July 24th, 2008
08:58 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama heckled at Western Wall

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/24/art.obamawall.jpg caption="Obama visited the Western Wall early Thursday."]

(CNN) - Barack Obama has been greeted by enthusiastic - at times even wild - crowds throughout his trip abroad, but at least one man wasn't happy with the Democratic presidential candidate's visit to one of the most sacred spots in Jerusalem early Thursday morning.

During an unannounced visit to the Western Wall - during which he was escorted by the Wall's rabbi, Shmuel Rabinovich, a man only yards away from the Illinois senator repeatedly yelled "Obama, Jerusalem is not for sale! Obama, Jerusalem is not for sale!"

The comments come a day after Obama reiterated his stance Jerusalem should remain the capital city of Israel. Though he noticeably did not repeat his headline-grabbing June comment that the city should remain “undivided.”

Watch: Obama steps gingerly in Israel

Shortly before he arrived in Jerusalem Wednesday, a group of religious leaders there charged him with flip-flopping on the status of Israel’s capital, and called on him to re-commit to that position.

"I also have said that it is important that we don't simply slice the city in half, but I've also said that that's a final status issue. That's an issue that has to be dealt with with the parties involved — the Palestinians and the Israelis. It's not the United States' job to dictate the form in which that will take, but rather to support the efforts that are being made right now to resolve these very difficult issues that have a long history," he told reporters Thursday.

Jerusalem has also been claimed by Palestinian leaders as the capital of any future state. Congress passed a law declaring the city the capital of Israel, and saying it should remain undivided, but the U.S. Embassy has remained in Tel Aviv.

After a brief prayer, Obama walked to the Wall and left a note, as is custom, before placing his hand in the Wall and bowing his head. Meanwhile, the heckler continued his chant as Obama left the site.

Others who had gathered around attempted to obscure the heckler's words with chants of "Obama, Obama."

Obama's visit at the Wall lasted about 10 minutes. Obama noted later to reporters that his visit there was “rowdier than the last time.”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (311 Responses)
  1. Mark

    The heckler was actually John McCain in disguise. He had just finished yelling at a cloud too.

    July 24, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. Andrew

    If we gave the western fifth of the United States to Native Americans to have their own state, would that be unjust? Everyone else could live there but most would have to leave so that Native Americans would always be the majority. The state would be defined as a Native American state so that other people would have rights, but could not participate in the national identity. They should have the right to their own state since they were the victims of genocide and forced relocation, just like Jews were. If you don't support the above, then you shouldn't support the founding of Israel.

    July 24, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. Victoria

    Is this news? Really!!!!

    July 24, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. SJF

    Look at his outfit in this picture! Obama must be a Jew

    July 24, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. Lisa M.

    What? This is news?

    July 24, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. ali

    i dont think the guy was israeli.i think it was griff.

    July 24, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. young_voter

    Senator Obama, my vote is also not for sale. Please no more speeches. No more talk.

    July 24, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. Beca

    JT, BHO does not rules in Jerusalem! He is not the president of USA. He has no business making those statements.

    July 24, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. Wisconsin

    Ok so ONE person doesn't like him. BIG NEWS! Can't win them all.

    July 24, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. chris

    obama is criticized by someone, anyone? let the whining commence....

    July 24, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  11. Larry Daffern

    Any publicity about Obama just puts McCain further down the well.

    July 24, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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