Lebanese Lina Makhoul Wins The Voice Israel

Lina Makhoul The Voice Israel

The myth goes that Lina Makhoul is a 19 year old Israeli-Palestinian Christian from Acre.

She participated in the second season of Israel’s version of The Voice. I had blogged about her before (here) when she performed one of Fairuz’s songs and gained the judges’ approval.

The reality, at least according to several readers who messaged me privately regarding the matter, some of whom are are related to her, is that Lina Makhoul is not Palestinian. She is Lebanese from one of South Lebanon’s many Christian towns.

Well, Lina Makhoul – a Lebanese (or at least of Lebanese origins) – has won the Israeli version of The Voice after beating out two other contestants in the finale.

As her last performance of the night, Makhoul sang Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

She said that she was the victim of racism on the show. I’m not sure where that racism came from – be it from other Lebanese or Arab Israelis who may not have wanted her to participate in such things or from Israelis who are not too keen on her heritage or from the show’s producers and staff. But at least she managed to win.

Either way, now we know at least one person who isn’t included in the current debate in Lebanon, which has obviously taken a backseat now, about the possibility of return of the Lebanese who flew to Israel around the time of the South’s liberation.

Lebanon is not allowed to access The Voice Israel’s Youtube page so I have yet to find a version of her performance of “Hallelujah” but I have found this dating back to 2011:

You can watch Makhoul’s initial audition here in which she also sings a Fairuz song. The Israeli judges refer to Fairuz as the queen and one of them had apparently worked with her before many years earlier:

Update: I’m getting reports that she may be Palestinian as her mother is apparently as such from the town of Al Bokay’a.

Update: check out her winning performance of Hallelujah:


44 thoughts on “Lebanese Lina Makhoul Wins The Voice Israel

  1. Hi. I am Israeli (Jewish) and I can tell you Lina was never singled out as the ‘Arab’ singer…..she was a contestant on The Voice like everyone else. I never once heard any discrimination among my family & friends (many religious too), so I am also not sure what she was referring to. We LOVE Lina! I was at the Finals last night (along with 16,000 other people & another million viewers on TV – this is one of our most popular shows)…. Lina won because she was the best & the voters agreed! I really hope you will be able to somehow access last night’s eposide….you must hear Lina sing!!! What you posted is old…today she is a world-class singer! (Winning 1st prize means she will make an album, I’ll be sure to get a copy to you when it comes out. πŸ™‚

    • Yeah I doubt there was much racism if she won. I mean, who voted for her?

      Anyway, it would be good if you can rip the video of her performance from The Voice’s YouTube page and upload it to vimeo.

    • To “L”: I’m glad you and your family do not discriminate, and we hope there will be an increase of families like your own. I rarely hear those words coming in (hopefully) sincerity.
      Now regarding Elie’s reply: Elie, Are you SERIOUS? There is no racism or discrimination?? And the Makhoul family must be so proud that their daughter is singing in a country who killed 1,200 Lebanese civilians in its war, and slaughters Palestinians on a daily basis in “West Bank/Hebron” where illegal settlers are allowed to shoot down and beat up Palestinians in their own homes. Ofcourse there is no discrimination I mean a TV show is SUCH a representation of reality, NOT.

      • Are YOU serious?
        I said I don’t think THE SHOW had discrimination. Why? Because SHE WON. And that was about it. What does the July war and all those poor Lebanese and the occupation have to do with my sentence about a TV show.
        If you are this pressed at extrapolating things, I suggest you go do some math instead.

      • R!, let me just remind you that MORE Palestinians are killed in Lebanon on a daily basis than Israel, and that they have far less rights in Lebanon than in Israel. This is of course the same situation in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Lybia and most other Arab countries.

        Will you show me a country other than Lebanon where a Lebanese singer can win the main contest just because she is talented? SHOW ME, please.

  2. The judges have not worked with Feirouz, one of them got to watch her concert I think, but she has never worked with any of them.
    What there to be proud of if she is Lebanese? If her family had to move there after the liberation, it prolly means that a member was a member of the lebanese southern army right? The same army that fought with Israelis against lebanese parties. Traitors

    • She is from Acco/Acre, one of the oldest cities in Israel. It’s mixed, very peaceful – 30% Arab, 70% Jewish. Arab population has been there prior to 1948. From what I saw on TV & have read, she comes from a pretty wealthy family (beautiful house!). I have not heard mention of her Lebanese decent, am interested to hear more. And….. Not all Israelis are traitors. Trust me.

    • The translation, before the video went private, said: “I’ve been with her many years ago.” So I took it as worked – doesn’t have to include personal contact I suppose.

      And I didn’t address the matter of pride or not in this – that’s another issue entirely.

      • I’ve watched the video before, the bald jury said that, and he meant that he has attended a feirouz concert in Europe (not sure why it’s translated to been with her). I am definitely sure that Feirouz’s work is in no way affiliated to any Israeli musician, not directly nor indirectly, and I’m positive that she wouldn’t like that being said about her.

        I sure hope lina is not lebanese, we lebs tend to lebanize things to feel special, maybe that’s what whoever told you that she is, had in mind. Or maybe not. But still it’s not verified, so the topic is misleading.

  3. That traitor remark is just great. She’s 19. Okay maybe she was a 6-year old militia thug in the SLA prior to the withdrawal? Sounds legit. If she’s indeed a Lebanese-Israeli then given her age she had no control over her fate.

    I have to get used to Arabic-language songs, but I like her voice.

    Acre is a mixed city, but the Arabs live more or less concentrated in the Old City afaik, like many Haifa Arabs live in the Wadi Nisnas neighborhood. Both are worth a visit. I hope the discrimination claims are not true, but it would not surprise me. There’s certainly a segment of society who would jealously hate on a succesful individual from a minority group.

    • Precisely! If she’s Lebanese and had family part of the South Lebanon Army, they’d have left in 2000 which would make her 6.

      6 year old traitors everywhere! And we all know what will happen to them if they ever thought of returning. That’s part of the debate currently taking place in the country. I don’t think they should all face courts but some people think they should.

      I’m not sure about all the legalities in the matter as well but my Southern friend told me they could return but I seriously doubt this.
      It sounds way too easy.

      I’m not entirely sure about the discrimination. She won, didn’t she? But, again, not surprising. After all, she is some dense material for discrimination for narrow-minded people.

      • and besides, even if she is the daughter of SLA members, what makes her or them any more a traitor than the Lebanese fighting other Lebanese in Tripoli today? The fact that their allies were Israelis?
        So it’s ok for Sunnis and Alawis to butcher each other in Tripoli because the Alawis ally is Assad, but if Christians and Shiites fight each other in south Lebanon, they become traitors because their ally is Israel? Now who’s being racist?…
        Great performance, btw.

  4. Tweaker is being an asshole for introducing the word traitor to the debate as well as making suggestion of what he thinks lady Fairuz would think of Israelis. It wouldn’t surprise me if Lina is not Lebanese, same year Miss Israel winner is Lina Makhouli (funny coincidence) and her father is Palestinian not Lebanese.

    • I can introduce whatever word I want to this debate, the same way you introduced the word asshole, asshole. And I know what Feirouz thinks of Israelis, and you assuming that it’s what I think only means that you know nothing about her nor her history.

      • There is no other word as disgraceful to describe your disgusting way of thinking… Me an asshole dear? Look at yourself and your words here, you should be ashamed for bringing such racist and extremist ideology, especially when a country at war makes a small step in the right direction you should be happy if they forget about your extremist dominated government. As far as I know, Lebanon tv hasn’t encouraged people to open their minds and make peace. And it’s very simple if you haven’t heard of Lina Makhouli Miss Israel, just google it! Now you did.

  5. Lina Makhoul was born in Israel and is an Israeli citizen. 25% of Israeli citizens are not Jewish. Lina Is from Acre which was part of the British mandate of Palestine before 1948 and thereafter became Israel so unless her parents were born before 1948 they are also Israeli. Many Arab Christians moved to Israel before its creation and this is evident by many different Maronite churches greek catholics melkite etc in Israel who are originally from Lebanon likewise the Jewish community of Lebanon moved to Israel.

    • dear Sarah, “Palestine” actually is land of Israel. there is no “Palestinian” pepole anyway, the problem the bullshit of “Palestine” to “Falestin”, and that’s an invention. and Leena herself is not an Arab, she’s an Israeli Christian Aramean. all Arabs in Israel, Judea and Smaria (Yehuda ve Shomron) and Gaza are from Arabian Peninsula.
      and Leena is a great singer with an amazing voice- you can watch her on YouTube of The Voice Israel shows, she deserves to be the winner.

  6. it means she is Aramean. the pepole who lives in towns and villages of south of Lebanon are Maronite-Christians, and their identity is Syriac Arameans. and yes, they helped the Jews even before state of Israel was born, and actually allies of the Jews, specially when the Israeli Ministry of the Interior was regocnized with the Aramaic pepole in Israel. thanks to that, we regocnized them as Aramaics by their identity card.


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