Jerusalem – A videotape has been posted on YouTube which may show the moment of pilferage, which the videograph credibly shows is taken “seconds after Senator Obama steps away from the Western Wall.”
The videographer identifies himself as David Cohen, “a freelance photographer/videographer currently living in Jerusalem.” He reports that “Seconds after Obama left the stones, some of his entourage stepped up to the wall (dressed in suits) and I recorded a young man gathering notes in his hands in what appeared to be the search for Obama’s freshly placed personal note. He is joined by others who unwrap notes and read them. One person [is shown] walking away from the wall with a note that he unwraps as he tries to aggressively block the camera lens.”
Cohen’s testimony provides new evidence that suggests that the alleged pilferer, dressed in the garb of a seminary student, may in fact have been a member of Obama’s entourage. If so, there would not need to have been an official authorization by the campaign to publish the note. The actual “pilferer” may have been working for Obama. This possibility would go a long way to account for the mixed messages emanating from both the Maariv and Obama spokesmen.
It important to emphasize that the alleged pilferer has not been publicly identified, and any connection between him and the Obama campaign, or with Maariv, has not been proven. Nor is it at all certain that filching a prayer note is a criminal offense; the Israeli police have expressed no interest in the case. But publication of the video, with its capture of the suspect’s face (at left), is likely to lead to identification of the pilferer.