An Australian reporter dubbed the ‘world’s most beautiful news anchor’ while covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict says it ‘doesn’t bother her at all’ when critics call her a ‘disgrace to journalism’.
The political science graduate, who was a producer on Channel Nine’s A Current Affair before relocating to the Middle East in 2017, has captured attention for her glamorous looks while covering the most complex geopolitical conflict on Earth.
But while her star is undoubtedly on the rise, Ms Williamson – who hosts the i24 program Israel Business Weekly as well as working as a senior producer for the network – is no stranger to criticism.
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Australian journalist Sarah Williamson (pictured at the Dead Sea) has captured attention for her glamorous looks while reporting from the front line of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
A girl who can do both: Ms Williamson (left, reporting from the Gaza border for i24 news and right, near her home in Tel Aviv) has been dubbed the ‘world’s most beautiful news anchor’
Ms Williamson (pictured) hosts the i24 program Israel Business Weekly as well as working as a senior producer for the network
Comments on her Instagram account mock her off-duty wardrobe which includes crop tops and denim shorts, with some insisting she should dress more conservatively because of her profession.
Recent remarks slammed her for allegedly posting selfies while rockets rained down on Tel Aviv and Israeli airstrikes razed much of the Gaza Strip in two weeks of violence that left at least 256 Palestinians – including 66 children – and 13 in Israel dead.
Ms Williamson responded to the backlash clarifying the photos had been taken well before the conflict she worked round the clock to cover.
‘A disgrace to journalism…posing like that when people are dying. Shameful,’ one woman wrote.
Another added: ‘Where’s your humanity? Do you understand that people are dying while you are parading?’
But Ms Williamson is unfazed by trolls, arguing she is entitled to a personal life and to dress however she sees fit in a beachside city known for its hot, Mediterranean climate.
Ms Williamson (left, at a conference in Paris, France in June 2021) is an accomplished journalist with eight years of experience in international newsrooms and a Bachelors degree in political science
But comments on her Instagram account mock her often provocative outfit choices, with some insisting she should dress more conservatively because of her profession
Ms Williamson (pictured) said she is totally unfazed by online trolls
‘It doesn’t bother me at all, because what I do outside work is completely separate,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘People don’t seem to understand that I’m allowed to be a human as well as a journalist. I can dress however I want, and how any woman would in 31 degree heat.’
As well as detractors, the broadcaster, who has fronted a major fashion campaign for an Israeli footwear brand, has an audience of adoring fans.
‘So, you win! World’s most beautiful, intelligent news anchor,’ one man wrote under a recent Instagram photo.
A second said: ‘You make the news very cheerful, and that is always a plus.’
Ms Williamson (pictured) believes women are entitled to do and dress as they please in their personal lives
The multitalented broadcaster (pictured) has an audience of adoring fans
Ms Williamson has witnessed terrifying incidents over the course of her four-year career in the Middle East that would send most running for the safety of home.
But she said the tragedies and violent clashes involving families on both sides of the conflict only motivate her more.
‘There are a lot of people who would be turned off by ugly situations, like what we saw during the recent conflict,’ she said.
‘But if you can mentally process them and deal with them like I can, I think it’s my responsibility to follow them and tell the public about what’s happening.’
Ms Williamson (pictured) has witnessed frightening incidents during her four-year career in the Middle East that would send most running for the safety of home
The correspondent (pictured during a news cast on the Gaza border) said the tragedies and violent clashes involving families on both sides of the conflict only motivate her more
She shared an Instagram photo from Ichilov Hospital of her bloodied arm, which required ’24 stitches’ and a ‘stupid amount’ of glass to be removed after she crashed her scooter following riots in the area.
Ms Williamson revealed she lost control of the bike around 1am when she collided with debris from a burnt out bus that was strewn across the road.
‘I did a very long skid in some very hectic glass, and ended up had to go to hospital getting 24 stitches as a stupid amount of glass removed from my body,’ she said.
Ms Williamson noted the irony of injuring herself in a road traffic accident less than 100km from the epicentre of the conflict.
‘A stellar end to the day. You can spend the whole day on the Gaza border and come out completely unscathed, yet slip into the shattered glass from bus windows 20 metres away from your house,’ she said.
Nightmare: On Saturday, the 30-year-old showed a shocking image of her bloodied arm, which required ’24 stitches’ after she crashed into debris on her scooter following riots in the area
Horror: ‘I did a very long skid in some very hectic glass, and ended up had to go to hospital getting 24 stitched as a stupid amount of glass removed from my body,’ she said
In the aftermath of the ceasefire, Ms Williamson has been closely monitoring Australia’s unfolding Covid crisis, which last week plunged almost 12million Australians across four states and territories into some form of lockdown.
Restrictions are in place across Greater Sydney, Southeast Queensland, Perth, Darwin and Alice Springs, as the highly contagious Indian Delta variant continues to spread across the country.
Ms Williamson said while Australia has done an ‘absolutely incredible job’ at keeping case numbers low since the pandemic began, its vaccine roll out has been weak compared to other countries.
‘It’s incredibly slow on a global scale,’ she said.
‘For a country that has done such a good job in other areas, it should have been quicker.’
Ms Williamson (pictured in Tel Aviv) praised Australia’s containment of the virus, but believes its vaccine roll out should have been better
‘For a country that has done such a good job in other areas, it should have been quicker,’ Ms Williamson (pictured) said
Ms Williamson said while there is no doubt that Australia has succeeded in containing the virus, Israel’s vaccination program has been ‘unprecedented.’
About 65 percent of Israel’s 9 million residents have already received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, while just 4.7 percent of the Australian population are fully vaccinated, The Australian reported.
Ms Williamson slammed Australia’s closed border policy which forces all returning travellers into hotel quarantine for 14 days, even if they have been vaccinated overseas.
‘I’m a fully vaccinated Australian, but I still have to quarantine when I get home. It doesn’t make any sense,’ she said.
Ms Williamson (pictured) says Australia’s closed border policy for fully vaccinated citizens makes ‘no sense’
Israel’s public health response may be the envy of many, but it is now facing its own battle against the Delta variant which has caused a surge in infections despite the state being one of the most highly vaccinated countries in the world.
This new wave, which saw more than 100 people testing positive each day for six days in a row, forced the reopening of Covid testing sites and the return of mandatory face masks indoors, just 10 days after the country lifted the requirement.
Tourists and pilgrims, which are the lifeblood of Israel’s economy, were due to return on July 1, but the outbreak has delayed that for another month.
Israel’s leading public health official Sharon Alroy-Preis admitted the rise in infections is ‘concerning’, given about 40 percent of those who have tested positive in the past week have been vaccinated twice.