Lucy Aharish .
(photo credit: screenshot)
At times Israeli-Arab journalist Lucy Aharish seemed to be holding back tears as she delivered her address before lighting a torch at the Independence Day ceremony in Jerusalem on Wednesday night.
Speaking in Hebrew, Aharish told the crowd she was lighting the torch to honor all human beings who have not lost hope for peace, and for “the innocent children who live in this land, for whom we have continually promised a better future; for those who are no longer with us and who fell victim to hate at the hands of those who have forgotten that we are all born in the image of one god.”
“To the honor of the Mizrahim and the Ashkenazim, the religious and the secular, the Arabs and the Jews and to the honor of the people of this land who remind us that we don’t have another country; to the honor of the Israelis, and all human beings, and to the glory of the State of Israel.”
Toward the end of her speech, switching to Arabic, Aharish said: “This is our country – we have no other.”
Aharish, born to Muslim parents from Nazareth, grew up in Dimona. She has been a fixture on Israeli television in recent years, serving as a host on newscasts and talk shows for Channel 10, Channel 2 and others.
The honor to light one of the 12 torches at the ceremony is bestowed upon citizens who have made significant contributions to the state.
Aharish was presented at the ceremony on Mount Herzl as “an example of the end of days reality when the wolf will live with the lamb, and there will be coexistence with peace in our country.”
Earlier this week, the far-right Jewish extremist movement Lehava requested a police permit
to stage a demonstration in Jerusalem against Aharish’s participation in the ceremony. The group decided to cancel the demonstration due to police-imposed limitations, Channel 2 reported on Wednesday.
Lehava leader Benzi Gopstein said the protests were meant to persuade the Israeli authorities to cancel Aharish’s participation due to her being “an anti-Zionist who is not loyal to the state.”