Take the Peres to Tel Aviv? Major freeway may be renamed for late leader
search

Take the Peres to Tel Aviv? Major freeway may be renamed for late leader

Transportation minister says he will discuss proposal to rename Ayalon Highway with late former president’s family after mourning period

Illustrative: A long exposure photograph of traffic on the Ayalon Highway through Tel Aviv, December 19, 2015. (Esther Rubyan/Flash 90)
Illustrative: A long exposure photograph of traffic on the Ayalon Highway through Tel Aviv, December 19, 2015. (Esther Rubyan/Flash 90)

Tel Aviv’s Ayalon Highway, one of the country’s most well-traveled roads, may soon be named for late former president Shimon Peres, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said Sunday.

Katz said he was already weighing the possibility of naming the Ayalon — a major route that runs through the country’s financial and cultural hub — after the elder statesman who died last week. The proposal was put forward by Peres’s family, according to Walla news.

Peres, who served in almost every high office in the Israeli government over his many decades in public life, passed away Wednesday at the age of 93 and was laid to rest Friday in a state funeral attended by dignitaries from around the globe.

“When the shiva is over,” Katz said, referring to the traditional Jewish week of mourning for the deceased, “I arranged to sit with the family and together weigh all the options, including this one.”

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz arrives at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on September 4, 2016 (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz arrives at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on September 4, 2016 (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Katz noted that Peres served as transportation minister and was instrumental in getting the Ayalon built.

The highway runs from Rishon Letzion at its southern end to Herzliya, skirting Tel Aviv’s east side and serving hundreds of thousands of commuters on any given day.

The freeway is currently named for the Ayalon River, much of which was covered up by the highway.

After Peres’s death, a popular meme online suggested naming the freeway for him as it connected the Haganah (defense), Hashalom (peace) and University train stations, representing Peres’s three major contributions to Israeli society.

The mayor of Givatayim, a Tel Aviv suburb which abuts the Ayalon highway, also reportedly proposed naming the city’s main thoroughfare after the president.

Since Hashalom Street intersects with the Ayalon, naming both after the president would cause no small confusion.

Shimon Peres speaking during an interview in the president’s residence in Jerusalem, April 10, 2013. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images/JTA)
Shimon Peres speaking during an interview in the president’s residence in Jerusalem, April 10, 2013. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images/JTA)

Israel traditionally honors major roads by naming them after political leaders after their death. Route 6, or the Trans-Israel Highway — which runs from the Galilee in the north to Beersheba down south — is officially dedicated as the Yitzhak Rabin Highway, after the late former prime minister who worked with Peres on the Oslo Accords. And Highway 50 in Jerusalem is named after another late prime minister, Menachem Begin.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments