Geraghty’s skeptical, I’m skeptical — but TNR, to my surprise, isn’t. The word from the JPost:

[A] Ma’ariv spokesman said that “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. In any case, since Obama is not a Jew, publishing the note does not constitute an infringement on his right to privacy.”

The paper added that is was “pleased” with its “journalistic accomplishment.”

Really? The entire international media got the green light to publish this, yet only Ma’ariv thought it was newsworthy enough to do so? If they knew what was in the note, why’d they need some dopey kid — who’s now begging forgiveness — to dig it out of the wall for them? Follow the JPost link and you’ll see that they may actually be in criminal jeopardy for publishing it, which might explain why they’re suddenly trying to turn their “journalistic accomplishment” into a campaign leak. TNR notes that, according to Israeli Insider, “Yediot Aharonot, the country’s most popular daily, published an article Friday saying it had also obtained the note but decided not to publish it, to respect Obama’s privacy,” but (a) I can’t find any English language version of the story at the Ynet website, (b) if they did have it, they might very well have gotten it from the same kid as Ma’ariv, and (c) if they had gotten it from the campaign, respecting Obama’s privacy wouldn’t have been a concern. To borrow a point from my critique of McCain’s “troops” ad over the weekend, even if you think Obama’s venal enough to try anything he can get away with, surely he’s not so stupid to think he could get away with issuing his own prayers as press releases. Verdict: Bogus.