Algemeiner, July 29, 2022
“The stunt reveals a shallowness by these broadcasters not just towards Israel’s interests in normalizing with Saudi Arabia but also towards any sense of the sacred.”
We are accustomed to the concept of wars being waged in the name of religion. There’s less acknowledgment of the war being waged upon religion and on the religious mindset by Western secularists.
One example last week threatens to set back the delicate task of reconciling the Islamic world to Israel.
Gil Tamary, a journalist for Israel’s TV Channel 13, snuck into Mecca and reported from there in a 10-minute segment. It’s hard to overstate the stupidity, arrogance and irresponsibility of both Tamary and Channel 13 in doing this.
Mecca is the holiest city in the Islamic world. It is home to the Kaaba, the most sacred site of all for Muslims and towards which they face in prayer.
Mecca is barred to non-Muslims. In his clip, Tamary visited Mount Arafat, where Muslim pilgrims gather to pray during the climax of the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca each year.
He made clear he knew exactly what he was doing by referring to the site as “a place forbidden to non-Muslims” and boasting, “I am the first Israeli journalist on the spot to broadcast these images and in Hebrew.”
Maintaining that he wanted merely to “showcase the importance of Mecca” and the beauty of Islam, he claimed that the footage “allowed many people to see, for the first time, a place that is so important to our Muslim brothers and sisters.”
This was cynically self-serving. Tamary had merely pulled a journalistic stunt.
The day after the report was aired, both Tamary and Channel 13 issued statements saying they apologized if the segment had offended Muslims. But they stood by the broadcast, which they called a significant journalistic accomplishment.