The Jerusalem Municipality will permit naming streets in the Arab neighborhood of Silwan after rabbonim.
The Jerusalem Street Names Committee is expected to approve the naming of a number of streets in memory of rabbonim from Yemen in the eastern area of the city to commemorate the settlement of Jews from this area in the previous century.
The committee was set to convene on Monday to approve the names of the streets in the Arab neighborhood of Silwan in the eastern capital, Yediot Yerushalayim reports. The names include Rabbi Avraham Elandaf, Rabbi Yichya Yitzchak Halevi, Rabbi Shalom Elsheikh Halevi and Rabbi Yosef and Saadia Madmoni.
Councilman Yonatan Yosef, who backs the move, insists it is not a provocative one but to the contrary. “One who speaks of dividing Jerusalem and the return of lands is the one provoking. This is a statement of sovereignty here. We came back here to stay. Beyond that, it is certainly a village where the land was originally bought by the Jews and the Yemenite rabbonim who lived there lived a good neighborly life with the surrounding area. They deserve to be commemorated there. Baruch Hashem we are returning to live in the Yemenite village and the area is returning to its rightful owners. Anyone who lives there today works in the western part of the city and prefers Israeli sovereignty over the sovereignty of the Palestinian Authority”.
There is also opposition to the names, including Councilman Yossi Chavilov, who insists this is nothing less than poking the Arab majority of that area in the eye and there is absolutely no reason to name streets in that area after rabbonim. He is certain by doing so, it will ignite the area and lead to additional problems.
The committee which suggests names to the Naming Committee has also come out against the move, explaining it too feels the move will be viewed as a Jewish provocation to the Arab majority of that area.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)