Israeli journalist visits Mecca, draws fury over ‘insult’ to Muslims

Channel 13 issued an apology, saying they “regret anyone was angry because of this visit.”

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

Gil Tamari was the first Israeli journalist to visit Mecca but instead of acclaim, he got massive criticism.

Tamari reportedly snuck into Mecca to shoot a documentary, despite the fact that it’s forbidden for a non-Muslim to enter.

Addressing Israeli viewers, pro-Israel and pro-normalization Saudi blogger Muhammad Saud, who has visited the Jewish state, published a video on Twitter, saying: “Your reporter entered the holy city of Mecca and photographed without shame. It is like me entering a synagogue and reading the Torah.

“Channel 13, this is disgraceful and rude. You should be ashamed to insult the religion of Islam this way.”

The station issued an apology in Arabic, saying that “the visit of our foreign affairs editor to Mecca was not intended to harm the feelings of the Arab world and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“We at Channel 13 news express our apologies and regret that anyone was angry because of this visit.

“Journalistic curiosity is the essence of journalistic work, which requires reaching all places and covering from a primary source. These principles were the highest priorities in Gil Tamari’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

“We at Channel 13 consider that knowledge and identification of important places from a first source are extremely important.

“We at Channel 13 news call for tolerance between religions, knowledge of the other and respect for all religions,” the apology concluded.