Tel Aviv City Council clash over proposal to add Arabic name

Tempers flared over a proposal by Tel Aviv City Council member, Yuaf Goldring, to add the Arabic name of the city to the city seal.

The row began when Mayor Ron Huldai rejected the suggestion by Goldring , a member of the “City for all” movement, to add the city’s Arabic name to the Tel Aviv seal. Huldai, visibly angry, responded, “I don’t think that we need to change the city’s Hebrew seal to Arabic considering that only four percent of Tel Aviv’s residents speak Arabic.”

Goldring refused to back down, countering: “I don’t understand. Why should we add the English name and not the Arabic name? We are the city of Tel-Aviv–Jaffa, and we have citizens who speak Arabic. As long as the city’s name is written in English and Hebrew in the emblem, there is no reason for it not to be written in Arabic.”

Both Huldai and Goldring are Jewish Israelis.

Arab members of the city council were silent during the dispute.

Ahmed Mashrawi, a member of the Mirtes bloc, said after the meeting, “I was embarrassed by the mayor’s reaction, which wasn’t appropriate, especially since the Arabs were the original inhabitants of the city and we are talking about adding only one line to the seal.”

“Tel Aviv blossomed out of Jaffa,” he continued. “I will raise a legal challenge to force Tel Aviv to insert the city’s Arabic name into its seal.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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