If you know anything about Israel, and also regularly read Mondoweiss, you get a reasonably good feel for their lack of accuracy and credibility, but this item stood out for its outlandishness. Anway, a while later Twitter told me to read this item, in which you can see a picture of Mayor Nir Barkat participating in a small ceremony at which a street is named after Umm Kulthum, hardly a Zionist name. So I sent off a tweet to the Mondoweiss account wondering if they'd like to comment, but they didn't.
Yesterday I was busying myself sending off greetings to some Muslim (and Palestinian) friends for their Id el-Adha holiday, which starts this evening. One of them is an activist in East Jerusalem, and it occured to me to ask him about the conflicting stories. His response was illuminating:
- Well, Yaacov, since I was on the committe in our neighborhood which was to choose the names, of course I can tell you about it. We chose names from the Muslim tradition and history, as well as names of important places and so on. I can say that the list was accepted in its entirety, and there was no pressure whatsoever to change anything.
- I'm glad to hear it. Care to tell me what's the name of the street you live on, and the street your business is on? [Since I've been there it would put a name to a place, so to speak].
- My street is named after Ghazali, and the second street is called Medina street, after the city in Saudi Arabia where Mohammed is buried.As a life-long resident of Jerusalem, I'm proud we've now got a street named after Ghazali; the idea that there's a Medina street in jerusalem tickles me no end.