Israeli paper now says Obama camp did not approve prayer for publication

posted at 6:35 pm on July 29, 2008 by Allahpundit

Fancy that. This doesn’t definitively clear Obama, only because Ma’ariv’s credibility is so thoroughly shot at this point that nothing they say can be trusted. What clears him is simple logic. Like I said yesterday, even if you think he’s scummy enough to publish the details of a secret prayer, he’s not stupid. If it’s true, it’s such an obvious net loss politically for him — like taping a campaign commercial in a confessional — and plays so easily into the McCain narrative that he’ll do anything for a photo op that for those very reasons it almost certainly isn’t true.

Something’s fishy with Ma’ariv, though. TNR notes that unnamed “spokesmen” pushing the “Obama approved it” line were quoted by three different Israeli papers last night. And today?

I just got off the phone with a Ma’ariv spokesman who says that the accusation is “completely false,” and that he has no idea who these papers were quoting from Ma’ariv. “No official spokesman for Ma’ariv told this to any of the papers.” I’ve got some calls in to these papers to find out where they got the quote. (I’ll update here when I hear back.) He told me definitively that “the Obama campaign did not give us a copy of the letter or approve it for printing.”

Presumably yesterday’s spin that Obama had put them up to it was someone’s panicky attempt to defuse the scandal, which only ended up drawing more heat. Exit question recycled from my last post about this: Ma’ariv initially claimed the note was approved by Team Barry even before he placed it in the wall. If so, did he give them an exclusive on it? Because no other Israeli paper ran it. And if it was an exclusive, why wasn’t that noted prominently in Ma’ariv’s original story?


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Looks like that’s that then.

Spirit of 1776 on July 29, 2008 at 6:39 PM

What Ma’ariv said and what Ma’ariv didn’t say, this is sure to take American’s minds off four dollar gas, sinking 401k’s and not being able to use their homes as ATM machines anymore.

MB4 on July 29, 2008 at 6:47 PM

The whole thing is strange. But then again it seems like strange follows this guy around. I heard some kid came forward and said it was all a prank and he was trying to help Obama. Who knows?

Terrye on July 29, 2008 at 6:48 PM

Heck, they’re no better than the New York Times. Incompetence is a terrible thing to waste.

volsense on July 29, 2008 at 6:49 PM

I’m thinking it was an Obama member who published the prayer without knowing how stupid that is. Then when they found out what a big stink it was turning out to be, they changed their story. Multiple times. As is par-for-course for this campaign.

We’ll see what a big deal this is (and multiple other things) when the election actually comes around. History turns on the smallest of cogs and this may be it.

mjk on July 29, 2008 at 6:54 PM

“And if it was an exclusive, why wasn’t that noted prominently in Ma’ariv’s original story?”

Because that would have made it seem less genuine.

pedestrian on July 29, 2008 at 6:55 PM

Why? Have you not been paying attention? The entire media is in the tank for him. To acknowledge he wanted it published would defeat the purpose by making it look sincere.

TheBigOldDog on July 29, 2008 at 6:56 PM

On the one hand, Obama is so desperate to have it known that he is not muslim, I can imagine him giving him prayer for someone to print. It was a nice, non-mulimy prayer after all.

On the other hand, you just knew, watching the frenzy following Obama around all last week, you just knew someone would run up to the wall and try to retrieve his prayer. I’m just surprised it didn’t show up on e-bay.

MayBee on July 29, 2008 at 6:58 PM

On an unrelated note though, are there Jews who are genuinely warmed by this picture? I mean, what’s the point of this photo-op?

freevillage on July 29, 2008 at 6:58 PM

As has been said here before, the prayer, as published, looks like it was vetted by the campaign “just in case”.

Buford Gooch on July 29, 2008 at 6:59 PM

Like I said yesterday, even if you think he’s scummy enough to publish the details of a secret prayer, he’s not stupid. — Allahpundit

Obama’s not stupid but his campaign managers are, we’ve seen enough by now to know that. And the whole display at the west wall was wrong in every way. He managed to make a mockery of two religions at the same time. This is beside the fact that Christians don’t write prayers and stick them into a wall. He now claims to be a Christian, so he should have known that. No matter how the note got in the hands of the newspaper, Obama’s hands are not clean of this disgrace.

Maxx on July 29, 2008 at 7:01 PM

On an unrelated note though, are there Jews who are genuinely warmed by this picture? I mean, what’s the point of this photo-op?

freevillage on July 29, 2008 at 6:58 PM

To assure the Jews he’s a friend but when he was asked if he would assure them there wouldn’t be another holocaust he refused to do so.

TheBigOldDog on July 29, 2008 at 7:03 PM

He managed to make a mockery of two religions at the same time.

If I thought that was true, that would be one reason to support him.

freevillage on July 29, 2008 at 7:05 PM

Sumpin stinks not right!

canopfor on July 29, 2008 at 7:05 PM

[volsense on July 29, 2008 at 6:49 PM]

LOL. Yeah, and why fritter it away when you can dump it wholesale on a really big shew.

Dusty on July 29, 2008 at 7:08 PM

To assure the Jews he’s a friend but when he was asked if he would assure them there wouldn’t be another holocaust he refused to do so.

Well, Obama isn’t the only one who does this kind of thing when on a trip to Israel. I just don’t get the point. Dressing as a follower of a religion, which you clearly don’t follow isn’t a proof of anything. It’d be ten times more valuable, it seems to me, to promise full support. Isn’t there any backlash in Israel against such photo-ops? Seeing as how everybody keeps doing it, I guess there isn’t.

freevillage on July 29, 2008 at 7:08 PM

Well clearly allahpundit appears correct if Maariv claims today that they had not received any info on the note prior to receiving it from the kid at the wall..

It does seem odd that un-named spokespeople would be quoted like that widely, what I found amusing is that on blogs etc Obama supporters were ripping both the Kid & Maariv, slamming the ‘right’ lol.. However the kid is an admitted Obama supporter, was trying to help Obama, and Maariv is a left wing newspaper in Israel, also trying to help Obama publishing the note, not the other way around :)

saus on July 29, 2008 at 7:12 PM

Like I said yesterday, even if you think he’s scummy enough to publish the details of a secret prayer, he’s not stupid.

Well, they’ve been stupid enough to develop their own presidential seal, ask to speak at the Brandenburg Gate, request the Denver stadium for the acceptance speech and diss the injured troops.

obladioblada on July 29, 2008 at 7:16 PM

Best run campaign……….. evah!

Seven Percent Solution on July 29, 2008 at 7:23 PM

“Like I said yesterday, even if you think he’s scummy enough to publish the details of a secret prayer, he’s not stupid.”

The only difficulty I have with accepting that is that it is your opinion it is stupid. Maybe you are fighting the last war?

I thought that when I saw the TNR piece you referred to a couple days ago when you excerpted a statement to the effect that Obama’s position of various issues couldn’t be pinned down. Well, maybe it’s because they expect there to be one position on an issue? Maybe they’re fighting the last war?

Why can’t Obama have a murky three positions on an issue. It’s asymmetrical political campaigning. Three positions are definitely better than one if you can basically tout the aspects of all three interchangeable and constantly such that those people only half paying attention or don’t want to look aat something comprehensively think he holds a position that each can approve of. That’s really what the nebulous Hope and Change is about. Gun confiscators AND gun clingers supporting the same guy for his position on guns.

It’s not really being all things to all people but one thing to each person. I just throw this out because in applying this strategy to the Wailing Wall prayer scenario, he ingratiates himself to those who approve of his visit to the wall, to those who think he was wronged by the exposure, and to those who thought his prayer was quaint, honest and humble.

You may call it stupid but that’s only what you think.

Yeah, I’m getting way too cynical. This whole strategy could only work if Obama had no real record to run on.

Time to mow the lawn before the sun goes down.

Dusty on July 29, 2008 at 7:40 PM

Meanwhile, check this out; Brack HUSSEIN Obama (PBUH)(SAW)(SWT) is going for “reparations”; I KNEW that would happen!

If McCain and the RNC can take advantage of this, it would be HUGE!

“I consistently believe that when it comes to whether it’s Native Americans or African-American issues or reparations, the most important thing for the U.S. government to do is not just offer words, but offer deeds.”

Dale in Atlanta on July 29, 2008 at 8:11 PM

Like hell, they gave it to the media.
“student pulls prayer from the wall” …right.

shooter on July 29, 2008 at 8:43 PM

Am comparing the handwriting in the released prayer with the Hildebeast’s…

shaken on July 29, 2008 at 8:51 PM

The Yeshiva student admitted to doing it. I can’t believe he did that… what kind of religious Jew is he?

Doytchbag…

AlexB on July 29, 2008 at 9:27 PM

The Obama Campaign didn’t want the “prayer” made public?

Color me Skeptical

franksalterego on July 29, 2008 at 9:40 PM

Ah the little unimportant distractions.

OBLAHBLAH, since you, and your campaign are being so meticulous on small irrelevant details, then:

WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO CLEAR UP THE FORGED BIRTH CERTIFICATE, THAT YOU POSTED ON YOUR “FIGHT THE SMEARS” WEB SITE? WAITING…???

byteshredder on July 29, 2008 at 10:23 PM

The Yeshiva student admitted to doing it. I can’t believe he did that… what kind of religious Jew is he?

Doytchbag…

AlexB on July 29, 2008 at 9:27 PM

You answered your own question. That was easy.

Shy Guy on July 29, 2008 at 11:21 PM

Isn’t there any backlash in Israel against such photo-ops? Seeing as how everybody keeps doing it, I guess there isn’t.
freevillage on July 29, 2008 at 7:08 PM

The drudge photo of the wall didn’t make the israeli papers that I saw, nor did Obama even so much as make the evening news that day when he left (I checked because I wanted to see reaction to the banners as I was aghast at seeing them there).

There was no backlash because the entire thing was done for consumption outside Israel. His initial trip to the wall the day before was canceled by Israeli security, the campaign obviously wanted the photo op very badly – because they must have pushed very HARD to get that 5am walk by, unannounced publicly a mere 45 minutes before he left the country..

The media at the wall itself was foreign, Reuters captured the video, so clearly the campaign had arranged media.

saus on July 29, 2008 at 11:53 PM

>>>Like I said yesterday, even if you think he’s scummy enough to publish the details of a secret prayer, he’s not stupid. If it’s true, it’s such an obvious net loss politically for him — like taping a campaign commercial in a confessional —

Scummy enough == YES

Stupid enough == YES

Next question, please . . .

seanrobins on July 30, 2008 at 6:50 AM

Israelinsider says – the saga continues:

http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Politics/13025.htm

Aristotle on July 30, 2008 at 9:21 AM

More to be looked up in this strange ordeal:

UPDATE 1: I just spoke with an editor at one of the four publications who quoted the alleged “Ma’ariv spokesman.” This editor broached the possibility that Ma’ariv was trying to deflect criticims of it by releasing these spurious rumors about the Obama campaign, but upon realizing that they’ll have to back up those accusations, is now disavowing them. This editor is going to look into this alleged “Ma’ariv spokesman” they quoted in his publication so we can try to ascertain if this is a Ma’ariv cover-up. I’ll update here when I hear back from him and if I get anything interesting from the other publications who also quoted this alleged spokesman.

–Zvika Krieger

http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/07/29/obama-vindicated.aspx

Aristotle on July 30, 2008 at 9:25 AM

I’d like to take this opportunity to quote my lame joke that closed out the last thread…

Obama is not saying anything because they actually published someone else’s prayer. His read “You’re next.”

AverageJoe on July 29, 2008 at 10:14 AM

AverageJoe on July 30, 2008 at 10:13 AM

This was reported in the Jerusalem Post, and I’m sure they turned to the main spokesperson’s offices to inquire about this, so it’s quite possible that Maariv, now reeling from a lot of flak, is trying another way of defending themselves. The JPost isn’t reliable on everything, but you can be sure that they would turn to another local paper’s main offices to ask about something like this, and that’s why I’m skeptical about what Maariv told TNR! Maariv is just running scared.

Avi Green on July 30, 2008 at 1:30 PM