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At Holocaust Museum, Obama Vows 'Never Again'


Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), pauses after laying a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, July 23, 2008. (Associated Press)

By Dan Balz
JERUSALEM -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama began a busy day in Israel this morning with a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum and meetings with leading Israeli officials, plunging into the intractable politics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Obama's focus on the second leg of his foreign trip shifted from conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan to the Middle East peace process on a day that was to take him from Jerusalem to meetings with Palestinian leaders on the West Bank to the Israeli town of Sderot, near the Gaza Strip, a target of repeated Palestinian rocket attacks.

At Yad Vashem, which sits on a hillside overlooking Jerusalem, a solemn Obama paid tribute to the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust by laying a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance, which sits on the highest spot in the museum. "Despite a record of monumental tragedy, ultimately this is a place of hope," he said.

In the guest book, Obama wrote that the museum was "a reminder of man's potential for great evil but also our capacity to rise from tragedy and remake our world," adding, "Let our children come here and know this history so they can add their voices to proclaim never again."

When he arrived in Israel late last night, Obama made a brief statement on the tarmac, saying he had come looking for "input and insight" from Israel's leaders about the security issues both countries face.

"I will share some of my ideas," he said. "The most important idea for me to reaffirm is the historic and special relationship between the United States and Israel, one that cannot be broken, one that I have affirmed throughout my career and one that I will intend to not only continue but actually strengthen in an Obama administration."

He also made reference to the latest incident in Jerusalem when another bulldozer driver rammed into a bus and cars in the capital Tuesday morning. The driver was shot and killed, but not before injuring more than a dozen people. "It is just one more reminder of why we have to work diligently urgently and in a unified way to defeat terrorism," Obama said.

Obama's foreign tour, now in its sixth day, has drawn enormous media attention, with Israeli papers filled with stories and commentary Wednesday morning about the visit and whether the first-term senator from Illinois would be a reliable friend of Israel were he to become president.

The coverage back in the United States appears to have irked the campaign of presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain. On Tuesday, the campaign issued a new video mocking the press as in love with Obama.

But the media attention continued today. Obama's day began with another American television interview, this time with ABC anchor Charles Gibson, which will air on the network's broadcast later Wednesday. All three network anchors are traveling with Obama this week, and the campaign has scheduled interviews with each of them, as well as with other television correspondents.

Obama's first meetings were with Israeli Defense minister and Labor Party leader Ehud Barak and with Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, both former prime ministers of Israel. His morning schedule also included a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres, who was effusive in his praise of the Democratic candidate.

In the afternoon, he planned to go to the West Bank city of Ramallah for a session with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and prime minister Salam Fayyad, then return to Jerusalem for a meeting with foreign minister Tzipi Livni.

From there he was to fly by helicopter across Israel to Sderot, accompanied by Livni and Barak. McCain also visited Sderot when he toured the Middle East and Europe last spring, but did not go to the West Bank.

Obama's day will end with a dinner meeting with embattled Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Tomorrow he will fly to Berlin for the one big public event of his trip -- a campaign-rally-style foreign policy speech.

During his morning meetings at the King David Hotel, the candidate posed for photographs with Barak and later Netanyahu -- doing so twice with Barak to accommodate two different press pools allowed briefly in the room. The topics included the status of the peace process and Israel's concerns about Iran's ambitions to develop nuclear weapons.

According to a pool report, Netanyahu asked Obama how he was feeling. "I could fall asleep standing up," the candidate replied.

By Washington Post Editor  |  July 23, 2008; 5:56 AM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama  
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Comments

Americans are really fortunate to have finally found somebody like Barack Obama to lead their country! Wish India - and all countries of the world - too had a genuine leader like him!

Posted by: Anju Chandel | July 24, 2008 2:12 AM | Report abuse

I like it! I like it! Obama is my president! God Bless Mr Obama!

Posted by: Colin Powell | July 24, 2008 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Oh now I am convinced, because you say it.I think not, liberal ideas and candidates are a looser in the general election...that is why your savior is sprinting to the right..but people see thru his flipping, flopping and flailing all over the place...from minute to minute

Posted by: bitter and clinging | July 23, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

People, like it or not, change is here and it is Obama. Like it or not, he is our next president, people!!

Posted by: Navigatro | July 23, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

I would hope the jews are nobody's fool. Polls show jews for Obama 2 to 1. I find this surprising.

Posted by: BITTER AND CLINGING | July 23, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I apologize for the typos. Should read "alliteration" and "nobody's."

Posted by: Judy Kilgore | July 23, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Farakhan and Wright must be apoplectic at Obama's apostasy right about now. (Pardon the alliterarion.) I can imagine their disgust when they saw this picture of Obama at the Holocaust Memorial Museum, even though Wright does understand that Obama the politician has to do what he has to do to get elected. As for the Jews, they are hobody's fool.

Posted by: Judy Kilgore | July 23, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

NO NOT EVA EVVA EVVVA EVVVVA EVER IN HELL WILL GOD LET THIS HAPPING AGAIN .

Posted by: Melissa,Crystal,Lynette,KING | July 23, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Been studying Obama carefully in the past months and came up with the conclusion that Obama is a smart guy. He knows how to win. But Obama is also a fake. It is sad that people are voting for Obama simply because he isn't Bush. Obama brings nothing substantial to the table. Obama knows how to say the right thing. This will come back to haunt him when he knows the limits of what can be done. Hope people wise up and do the right thing. Obama isn't right for America. He is a fake, and rightly so.

Posted by: Terry | July 23, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Promises are easy to make, especially when you've no idea whether you'll be keeping them. Obama is a smooth talker. Not voting for Obama. Period.

Posted by: Karoline | July 23, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Promises are easy to me, especially when you've no idea whether you'll be keeping them. Not voting for Obama. Period.

Posted by: Karoline | July 23, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I think this is the first picture I've seen of Obama without his big goofy grin in every picture that's been released from his trip to Iraq/Afghanistan. Sorry, but I just don't see all of his giggling very presidential.

Posted by: Kate | July 23, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

A rock star is a rock star is a rock star - regardless of the location. Great exposure but we are electing a PRESIDENT.

Posted by: Kansas 28 | July 23, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

obama is pandering, plain and simple.

He hates the jews as evidenced by his close association with louis farahkan. It would seem to me that Obama would never had made it to Illinois State Senate without the ultimate blessing of Louis Farrakhan. Obama threw the incumbent civil rights lady under the bus and bulldozed his way into her State senate seat. Obama hired lawyers and got the candidate's petition signatures thrown out and disqualified. Obama did this with not just one but all the democratic candidates (no Republicans run in South Chicago). So once the other candidates were disqualified Obama had the seat with NO votes. Sounds Mugabe to me. Obama, in his own words ( via Right Mind)

Posted by: bitter and clinging | July 23, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Obama is making me proud that I'm a supporter. This overseas trip just shows what will be possible when Obama is president and the U.S. starts talking to other countries instead of bullying and ordering them around or simply ignoring them. McCain seems to be in meltdown mode.

Posted by: Sueb | July 23, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

LMAO!

McCain, his campaign staff, the GOP and FOXNEWS were all complaining and making a campaign issue of Obama not going overseas to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (for 900+ days) and his lack of foreign policy experience.

What a difference a week makes! The McCain camp is so rattled with the success of Obama's international trip they spewing all kinds of lies and distractions at Obama with no focus other than to stop the positive Obama coverage.

If Obama can continue being positive (give a little HOPE and YES WE CAN to the folks in Germany) throughout the remainder of his trip, he is going to get good media coverage in the US for at least another week upon his return. This should give Obama ample time to re-tool his economic platform and push it prior to the start of the Olympics!

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | July 23, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Obama's trip has received positive coverage overseas thus far, which is good news not only for him but for America. Given the distain for most things American overseas these days, as well as the inevitable grousing from his political opponents and disingenuous media pundits here at home, I've been impressed with the sophisticated way in which he has navigated the international arena. As an adult, I'm skeptical of the reality of a "natural" at foreign affairs, but if such a thing exists, this guy is it. If so, then good for us, and good for the world.

Posted by: thewolf1 | July 23, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

The comments Mccain is making now are no longer calculated but uncontrolled temper. He is on the verge of going off the air and it won't be pretty. He is one sentence away from calling Obama an uppity nigg&r. His hate can't be hidden, it is there on his face like his other cancer for all to see.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

That is not what she said, but why bother

+++++
Andrea Mitchell is NBC's chief foreign affairs correspondent and she reports her frustration with the lack of access that reporters are getting from Barack Obama on his overseas trip, saying the Interviews he is giving are considered by some to be fake.

Posted by: | July 23, 2008 10:27 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

And the results have just been posted for the 2008 Presidential Election Weekly Poll and Vice President Weekly Poll. See what America thinks at http://www.votenic.com

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Anyone want to make any wagers before we hear the right-wing talking heads saying that Obama is now a Jewish, racist Christian, closet Muslim? After all, he is wearing a yarmulke.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Did you hear about the incredibly lowlife stun the McCain campaign pulled in regards to Obama's visit to the site.
McCain's jealousy and temper are getting the best of him and he has definitely crossed the line this time.
I hope Wapo decides to take him to task for this for even they would have to agree McCain has sunk way too low now:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/23/mccain-camp-attacks-obama_n_114486.html

Posted by: vwcat | July 23, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Andrea Mitchell is NBC's chief foreign affairs correspondent and she reports her frustration with the lack of access that reporters are getting from Barack Obama on his overseas trip, saying the Interviews he is giving are considered by some to be fake.

Posted by: | July 23, 2008 10:27 AM

____

I have assumed this was done to minimize the opportunities for folks to claim the trip was all a publicity stunt. You know Fox is just waiting to jump on anything...oh wait, maybe not FOX since they weren't invited to travel along. Ouch!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm trying to remember why the McCain campaign thought it was clever to taunt Obama into going to Iraq and other foreign parts, to the point that somebody had a count-down clock online of the number of days since he last went there. I guess they've had to reset that clock now.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | July 23, 2008 10:57 AM

Hey Fairfax - I think what we're seeing is a little of John McCains good judgment. Whoops!!

Posted by: JDB | July 23, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Because they don't know what they are doing. They make Hillary's horrible campaign look like a work of art by comparison. Mccains campaign is an incredible joke. They send out constant emails to reporters with attacks on Obama that are such a laugh they don't even get report them. This is like 30 times a day.

+++++++

I'm trying to remember why the McCain campaign thought it was clever to taunt Obama into going to Iraq and other foreign parts, to the point that somebody had a count-down clock online of the number of days since he last went there. I guess they've had to reset that clock now.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | July 23, 2008 10:57 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I'm trying to remember why the McCain campaign thought it was clever to taunt Obama into going to Iraq and other foreign parts, to the point that somebody had a count-down clock online of the number of days since he last went there. I guess they've had to reset that clock now.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | July 23, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Is there anything that Mr Obama won't promise to anyone to get elected

Posted by: jimbo | July 23, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Mr Obama needs to return to the USA and go back and visit the people that were so badly affected by the Mississippi River floodings...

If he wants to show the world who he is start here.....

Mr Obama, please no longer placate to the RNC and McCain.. is they say he didn't go to Middle East but McCain went there 8 times...

Does that mean that Mr Obama that you will need to visit McCains Vietnam Holding Cell....

Visit Charles Keating in jail....

Shake hands with Karl Rove....

Visit Bush 2 at his Texas Ranch and drink beer and fart hot dogs into dirty seat cushions

Go hunting with Dick (SATAN) Cheney....

Visit the Dallas/Ft Worth Airport with the disgusting Senator Larry Craig..

The RNC are liars, fakers, hypocrates, closeted imorralites...etc

Mr Obama run your campaign, win this counrty back from the Republo-Facists.


Posted by: AlexP1 | July 23, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Andrea Mitchell is NBC's chief foreign affairs correspondent and she reports her frustration with the lack of access that reporters are getting from Barack Obama on his overseas trip, saying the Interviews he is giving are considered by some to be fake.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

John McCain made a mistake this evening, which as far as I'm concerned, disqualifies him from being president.  It is so appalling and so factually wrong that I'm actually sitting here wondering who McCain's advisers are.  This isn't some gaffe where he talks about the Iraq-Pakistan border.  It's a real misunderstanding of what has happened in Iraq over the past year.  It is even more disturbing because according to John McCain, Iraq is the central front in the "war on terror."  If we are going to have an Iraq-centric policy, he should at least understand what he is talking about.
The Awakening began in Anbar Province more than a year before the surge and took off in the summer and fall of 2006 in Ramadi and elsewhere, long before extra U.S. forces started flowing into Iraq in February and March of 2007. Throughout the war, enemy-of-my-enemy logic has driven Sunni decision-making. The Sunnis have seen three "occupiers" as threats: the United States, the Shiites (and their presumed Iranian patrons), and the foreigners and extremists in AQI. Crucial to the Awakening was the reordering of these threats.
This is not controversial history.  It is history that anyone trying out for Commander in Chief must understand when there are 150,000 American troops stationed in Iraq.  It is an absolutely essential element to the story of the past two years. YOU CANNOT GET THIS WRONG.  Moreover, what is most disturbing is that according to McCain's inaccurate version of history, military force came first and solved all of our problems.  If that is the lesson he takes from the Anbar Awakening, I am afraid it is the lesson he will apply to every other crisis he faces including, for example, Iran.
This is just incredibly disturbing. I have no choice but to conclude that John McCain has simply no idea what is actually happened and happening in Iraq. 
Update: It gets even better. In an article that Col. MacFarland wrote summarizing his experiences in Anbar and how they helped turn the war in the Sunni parts of Iraq and started the Anbar Awakening. This is essentially the official military history. The timeframe he discusses is June 2006-February 2007. The first surge troops were just arriving as MacFarland and his men redeployed out of Anbar.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Obama is doing well on his Evita tour of Europe and the Middle East and I am glad. But i would suggest, as a strong Obama supporter, that his campaign look at why he is steadily losing ground in Ohio where some polls are now showing him down by 10%.

If McCain as advertised chooses Romney as his VP that could easily mean that Obama will also lose Michigan.

I think that the Obama campaign has got to shore up the support he needs in about 7 key states such as CO, NM, PA, VA and try to win those instead of playing to the cameras in places like Montana and ND which he will surely lose.

He also may want to consider Evan Bayh as his VP as otherwise he may very well not win Indiana either.

The game is still electoral votes and where a good website- 538.com once had him up to 310 electoral votes as sure or leaning that number is now down to 287 and sinking.

All the European hype and the crowds that will great him in Berlin etc. could easily backfire in middle America if they see him as playing to the world but not dealing with their issues. Making Europe happy has to come second to making Americans happy.

Posted by: peter | July 23, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

McSame is sore because is no longer the media darling. Too bad, so sad McSame!!! Go Barack!

Posted by: Carl29 | July 23, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

be strong barack.

Posted by: lupercal | July 23, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Re: Love Affair

I LOVE that advertisement!! Finally someone there is smart and got the point! All advertisement campaigns launched new are going to the right direction. Great job!

What happen to Scarlett Johansson and those on the "Watch List" who have threatened to leave the US?

Please DO document and videotape everything and post them at McCain's website--everything happens on his campaign trails, including things happens in back stages. Make it real.

Posted by: premier | July 23, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

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