“I check Google and I discover that it offers me the entry Al-Mas’udiya, Tel Aviv, Israel,” writes Oare Gat on her Facebook page, referring to the growing phenomenon, begun a few years ago by anti-Israel Arab users, to refer to Israel’s largest city, indeed, the first universally recognized Hebrew city, established in 1909, by the name “Al-Mas’udiya near Jaffa.”
Most Internet search engines and social networks base their preferences on the number of clicks any item receives. The more something gets clicked, the higher up it would appear. Back in 2003, gay activists were among the first to utilize this functionality to punish then Republican Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum for his staunch anti-gay stance, and started pushing online references to his name as a nickname for an extremely disgusting substance. As the trick was catching on, the number of clicks on the vulgar definition of Santorum increased, and, inevitably, those articles drowned out any normative reference to the US Senate’s third-ranking Republican.
This is how references to Al-Mas’udiya as a substitute for Tel Aviv began to grow, and are already influencing the mindless robots that really rule the Internet.
One website offers “holiday apartments in Al Mas’udiya,” with a very busy map of Tel Aviv. And there’s the weather report for Israel / Mehoz Tel Aviv (Tel Aviv district) / Al Mas‘udiya. How about a “Nice apartment in the heart of Tel-Aviv” which offers a “private room (7m²). Ha-Kalir Street, Al Mas`udiya, Israel“?
According to Wikipedia in English, Al-Mas’udiya was an Arab village in the Jaffa Subdistrict, which was “depopulated during the 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine on December 25, 1947.” The short entry says “it was located 5 km northeast of Jaffa, situated 1.5 km south of the al-‘Awja River (that’s the Yarkon river to you and me). The village used to be known as Summayel. In 1945, the village had a population of 850. Al-Mas’udiya had an elementary school for boys founded in 1931, and in 1945 it had 31 students.”
The Wikipedia Hebrew version is a great deal more informative, notes that Summayel or Al-Mas’udiya was comprised of Egyptian agricultural laborers and Sinai Bedouins who settled there in the 1930s. The village included 72 buildings and 850 residents. Some of the village lands were owned by Jews, who grew oranges there, likely employing the Arab villagers. Starting in 1947, reading the writing on the wall, some Arab residents sold or rented their homes to Jews, and by 1948 had all fled the area, which was settled by Jewish olim.
But anti-Israeli propaganda has run with that tiny football, transforming that fleeting real estate episode in the history of the largest city on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean into a formerly Arab place, also stolen by the Zionists. And, should those logarithms would be left to their own designs, sooner or later Al-Mas’udiya would gain legitimacy, much like other fake substitutes for genuine Jewish city names, such as Al Quds for Jerusalem.
Currently, the term “al mas`udiya” yields About 294,000 results on Google, including, appropriately enough, gay listings for Al-Mas’udiya.