Lion announcing the name change
Lion announcing the name change Credit: Hezki Baruch

Following Jerusalem mayor Moshe Lion's announcement last week that the name of the Har Nof neighborhood will be changed to Na'ot Yosef after Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, neighborhood residents are fighting against the name change, according to a Kikar Hashabat report.

Close to 2,000 people signed an Internet petition which stated: "We, the residents of Har Nof and all residents of Jerusalem who don't wish to get up in the morning and find out the the name of their neighborhood was changed without their knowledge or opinion - express absolute opposition to the process through which Mayor Moshe Lion decided - without prior knowledge, without discussion with the residents of the neighborhood and without allowing the residents to express their opinion on the matter - to change the name of the neighborhood."

"This is a significant process that influences all the residents of the neighborhood and their feelings cannot be forced without allowing the residents to express their opinions in an orderly meeting with prior notice."

"The name of the city is not a 'gift' which the mayor can hand out according to the wishes of a few individuals. The whole process of changing the name of a neighborhood needs to be done in partnership with all its residents, through allowing the option of expressing their opinions in an open and democratic referendum as has been done in other cities."

However, according to the Kikar Hashabat report, senior municipality officials were not impressed by the claims of the neighborhood residents, saying that the neighborhood isn't named after anyone who would be harmed by the name change. Additionally, Har Nof's name has little significance and the new name would carry great significance.