A talented victory: Arab Israeli wins 'The Voice' despite racism
Lina Makhoul was this year's winner of Israel's 'The Voice'.
She faced more than just the usual singing battle when she won The Voice in Israel on Saturday night but Arab-Israeli, Lina Makhoul, was dealing with a decades old prejudice.
The 19-year-old wannabe from Acre said she had been the victim of racism throughout the filming of the TV talent contest, according to the Israeli daily, Haaretz.
Poignantly, the youngster said, on winning the show: "Thank you for listening, believing, taking part, and putting the music first".
It is a fight that many Arabs living in modern-day Israel have had to face, even when they have nothing to do with politics themselves.
Israel's national football club has long had Arab-Israeli's joining the team to further their careers but the players face the brunt of criticism from both ends.
Arabs in other countrys think they've sold out and Israeli commentators don't like the fact that most refuse to sing the national anthem before the match.
Earlier this month, Beitar Jerusalem fans walked out of a match because the club had signed two Muslim players. Supporters said they thought they were 'Arabs' and therefore in danger of destroying the team.
The situation is worse if those involved dare to move into politics. Haneen Zoabi, an Arab-Israeli politician, was disqualified from standing in this year's elections because she was deemed to be "undermining the state" with her activism.
So Lina's victory at the talent show is not just a tale of a young woman with a voice but of the more than 1.5 million other citizens of Israel who don't have one.
Does Lina's win mean progress for the Arab-Israeli community? Or is the problem unlikely to change? Tell us your thoughts below.
- Sore loser? Malaga's Qatari owner blames Champions League exit on "racism"
- Egyptians voice support for woman facing lashes
- Egyptian wedding planner pays painful 500-lash price for crossing Saudi Princess
- Arabs, Europeans Join Palestinians in Concern over Expected Sharon’s Win
- Football fans fight to keep club all-Jewish as Jerusalem's 'Beitar' introduces Muslim players