The latest Jerusalem cable-car controversy may have been sparked by the Mayor, Nir Barkat, who announced that the capital’s cable-car will have an additional station in Silwan, at the foot of the City of David.
By Yoel Domb
A new controversy may have been sparked in Jerusalem by Nir Barkat, who announced that the Jerusalem cable-car will have a station in Silwan. Barkat announced the decision in a Likud activists’ assembly and they were reported this morning by Haaretz reporter Nir Hasson.
The original plan for the cable-car called for four stations where it will pick up passengers, from the Khan theater near the old railway station via Upper Silwan to the Mount of Olives (near the Intercontinental hotel) and ending at Lion’s gate. But according to Barkat there will now be another station at the Pool of Shiloach (inside Silwan) which is at the foot of the City of David.
Barkat told activists “I want to allow both Jews and non-Jews to reenact this experience. Whoever wishes to immerse themselves and then go up to experience the Temple Mount’s holiness, whoever will do this knows exactly who the boss is in this city. When people come and experience this, even ardent left-wingers get confused because they realize that this is genuine and that our . We need to create transportation which will enable people to undergo this experience.”
“The cable-car will enable people to reach the Old City without a car or a bus. What you see today is not the way Jerusalem will look in the future. Tomorrow I want to bring ten million tourists to these places, but without an infrastructure of trains, cable-cars, a fast train (to Tel Aviv), hotels, et cetera, we will not be able to enjoy this unique experience. In order to bring people from around the world, in order to understand who the real boss is in this city, we need to create infrastructure.”
The anti-Zionist Eda Haredit organization has in the past expressed opposition to establishing a cable-car which will pass the Kotel. Broadening the planned route to include the City of David may also arouse the opposition of eastern Jerusalem’s Arab residents.
The municipality responded to criticism of the plan, saying “In order to fulfill the mayor’s vision of a cable-car system which will connect all of the relevant holy sites of the three religions in and around the Old City, there is a group of professionals who are developing a plan. When it is completed it will, of course, be considered by all of the relevant committees. The cable-car project is part of a comprehensive transportation project which will include light rail lines and other mass transportation options which will enable quick, efficient, and safe access to the sites which attract millions of visitors yearly.”
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