'Ministry officials are not dealing with the real problems'
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Just a little respect

Arabic names of local towns should be kept on our road signs

One would think that the Transportation Ministry already solved all the problems on Israel’s roads: It managed to bring down the number of road accidents, improved the entire infrastructure, and put an end to all the traffic jams around here.


Otherwise, it is hard to understand why the ministry wastes time and money on its obsessive preoccupation with replacing road signs around the country with ones that use the Hebrew names of communities even in the Arabic and English translation.


In a few days, when the new signs will be posted across the nation, tourists who wish to reach Jerusalem will get lost – because the sign leading to the city will say “Yerushalayim” instead of “Jerusalem.”


And once peace prevails in the region, God willing, the tourists from Egypt and Saudi Arabia will also be unable to make their way to the city, because instead of “Urshalim (al-Quds)” the sign will say “Yerushalayim” in Arabic letters.


Nazareth, or “al-Nasra” as Arab residents know it, will become “Natsrat” and Safed will become “Tsfat.”


Arabic is an official language in the State of Israel, so why not use the Arabic names of cities or villages? In any case, very few Israelis read Arabic, so why not give Israeli Arabs the respect their language deserves? If we have Arabic on road signs, why not use the proper and common names?


Changing the name of communities on road signs will not make these towns less Arab or more Zionistic. It will merely present the Transportation Ministry in a ridiculous light.


It is indeed a pity that ministry officials are not dealing with the real problems that cause the many lethal accidents on our roads and the terrible traffic jams; instead, they are trying to rewrite history and Judaize Israel in the spirit of the Greater Land of Israel ideology.


פרסום ראשון: 07.14.09, 00:44
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