The city of Tel Aviv may aim to serve as a beacon of co-existence but as far as its official logo is concerned it may not be so liberal. The Tel Aviv city council on Monday rejected a motion to reimagine the emblem so it includes the city's name in Arabic as well as in Hebrew and English.
The motion was put forward by councilman Ahmed Mashrawi (Meretz). "Relations in the city may not be perfect, but we have come a long way," he said. "As Arabs, we will be represented in one small line which will not take away from the original emblem. Fear not, Tel Aviv will continue to be the first Hebrew city."
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Councilman Yoav Goldring, who raised the issue as early as 2009, endorsed the motion. "Arabic is not just the language spoken by Jaffa residents and students residing in the city.
"Maimonides used it and many of the city's eldest residents spoke it in their native lands. This could be a unifying message that shows mutual respect and co-existence."
Councilman's proposed logo (Photo: Gilad Morag)
Mayor Ron Huldai however is firmly against the move. "The motion contains nothing but the initiator's desire to get a headline and spark political wrangling," Huldai said.
"The city has an overwhelming Jewish majority, more than 90% compared with 4% Arabs. There is no reason to add the caption. Nowhere in Israel or indeed the world has this been undertaken in similar circumstances."
"The logo is meant to be recognized around the world. You are essentially making Jaffa's Arab residents feel bad. When there's a problem I'm the first to care for them."
Councilman Benjamin Babayoff (Shas) also opposed. "I voted against the motion, my personal opinion is irrelevant. The Shas faction has its rabbis, they asked not to vote with the opposition at this point."
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