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. Republican for obama

    who cares

    July 24, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. Louis

    Obama has respect for Israel as much as he has for his white grandmother who raised him.

    July 24, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. Marie

    'One Loose Cannon Was Given His 15 Minutes by CNN'

    July 24, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. Texas Voter

    Dems and Repub alike. Take a minute and feel the pride that you feel when you hear and see the history Sen. Obama is making in Overseas. It's an amazing feeling! It is a feeling that many Americans have not experienced in over 8 years.

    Regardless of who you are voting for you have to admit, Sen Obama is bring back the pride we Americans had lost. Starting with Pres. Bush's failure to respond appropriately to the 9/11 attacks and defend the U.S. honor. Also to the international shame we are suffering via our failing economy and other countries buying out our businesses.

    So you PUMA's and others Republicans who refuse to vote for Sen. Obama, you must admit that Sen. Obama's run for the Presidency has stirred your emotions enough to get voters involved. So in my book, Sen. Obama has won just by getting the American voters to care about their pride and to stand-up for their principles. So if Sen. McCain wins the Presidency, Sen Obama has set the bar so high that Americans are expecting only to succeed and no longer numbing their feelings out of shame.

    July 24, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. linda n carolina

    ONE person heckled him.....LOL really desperate for a negative story aren't you.

    July 24, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. Erik on Wall St.

    Was the heckler Hillary Clinton?

    July 24, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. DEBBY, NJ

    Why is McShame's name listed on the "AP Photo"? Get it together CNN you are slipping. What ever negative you are trying to spin since Mcshame wants air time is not going to work.

    July 24, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. joann

    at least one person sees the forrest for the trees.

    July 24, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  9. Concerned Citizen

    Your caption under the picture is incorrect, it says "McCain visited the Western Wall......". That doesn't look like McCain to me!

    July 24, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. Kiyomi

    Ha – the caption says "McCain visited the Western Wall early Thursday" – I guess the 2 candidates do have some resemblence? Easy mistake...

    July 24, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. Dan

    What is the bigger issue is why all American presidents need to make some many overly conciliatory overtures toward Isreal. Isreal is not an American state. Isrealis are not American. But you always see American Presidential butt kissing toward Isreal. That is a problem to me.

    The problems that have been going on in that region of the world have been going on far too long. The only way there will be any solution is if both sides of the problem are held to an equally high standard.

    July 24, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. Bob Stephens

    One Heckler and CNN puts this up as a big announcement.... Unreal!!!!!

    July 24, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. Will in Richmond, VA

    See... it isn't the WHOLE world that wants him...

    just 85, 90 percent of it.

    July 24, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. Peggy - TX

    One heckler – no big deal! Obama handled it well.

    July 24, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  15. Jim

    James Hussein, SC July 24th, 2008 11:05 am ET

    Let's see quickly the neocons try to make this what it is not.

    Agreed... In 5,4,3,2,1...


    July 24, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. Frank

    Wait, one man heckled Obama overseas, and this merits a front webpage headline on CNN? Get a grip.

    July 24, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Chris, MD

    What is it, then, Mr. Hussein?

    July 24, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. Sam Holtzman

    He's wearing a skullcap! That makes him a Muslim, right? I can't wait to see the headlines.

    July 24, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. Tara

    He went there. Big deal. It's inspirational. Get over it, repubs.

    July 24, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. Daryl Hussein, IL

    Now all the Republicans are going to say he is now Jewish and Muslim!

    July 24, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  21. Frank

    Israel has announced that they will build a new settlement on the West Bank at Maskiot. Why do we in the USA continue to support unconditionally a country that disregards agreements with us and the Palestinians? At least they did wait to announce the settlement until after Obama left, if that is a positive. Talk about "stick in the eye"...

    July 24, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  22. Bob from Richmond VA

    Obviously a Fox News reporter that wasn't allowed on the Obama plane.

    July 24, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  23. Joshua


    Under photo it should say "Obama visited the Western Wall early Thursday." instead of "McCain visited the Western Wall early Thursday."

    July 24, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  24. Sharon, NY

    I hear it was only one person.

    He did a good job, and the world knows that–we'll be happy to welcome him back home.

    Obama 08

    July 24, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  25. Proof Reader

    The photo's caption reads "McCain visited the Western Wall early Thursday." Who does your proof reading?

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