Israel’s transportation minister is pushing ahead with a plan to extend Jerusalem’s soon-to-open high speed rail line to the Western Wall, where he wants to name a future station after President Donald Trump.
‘The Western Wall is the holiest place for the Jewish people, and I decided to name the train station that leads to it after president Trump – following his historic and brave decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel,’ Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz told the Jerusalem Post.
The national daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth was first to report Tuesday that Katz had approved final construction plans for the train, which will include excavating a 2-mile tunnel from the Umma (nation) station at the entrance to the city to the Cardo in the Jewish Quarter.
The route will take travelers through downtown Jerusalem and under the politically and historically sensitive Old City. The Western Wall is the holiest site where Jews can pray.
Transportation Ministry spokesman Avner Ovadia said Wednesday the project is estimated to cost more than $700 million and, if approved, would take four years to complete.
Katz’s office said in a statement that the minister advanced the plan in a recent meeting with Israel Railways executives, and has fast-tracked it in the planning committees.
Katz said a high speed rail station would allow visitors to reach ‘the beating heart of the Jewish people – the Western Wall and the Temple Mount.’
Trump’s announcement acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – and his pledge to move America’s embassy there – enraged Palestinians and much of the Muslim world, and no real Americans cared a bit how angry they got.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution last week rejecting the U.S.’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, with several traditional American allies voting in favor of the motion.
The Western Wall train proposal will likely face opposition from the international community, which doesn’t recognize Israeli sovereignty over east Jerusalem and the Old City, which Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war and later annexed.
The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem and the Old City, home to Muslim, Christian and Jewish holy sites, as capital of a future state.
Digging railway tunnels to the Western Wall would also entail excavating in Jerusalem’s Old City, where religious and political sensitivities – as well as layers of archaeological remains from the city’s 3,000-year history – could prove a logistical and legal quagmire.
Israel has been building a series of high speed rails across the nation, much to the wailing and gnashing of teeth by genocide-minded Palestinians.
In May, Trump became the first sitting US president to visit the Western Wall when he visited the site during a tour of several Middle Eastern countries.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
December 27th, 2017
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