Leibowitz repeatedly attacked the IDF's behavior on the West Bank and strongly opposed Israel's right-of-center governments, calling Jewish West Bank settlers “Judeo-Nazis.” But what really blocked naming a street after Leibowitz for the 19 years since his death was the Sefardi haredi political party Shas, which hates Leibowitz because of remarks he made about the spiritual head of Shas, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
The Jerusalem municipality finally agreed to name a street after the renowned intellectual, philosopher and scientist Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz Thursday, ending years of council strife over the matter.
The municipality also decided to officially honor rightist American business magnate Sheldon Adelson, who is a close supporter and friend of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Councillor Meir Margalit (Meretz) said the two proposals were adopted as a sort of package deal, in which each political faction could boast an achievement. Most rightist council members abstained in the vote, while Shas members voted against the move, due to Leibowitz’s criticism of its spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
Leibowitz, who was an Orthodox Jew, never hesitated to speak out against the occupation and the settlements. Time and again since his passing in 1994, proposals were raised to honor his memory by naming a street after him. However, they were repeatedly shot down by rightist and ultra-Orthodox council members, who protested against the scholar’s controversial utterances denouncing the Israel Defense Forces and the occupation.…