Signs not good in Jerusalem

By Nathan Jeffay, June 10, 2011

Predominantly-Arab neighbourhoods in Jerusalem will have Hebrew names imposed on them, if a newly submitted Knesset bill passes.

Tzipi Hotovely of Likud is proposing that all Jerusalem neighbourhoods which have Jewish residents, even a tiny minority, should be referred to in all official contexts by a Hebrew and not an Arabic name. This includes street signs and all content on the Israel Broadcasting Authority.

Ms Hotovely told the Jerusalem Post that Arabic names "distance us from our roots". In her plan, areas with Arabic names will be allocated with a new Hebrew name.

The proposal has infuriated the Israeli Left. Orly Noy, spokeswoman for the Jewish-run Ir Ammim, a group which promotes Arab rights in Jerusalem, condemned it as an attempt to "erase the Palestinian character of East Jerusalem".

Last updated: 1:22pm, June 10 2011