J'lem rejects naming street for professor Leibowitz

The late Yeshayahu Leibowitz once compared IDF soldiers to the Nazis.

Yeshayahu Leibowitz 88 (photo credit: )
Yeshayahu Leibowitz 88
(photo credit: )
For the third time in the last four years, the Jerusalem Municipality has rejected a proposal to name a city street after a controversial Hebrew University philosopher and scientist who compared IDF soldiers to the Nazis. The proposal to name a city street after the late Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz was nixed by the city's names committee late Monday by a vote of 10-5. The Riga-born Leibowitz, who lived in Jerusalem for six decades, died in 1994. Leibowitz, who taught chemistry, physiology and history and philosophy of science at the Hebrew University and was also an executive editor of the Hebrew Encyclopedia, became a vehement critic of Israeli policy after the 1967 Six Day War. He was one of the first Israelis to demand that Israel withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. His outspoken opinions against government policy ostracized him from mainstream Israeli society. He was also reviled by haredim after comparing the Western Wall to a discotheque. A previous proposal to name a city street for the controversial professor was nixed just last year, as was an earlier attempt under the tenure of former Jerusalem mayor Ehud Olmert. Jerusalem Municipality spokesman Gidi Schmerling said Tuesday that hundreds of names are proposed each year for new city streets and only a select few are accepted due to the dearth of new streets in the city.