18 September 1981|
|Alma mater||Hebrew University of Jerusalem|
|Known for||First Arab news presenter on mainstream Israeli TV|
She serves as a morning anchor on a current-affairs show on Channel 2. Aharish is notable for being the first Arab news presenter on Hebrew-language Israeli television. From July 2013 until January 2016 she also presented the Evening Edition of the news broadcaster i24news.
Aharish was born in 1981 in the southern Israeli town of Dimona, to Maaruf and Salwa Aharish, Arab Israeli Muslim parents originally from 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. 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.
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 believed right-wing politics: "I am an Arab who grew up among Moroccan Jews. 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)." She now identifies with the left.
While at university, she drifted towards becoming a devout Muslim, although subsequently distances herself from the religious life. The idea of pursuing a career in media developed after she moved to Jerusalem to study social sciences and theater at the Hebrew University. "[O]n Highway 1 I saw Arabs being taken off a van and made to face the 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.
Upon returning from Germany, Aharish moved to Tel Aviv. Following a two-week stint as an Arab affairs reporter for Yedioth Ahronoth, in 2007, she became the first Arab to present the news on mainstream Israeli television when she was hired by Channel 10. 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.
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. 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. 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.
- "We have other things to get over besides the occupation and discrimination. We are fighters and don't give in. If you don't open the door for me, I will come in through the window, and if it is closed, down the chimney. We were too polite, but we learned Israeli chutzpah. It's easy to humiliate an Arab who kowtows, but when that person says 'Listen, pal, tone it down, don't talk to me like that,' you arrive at a dialogue."'
- "Where are you, Arabs? Help the children of Syria. But not the children of Gaza. Nah, duck those."'
- "What's more important for me is the brand name Lucy Aharish. The Arab sector does not pay me a salary. My national identity is that of an Arab-Israeli. I identify with Palestinian suffering, but I am not part of it. I have a different suffering here: I am not getting the rights that accrue to me as a citizen of Israel – such as better mortgage terms – because I did not do army service."
- "One of the topics [on the show last week] was the murder of women in the Arab sector, what is referred to, unfortunately, [...] as 'honor killing' and has nothing to do with [anything worthy of] honor. The guest in the studio was a woman who had 20 years of experience working for the sake of those same women who die for no good reason, a woman whose everyday job was a holy work for the sake of thousands of Arab women who need a voice that will shout out and cry out their cries. After she had accused the government and the police and everyone of incompetence, I asked her, in a somewhat aggressive manner, as it were, '[...] Where are we in all of this? Where are we Arab women to teach and discipline our sons that a man has no right over a woman? [...]' During the commercial break, she got up and told me that I had to learn how to talk to Arabs because the tone that I adopted and the things that I said were said to gain approval from Jews. So I've come to tell you today that I haven't come for approval from you; that I haven't come for approval from anyone; and this is the message that I want you to digest very, very well. In my life I have been accused of many things: that I am the fifth column; that an Arab will always stay an Arab, no matter how liberal he may look; that I bring shame on my family for being in a relationship with a person outside my religion. I've received threats after asking Palestinian residents live on the show why they don't go out against Hamas men, who use them and bring them to their slaughter; I've been attacked on Yom ha-Shoah and Yom ha-Zikaron that the managers at Arutz 2 dared to put an Arab on a show such as that as the host on a day such as that; I've been told that I make Arab women stray off the path of proper behavior; and that I've forgotten where I come from being an 'Ashkenazified', 'Judaized' Arab. So they blamed and they talked—as if that, in itself, made them right.
- Ferber, Alona (22 Apr 2015). "No apologies: Lucy Aharish is honored to be both Arab and Israeli on Independence Day". Haaretz.
- 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.'
- Elhanan Miller, A survivor of terror, Israel’s first Arab news presenter is done being a victim, Times of Israel, 20 April 2015
- 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.
- "Arab to deliver Hebrew TV news". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. JewishJournal.com. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.'
- 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.
- "IBA Broadcasting Schedule". iba.org.il (in Hebrew). Israel Broadcasting Authority. 4 April 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
מנחי 'המהדורה' – איתי ברנע, לוסי האריש ,אריאל ברמן
- Jonathan Beck, ‘This is our country, there is no other,’ says teary-eyed Aharish in Arabic, Times of Israel, 22 April 2015
- Alona Ferber, No apologies: Lucy Aharish is honored to be both Arab and Israeli on Independence Day, Haaretz, 22 April 2015
- Lucy Aharish's campus speech at "מנהיגות היום את המחר". Onlife. 9 November 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2015. Video available. (in Hebrew)