‘Zionists not welcome’: Palestinians reject Biden’s Bethlehem visit

Article: https://mondoweiss.net/2022/07/zionists-not-welcome-palestinians-reject-bidens-bethlehem-visit/

Signs reading “This is Apartheid,” “Justice for Shireen Abu Akleh,” and “our exiled sons must return to their motherland” greeted US President Joe Biden as his motorcade passed along the main road of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank on Friday. 

Biden arrived in the city to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as the last stop in his four day trip to Israel, during which he renewed firm US support for Israel, and expressed his own pride in being a Zionist.

Despite heavy restrictions on movement, and a wider ban on protests and photography on the main roads of the city enforced by the Palestinian Authority (PA), Palestinians took to the streets in Bethlehem to express their discontentment with Biden’s visit. 

At least two separate protests took place in the city, including near the Aida Refugee Camp, where Palestinians chanted “America is a terrorist state,” and held signs saying “Zionists not welcome,” along with photos of slain Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. 

The protesters released balloons into the air carrying photos of Abu Akleh, along with a large banner that read: “Biden, you’re a part of Israel’s Apartheid,” and “‘Zionist’ Biden ‘shares values’ with Apartheid Israel.”

Protesters tied a banner reading “Zionist Biden shares values with Apartheid Israel” to balloons and set them off near the main road of Bethlehem, in the southern occupied West Bank, during US President Joe Biden’s visit to the city. July 15th, 2022. (Yumna Patel/Mondoweiss)

“We wanted to send a message to Biden that he, and America’s imperialist foreign policy, is not welcome in Palestine and our city,” Muhannad Abu Srour, a resident of Aida Camp, told Mondoweiss

“Our message to the American president was that for more than 70 years, we have been under occupation, forcible displacement, and ethnic cleansing, and nothing has changed. Our land is still occupied, and there is still no just solution for the Palestinian people,” Abu Srour said…. 

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