Jewish-Arab TV star marriage in Israel draws hard-liners’ ire

A billboard in Tel Aviv promoting the hit Netflix series ‘Fauda’ with Israeli actor Tzachi Halevi. (AFP)
Updated 11 October 2018
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Jewish-Arab TV star marriage in Israel draws hard-liners’ ire

  • Israeli Arab Lucy Aharish, 37, married actor Tzachi Halevi, 47, on Wednesday
  • Halevi plays the role of Israeli undercover agent Naor in Fauda, the gritty Netflix drama that explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

JERUSALEM: An Israeli cabinet minister and a hard-line lawmaker on Thursday attacked the marriage of an Arab TV presenter and a Jewish actor from the hit Netflix series “Fauda.”
But their reactions were slapped down online by others praising the mixed marriage, which had initially been kept secret — reportedly to avoid provoking hostility.
Israeli Arab Lucy Aharish, 37, married actor Tzachi Halevi, 47, on Wednesday.
Aharish, born in the southern Israeli town of Dimona to Muslim parents, speaks flawless Hebrew and was the first Arab to anchor a Hebrew-language program on Israeli television.
She currently hosts a morning current affairs show on Israeli commercial TV channel Reshet.
Halevi plays the role of Israeli undercover agent Naor in “Fauda,” the gritty Netflix drama that explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Hawkish MP Oren Hazen said in a Twitter post that such marriages dilute the Jewish gene pool and that Aharish should convert to Judaism.
“I don’t blame Lucy Aharish, who seduced a Jewish soul with the aim of harming our country and preventing another Jewish generation from continuing the Jewish dynasty,” Hazan wrote in Hebrew.
“On the contrary, she is invited to convert to Judaism.”
In Judaism, only the children of a Jewish mother or those who choose to convert according to ultra-Orthodox rules are recognized as Jewish.
“It’s not the right thing to do,” Interior Minister Arye Deri, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, said of the marriage.
“I’m against such things because we have to preserve the Jewish people,” he told Israeli army radio.
Members of the Israeli left were supportive of the union, as were others on social media.
“Congratulations and happiness to this wonderful couple,” Labour MP Shelly Yachimovich tweeted.
“Lucy Aharish understands better what it means to be Jewish than he who sends a nauseating, racist Twitter message,” wrote Stav Shafir, another Labour legislator.
According to her Hebrew-language Facebook site, Aharish was “schooled in a Jewish environment and celebrated Jewish holidays as well as Muslim festivals.”
She is a graduate of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.
Halevi previously played an agent of the Israeli Shin Bet internal security service in the Israeli film “Bethlehem,” which also deals with the conflict.
“Fauda” has aired two seasons.


Karl Marx memorial vandalized in London for second time

The bronze bust on top of the monument at the tomb of German revolutionary philosopher Karl Marx, a Grade I-listed monument, is seen in Highgate Cemetery in north London on February 5, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 17 February 2019
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Karl Marx memorial vandalized in London for second time

  • German revolutionary philosopher Marx moved to London in 1849 and lived in the city for the rest of his life

LONDON: The memorial of German philosopher Karl Marx has been vandalized in London for the second time in two weeks, the cemetery that manages the site said on Saturday.
The words “architect of genocide,” “terror and oppression” and “mass murder” were written in red paint on the grave in the capital’s Highgate cemetery.
“Doctrine of hate” was also scrawled on the memorial, among other slogans.
The grave of Marx, who developed the theory of international communism, was also attacked on February 4 when it was seemingly struck several times with a blunt metal instrument.
A marble plaque with the names of Marx and his family — the monument’s oldest and most fragile part — was repeatedly hit.
“Vandals back at Marx Memorial, Highgate Cemetery. Red paint this time, plus the marble tablet smashed up,” tweeted Highgate Cemetery on Saturday alongside photos of the memorial covered in red paint.
“Senseless. Stupid. Ignorant. Whatever you think about Marx’s legacy, this is not the way to make the point,” it said.
German revolutionary philosopher Marx moved to London in 1849 and lived in the city for the rest of his life.
His theories became the basis for communism. He died on March 14, 1883, aged 64.
The granite slab monument in north London, 12 feet (3.7 meters) tall and topped with a bronze bust of Marx, was funded in 1956 by the Communist Party of Great Britain.