[ View the story "More symbolism than substance?" on Storify] More symbolism than substance? We speak to Israelis and Palestinians about the US president's visit.
The Stream· Thu, Mar 21 2013 11:01:00
President Obama laid out the goals for his visit to Israel and the West Bank in an interview with Israel's Channel 2 News prior to his departure.
Obama in Israel : Interwiew mit US-President Obama to his visit to Israel at Channel 2 news IsraelHelmut Zermin
in Washington released the following video welcoming Barack Obama on his first trip to the country as president.
President Obama Goes to Israel - Official Trailer (HD) (2013)israelembdc
had a live broadcast of Obama's visit.
Tel Aviv streets displayed posters, like the one below, welcoming Obama to Israel.
There were also differing perspectives about Israel among social media commentators.
This poster welcomes Obama and asks him to get rid of "Zionist Bandits."
In Ramallah the scene was different from the one in Israel. Many expressed their anger and frustration with the American president's policies so far.
This poster, and many
featuring the same image, questioned Obama's role in the region.
Some used sarcasm to express their views on Obama's visit. This viral video, titled Obama Jay (which translates to "Obama is coming") is one example:
أوباما جاي - Obama Jaydozanproductions
on some streets in Ramallah, comments on the lack of 3G capability in the region.
posters that said "No Hope", playing off of Obama's 2008 election campaign slogan of 'Hope and Change'.
Obama is not a visitor , not a tourist, he is a terrorist #ObamaOutActivists around the world for Palestine
Demonstration against Obama's visit, Hebron, West Bank, 20.3.2013activestills
Al Jazeera's Gregg Carlstrom
that the main topic of conversation in Ramallah ahead of Obama's visit was the inevitable traffic jam.
The following map, circulated online prior to the arrival of the US president, shows the planned road closures:
Netizens tweeted their thoughts about Obama's visit.
Palestinian officials refuse to comment on Obama visit, one tells me off-the-record:"We are an afterthought but we have to smile through it"Sheera Frenkel
Someboy should make Obama watch the film 'Five broken cameras'.#ObamaInPalestineCherine شيرين
Only 10% of Israelis view Obama favorably. Probably because they judge his actions, not rhetoric. If only U.S. did the same. #ObamaInIsraelLiz Wheeler
Obama told to follow red line in visit to Iron Dome. "Bibi always tells me about red lines", he quips #obamainisraelChemi Shalev
Some people in this cafe that I am at in Ramallah actually clapped when Obama emerged from Air Force One in Israel #ObamaInIsraeljoseph dana
Others on social media suggested the visit was fruitless.
#Obama has basically continued the freeze of peacemaking in Middle East. #obamainpalestineChris Doyle
So...we're back to ignoring the Palestine/Israel conflict & peace process. Very fruitful visit. #obamainisrael #obamainpalestineHafsa Halawa