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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 3/20/13

"We Have No 3G in Palestine"

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Unless security forces have torn it down, the poster (shown here) was one of the sights President Obama would see if his motorcade made its way to Ramallah, Palestine on a West Bank highway.

The poster was posted on a corner after the road passes through the Qalandia checkpoint separating the West Bank from east Jerusalem.

Of course, the President would miss the poster and miss seeing the highway if he traveled to Ramallah in a helicopter. That would be unfortunate because he would miss seeing the poster which says in Arabic and English:

"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 poster would be one of more hospitable messages a disappointed Palestinian public would offer the visiting President on his visit to the West Bank this week.

Mahir Alawneh, a young Palestinian web consultant, designed, and placed a poster along the President's route.

Alawneh told the Al Monitor website he wanted to send a more gentle message to the American visitor.

It is well known that President Obama makes extensive use of his personal computer. The loss of a 3G connection should register on the President as a deprivation, albeit, one of the lesser items Israel withholds from the Palestinian population.

The largest Palestinian deprivation, of course, is the absence of freedom for a people living under occupation, an issue the President was not expected to address in any of his public utterances this week.

Mahir Alawneh understands this. In his Ramallah interview, Alawneh said: "Most of our people talk about the major issues, but not about our lifestyles."

He added that "though 3G is a small issue for Palestinians, who have more pressing concerns, it serves as a point of comparison for Americans, who are likely to be very upset if it were suddenly banned in their country. So this is the point: If we don't have this tiny thing, do you think we have the bigger things?"

An Israeli site explained the 3G problem:

"The banner with Obama's picture is among many hung by activists, seeking to raise the American president's awareness of the lack of 3G frequencies in the West Bank.

"Israeli authorities control cellular networks there and they have not granted Palestinian telecommunication companies 3G."

President Obama's Middle East trip suggests nothing less than a man on a "hand-holding exercise" for Israelis, as one observer described the visit. It was also a journey that showed little concern or respect for a Palestinian people suffering under a military occupation which controls their every move, including their access to 3G.

If there is the slightest humane or moral value in this hand-holding exercise, it is hidden from the view of mere mortals.  Behind this trip is a purely Zionist political agenda.

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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)

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