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. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    You labelled your photo "McCain visited the Western Wall early Thursday".......OOPS 😛

    July 24, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. Joe

    Your caption under the Obama picture says "McCain". FYI

    July 24, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. LNBruno

    Funny. That picture doesn't look anything like "McCain"

    July 24, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  4. Loretta from California

    He has been exposed to too many Lies. I recommend he go to Senator Obama's Website and read "fight the smears".

    July 24, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. Arkansas Undertaker

    Once everyone gets to know Barack they will see that he is truly leadership material!

    Obama/Clinton 08

    July 24, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. GB

    Or let's see how quickly Obama supporters brush it under the rug.

    July 24, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  7. Dan - Ohio

    Neocons can only win by exploiting Obama's middle name and trying to make people think he's some sort of Manchurian candidate. John McCain has been doing this - saying stuff like "Oh, Obama gives good speeches, but we don't really KNOW who he is".

    Well, he is what he is. And Obama is as good as he appears. His judgment and his character are fitting for a president in a time when this country is annoyed with stubborn and wrong leadership. We need real leadership, both at home and abroad. Obama is far and away the right choice in this election.

    July 24, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. Kathy in Michigan

    goes to show ignorance and disrespect for God comes in all shapes, sizes,colors and unfortunately is in all places. Pray for the guy.....

    July 24, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. Brian

    Oh so now you're Jewish Obama? I thought you were Musl... I mean Christian. Which religion do the politics demand today? And yes James, this is what it is.

    July 24, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Kathy

    Hey James,
    Screw the neocons!

    July 24, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. Barbara Goodsitt

    The caption on the picture says McCain visited the Wailing Wall early thursday. Typo or intentional mistake? Come on. It is Obama in the photo. Please be accurate and impartial.

    July 24, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  12. Daniel, WA

    Welcome to Middle East. Barack has no knowledge of Middle East Politics. it shows his inexperience. Nobody can believe him because what he says today and what he would say tomorrow will have upto 180 degrees turn. This is because he does not mean what he says. He wants to please everybody and score points. Barack will be a total disaster for our nation. Beware. Time will come you will remember my words. I am not sure if CNN will publish this because CNN has deleted my messages several times in the past. CNn does not want the truth to be known.

    July 24, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. DemsUnite

    One heckler...who cares?!

    July 24, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. ke

    that photo says mccain..

    July 24, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  15. Ashish

    I think you guys have the wrong caption for the Obama pic. It says Mccain visited western hall instead of Obama

    July 24, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. Janey/Michigan

    I'll bet that heckler got even worse thug treatment than Bill O'reilly when he tried to challenge the Messiah.

    July 24, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  17. ia

    the caption under obama's picture reads: "McCain visited the Western Wall early Thursday." c'mon cnn, stop being so sloppy!

    July 24, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. Terry

    Just one idiot who tried to get some attention. That's all.

    July 24, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  19. I agree with you James Hussein, SC

    Just wait for it they are probably typing just as fast as I am now. LOL

    July 24, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  20. Progressive

    In sarcastic voice – Yeah, that's surely the way to treat the next POTUS.

    That kind of behavior is completely disrespectful, and probably coming from a man who knows nothing about Obama, except for what he's heard from naysayers.

    July 24, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  21. MW in California

    The photo caption says McCain!

    July 24, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  22. Jeff, Dallas TX

    What they didn't mention was that the heckler was Lieberman...

    July 24, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  23. Michael

    Obama is abysmally ignorance of the entire region. Very scary. Jimmy Carter all over again–"I trust Arafat." "Gee, I'm surprised the Russians invaded Afghanistan." What a colossal joke. Geraldine Ferraro was right. If he were not black, he would be a back row Senator for the next two decades.

    July 24, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  24. Proofreader McGee

    Check the caption under this photo – McCain's looking a lot more handsome and smart in this photo than I've ever seen him looking. CNN, are you sure that it is McCain at the Wailing Wall?

    July 24, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  25. Dee, North Carolina

    1 out of thousands. There is always one fool in every crowd!! This was not even news worthy. Come on is that all you can come up with CNN to try and balance the scales between a great candidate (Obama) and a desperate candidate (McCain)??

    July 24, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
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