Rival Facebook pages invite Obama to TA, Samaria

Left-wingers invite US persident to speak at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square as right-wingers urge him to talk in West Bank.

February 13, 2013 01:19
3 minute read.
Facebook: Obama Come to the Square

Obama invited to Rabin Square. (photo credit: Facebook: Obama Come to the Square )


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“Obama come” has become a popular Facebook slogan ahead of the American president’s visit to Israel, with left-wingers inviting him to speak at Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square and right-wingers urging him to talk to them in the West Bank region of Samaria.

“Like this page and join us in our goal to persuade [US President Barack] Obama to speak to hundreds of thousands of Israelis at Rabin Square,” states one of the commentaries on the page “Obama Come to the Square,” which Peace Now opened last week.

Another entry makes use of Obama’s campaign slogan from the 2008 election, placing the words “Yes We Can Bring Obama to Speak” on top of a photograph of a crowd of thousands.

As of press time on Tuesday, 10,873 people had pressed “Like” on the page, the top photograph of which shows Obama and the words, “Speech for Peace, 10,000 and counting.”

“We hope this number will rise. It is going up very fast,” said Peace Now executive director Yariv Oppenheimer.

“We wanted to show Obama how many Israelis want to see him make a speech for peace,” he continued. “We hope that this visit will not just be about a conversation between leaders, but that there will also be direct dialogue between the president and the Israeli public.”

It would be best to hold such a speech in Rabin Square, “because it is the most political place in Israel,” he said.

“We all remember the peace rally that was held there that ended so tragically with the assassination of [former prime minister Yitzhak] Rabin,” he added.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai posted on his Facebook page that he supported the initiative.

In addition to the Facebook page, Peace Now has begun planning for a major peace rally during Obama’s visit, but has yet to decide on a location.

It’s not just left-wing activists who are reaching out to the president through the social network, though.

On Sunday, the Samaria Citizens’ Committee opened its own Facebook page, “Obama Come to the Shomron.” Its top photograph has the words “Speech for life” and shows the Israeli flag draped over a girl’s back as if it were a set of wings.

As of press time, it had 937 “Like”s.

Committee chairman Benny Katzover said that before Obama spoke of withdrawals and another construction freeze, he should visit Judea and Samaria to see for himself that it was the heart of a very small country.

“From here, he can see its width and breath,” he said.

Samaria is the place to which biblical forefather Abraham first came, and the place to which his grandson Jacob returned, he added, noting that it was also on Mount Gerizim in Samaria, where Joshua built an altar for peace offerings when the ancient Israelites returned to the land.

Now the United States wants to take this biblical Jewish heartland and turn it into a terrorist state, contended Katzover, who opposes the creation of a Palestinian state.

“Why does [the US] want another terrorist base in this region?” he asked.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the only issue that has spawned “Obama come” Facebook pages. There is one inviting him to visit the city of Bnei Brak, one asking that he come to the Knesset, another asking him to a Purim party, and one inviting him over to listen to records.

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