Want to know the real reason why some people are objecting to this unbelievably cool idea? Read on.
The following plan to link Jerusalem’s First Station, a beautiful redevelopment with restaurants and entertainment and a large parking lot, to the Dung Gate, the nearest point of access to the Kotel (Western Wall) by a stunning cable car is being pushed through I hope. Watch the video then we’ll look at how Ha’aretz covers this.
Here’s how Ha’aretz describes it:
The Jerusalem Development Authority is presenting the 200-million shekel ($57 million) project as a means of solving the snarled traffic around the Old City. The first phase calls for three stops: near the old train station, at the Mount Zion parking lot and on the roof of the Kedem Center, the planned visitor center at the City of David. According to the plan, each car along the 1.4-kilometer line will be able to carry up to 10 passengers, and 73 cars will operate simultaneously for a total capacity of 3,000 passengers per hour at peak times.
The system will be automatic – a car will leave every 15 to 20 minutes whether or not there are passengers. The cars will travel at 21 kilometers per hour, making the trip in less than five minutes.
The cable car will require construction of 15 large concrete pylons, the tallest of which will be 26 meters high.
Ha’aretz makes a glaring mistake “a car will leave every 15 to 20 minutes” should be every 15 to 20 SECONDS as anyone who’s ever been skiing would know (and basic maths).
This is a standard 10 person ski lift moving continuously and it is exactly what is needed for this setting. At each station a moving platform matches the speed of the cars so you have 20 to 30 seconds to get in then they accelerate out of the station. Here’s a video of something similar. It will be amazing. And yes, it will be one of the great tourist attractions of the world.
Unfortunately there are some busy bodies who don’t like this but their real reason for objection is down played:
In addition to the political problems foreseen due to major objections from the Palestinians and the international community, the cable car is expected to run afoul of landscape preservationists and activists concerned about its intrusion into the Old City skyline. They fear the cable car will turn into a tourist attraction, a Disneyland-like feature, rather than a means of public transport. However, the Jerusalem Development Authority says the cable car will hardly be visible; the cars will not run above the Old City walls but rather alongside them. The cable car will produce fewer emissions than the hundreds of buses it will replace, making it an ecological project, the authority said.
The tourist buses all around the outside of the Old City today are a complete nightmare. Their hideous diesel engines run all the time so waiting drivers can sit all alone in air conditioned luxury. The traffic is snarled up from dawn till dusk. Moving these buses out to First Station will be amazing. Incidentally First Station car park is where Trump’s helicopters landed when he visited Jerusalem.
This is heavy on the objection side:
Attorney Daniel Zeidman, an expert on Jerusalem and a left-wing activist, rejects the authority’s claims. “There are four worrisome aspects to this project,” he said. “Without reference to political matters or religious sensitivities, this is a crime against Jerusalem. Disrespect for the unique value of the city and another example of the ‘disneyfication’ of Jerusalem under [Mayor Nir] Barkat. Someone who loves Jerusalem could not conceive of such a project.” Zeidman also said the idea that “someone can send a cable car 150 meters away from the Al Aqsa Mosque is smoking the wrong thing.” Thirdly, Zeidman said, the project “is another example of how the public interest and the interests of Jerusalemites are being subverted for the good of the settlers of Silwan, with the final station shamelessly at the Kedem Center, serving the narrow ideological interests of the settlers.” Finally, Zeidman called the project “a clumsy attempt to unify the divided city by means of engineering gimmicks.”
You know what is a crime? Trying to prevent as many people as possible visiting and seeing this living, breathing wonder of the world.
And another lefty gets big coverage:
Jerusalem Councilwoman Laura Warton (Meretz) also opposes the plan, saying the pylons and the stations will disfigure the city. “Like Nir Barkat said, the real goal is to show who’s boss in Jerusalem and complicate any possibility to separate peacefully into two capitals,” she asserted.
And finally we get the real problem. Halt all progress because the insane far-left is having a melt down.
The obvious pros of the scheme are given far less space:
The planners argue the system will be able to resolve the traffic problems around the Old City and daily save hundreds of tourist and public bus trips. “Tourists who come to Jerusalem for a day or two spend many hours in traffic jams. With the cable car, in four-and-a-half minutes they’ll be at the Dung Gate, without burdening the existing roads,” an official at the Jerusalem Development Authority said.
The rest of the piece largely concerns the procedural process of getting it done.
Here’s the map I made showing the cable car route in blue and I think you’ll start to understand why the far-left is having a melt down:
The cable car crosses the old line marking where the Jordanians captured, illegally occupied, expelled Jews, destroyed synagogues and divided Jerusalem (for the only time in its history) from 1949 until liberation and reunification in 1967. Are these far-left Jews and their foreign NGO friends seriously saying that Israel can’t build infrastructure across this redundant armistice line from 1949? Yes. They are. And thankfully their influence on Israeli politics is dropping off a cliff.
Jerusalem is an amazingly beautiful ancient city that has been adapted to life in the 21st Century and beyond. Some things have been done that have made it less beautiful, but running an electrically powered cable car carrying up to 3,000 people per hour instead of hundreds of buses, is not going to disfigure Jerusalem. It’s going to show off its beauty magnificently.
The only real objections to this project all come from the ideologically hostile far-left who know that what it really does is put another welcome nail in the firmly shut coffin of the idea of re-dividing Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is the eternal, undivided capital of the Jewish Nation and I can’t wait to take every guest I can on what will be the most beautiful and inspiring 5 minute cable car ride in the world.