Tel Aviv Municipality Greenlights Banner for Biden
On Monday, a left-wing group announced that the Tel Aviv Municipality had given the greenlight to hang a banner welcoming US President Joe Biden, which had both the Israeli and Palestinian flag on it.
Peace Now’s announcement
Earlier on Monday, there had been a request for removing the banner, but the Peace Now organization disclosed on social media that it had been rescinded by the Tel Aviv Municipality. The banner boasts the two flags and welcomes the US president to the two states.
The organization congratulated Ron Huldai for ensuring freedom of expression and standing against pressure from the right.
The US president is scheduled to arrive at the Ben Gurion airport in Israel on Wednesday and he will visit Israel as well as the West Bank. He will stay for two days before he leaves on Friday for Saudi Arabia for a meeting on Saturday with regional leaders in the Middle East.
There is hope that this visit could help in improving ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, but even though many activists have tried, the hopes of renewing peace between the Palestinians and Israel are very low.
As for the Palestinian flag, its waving is considered a controversial issue, as left wingers believe it is a symbol of a future state, while right ones believe it is a sign of terrorism.
Ban on Palestinian flags
Right-wing lawmakers had tried to introduce legislation earlier this year for imposing a ban on the Palestinians flags. The Ben Gurion University had come under criticism after a rally at a school had displayed the Palestinian flags in Beersheba.
Back in May, the bill for banning flag displays at government-funded institutions of those who are considered enemies of the country had been brought to the Knesset. However, it was not able to clear the required legislative obstacles to take it forward before the Knesset was dissolved in the previous month.
Protest against the bill
Last month, the Israeli flag and the Palestinian flag were hung together in a suburb of Tel Aviv, just like the banner from Peace Now. There was also a sign hung with the flags that mentioned in Arabic and Hebrew that the two states were meant to be together.
However, it had sparked criticism on social media and lawmakers had made public calls to remove the flags and the banner. Therefore, it did not even last for a day and had to be taken down.
This particular display had been organized in protest of the controversial bill that had been introduced in the Knesset for banning the Palestinian flags. A left-wing group called Mehazkim had organized the display, as it is aimed at focusing on sharing progressive messages with the public.
It remains to be seen what US President Joe Biden will be able to accomplish in this short visit. His schedule does include meeting the head of the Palestinian Authority, which has people hoping that he would be able to bring up peace discussions between Israel and the Palestinians.