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. Tell the Truth

    I know this comment is not related to this topic; But somebody needs to call McCain on the reason why he changed his mind on visiting the state of Louisiana today.

    He said it's due to "bad weather", but it's really due to the "oil spill in the Mississippi River"

    He does not want o be viewed near this diaster; because it will dim the light on off-shore drilling, but what Mccain has to understand; there are consequences to continue to use oil as our main form of energy; it's called "the destruction of our environment". He needs to stand up and be a man and tell the truth.

    July 24, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  2. Jon Mikfarjam

    It seems disingenuous for CNN to write a story about the actions of a single protester. The front page blurb "Obama heckled at Western Wall" is further lacking in context.

    July 24, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. Matt

    I'm finished with CNN. They just attack the front runner to make campaigns more competitive so they can crank up ratings and sell more commercials ad space.

    July 24, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    yeah, Obama get heckled by a single looney!....and it's breaking news for CNN.

    it's sad, but FALSENEWS seems to be posting better news political tickers than you scumbags at CNN!!!!!

    July 24, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. CTP

    What is the heckler even trying to say? He made no sense. Moving on.

    July 24, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. Michael

    To quote George Will, reading these Obama sycophants, one hears the tinny aarfs of lap dogs.

    July 24, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  7. Heidi

    I have been reading on some other sites about this event and reading the hateful remarks by some saying things like, Obama should have never gone there. As a Christian there is nothing that could keep me away from the western wall if I were in Israel. It is sad that someone had to interupt a spiritual moment between Obama, God and the place where his savior gave his life.

    July 24, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  8. Shirley S, Bethlehem, PA

    Wow, out of 6.5 million people, one guy is rude and stupid.

    Can't wait to see what John McGaffe says about it.

    July 24, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Why does the photo caption say:

    "McCain visited the Western Wall early Thursday."

    July 24, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. gary


    July 24, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. James, AL

    If one heckler is the worst thing that happened in Israel, then Obama had a very good visit. It goes to show how well things are going when one heckler becomes a story.

    July 24, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. dz in Austin

    There has obviously been a mistake. That person must have meant, "Isreal is not for sale....... but we'll just give it to you, the messiah!

    Either that, or there are at least 2 of us who don't like Kool-aid.

    It's not really big news that someone doens't like Obama. The big news is that CNN actually reported it.

    July 24, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. desertique

    This is the worst part of Obamas policy. His lack of understanding of Muslim needs in this area and his complete disregard for the Palestinian people.
    His lies about the danger of Iran, there is no danger. And his fear of IAPAC.

    July 24, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. Derrick in Houston

    Umm..CNN your doing sloppy work again. On the ticker under the picture it says McCain visits the Western Walls early Thurs...im sure you meant to say OBAMA


    July 24, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  15. KMAN

    The fact that one man was heckling Obama at the Western Wall IS VERY SIGNIFICANT news ... the problem with the story is that they failed to report that is was Senator Joe Lieberman!

    July 24, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. Brenda

    The caption to the photo says 'McCain' visits the Western wall. What gives? [Laughter] Is McCain campaign grabbing headlines by any means? LOL

    July 24, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. Westthea

    Obama was correct to back away from the naive comments about Jerusalem being a "Jewish capital". Tel Aviv was the capital of Israel. At best, East Jerusalem must be the capital of the Palestinian state.

    Hispanics have now come around to support Barack Obama. We are now waiting to see what "Jews" will do. Will the majority of them in America continue not to support his candidacy or will they get onboard? One estimation is that they supported John Kerry and Bill Clinton at 80%. If the majority of them do not support Obama, is part of it because of racism dating back to the writings of their revered Rabbi Rashi?

    Obama shall be the next president of the U.S.

    July 24, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  18. Janice

    I wonder if Obama's hand burned when he touched the wall?

    July 24, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. Chris - Pennsylvania

    Please fix the caption of the picture featuring Sen. Obama at the Western Wall. It says McCain visited the Western Wall early Thursday. Obviously a typo, but a pretty huge one that needs to be fixed.

    July 24, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. Lori Goldin-Grand Rapids Michigan

    As an undecided Jewish female voter, it was nice to see Senator Obama in what I consider the holiest place in the world. It was especially considerate of him to wear a headcovering. However, I would like him to pick one stance regading both Israel and the war that we are in and stick with it.

    July 24, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. John

    One idiot and this story makes news.........

    July 24, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. Morgan

    So if I go to a McCain event and scream "You don't know what you're talking about you old fool!" you'll put "McCain heckled in Illinois" in your Political Ticker headline listing?
    Boy- this must be a slow news day. I'll catch up later tonight on MSNBC.

    July 24, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  23. jim hawkins

    from central pa..did support clinton....NOW I SUPPORT MR OBAMA.
    GOOD LUCK !!!!!!!!!!!! MR OBAMA

    July 24, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. Bruce Green

    Might not be the right name under the photo

    July 24, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. Floridaguy

    One guy and CNN thinks this is news........WOW!!
    Let's see how loud the cheers are during the speech today in Germany..........THAT will be news!

    July 24, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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