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McCain Mobbed by Crowds at Western Wall


U.S. Senator John McCain, center, is escorted by security as he leaves the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, in Jerusalem's Old City, March 19, 2008. (AP.)

By Michael D. Shear
JERUSALEM -- What was supposed to be a somber visit by Sen. John McCain to the Western Wall this morning was marred by an unruly mob of Israeli photographers, police and tourists who threw punches at each other as they engulfed the Republican presidential candidate.

McCain was not hurt, but appeared rattled by the spasm of violence as he began a second day of meetings with high-level Israeli officials as part of a congressional trip to the Middle East and Europe.

The crush of people surrounded McCain (Ariz.) after he and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) briefly touched the towering wall at the base of the Temple Mount, where the Second Temple stood until its destruction nearly two thousand years ago. The senators placed notes in the cracks between the ancient stones, a common tradition. McCain declined through a spokesman to reveal what his note said.

Accompanied by a rabbi, McCain then headed toward the underground tunnels that connect the wall to parts of the old city.

That's when the fists started flying, as journalists and tourists pushed to get pictures. Israeli police and military, armed with M-16 and Uzi machine guns, surrounded McCain and pushed the hordes back as the VIPs moved slowly toward the entrance to the tunnels.

When McCain emerged from the tunnels about a half-hour later, police had cleared the entrance, erecting barriers to keep the press and public back. They pulled an SUV up to the tunnel entrance and whisked him away after a brief wave to the crowd.

The visit to the wall followed two breakfast meetings, first with with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and then with Benjamin Netanyahu, the head of the conservative Likud party and the country's former prime minister.

McCain spoke briefly to reporters before both meetings, saying he shared Israel's concerns about terrorism and the threat posed to it by Iran. He also said that he had placed a call to Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority Tuesday night.

McCain planned a session with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak later today, before traveling to London and Paris.

By Washington Post Editor  |  March 19, 2008; 6:54 AM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , John McCain  
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Comments

McCain can't even get right who Iran is accused of training? Oppps - he just inspired zero confidence in the world community. God save America from this guy.

Posted by: JayKay2 | March 20, 2008 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Uh, VEGASGIRL-There were two articles by this Washington Post, that ALSO tied Iran to al-Qaida.

McCain just realized the evidence was not available to defend the allegations, or, if it is, it is not something the US is ready to reveal.

But Pahlease, do NOT think Iran is NOT helping them!

That Sunni Garbage fell short with Iran's aid to Hamas! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | March 19, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Washington Post, who is editing your articles?

Ehud BARAK is the Minister of Defense!

Ehud OLMERT is the Prime Minister!


GOOD GOD!

Posted by: winky91 | March 19, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Washington Post, who is editing your articles?

Ehud BARAK is the FOREIGN MINISTER.

Ehud OLMERT is the Prime Minister!


Posted by: winky91 | March 19, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Ahem. The stupidity of the ACTIONS of the people around a candidate do not necessarily mean that the candidate himself or herself is stupid.

Posted by: rickyrab | March 19, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

The stupidity of the people around a candidate do not necessarily mean the candidate himself or herself is stupid.

Posted by: rickyrab | March 19, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

President McCain attains "Rock Star" Status! And the Crowds go WILD! ;~)
Posted by: rat-the


Rat-the: You are making a fool out of yourself with your star-struck slobber over McCain. Please drop it; you're making us nauseous. (And please take a moment to read about the highly embarassing flubs this man made today while on the campaign -- oops, I mean diplomatic -- trail.)

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | March 19, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Is McCain simply a reincarnated older version of George W. Bush? One knows everything about nothing; the other know something about everything but is fuzzy on details if put on the spot.A McCain presidency would not look much different from the current one. If the two-headed democratic reptile can't get its act together by November, we could have a situation no sober person really wants.

Posted by: Tinkerboy | March 19, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

President McCain attains "Rock Star" Status!

And the Crowds go WILD! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | March 19, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he should run for office in Israel?

Posted by: thebobbob | March 19, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

An M-16 is an assault rifle. An Uzi is an automatic pistol. Neither is a "machine gun."

Posted by: bokamba | March 19, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Ain't this just great? First McNuts thinks IRAN is training Al-Qeada and this reporter does't know his Ehud's from his Ehud's. So the drinking water in the USA is tainted afterall? God Bless America, we are going to need it.

Posted by: dyorgey | March 19, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Ain't this just great? First McNuts thinks IRAN is training Al-Qeada and this reporter does't know his Ehud's from his Ehud's. So the drinking water in the USA is tainted afterall? God Bless America, we are going to need it.

Posted by: dyorgey | March 19, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I think he meant former-Prime Minister Ehud Barak. A different Ehud-- Olmert is currently PM.

Posted by: joshford | March 19, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

McCain, with such a stance as this for one, is actually looking not so strong against either Democrats at this point;

Obama vs Clinton vs McCain:

http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=76

Posted by: davidmwe | March 19, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

In other impressive news for McCain he is visibly benefiting from the Democratic fiasco in Florida to take a very solid (double-digit) lead against Obama in this crucial swing state: http://www.campaigndiaries.com/2008/03/risk-of-not-holding-re-votes-in.html

Posted by: campaigndiaries | March 19, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

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