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

Palestinian children at a school near Haifa.

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.