Israel OKs plan for uniform spellings of community names


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s government approved a plan providing a uniform formula for the spelling of the names of communities and other sites throughout the country.

The uniform spellings will appear on maps and road signs, in textbooks and guidebooks, and in all other official publications, according to the plan approved Sunday.

The spelling of interchanges, junctions and historic sites also will be made uniform.

The new rules will be determined in accordance with the official map index formulated by the Government Names Committee and designed to create uniform spelling rules that have not been changed since 1957, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Arab lawmakers have objected to the plan after Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said he would change the Arabic names of mixed communities to a Hebrew transcription. For example, the Arabs’ name for Jerusalem, Al-Quds, would be changed to Yerushalayim spelled in Arabic letters.

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