What’s the difference between Nazareth Illit and the Arab city of Nazareth? Now, Israelis and tourists will have an easier time differentiating.
Some 62 years after the establishment of Nazareth Illit, it is changing its name and will soon be called Nof Hagalil (literally the Galilee view).
The city established a public committee of 21 people ranging in age and religion to choose the new name. It was headed by Municipal Directorate Hava Bachar. Community members sent in name ideas, which were then vetted first by Bachar and then by the committee. The committee was asked to select a name that reflected the fact that Nazareth Illit is the largest central city in the Galilee and that referenced its geographic height and landscape.
According to the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth, some 200 names advanced to the finals.
After the committee selected the final name, it had to go to the Prime Minister’s office for approval. Finally, it will need authorization from the Ministry of the Interior.
“Nazareth is the largest Arab city in Israel, and Upper Nazareth is the largest Jewish city in the Galilee,
“We live in an excellent neighborhood, but we are dealing with separate authorities with a completely different identity and character,” said Nazareth Illit Mayor Ronen Plot to Yediot. "If after 62 years, Israelis have still not grasped the difference, there is no alternative but to change the name and give it a name that distinguishes it from Nazareth.”