Colombian Jewish TV host ordered to resign after refusing to cross herself on air
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Colombian Jewish TV host ordered to resign after refusing to cross herself on air

Channel 1’s Cathy Bekerman wouldn't make the Christian gesture on TV and was asked to quit by the newscast director

Colombian broadcaster Cathy Bekerman refused her news director’s order to make the sign of the cross during a newscast on March 14, 2018. (Facebook)
Colombian broadcaster Cathy Bekerman refused her news director’s order to make the sign of the cross during a newscast on March 14, 2018. (Facebook)

A Colombian Jewish journalist was ordered to resign from her anchor post on a daily TV newscast after she refused to cross herself while she was on the air.

Channel 1’s Cathy Bekerman was asked to resign after refusing the order by Yamid Amat, newscast director of the CM& broadcast network, the Agencia Judia de Noticias website reported on Wednesday.

“He told me to cross myself, I did not do it and he asked me to resign at that moment, to which I did not agree,” Bekerman told Colombian media.

The case came to light after radio journalist Azury Chamah, who is Jewish, tweeted about it. According to Graciela Torres, another well-known Colombian journalist, Bekerman showed up in the newsroom two days after the March 14 incident escorted by her father and a lawyer.

“It’s a dark situation for Yamid Amat and his newscast because they could be sued for religious intolerance in a country where there is freedom of worship,” Torres said.

“It is not enough that Cathy’s work situation is ‘solved.’ We expect a public apology from Mr. Amat in light of his discriminatory and violative behaviour of freedom of religion guaranteed in the Colombian Constitution,” read a statement released by the Confederation of Jewish Communities of Colombia, the country’s Jewish umbrella organisation.

Israel’s ambassador to Colombia also weighed in.

“A journalist with such a broad audience had the chance to use his position to raise awareness about anti-Semitism. Instead, he chose to level scorn on a serious anti-Semitic incident. This is not the way to fight against this scourge: Anti-Semitism is everybody’s problem,”  Marco Sermoneta tweeted.

Amat eventually published an apology on Channel 1’s website, reported Publimetro.

“One of my instructions, to accentuate a piece of news that was not about religious beliefs, provoked a rejection from my colleague Cathy Bekerman. Because I feel that I affected her religious convictions without that being my purpose, I offer her a public apology,” he wrote. “May the Jewish community and other religious organisations always receive a respectful treatment from me.”

Chamah tweeted Wednesday that B accepted the apology from  and “is ready to talk again about her return to TV.”

Help perform the greatest mitzvah: save a life

While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.

That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.

We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.

Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”

read more:
comments