Sa'ar: Name street for uprising leader, not me

Education Minister asks the city of Or Yehuda to dedicate street to Beitar commander in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

April 16, 2012 17:55
1 minute read.
Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar

Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar_311. (photo credit: Muki Schwartz)


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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 Monday.

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.

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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.”

Yosef immediately 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.

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