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Friday, September 25, 2020 

Haredis in Beit Shemesh don't want streets named after important women, but compromise on last names

The Haredi councilmen in the Beit Shemesh city hall have a problem with naming streets after women, but compromised. That doesn't mean what they did isn't cause for offense, and here's why:
Beit Shemesh lawmakers convened on Wednesday to name streets in the city's new Neveh Shamir neighborhood and decided that streets dedicated to prominent female figures in Israeli and Zionist history, such as Sarah Aaronsohn and Anne Frank, will only be referred to by their last names, to appease the area's ultra-Orthodox residents.

Based on the original planning, the streets in the new neighborhood were supposed to be dedicated to ultra-Orthodox individuals, but that was later changed to prominent Zionist figures, men and women alike.

In a compromise with the city's Haredi councilmen, who hold a majority in the municipality's street-naming committee, it was decided that no first names would appear on any street signs. The full names will, however, appear in smaller print at the bottom of the street sign.
Opposing the naming of a street after a figure as important as Anne Frank, who perished in the Holocaust, is colossally perverse, and the notion they would oppose even her first name on a signpost is still obscene. If the first names will appear, that's good, but putting them only in small print is still wrong, and belittles Anne's memory and history. This should decidedly be contested in court.

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