The next time you visit Jerusalem you might not be able to walk around Mamilla, Talbiya or Holyland – but rather in the Hagoshrim, Komemiyut or Eretz HaTzvi. A new bill is aiming to refer to neighborhoods in the capital by Hebrew names only
MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) initiated the bill, which ha been endorsed by many other Knesset members from both the coalition and opposition.
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"The purpose is to strengthen the bond to Jerusalem by enforcing the use of Hebrew names for the capital's neighborhoods where Jews reside," said Hotovely.
The new bill would apply to any neighborhood with Jewish residents, with the old name to remain unchanged on condition that it follows the new, Hebrew, name of the various neighborhoods.
Dr. Avshalom Kor, an Israeli linguist and expert on Hebrew grammar and semantics, was approached by the Knesset for advice. According to Kor, some of the Hebrew names given to the neighborhoods were chosen by Hebraization of the old names and others were chosen based on their location or proximity to a certain site.
According to the bill, the Jerusalem City Council will have to complete the Hebraization of all city neighborhoods, replace the signposts and not use the previous names in any official matter.
The new bill is expected to anger the residents of Arab neighborhoods, as it will also apply to them. The Palestinian town of Abu Dis, for example, will become Kidmat Zion, while Abu Tor will turn into Givat Hananya.
Furthermore, the Israel Broadcasting Authority and the Second Authority for Television and Radio will also be instructed to avoid the previous names and only use the Hebrew names.
The initiative is expected to be discussed at the Knesset plenum in the upcoming weeks.
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