Palestinian Authority Arabs in Bethlehem set fire to a “Welcome Obama” banner after it was spray-painted with swastikas and run over by a taxi cab on Monday.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the city, immediately south of Jerusalem and north of the Gush Etzion town of Efrat, on Friday with a tour of the Church of Nativity.
Anti-American Arabs have made no secret that they are going to do everything they can to show President Obama he is not welcome.
Activists on Monday gave Obama an advance warning of what is in store for him. They tore down a billboard that was posted at Manager Square, next to the church.
In place of the billboard that was part of a campaign to tell Obama that there is not 3G telecommunications technology in the Palestinian Authority, the activists unfurled a banner proclaiming, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman degrading treatment or punishment.”
“In light of the anti-Palestinian U.S. position, Obama is a persona non grata in Bethlehem,” Munthir Amira, chairman of a youth center in Aida refugee camp, told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency.
“It is time the US administration understands that the question of Palestine is the core of conflict in the region. Without a just solution to the question, there will be no stability in the region.”
Before visiting Bethlehem, the president on Thursday will travel to Ramallah, where security will be tighter than a drum when his helicopter lands.
“The city will be in lockdown, its streets empty, with U.S. snipers positioned on rooftops,” the London Telegraph reported. “Anti-American protesters will be kept at a distance, where the president will not be able to see or hear them.”
The worst Obama will see are posters proclaiming “President Obama: Don’t bring your Smartphone to Ramallah … We have no 3G in Palestine” and thousands of black balloons protesting American policy.
After a relatively short lunch with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Obama’s helicopter will whisk him back to Jerusalem for a continuation of his sterilized 52-hour visit.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu