drifted toward becoming a devout Muslim, although subsequently distanced herself from the religious life.[9] The idea of pursuing a career in media developed after she moved to Jerusalem to study social sciences and theater at Hebrew University. "[O]n Highway 1 I saw Arabs being taken out of a van and made to face a wall, with rifles aimed at them. I felt that no human being deserves that, and then the penny dropped. But it's also impossible to ignore what the Palestinians are doing." After graduating from Hebrew University, she studied journalism at the Koteret school in Tel Aviv and then interned for a year and a half at a school in Germany.[9][10][11]


Upon returning from Germany, Aharish moved to Tel Aviv. Following a two-week stint as an Arab affairs reporter for Yedioth Ahronoth,[7] in 2007, she became the first Arab to present the news on mainstream Israeli television when she was hired by Channel 10.[11] After leaving that job in 2008, owing to professional differences, she went on to report for Channel 10's Erev Tov ("Good Evening") with Guy Pines and to co-host a morning radio show with Emmanuel Rosen and Maya Bengal.[9][12][13]

In 2011, she co-hosted Channel One's late-night show, Nivheret ha-Halomot ("The Dream Team"),[14] as well as Hamahadura ("The Edition"), a current events program for teens.[15]

Aharish's time as anchor at i24news was one of some volatility, for example during Operation Protective Edge, she conducted an on-air interview with a Hamas official in Gaza, where she accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields and called on Gazan residents to rebel against the Hamas regime.[16] During this same period, the station's CEO Frank Melloul was filmed taking the Ice Bucket Challenge, the timing of which was lambasted in the French press.[17] Aharish interviewed late Israeli President Shimon Peres in the Jaffa studios of i24news. Weekly press review segments were provided by media correspondent Anthony Grant, a former blogger for The New York Times.

In April 2015, Aharish was one of twelve Israeli personalities chosen to light torches in the official ceremony kicking off Israel's 67th Independence Day celebrations.[18]

In March 2020, Aharish started to co-host the daily edition of the television program "Culture Agent" along with Kobi Meidan on KAN 11. She was dismissed from KAN three days later because of a staff restructuring related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Corporation.[19]

Personal life[edit]

She married Jewish-Israeli actor Tsahi HaLevi in a private ceremony on October 10, 2018, after four years of a relationship that was kept in secret until then for fear of harassment.[20][21] Their marriage led to a public controversy, with Oren Hazan criticizing it as "assimilation", and many Knesset members, including other government officials, congratulating the couple and writing their colleagues off as "racist".[22][23][24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ferber, Alona (22 April 2015). "No apologies: Lucy Aharish is honored to be both Arab and Israeli on Independence Day". Haaretz.
  2. ^ "TV's Lucy Aharish weds 'Fauda' star Tzachi Halevy". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  3. ^ Crystal, Meirav (7 April 2008). "Poll: Israelis ready for Arab anchor". Ynetnews. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
  4. ^ Noy, Gonny (22 February 2011). "House Mouse / Late night tweets". Haaretz. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
  5. ^ "Lucy Aharish co-presents "Culture Agent" on KAN 11". Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  6. ^ Lucy Aharish and Tzachi Halevy talk interfaith love on CNN
  7. ^ a b Novick, Ronit (ed.). לוסי אהריש: מגישת החדשות הערביה הראשונה בישראל. נטו ארט נט: עיתון לתרבות ואמנות (in Hebrew) (26). Archived from the original on 16 October 2011. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 'ביום העצמאות הייתי לובשת כחול-לבן ומשתתפת בטקסים בבית הספר.'
  8. ^ Elhanan Miller, A survivor of terror, Israel’s first Arab news presenter is done being a victim, Times of Israel, 20 April 2015
  9. ^ a b c d e Halutz, Doron (3 July 2009). "A generation of Israeli Arabs nurtured on Jewish chutzpah". Haaretz. Retrieved 5 April 2011. That strategy seems to be working. Aharish is a reporter on Good Evening, a program about the entertainment industry hosted by the veteran Guy Pines; the anchor of the children's news program on Channel 1 (state television); and twice a week she also anchors the morning show of the Tel Aviv-based Radio 99, alongside Emanuel Rosen and Maya Bengal.
  10. ^ "Arab to deliver Hebrew TV news". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. 15 March 2007. Retrieved 5 April 2011. Lucy Aharish, an Israeli Arab graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who also underwent broadcast training in Germany, was hired recently by Channel 10 television as a news anchor. Aharish, 25, told Maariv in an interview Monday that although she has experienced racism in Israel, she believes Arabs can overcome such challenges and succeed. Having barely survived an attack on her family car when she visited Gaza as a child, she also voiced disinterest in the Palestinians.
  11. ^ a b Shabi, Rachel (11 July 2009). "Lucy Aharish: 'People don't imagine I'm an Arab'". The National. Retrieved 5 April 2011. Now, nearly two years after she made her glittery debut on prime time news, she has a lower profile - but can still be seen and heard all over Israeli broadcast media: she co-presents a morning radio show, is newsreader for youth TV, reports for a television magazine programme (short documentaries on news issues), and presents entertainment features for a music TV channel.
  12. ^ Crystal, Meirav (7 April 2008). "Poll: Israelis ready for Arab anchor". Ynetnews. Retrieved 6 April 2011. As if to echo their feeling, Channel 10's Lucy Aharish, the channel's first Arab news anchor, resigned her post recently over professional differences. Aharish is now the front runner to be an anchor on one of Channel 2's morning shows.
  13. ^ Swisa, Eran (21 November 2008). מיס לוסי: ראיון עם לוסי אהריש [Miss Lucy: Interview with Lucy Aharish]. Nrg Maariv (in Hebrew). Retrieved 6 April 2011. המתיחות בין השתיים הלכה וגאתה עד שהגיעה לשיא בעקבות איחור של אהריש לאחת המשמרות, כאשר מבזקנית אחרת נאלצת להישאר במערכת כגיבוי. הרוחות בבית הוורד סערו ובן-עובדיה גערה בתקיפות במבזקנית המאחרת בנוכחות עובדים אחרים. בתגובה החליטה אהריש להתפטר מיד מעבודתה. 'השפילו אותי באופן מילולי, אבל אני מעדיפה לא להרחיב בנושא הזה.'
  14. ^ Noy, Gonny (22 February 2011). "House Mouse / Late night tweets". Haaretz. Retrieved 6 April 2011. Currently he is moderating the program Dream Team every night at 11 P.M. on Channel 1, along with Lucy Aharish and Jacky Levy, Is Anyone Home? on Channel 10 and the radio program Shai and Dror every morning on 103 FM.
  15. ^ "IBA Broadcasting Schedule". (in Hebrew). Israel Broadcasting Authority. 4 April 2011. Archived from the original on 8 April 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2011. מנחי 'המהדורה' – איתי ברנע, לוסי האריש ,אריאל ברמן
  16. ^ "'This is our country, there is no other,' says teary-eyed Aharish in Arabic". The Times of Israel. 22 April 2015.
  17. ^ "i24 News, la petite chaîne israélienne qui ne monte pas". L'Obs (in French). 28 January 2015.
  18. ^ "No Apologies: Lucy Aharish Is Honored to Be Both Arab and Israeli on Independence Day". Haaretz. 22 April 2015.
  19. ^ Hannah, Brown (22 March 2020). "Lucy Aharish fired from Kan 11 after taking part in rally". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  20. ^ "Lucy Aharish weds 'Fauda' star Tzachi Halevy". The Jerusalem Post. 10 October 2018.
  21. ^ "Popular anchor, actor marry in secret interfaith wedding". The Times of Israel. 10 October 2018.
  22. ^ "Jewish 'Fauda' star sparks controversy over marriage to Muslim news ancho". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  23. ^ "Jewish 'Fauda' star's marriage to Muslim newswoman gets condemnations from right". Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  24. ^ "Celebrity Jewish-Arab Wedding Stirs Mixed Feelings in Israel". Retrieved 11 October 2018.

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