The Washington Post

Obama heckled in Israel

A heckler interrupted President Obama's speech at International Convention Center in Jerusalem on Thursday morning, cutting into the impassioned appeal for peace.

"This is part of the lively debate that we talked about," Obama said to loud applause from an audience of Israeli university students. "This is good."

The president, who has dealt with hecklers at campaign rallies, policy speeches and even an address to Congress, joked that he hired the protester.

"I have to say we actually arranged for that because it made me feel at home," Obama said. "I wouldn't feel comfortable if I didn't have at least one heckler."

The man was shouting in Hebrew. He later identified himself as Rabeea Eid, an Arab-Israeli student activist from Haifa University. He questioned whether President Obama really supported peace and asked about the death of Rachel Corrie, an American activist who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Eid called Obama's speech "extremist and Zionist."

* An earlier version this post incorrectly cited reports that the heckler was referencing Jonathan Pollard, an American who pleaded guilty in 1986 to passing top-secret information to Israel.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.



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