The Stolen Obama Kvitel (Note) at the Western Wall--Sacrilege, Publicity Stunt, or Both?
In the face of a storm of criticism for publishing the contents of the kvitel (note to God) left by Senator Barack Obama at the Kotel Maaravi (the Western Wall) in Jerusalem, the Israeli newspaper Maariv is fighting back. A spokesperson for the Israeli evening daily, quoted in The Jerusalem Post and numerous other sources as well, suggested that the whole leak was in effect staged by the Obama campaign. The spokesperson said, "Barack Obama's note was approved for publication in the international media even before he put in the Kotel, a short time after he wrote it at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem."
If one believes Maariv, and I don't trust it any more than I do any other newspaper, the international media were given copies of the note, or at least the text of the note, before Senator Obama placed it in the Kotel. If so, how does one deal with this story by Jake Trapper of ABC News, that on his plane Thursday morning Obama declined to tell reporters what he had asked of God in his note. The press corps that accompanied Obama, who reported that he had declined to reveal the contents of the note, certainly would already have known its contents if the text of the note had already been leaked. Either Maariv is lying to cover its embarrassment and deflect the torrent of criticism now raining down on it, or the press corps covering the Obama campaign conspired in, or at least tolerated, a false story regarding the supposed principled refusal of the Senator to reveal the message he had left for God at the Kotel.
Should it turn out that Maariv is telling the truth, Senator Obama's visit to the Kotel is revealed to be just one more cynical campaign photo opportunity, of a piece with the cancellation of his scheduled trip to visit with wounded U.S. troops hospitalized in Germany. According to charges by the McCain campaign, Obama cancelled the event because the Pentagon would not allow cameras to record his visit.