This week’s Israeli You Should Know is Lucy Aharish, a 33-year-old Israeli Arab news anchor and actress.Aharish was one of the 14 torch lighters in the official ceremony that kicked off Israel’s Independence Day celebrations earlier this week:
Aharish was teary-eyed when she took her turn at the ceremony, saying she was lighting the torch “for all human beings wherever they may be who have not lost hope for peace, and for the children, full of innocence, who live on this Earth.
“For those who were but are no more, who fell victim to baseless hatred by those who have forgotten that we were all born in the image of one God. For Sephardim and Ashkenazim, religious and secular, Arabs and Jews, sons of this motherland that reminds us that we have no other place. For us as Israel, for the honor of mankind, and for the glory of the State of Israel,” she said.
Aharish, the only Arab lighting a torch in the ceremony, also spoke in Arabic, saying: “For our honor as human beings, this is our country and there is no other.”
During Operation Protective Edge last summer, Aharish, who works as a news anchor at the i24News network, conducted an on-air discussion with a Hamas official in Gaza where she accused the terror group of using civilians as human shields and called on residents of Gaza to rebel against the Hamas regime there.
In an interview with the Times of Israel this week, Aharish defined her identity as Israeli first and foremost.
“Today, when people ask me ‘What are you?’ I say that I’m an Israeli,” she said. “I’m not ashamed of my Israeliness. Then I’m a woman, and then I’m an Arab Muslim. That’s the order: Israeli, woman, Arab Muslim.”