JERUSALEM — A group of Jewish protesters gathered on a Jewish day of mourning to tell President Obama to stop inserting himself in Israeli affairs.
Gathering in the shadow of the Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av, a day commemorating Jewish persecution throughout history, the protesters demanded that Obama cease calling on Israeli leaders to stop allowing new Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories.
“We have become tourists in our own land,” said Gershon Saloman, leader of the Temple Mount Faithful protestors, dressed in torn sackcloth as a traditional sign of mourning. “Those who want to stop construction should stop it in London, in Paris and in Washington.”
Protester Shifra Hoffman stood holding a sign telling Obama to “Remove your hands off Jerusalem & the Land of Israel!”
“Obama, I believe, is a Muslim, and he’s sympathetic to the Muslim cause,” Hoffman said. “The Jews voted for him stupidly, because they never know who’s in their interest.”
Protester Nili Scher Gavish dismissed American tourists walking by the protest who spoke out aginst the anti-Obama rhetoric.
“We don’t like the attitude of Obama toward Israel, and I think that many Jews that are in the States also who elected him don’t either,” Scher Gavish said. “Step by step, it’s getting worse and worse. He said that Jerusalem won’t be our capital. What would he have done if somebody had said that Washington is not the capital of the States?”
The addtional protest came the week three prominent U.S. officials— Defense Secretary Robert Gates, special envoy George Mitchell and national security advisor James Jones—visited with top Israeli officials. Earlier this week, protestors stood outside the residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and moved to the U.S. consulate where they condemned Obama’s stance on the settlements.
“Mr. Obama, Barack Hussein Obama, is linking the atomic factories of Iran at Bushar with a little caravan in Itzhar [Jewish settlement in Nablus District], and he comes and tell us that if he will destroy a little caravan here, it will solve the atomic problem or the wishes of the Arab murderers to destroy us,” said Ruth Levy. “Is it really normal, could somebody normal belive in this?”