Palestinian babies not included on Israel gov’t list of most popular names

Israel/Palestine
on 41 Comments

On Sunday, the Israeli Population and Immigration Authority declared that during the past year the most popular male names given children were Yosef, followed by Daniel and Ori.  The top female names were Tamar, Noa and Shira.  This was reported in the English edition of the Ha’aretz news website.

What neither the English article nor the government announcement mentioned was that Arabic names were excluded from the survey.

However, in the Hebrew language edition of the Ha’aretz website, an article about the subject is titled, “The most common name was censored from the list of popular names.” Ha’aretz reports:

On the occasion of the New Year, the Population and Immigration Authority published a list of the most common names given during the past year to children in Israel, however, Arabic names were excluded from the list.  The announcement, which was published today (Sunday), listed the 10 most popular names for boys and girls under the title, “The most popular names for babies given this year.”  The announcement did not include a note stating that the list is for the Jewish population only.  According to the announcement, Yosef was the most popular name for boys, followed by Daniel, Ori, Etai, Adam, Noam, Ariel, Eitan, and David.  Ha’aretz found that if one surveys the total Israeli population, the most popular name this year was, of course, Mohammed, however, that name was dropped from the announcement of the Population and Immigration Authority. [trans. IG]

The Israeli government loudly and frequently proclaims that Palestinians living in the Jewish state are Israeli citizens with full rights and privileges, although the reality is quite different.  Not including Arabic names here is just one small example of how the authorities ignore and neglect their Palestinian population.

Update:  Ha’aretz now has an English article about the Arabic names that were not included. And Jonathan Cook is on the story.

About Ira Glunts

Ira Glunts is a retired college librarian who lives in Madison, NY. His twitter handle is @abushalom

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41 Responses

  1. Kay24
    September 22, 2014, 11:19 am

    What do you expect from an apartheid nation? Non Jewish names are not considered. Arabs are not recognized nor do they exist.

  2. seafoid
    September 22, 2014, 11:31 am

    I think I know why. Mohammed is the most popular boys’ name amongst Muslims and ven in a country like the UK with a small Muslim population it comes in the top 20. It would probably be top 5 in Israel given that Jews are likely to choose from a wider range of names (Ari, Whiney, Needy, Sleepy, Dopey, Yossi etc )

    • seafoid
      September 22, 2014, 11:32 am

      It would SO embarrassing for the most popular name for a boy in Eretz Israel Hashlemah to be Muslim since Muslims do not count as fully human under rabbinic law.

      • Shmuel
        September 22, 2014, 11:37 am

        Muslims do not count as fully human under rabbinic law.

        Neither relevant nor true.

      • seafoid
        September 22, 2014, 4:35 pm

        De facto if not de jure, Shmuel.

        There is no quality control in that area in Israel.
        Any rabbi can say whatever he wants to the Yediot Idiot or to the soldiers as they prepare to go into Gaza.

        It’s very like Israel’s attitude to international law.

      • Shmuel
        September 22, 2014, 4:43 pm

        De facto if not de jure,

        De facto, Israel has no need of rabbis to dehumanise Palestinians, Arabs or Muslims. The secular-dominated state has done just fine on that score. If anything, rabbis spouting rabbinic law to suit their fascist beliefs are actually latecomers to the dehumanisation game, and just the garish window dressing.

      • bilal a
        September 23, 2014, 9:29 am

        yes not fully of our concern:

        Jeffrey Goldberg ‏@JeffreyGoldberg 11h
        Say a prayer for the Westerners held hostage by ISIS.

        Maytha Alhassen ‏@mayalhassen 11h
        but not Syrians or Iraqis bc who cares about their subhuman lives? “@JeffreyGoldberg: Say a prayer for the Westerners held hostage by ISIS.”

        Nu’man El-Bakri ‏@numanelbakri 10h
        @JeffreyGoldberg @mayalhassen Tell that to all those Palestinian prisoners you tortured in jail. They’ll appreciate the irony.

        TheRealJohnSeal ‏@TheRealJohnSeal 10h
        @JeffreyGoldberg Was that before or after you served as a concentration camp guard? @mayalhassen

        https://twitter.com/jeffreygoldberg/status/514245179306704897

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      September 22, 2014, 2:45 pm

      ”Jews are likely to choose from a wider range of names (Ari, Whiney, Needy, Sleepy, Dopey, Yossi etc ) ”

      Given that we often deal with such heavy and depressing subject matter here, can I just say I appreciate your ability to make me laugh out loud!

    • just
      September 22, 2014, 3:00 pm

      omg seafoid! you totally cracked me up with that list of names– sidesplitting, teary-eyed LOL.

      • just
        September 22, 2014, 3:09 pm

        Wonder if any folks in the area name their sons Jesus… it’s pretty popular among some people. So is Christian…

      • SQ Debris
        September 23, 2014, 2:15 pm

        Just, lots of people there name their sons Jesus, but they spell it Esau.

      • adele
        September 27, 2014, 7:15 pm

        I think you mean Issa (Arabic for Jesus). Esau is a son of Isaac.

  3. amigo
    September 22, 2014, 11:38 am

    So , the way I see it, it,s just fine and dandy if goyim use Hebrew names –David –eg , but heavens forbid if an Israeli Jew gives an Arabic name to their child .

    Mohammed Netanyahu has a nice ring to it or how about Khaled Disraeli.Could have a lot of fun with that.

    BTW , does the Israeli mail service deliver mail to anyone called Mohammed.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/encounter-post-office.

    Lets play , pretend there are no Palestinians.We will all feel much more secure .

    • Kay24
      September 22, 2014, 2:11 pm

      Yes, and if those Palestinians did not exist, all those lands would not be illegal! It would be ALL ours.

      • amigo
        September 22, 2014, 2:55 pm

        Nothing new or recent about this mentality!.

        “After the depopulation, an Israeli member of the MAPAI secretariat remarked in 1949: “The landscape is also more beautiful. I enjoy it, especially when travelling between Haifa and Tel Aviv, and there is not a single Arab to be seen.”

        http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/05/2012513125011309135.html

        It survives to this day in the minds of the Ivris and mayhem and gene schaes et al racist land thieves and colonialist supremacists.

  4. Fritz
    September 22, 2014, 11:39 am

    Haaretz: “Psst! The most popular boy’s name in Israel in 5774 was really Mohammed”. Lol!

  5. John O
    September 22, 2014, 12:41 pm

    I’ve posted this link before but, sadly, it’s now relevant in a new context:

    http://andotherpoems.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/a-poem-by-michael-rosen/

  6. David Samel
    September 22, 2014, 2:02 pm

    Not including Arabic names here is just one small example of how the authorities ignore and neglect their Palestinian population.
    Absolutely right, Ira. It is small, in comparison to the state-sponsored discrimination in housing, employment, education, etc., but I’m glad you deemed it worth discussing. It is by no means trivial, as it is just one of the innumerable little discriminations – the Jewish star flag, the national anthem referring to the Jewish spirit’s yearning, – that are a inherent and inseparable parts of the notion of a Jewish State. Each of these things are big enough to be considered intolerable if proposed in the US in favor of any ethnic group.

    • Shmuel
      September 22, 2014, 2:31 pm

      t is by no means trivial

      It is an integral part of the mindset that allows police (see Oct. 2000) to open fire on the country’s own citizens, as if they were an external enemy.

  7. hophmi
    September 22, 2014, 5:36 pm

    Population, Immigration and Border Authority spokesman Sabine Hadad said, “The statistics published were the statistics requested during the past few years by everyone who contacted us to obtain this information, and for that reason the list relating to the most popular Hebrew names was issued. Contrary to the assumptions of the Haaretz newspaper, there is no plot to deliberately hide information. As proof, when your reporter asked to receive the complete list, it was given to him within a few minutes.”

    • just
      September 22, 2014, 5:50 pm

      uh huh.

    • Shmuel
      September 22, 2014, 5:54 pm

      I must have missed this intro to the published stats: “In light of numerous requests for the most popular Hebrew names this past year, the Authority has decided to issue the following information …”

      Contrary to the assumptions of the Haaretz newspaper, there is no plot to deliberately hide information

      No, not a deliberate plot; just complete disregard for 20% of the country’s population, not considered part of society. I’m sure the idea of publishing obviously Arab names never even occurred to anyone at the Authority. Frankly, with all those “inflitrators” to lock up and deport (the reason the Authority was created in the first place), who has the time for such trivial matters?

    • tree
      September 22, 2014, 6:38 pm

      Of course she was proven to be a liar by the fact that, according to Haaretz, where you lifted this quote,

      The authority circulated a list with the 10 most popular names for boys and for girls under the heading, “The most common names among babies born this year” – referring to the Jewish year 5774 – but neglected to mention that the list only included Hebrew names.

      So the Authority either purposely mislabeled the list or purposely eliminated obvious Arabic baby names from the list, which seems to be the more likely case, since the reason that Yosef was the most popular baby names was because it is spelled the same way in Hebrew and in Arabic, and thus was included in the list.

      Moreover, the ranking for Yosef – which was in fact the second most commonly given name – also includes Arab babies named Yusef, which in Hebrew is spelled the same way.

      It turns out that the population authority only omitted clearly Arab names like Mohammed and Ahmed – which would have been the ninth most common name, had it been included.
      ……

      The authority put out a similar list last year, also without citing the fact that it included only Hebrew names, and nor did it issue a separate list relating to the Arab population. By contrast, the data issued annually by the Central Bureau of Statistics contains three separate lists of the most commonly given names – for Jews, Muslims and Christians.

  8. a blah chick
    September 22, 2014, 9:36 pm

    I’m sure hasbarists will spin this to show that Palestinian parents lack imagination.

  9. piotr
    September 22, 2014, 9:49 pm

    It reminds me a time when there was an incorrect finalist in a competition on Biblical knowledge for Israeli children from elementary school. It was a girl that was “Messianic Jew”, who in USA are known as “Jews for Christ”. There were many voices that she should not be allowed to compete. (A Haaretz story from the time before the pay wall).

  10. Palikari
    September 22, 2014, 10:08 pm

    What’s wrong with that? Relax guys, this is just a list of names. Take it easy.

    • chocopie
      September 23, 2014, 12:38 am

      It’s just a list of names, take it easy. Why so uptight, it’s just a few trees, an olive grove, there are plenty more. Wait, why are you so mad, it’s only a house, an old stone house, several of them, okay a village, what’s the big deal, there are plenty more villages. A mosque, a church, a cemetery, what’s wrong with that. Relax, it was only a few people and some of them were bad guys and the others were their children. Children, there are schools and playgrounds full of them, what’s a few children. Children, just a list of their names, take it easy. Just some names, read them, these are the names of our children. When you read the list you will know the names of our children so what is wrong with that?

    • Marnie
      September 23, 2014, 3:35 am

      “It’s just a list of names. Take it easy.”

      Explain why please. Are you aware of something much worse coming down the pike? There’s no end to the dehumanization of the very human population of Palestinians. In your twisted logic, this is nothing because we can do so much worse, right? Okay. Remember the good old days – It’s nothing Jewboy, you just can’t sit here anymore; take it easy – just don’t shop there anymore; hey – no problem, you really don’t like your neighborhood anyway do you; you really didn’t love your children, wife, mother, father, brother, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles……………………………………….
      You can’t be part of any discussion that doesn’t shower the zionist enterprise with praise and undying alligience can you. Stick with arutz sheva would you? You’ll really feel the love (hate) there.

    • Shmuel
      September 23, 2014, 3:41 am

      Relax guys, this is just a list of names.

      So is this: http://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20140721_children_killed_in_gaza_have_names

      But it got banned anyway (a decision upheld by the High Court).

    • Talkback
      September 23, 2014, 8:20 am

      Yeah relax guys, it’ just discriminating. Palikari is also totally relaxed, if Jews are discriminated. He’s totally cool about discrimination.

  11. Another Steve
    September 23, 2014, 2:04 am

    the most popular name this year was, of course, Mohammed

    I like the way they say, “of course.” I’ve read that worldwide, Mohammed is the most popular given name.

    Also true in England and Wales (which has a lower proportion of Muslims than Israel) when you account for variant spellings:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2725724/How-Muhammad-popular-baby-boys-England-Wales-doesn-t-official-list-ways-spell-it.html

  12. hophmi
    September 23, 2014, 8:23 am

    What are the top ten Hebrew names in Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon? Do they publish a list?

    • justicewillprevail
      September 23, 2014, 8:37 am

      And your point is….oh, never mind. The straws you clutch are paper thin. Irrelevant and stupid.

    • Elliot
      September 23, 2014, 9:20 am

      hophmi –
      Does the U.S., Britain or France publish a list of their top 10 Hebrew names? They each have far more Hebrew names than the red herring you tried to drag into the conversation.
      Only Israel both discriminates in favor of the Jews and then pretends it doesn’t.

    • eGuard
      September 23, 2014, 9:29 am

      Ask Mossad. Why would these countries publish a segregated list?

    • amigo
      September 23, 2014, 10:44 am

      What are the top ten Hebrew names in Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon? Do they publish a list? hopknee

      What is the most popular Arab name in the “Jews only ” illegal squats.

      No need to publish a list , eh hopknee.

    • just
      September 23, 2014, 11:46 am

      I bet Daud, Dawood, Daoud, or David are near the top of the list.

      Yusuf, Jusuf, Yousof, Yossef, Yousaf, Youcef, Yousef, Youssef, Yousif, Youssif, Yosef too.

    • eljay
      September 23, 2014, 12:57 pm

      >> hophmi: What are the top ten Hebrew names in Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon? Do they publish a list?

      Haaretz’s English article was titled “Yosef, Tamar are most popular Israeli baby names of 5774”. Israeli names, not Hebrew names.

      If Syria, Egypt and Lebanon were to publish lists of top ten Syrian, Egyptian and Lebanese names, respectively, and include only Arab names, you would have a point.

      But, as usual, you don’t.

      • eljay
        September 23, 2014, 1:22 pm

        BTW, I like how you’re keeping things fresh by switching up the names of the countries you use for “moral beacon” inspiration.

      • just
        September 23, 2014, 1:34 pm

        it is wonderfully refreshing, eljay!

  13. amigo
    September 23, 2014, 1:01 pm

    Anyone ask what is the most popular girls name in the state of Israel, that includes all the citizens.

    I am thinking of asking my gov to put out a list of the most popular babies names in Ireland but to omit all Hebrew names.I might also ask them to delete those names from the telephone book and the who is who of Irish society.

    Dont forget palikari , it,s just a about a few names.Relax.

    Any problems , hopknee.You can always ask for the complete list later.They will be happy to give it to within a few minutes.Relax.

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