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JERUSALEM – Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign plastered the entrance to the Western Wall – the holiest site in Judaism – with official campaign posters, WND has learned.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed to WND posters that adorned police barricades erected at the Western Wall plaza for Obama’s visit were distributed by the presidential candidate’s campaign.
“These posters were his campaign and not the doing of the police,” said Rosenfeld, whose police department coordinated security and provided protection for Obama’s visit today to the holy site.
Asked if it was traditional practice for politicians visiting the Western Wall to bring along posters or campaign materials, Rosenfeld replied, “No.”
Obama campaign posters can be seen in media footage of the Illinois senator’s early morning surprise visit to the Western Wall.
His visit reportedly was not on the official campaign schedule.
The posters display Obama’s name in Hebrew. One poster erected on the main police barricade used by Obama to enter the holy site boasts the official red, white and blue campaign “O” symbol and advertises the candidate’s campaign’s website.
A second poster also displays Obama’s name in Hebrew and contains an image of Israeli and American flags.
Reuters posted images of the Obama campaign posters showing a handful of people waiting behind the police barricades.
Reuters images had the following caption:
“Supporters of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) stand behind banners printed with his name in Hebrew as they wait for his arrival at the Western wall.”
The caption implied supporters brought along the pro-Obama material.
But an eyewitness speaking to WND tells a different story.
“The kids waiting for Obama may not even be Obama supporters. No one knew Obama was coming in advance. We saw the police barricades erected. We saw Obama’s face on the posters, and some police said Obama was on his way. So a few people gathered by the barricades and waited for Obama,” said the witness.
Obama’s media relations department in the U.S. did not reply to a WND phone call request for comment.
Obama arrived at about 5 a.m. Jerusalem time. He wore a Jewish skullcap and placed a prayer in the wall he said he had written. He bowed his head while a rabbi read a psalm calling for peace in the holy city.
According to media accounts, one worshipper repeatedly heckled Obama, chanting: “Obama, Jerusalem is not for sale” and “Jerusalem is our land.”
After his brief visit to the holy site, Obama headed for Berlin, where he met with German leaders, including Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. He also delivered a major policy speech in front of Tiergarten Park’s Victory Column, a 19th century structure in Berlin capped by a gilded angel.
To interview Aaron Klein, contact M. Sliwa Public Relations by e-mail, or call 973-272-2861 or 212-202-4453.