The Jewish Daily Forward, August 4, 2015



In a wry, one-finger salute to the palace’s onetime British overlords, nearly all the streets in East Talpiot are named after Jews convicted and hanged as terrorists by the British before 1948.

[...] There were 12 of them: nine members of the Irgun and three from the Stern Group, or Lehi. Two were hanged for assassinating the British minister Lord Moyne in Cairo in 1945. One unsuccessfully attacked an Arab civilian bus in the Galilee in 1938. Three participated in the 1947 Acre prison break. The rest attacked British security personnel.

In addition to streets named for each individual, the neighborhood’s main drag bears the name by which they’re collectively remembered: Olei HaGardom, “those who ascended the gallows.” Dozens more cities around Israel have an Olei HaGardom Street. Many have streets named for the individual members, too.

Two other streets in East Talpiot are named for Shmuel Azar and Moshe Marzouk, Egyptian Jews hanged in Cairo in 1955 for bombing the American and British libraries. The operation, known as the Lavon Affair, was a bone-headed plot by Israeli military intelligence meant to sour Egypt’s ties with the West. [...]

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a habit of declaring that Palestinians name streets after terrorists and Israelis don’t, and that this is an essential difference between the two. It’s not true. Facts matter.