(The Jerusalem Post) — Former American vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin expressed support for Jews praying openly on the Temple Mount on a visit to the Old City of Jerusalem on Sunday, officials who accompanied Palin said.
Palin and her husband Todd arrived for a two-day visit on Sunday afternoon and toured the Western Wall and its adjacent tunnels. They will visit the Old City again on Monday, tour Gesthsemane and the Mount of Olives, and have dinner with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara at their official residence in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu has already met in Jerusalem over the last two months with a number of leading US politicians considered as likely candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, including former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.
World Likud chairman and Likud MK Danny Danon and Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz served as Palin’s tour guides on Sunday night. Palin was told that Jews were not allowed to pray openly on the Temple Mount and about the Arab riots that accompanied Netanyahu’s decision to authorize the creation of an exit from the Western Wall tunnels in 1996.
“Why are you apologizing all the time?” Palin asked her guides.
Palin expressed regret that she would not be able to visit Nazareth or Bethlehem during her brief stay in Israel, but promised that she would soon come back for longer.
“It’s overwhelming to be able to see and touch the cornerstone of our faith,” Palin told reporters upon exiting the tunnels. “I’m so thankful to be able to be here, and I’m thankful to know the Israel-American connection will grow and strengthen as the peace negotiations continue.”
Rabinowitz said that Palin prayed at the point closest to the Holy of Holies and left a note with a personal prayer. Unlike the incident that occurred when then-presidential candidate Barack Obama visited the Western Wall in July 2008, nobody removed her note from the Wall and gave it to the press.