Junction near Knesset not yet named after Sara Netanyahu’s father

Decision comes too close to municipal elections, says legal advisor

Jerusalem city hall in Safra Square (photo credit: DANIEL BARÁNEK/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Jerusalem city hall in Safra Square
A Jerusalem City Council committee decided last week to name a junction close to the Knesset and the Prime Minister’s Office after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s late father-in-law, Prof. Shmuel Ben-Artzi.
But then, the city’s legal adviser Eli Malka ruled the decision illegal, because it is too close to the October 30 municipal election and outgoing mayor Nir Barkat froze the decision. A city spokesman said there would be another vote on the decision after the election, but he did not expect it to be changed.
The Polish-born Ben-Artzi, who died in 2011 at age 96, was a scholar and educator of Bible, literature and Hebrew. He wrote 12 books, including Your City Jerusalem: The City of David and the Consciousness of the Nation of Israel throughout the Generations (Hebrew).
He had four children, including Netanyahu’s wife, Sara. An interchange on Jerusalem’s Begin Highway was named after Netanyahu’s father, Prof. Benzion Netanyahu, four years ago.
The move to name the traffic circle after Ben-Artzi was balanced out by a decision by the municipal naming committee to name a street near the Knesset after opposition leader Tzipi Livni’s mother, Sara Livni. Both of Livni’s parents fought in the Irgun.
Streets in the capital will also be named after the late Bayit Yehudi minister Uri Orbach, the late bakery pioneer Danny Angel, and the late French Jewish leader Rabbi Yehuda Léon Ashkenazi.
The committee also decided to rename Rabbi Yosef Kafah Street “Rabbi Yosef and Bracha Kafah Street,” to honor Bracha Kafah, a socioeconomic activist who won the Israel Prize.
Antebi said she is happy that the committee was able to honor them and to give affirmative action to women and immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East. She said that while she would welcome Sara Netanyahu’s vote, she had nothing to gain by honoring her father.