Sunday, June 30, 2013

  • Sunday, June 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Gulf News has an exclusive:
The Palestine Wildlife Society, a signatory of the International Convention for the Protection of Birds, has urged the Palestinian President and Prime Minister to approve and officially announce the Palestine Sunbird as the national bird of the state of Palestine after the failure of a major Israeli international campaign to change the name of the bird.

According to Ebrahim Fawzi Awdah, who heads the Awareness Department of the society, the organisation had caused the failure of a major Israeli campaign to change the name of the bird from the Palestine Sunbird to the Orange Bird. “The bird’s name contains the name of Palestine and that was the reason for it being the subject of a major Israeli campaign aiming to change the official bird’s name,” he told Gulf News.

“The Israeli campaign targeting this bird which holds the name of Palestine had reached all the world institutions and bodies.”

“Now we need for a Palestinian move to officially recognise the Palestine Sunbird as the national bird of Palestine,” he stressed.

He explained that the bird was registered with world bodies with this name and that Israel had not been able to change the name. “We have successfully halted the Israeli campaign and the bird’s name cannot be changed for the sake of an Israeli demand which is based on the Israeli hatred for the name of Palestine,” said Awdah.

He said Israel fights the Palestinians environmentally and in all aspects of life and the Israeli occupation handles the Palestinians brutally and aggressively. He highlighted the importance of the Palestinian presence on international bodies to confront the Israeli campaigns to fight the state of Palestine. “Israelis are the enemies of the Palestinian natural life and environment,” he said.

The Israelis have not been able to accomplish their goal and change the bird’s name with the international institutions,” he said. “We cannot however claim that we have won the confrontation unless the Palestinian Presidency and premiership approve and announce the bird as the national bird of Palestine,” he said. “Only then we will be victorious in our environmental confrontation with the Israelis.

Awdah said the Israelis would not give up their attempts to change the bird’s name but that there will be no chance for them to win.
Funny. I cannot find a single article, or webpage, about this supposed huge Israeli campaign to change the name of the bird.

If it was such a major international campaign, wouldn't someone have written about it?

I am trying to imagine the conversation as "Israel" approaches a world bird body:

"Hey, could you change the name of the Palestine Sunbird to 'Orange Bird?'"
"Um, why do you want us to do that?"
"Because we hate the word Palestine so we want to erase it from the world's consciousness."
"You do realize that the bird is blue, right?"
"Oh, sure. We just want to show how powerful we Zionists are by not only changing the name of the bird, but changing its color too!"

As far as Israeli hating animal names with the word "Palestine" in them, a quick trip to the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo finds that it lists in English the Palestine Gazelle and the Palestine Viper ("the most dangerous snake in Israel"). Why didn't they change the names there, where they have control over what to call these animals, if Israelis hate the word "Palestine" so much?

I suppose it is possible that some third grader wrote to some international organization, but I cannot find it plausible that there was any sort of Israeli campaign to change the name of the bird.

The projection given by Mr. Awdah in his description of Israelis is classic.

This great "victory" on the part of Palestine Wildlife Society seems to be on  par with the many BDS fake victories.

(h/t Ash)

UPDATE: The source for the rumor seems to be this - from Haaretz in 2007 (h/t Dorith)
The Palestine sunbird, a small songbird known in Hebrew as tzufit, was almost crowned the national bird, but its English name kept it out of the running.
So Israel's reluctance to name the tzufit its national bird has morphed into a crazed Zionist demand to rename the bird in English!

Now, just imagine if Israel did choose the tzufit - then the Arabs would be complaining that Israel is stealing their national heritage!

UPDATE 2: Correspondent  Stefano points me to the Encyclopedia of Life, which gives many names for this bird, indexed under "Northern Orange-tufted Sunbird."

He also notes that "there's absolutely no official body issuing a list of "official" English names for birds or any other animal or plant! There is indeed an "International Code of Zoological Nomenclature" and an "International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature" but if you just have a look at their wikipedia pages you'll see these rules apply only to the scientific, latinized, names and not to the "common" names. In fact the binomial name of the Palestine sunbird is Cinnyris osea, with no mention of Palestine in it, and no "need" to change if for some crazy reason you're bothered by this name.
Perhaps the best part of the Encyclopedia of Life entry is that the bird is given two names in Arabic, one trusted and the other untrusted. The untrusted name translates to "Palestine sunbird." The trusted name is (according to Google) "Arabic Tamir."


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