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Tuesday May 31, 2011 10:56 AM (EST+7)
Proposed bill requires use of Hebrew names in Jerusalem

Read more: Hebrew, culture, signs, East Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Knesset, parliament

RAMALLAH, May 30 (JMCC) - An Israeli parliamentarian is proposing a bill that would require all Jerusalem neighborhoods to be called by Hebrew names in signs and official media reports, reports the Jerusalem Post.

In the West Bank, Palestinian villages and towns have largely disappeared from official sign-posts, with the names of Israeli settlements taking their place. The new bill would carry out a similar transformation in Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods, such as Silwan, Ras al-Amoud and Sheikh Jarrah.

“Neighborhoods in Jerusalem, mostly in the city’s east, are called by their Arabic names,” Hotovely explained, “but most of the Arab names are based on historic Hebrew names. The Arabic names distance us from our roots.”

Citing the Jewish people’s historic connection to east Jerusalem, Hotovely said, “People say we can give up parts of Jerusalem because we didn’t pray to return to Sheikh Jarrah or to Silwan, but we did pray to return to Shimon Hatzadik and to the City of David,” referring to the east Jerusalem neighborhoods’ Hebrew names.

“When a neighborhood is called by its correct name, it gives it significance. It’s important,” she said.

Hotovely also quoted a letter written by David Ben-Gurion in which he wrote, “Just as we do not recognize Arab political ownership of our land, we do not recognize their spiritual ownership, and we do not need their names, which give off the Arab scent.”

“Names are part of the national struggle,” Hotovely said.







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