The Washington Times - September 4, 2008, 05:08PM

COLUMBIA, Mo. Joshua Mitnick, our Israel correspondent, flags some interesting news today about presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama.



A top Israeli official announced today a probe into the theft of Obama’s prayer note left in the Western Wall.


As I blogged about from Europe this summer, Obama made an early morning trip to the holy site and placed a note deep in its cracks. A student snatched the note, which was published on the front page on the Maariv tabloid.


Haaretz has a story up today about the investigation:

Deputy State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan on Thursday ordered police to investigate Israeli daily Maariv’s publication of a prayer note placed in the Western Wall by United States presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

Senator Obama visited the site in Jerusalem’s Old City on a trip to Israel in July and placed a note in the cracks of the wall, as is customary. The note was subsequently removed from the wall (see video above provided by independent producer David Cohen), and was then printed Maariv, which said a religious student gave the note to the newspaper.

A complaint submitted to the State Prosecutor’s Office against Maariv charged that the note’s publication infringed on Obama’s privacy, hurt the feelings of worshippers and visitors at the Western Wall and damaged the status of the site.

The incident sparked condemnation in Israel and abroad. The rabbi who supervises Jerusalem’s Western Wall blasted the removal of the note, saying the action was “sacrilegious.”


Team Obama would never confirm it is his note, but it was written on stationary from the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, where the campaign stayed that evening, and appears to be in his handrwriting. The note read:


“Lord — Protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will.”



Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter,
The Washington Times


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