The municipal council of Tel Aviv has rejected a proposal submitted by an Arab councillor from Jaffa to add the city’s name in Arabic to its new logo. Ahmed Masharawi submitted the proposal, saying that the proposed design ignores the significant Arab minority in the city. The municipality, however, said that 90 per cent of the city’s population are Jews and voted by a majority of fourteen to reject Masharawi’s suggestion.
Palestinian sources in Jaffa said that the rejection was “expected”, even though the inclusion of multilingual versions of city names on official signs and stationery is a policy adopted by all other so-called “mixed” cities.
The Mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai, expressed strong opposition to the proposal. He told Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper that the proposal was no more than an attempt to create political division and news headlines. “There is an absolute majority of Jews [in Tel Aviv],” he said. “There is no logic to add the words in Arabic; this wouldn’t happen in any place, in any country in the world. There are political reasons behind this proposal, which was submitted to create friction and nothing more than that.”
Commenting on the refusal, Masharawi said, “The municipality ignores Arab citizens. The mayor claims that he has been investing a lot of money in Jaffa in recent years to improve conditions but I believe that he and the members of the municipal council have failed the test, including their continued rejection of the Arabic language in the municipal logo, as they have done for over 63 years.”