JAFFA, Israel – A West Bank municipality’s decision to name a street after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has backfired, with street signs vandalized and a great deal of abuse on social media.
Abbas dedicated the street in the town of Bir Zeit last week with pomp and circumstance.
The naming of the street was “a token of appreciation for [Abbas’] efforts to better the lives of the Palestinian people and his efforts to realize the dream of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital,” the municipality said in a statement.
Less than a week later, the sign was vandalized and Abbas’ name erased from it (see picture above). The official media ignored the incident, but it went viral on social media, accompanied by many comments ridiculing the President, some of them accompanied by a picture of the tweeters raising their middle finger.
— مش هيك (@meshhek) May 20, 2016
“The youth of Bir Zeit couldn’t stand that sign for more than a week,” Beesan wrote.
شباب بيرزيت ما استحملوش اسبوع :D pic.twitter.com/42mizI989j
— Beesan (@BeesanRam) 30 May 2016
“We congratulate our great leader, the liberator of Jerusalem and the crusher of the Jews, Mahmoud Abbas, for the naming of a street in Bir Zeit after him,” Dr. Khalil Awadi wrote ironically.
نبارك للزعيم القائد الخالد، فاتح القدس وهازم اليهود محمود عباس، إفتتاح شارع يحمل إسمه
في منطقة بير زيت في رام الله pic.twitter.com/9AudQ3PceL
— د. خليل العوضي (@Kamalawadi) May 30, 2016
Marwa tweeted, praising the vandals: “Thanks to the hands who did it.”
— شبكة فلسطين للحوار (@paldf) 30 May 2016
“Why are they upset about what happened?” Duha Qawasmeh wrote. “It’s not a shame. The land and the streets belong to the people, and he steals the money of the people. I swear that I’m not a Hamas supporter. What they did isn’t a shame.”
ليش محروق دمكو على شارع محمود عباس؟
لا مش عيب.
البلد و شوارعها للشعب، هو سارق مال الشعب و عمله فيه
*والله مش جمساوية*
و مش عيب، عادي.
— ضُحى قواسمه (@Dohaqawasmeh) May 30, 2016
“After giving up on declaring an independent Palestinian state, Abbas dedicates a street named after him in the presence of his supporters,” Ebtesam F wrote.
— ابتسـام آل سعـد (@Ebtesam777) May 29, 2016