Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar asked the city of Or Yehuda not to name a street
after him and dedicate it instead to the Betar commander in the Warsaw Ghetto,
after Mayor David Yosef announced plans to honor the minister on
Yosef said on Monday morning that he would name a street after
Sa’ar, three weeks after he gave Or Yehuda the National Education Award, the
Education Ministry’s most prestigious honor.
Sa’ar immediately told Yosef
that, while he appreciates the gesture, street names are customarily given to
national heroes who have passed away.
The education minister suggested
that in the days before Holocaust Remembrance Day, the street should be named
after Pavel Frankel, leader of the Betar revolt in the Warsaw Ghetto. Frankel
was killed at age 23 in the 1943 uprising.
Last month, Sa’ar attended the
dedication of a plaque in Frankel’s honor in Warsaw, saying that the ceremony
“represents the mending of the historical tragedy of Pavel Frankel and his
brothers in arms in the Jewish army, who fell in battle and whose story had not
been told for many years. They did not receive the proper recognition they
deserve for their part in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.”
agreed to Sa’ar’s request, lauding the education minister’s modesty in turning
down the honor.
The Or Yehuda mayor has come under fire for his choice of
street names in the past, such as when he chose to bestow the honor on former
IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi earlier this year. The street was dedicated
the day after State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss criticized Ashkenazi’s
conduct in the Harpaz Affair.
Another politician who had a street named
after him while he is still alive is President Shimon Peres. Peres Street can be
found in Rishon Lezion, in a neighborhood whose streets are named after Israeli
Nobel laureates.Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.