Israeli war against Palestinian names

Researcher urges youth awareness in Israeli war against Palestinian names

Contributed by Anonymous (Thank you, Kindly use a name)

ImageJerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh – In an East Jerusalem neighborhood children were telling each other how they spent last Friday. One of them, 13 year old Ahmed, said that he went on a picnic with his family to “Tielt.” He also said that he witnessed an auto accident at a “Ramzor.” The boy caught my attention by the way he pronounced his words.

“Tielt” is the Israeli take on “Be’er Al-Safafi,” and “Ramzor” is the Hebrew word traffic light.

When I asked him whether he knew what “Tielt” meant he said that he did not. I was not surprised by his ignorance, but what really astonished me is Ahmed’s belief that this area had always been Israeli, and never Palestinian, and that “Tielt” was its original name.

As many residents will tell you, Israel fights the Arab existence in Jerusalem on a daily basis. One way in which they do this is by the war of idioms; this hidden war involves the blurring of Arabic influences of Jerusalemite neighborhoods and streets, by replacing them with Hebrew names and idioms, spreading them through the young generations.

In an interview, Hayel Sanduqa, the researcher of colonial affairs in Jerusalem, had this to say about changing the names of Arabic areas and streets: “This is an old yet new policy which the municipality of Jerusalem follows to Judaize the city and monopolize its estates either by changing the names of the streets by building synagogues in any area, or by excavating works.” He added: “Israel aims to have a religious and historical right in Jerusalem and justifies and legitimates these Judaizing operations, thus faking history in an obvious way.”

He went on to say, ” Israel always muddles up religion with politics, and gives the areas and politics a religious sense, for example naming them after prophet Jacob, and by using the star of David the prophet.”
Sanduqa stressed that the Israeli occupation is succeeding to spread its language and culture by imposing its idioms so that they will be dominant all over the country.

Sanduqa is astonished by the usage of these idioms by educated Jerusalemites, who are now using Hebrew words to express daily life: there are some words stemming from Hebrew and used in Arabic, and became commonly used among the educated like “Mahsom = Checkpoint,” “Ramzor = Traffic light,” and, “Mzgan = Air Conditioner.” These words are being passed on to a new generation, without explanation, to be thought of as Arabic with Arabic meanings.

Sanduqa added, “There lots of Arabic quarters, of which the names have been replaced on maps, signs, and addresses, like “Share’ Al-Wad” in the old city to “Hahay,” “Share’ Khan Al-Zeit” to “Habad,” “Bab Al-Saihra wa Al-Hai” to “Herodos,” “Karam Al-Ja’auni” to “The Grave of Friend Shamo’on,” “Jooret Al-Niqa’ ” in Shaikh Jarrah to “Akbanip of Haron’s Mother,” “Silwan” to “Kfar Hashloh,” “Der Ayyoub” to “Kfar Hemnim,” “Wadi Hilwe” to “Ma’ali Eer David,” “Wadi Al-Rababa” to “Gay Benhebo’om,” “Wad Sitna Mariam” to “Wadi Qadrun,” the Center quarter of Silwan to ” Eer David,” “E’en Silwan” to “Hazik Yaho,” “Hai Al-Farouq” in Jabal Al-Mokabber to “Nof Litzion,” “Jabal Al-Zeitoun” (Mount of Olives) to “Mesabri Tsurim,” and “Karm Ayyash” in Ras Al-A’moud to “Ma’ali Zatim.”

Sanduqa blames the Palestinian leadership which does not “support the city of Jerusalem, and there isn’t a consistent attitude towards Judaism and colonialism. The authorities must set a clear plan to eliminate the changing of Arabic names and increase the awareness of the youth through educational institutions and organizations and youth clubs, instead of dealing with it in a shallow and individual way. They should have a better and deeper insight to it.”

He added, “Jerusalem doesn’t need to be running after these positions, but it needs effective schemes to protect them.”
Sanduqa turns to the youth and the upcoming generation, and says, “I call on every Jerusalemite youth to preserve their own affiliation and their own belief, and we will use them to deal with this.”

He also urges them “not to surrender or lose hope, and they should resist, be proud, and unite against Judaization, reject the changing and replacing of Arabic names, and ignore the Hebrew names.”

Sanduqa said, “If we wanted to go further than that, we would have all streets of West Jerusalem, like “Al-Qatamoun,” “Al-Baqa’a,” “and “Talbyout,” in addition to other names of Palestinian towns and villages like “Deir Yassin” (Geba’at Sha’oul), “‘Asqalan” (Ashkalon), and many others preserved.”

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