Obama's visit to the West Bank took him into the center of the Palestinian tragedy where outrage over Israel's military occupation and civilian settlements has been punctuated by bursts of terrorist violence, quiet oppression, and demoralizing acquiescence.
Israeli military law imposed in the occupied West Bank places sweeping and arbitrary restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly. This makes any unauthorized peaceful protest by Palestinians a criminal offence.
I had travelled to the West Bank to photograph two stories, both put on hold as persistent rocket fire and airstrikes erupted between Gaza and Israel. With time on my hands, I set out to explore new developments in Palestinian contemporary art.
Fadi would not want there to be an international outcry over his detention if there were not a similar -- in fact, greater -- outcry over the detention of the 4,800 other Palestinians languishing in Israeli prisons after being denied trials in civilian courts.
Every summer, hundreds of young international activists travel to Israel to stand in solidarity with Palestinians. Some seasoned activists question whether their activism functions more like occupation tourism.
Mideast Envoy Mitchell's remarks send a signal, both to Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and to the peace activists in both communities struggling desperately against their policies, that business will continue as usual under the Obama Administration.