A heckler interrupted President Obama’s speech at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem on Thursday morning, cutting into the impassioned appeal for peace with a comment about an imprisoned spy.
“This is part of the lively debate that we talked about,” Obama said to loud applause from an audience of Israeli university students. “This is good.”
The president, who has dealt with hecklers at campaign rallies, policy speeches and even an address to Congress, joked that he hired the protester.
“I have to say we actually arranged for that because it made me feel at home,” Obama said. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable if I didn’t have at least one heckler.”
The man was shouting in Hebrew. According to a White House pool report, he was referencing Jonathan Pollard, an American who pleaded guilty in 1986 to one count of passing secret information to an [ally] Israel, and remains in prison to this day for a crime that carries a median jail sentence of 2-4 years.