Politics: Talk about hysterical reporting.
|JERUSALEM (AP) - Protesters besieged Laura Bush during her visit Sunday to two of Jerusalem's most sacred sites, with Israeli police locking arms to restrain the crowd and Secret Service agents packed tightly around America's first lady.
Stepping into the long-running Mideast conflict, she appealed for Israelis and Palestinians to commit to working for peace and said Americans "will do what they can in this process."
The demonstrations at the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock showed "what an emotional place this is as we go from each one of these very, very holy sites to the next," Mrs. Bush said later in the West Bank town of Jericho as she stood at the ruins of the 8th-century Hisham's Palace.|
|Mrs. Bush, who is on a tour intended partly to help defuse anti-American sentiment in the region, placed a note in the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest shrine. She wrote the note on the flight Sunday from Jordan to Israel, but wanted to keep the contents private, a spokeswoman said.
Dozens of protesters stood nearby, shouting, "Free Pollard now." Jonathan Pollard, an American Jew who is serving life sentence in a U.S. prison for spying for Israel, was a civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy.
The first lady was mobbed by protesters and local reporters, and Secret Service agents and Israeli police had to physically hold back the crowd as she approached the wall.
She then went to the Dome of the Rock, a mosque on a hilltop compound known to Muslims as Haram as-Sharif and to Jews as Temple Mount. As she left the mosque, one heckler yelled, "How dare you come in here?" and "Why do you hassle our Muslims?"
Mrs. Bush removed her shoes as she entered the mosque and walked barefoot on the red carpet. She held a black scarf tightly around her head as she gazed up at the gilded dome and the colorful mosaics on the marble walls.
Some of the women studying inside the mosque were clearly annoyed at the intrusion and waved their fingers at the U.S. entourage. Despite the chaos at both sites, Mrs. Bush kept smiling and said little.
In Jericho, which is under Palestinian control, security was tight and no protesters were evident when Mrs. Bush visited the ruins and met at a hotel with leading Palestinian women.|
So.. a dozen protestors about a convicted spy, a couple of women heckling and a bunch of people annoyed with the size of the crowd while they are praying is huge?