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. Rob in Sacramento

    its about time isreal was urged to participate in the reality of middle east peace. while they have every right to defend themselves, living in fear is perpetuating death all around them. time to grow up. send in troops to kill the terrorists in the palestinian areas & stop bombing civillians. all your doing is breeding more terror.

    hillary backer; you need to stop drinkin the kool-aid. the 'dark forces' were the members of her staff that ran a perfectly stupid campaign.

    July 24, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. Obama FTL

    Obama should immediately leave the holy lands... he is not wanted there.

    July 24, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. not important

    Oh great. Another propaganda material for AIPAC, Fox News and Joe Lieberman. Obama knows that in order to achieve peace you must do compromises.

    July 24, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. Joe the Troll

    Hey Mary, which American shore is their trading ship docked at?

    July 24, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. Independent in Iowa

    He isn't the only man unhappy with the democrat's nominee. The party does not dictate to me who I have to vote for.


    I'm writing Hillary in.

    July 24, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. VallejoSaint

    Wow, this is news? You should be ashamed of yourselves, why isn't anyone reporting on CBS news covering up the McCain goof? Now thats news...

    July 24, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  7. Michelle, PA

    "Dark Forces", "Hillary backer"? What exactly do you mean by that?

    July 24, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. Linda31

    People are losing it and I'm not talk about the heckler. There are some outrageous comments that make no sense whatsoever. Sad really.

    July 24, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  9. Mary

    One guy heckled the rest applauded……that’s a 99.99% approval rating . Not bad considering the current president, Bush, is at what 25% approval rating?

    July 24, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    I wonder if Rove paid his own airfare to go to the Wall to heckle Obama?!

    July 24, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. get the story straight

    CNN....this story is quite interesting....based on news reports this a.m. from NBC..there were no hecklers at the wall and there were no outbursts.....

    July 24, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  12. RyanD.

    Wait...ONE HECKLER is a news story?

    Man, you guys at CNN are really taking McCain's tired little "the media hates me" thing to heart, huh?

    This is really a reach.


    July 24, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  13. Rob

    Dark Forces?? Seriously? Hillary is loved wherever she– WHAT ARE YOU BABBLING ABOUT? Hillary is one of the most contentious and divisive people in America right now. And seriously, if you PUMA people are going to vote for Pro-War, Anti-Choice McCain just to spite Obama, by all means go do it... and shut the hell up. No one cares. Remember it isn't Obama you'll be punishing, it's yourselves and your kids. America will get the president she deserves.

    And why is this story called "News"?? The News is canceled.

    July 24, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  14. East Coast Bum

    I love all the people here who call my man Obama a Flip-flopper. I guess he is not allowed to change his mind, huh? Flip-Flopping is ok with me, everybody does it everyday. Just proaganada from the GOP machine. I thought the story about McBush getting off the plane and their was ONE reporter, too funny.

    July 24, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  15. Generation X

    Hey CNN, the real revolution will not be televised. Asked Nas!! LOL

    July 24, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  16. DKoral

    It does say in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) to greet everyone with a cheerful countenance. It's an ancient word of advice that should apply even in our times; too bad it escaped the mind of this heckler.

    July 24, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. JD

    I must say, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot or Hitler would have been proud to have some of you in their service. In addition to your unquestioning Obama-love, you virulently wish to deny Mr. McCain a voice in this election. Along with childish name calling, many of you want him to "shut up" or "go away", and were unbelievably glad when he was denied by the NYT.

    The People DESERVE to get the full explanation of both candidate's positions without slander, exaggeration and hyperbole. The best ideas will STAND ON THEIR OWN MERITS.

    July 24, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. Buckeye12

    WOW CNN actually reports something that's not in favor of Obama! I love the look on Obama's face, like he's trying to act like he really cares about visiting the wall.

    July 24, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  19. Safety & Comfort

    You people that think CNN is trying to find something negative about Obama are complete morons. Lets forget that they covered Obama's workout routine and what he wears while playing basketball. You people need to open up your eyes.

    July 24, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  20. Clown News Network

    One heckler? How bout McCains really crappy speeches and his
    ignorance of international affairs?
    CNN is becomming irrelevant – out of touch with mainstream
    America. Read the blogs – there 3 to 1 for the Dems.
    CNN please please give McCain the same type of critical coverage that you give Obama, theres plenty of bad news there- or is CNN terrified of being labeled LIBERAL?
    Obama by a landslide!

    July 24, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  21. WeCanSeeRightThruObama

    Those people who wrote "one man heckled Obama..." or "one heckler... big deal" don't seem to understand the point of the story.

    The story is NOT about one man heckling Obama. Rather the story is about Obama's inability to stick to one position on Jerusalem as to whether it should remain the capital and undivided or not. The heckler in the story is just used to highlight the apparent inequities of Obama's statements over the last few months.

    July 24, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. Dora

    I'm pretty sure my comment will be erased again, but it is not just one person, but many people in Israel mistrust Obama. He was always pro-palestinian and just recently changed his position to appeal to the Jewish voters.

    July 24, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  23. Nate

    At least someone in the world is still sane.

    July 24, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. Tracy

    CNN, this is the last straw. I'm done with your "news". ONE man yelled something incoherent and that deserves the headline that Obama was heckled? Trash news.

    Publish this. I dare ya.

    July 24, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  25. republican for Obama

    Hahaha! One heckler? Yeah, must have been the sole McCain supporter...lol!

    July 24, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
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