First lady Laura Bush, on a political fence-mending tour of the Middle East, found herself the target of a tense protest Sunday in Jerusalem at one of Islam's holiest sites.I don't wish ill upon Laura Bush and I'm glad that she was not hurt or directly threatened, but there is part of me that also believes the White House invited this tense situation. It's the kind of incident that occurs when the U.S. (and Bush's presidency certainly isn't the first to do this) tries to turn sites that are deeply sacred to certain populations into convenient photo-ops.
After a brief tour of the Dome of the Rock mosque, about 40 or 50 protesters surrounded Bush and her U.S. Secret Service detail as they departed, pushing to get closer and shouting: "How dare you come here" and "You don't belong in this mosque."
Security closed in tightly around the first lady as the angry Muslim protesters -- many expressing fury at the United States -- came very close to Bush. As Secret Service agents shadowed her, Israeli security guards linked arms and forced a pathway for the first lady's entourage through the crowd to Bush's motorcade.
At one point, a boy made his way up to the first lady, and one guard momentarily pointed his gun at the boy, who ran away.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Unknown | Sunday, May 22, 2005 |