By Miri -
Tel Aviv is frequently referred to as "the bubble", and rarely anything seems to be able to affect its integrity, its sense of an ideal world. Not even a visit by President Obama.
Except for the indifferent Tel Avivians everybody else in the region seems to have gotten excited quite a bit by the President's short visit. Despite the authorities' efforts to keep the situation calm and potential trouble makers silent, a big variety of groups of Palestinians and Israeli Jews mobilised to make their voices and demands to the powerful man heard and seen, if not by the man himself, then at least by their surroundings.
Already during the days ahead of his visit, many groups and lobbyists went out and prepared the President's welcome.
|The official Israeli logo for the visit, adorning the streets of Jerusalem|
|The unofficial Palestinian logo, adorning the streets of Ramallah: "President Obama, don't bring your smart phone to Ramallah, you won't have mobile access to Internet. We have no 3G in Palestine!"|
|The Free Jonathan Pollard lobbyists relaunch their campaign ahead of the visit. Pollard is an American Jew convicted for spying for Israel and serving a life sentence in the U.S.|
|Graffiti in Ramallah, March 21st, Photo: Keren Manor/ActiveStills.org|
The Drama Begins - Obama Visits Jerusalem
Many came out to the streets, not so much to see or to hear, but rather to be seen and to be heard.
|Greenpeace activists hang a banner from Jerusalem's 119 metre high "Bridge of Strings"|
|Obama's speech in front of Israeli students is interrupted by Palestinian activist Rabea Eid, who asks the President whether he really came to promote the peace process or to provide Israel with more weapons to kill the Palestinian people?"|
Meanwhile on a Roof Top in Tel Aviv
Okay, not everybody in Tel Aviv is completely indifferent to the visit.
|Jewish Israeli activists send a message from next to the U.S. embassy building in Tel Aviv, Photo: Keren Manor/ActiveStills.org|
The Drama Unfolds - Obama Visits the West Bank
Obama's visit to the West Bank was significantly shorter and mainly included a visit of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and of the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. Let's see how he was welcomed there.
|Palestinian police block protesters from approaching the PA headquarters in Ramallah, Keren Manor/ActiveStills.org|
Epilogue - Time to Remove the Flags
The president leaves the Holy Land and "peace" is reestablished. The protest village "Ahfad Younis" has already been dismantled by the Israeli army, the Greenpeace activists were arrested and Rabea Eid was removed by security from the hall. Whether Obama's plan to speak and listen to the Israeli people and their neighbours was realised remains highly questionable, yet hope springs eternal...
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