"Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward." – Matthew 6:1-2
The publication of Barack Obama’s supposedly secret prayer at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem was a scandal in Israel. James Taranto noted the newspaper Ha’aretz reported calls for police investigations into the removal and publication of the Obama note, published by the newspaper Maariv. But Maariv said it was Obama who authorized the unveiling of his temporarily private message to God.
Maariv's response: "Obama's note was published in Maariv and other international publications following his authorization to make the content of the note public. Obama submitted a copy of the note to media outlets when he left his hotel in Jerusalem. Moreover, since he is not Jewish, there is no violation of privacy as there would be for a Jewish person who places a note in the wall."
Thus, as IsraelInsider puts it, "what initially seemed to be a journalistic scoop of dubious moral propriety now seems to be a case of an Israeli paper being played by the Barack Obama campaign." Obama's so-called prayer was at best an open letter to God--a sentiment intended for public, not divine, consumption.
Taranto headlined the story "Potemkin Prayer." Obama fans seem very intense in asserting that Obama is a devout Christian, but Obama's act of circulating his own so-called "secret" prayer is an exercise in phoniness and religious vanity. On top of that, the campaign played coy about it. Earlier, the Obama campaign offered a "no comment" when the New York Post asked questions. Will anyone in the "mainstream" media follow up?
Update 07-31 14:13. According to the New Republic, Maariv is denying this, however, the other Israeli papers have not backed off their claim. Surely Obama should be asked about it, no?