By Miriam Shaviv
July 28, 2008
The Israeli daily Ma'ariv is currently being blasted by all sides for publishing the (actually rather charming) note left by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in the Western Wall.
The paper has been criticised by no less than the rabbi who supervises the Kotel for interfering in Obama's relationship with G-d and for acting in a "sacrilegious" manner. The Police have even been called upon to intervene. Meanwhile, one of the yeshivah students who supposedly took the note has apologised publicly, although one does wonder why he had to go on national television in order to make his regret known.
A rare dissenting voice comes from blogger "Jameel", who asks whether Ma'ariv would still be in hot water for publishing Obama's kvittel had the sentiments he expressed in his note been more politically loaded.
(Of-course Obama must have known perfectly well that his note could be read and so was never going to write anything sensitive, but nevertheless.)
Norm Geras on Normblog also has an interesting perspective:
I'm waiting on all those secular liberals who have been longing for a Democrat to succeed Bush in the White House, and were in the habit of sneering at Tony Blair's acknowledgement of having a relationship with his Maker, to back off from their enthusiasm for the candidacy of the Senator for Illinois. I mean...'make me an instrument of your will'.
What? I'll wait in vain? You don't think they will back off? Devoutness is bad only when you want it to be? Hey, you may just be right about that.
Reason makes a similar point, asking how the media would have reacted had the same words been penned by George W.