World: Cable Cars Over Jerusalem? Some See ‘Disneyfication’ of Holy City - PressFrom - Australia
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WorldCable Cars Over Jerusalem? Some See ‘Disneyfication’ of Holy City

14:45  13 september  2019
14:45  13 september  2019 Source:   msn.com

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JERUSALEM — At a glance, Jerusalem ’s Holy Basin still looks pretty much as it must have looked centuries ago. The Old City ’s yellow walls still read in silhouette against an ancient landscape of parched hills and valleys.

In the field of sociology, the terms Disneyfication and Disneyisation describe the commercial transformation of a society to resemble the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, based upon rapid Western-style globalization and consumerist lifestyles.

Cable Cars Over Jerusalem? Some See ‘Disneyfication’ of Holy City
Cable Cars Over Jerusalem? Some See ‘Disneyfication’ of Holy City
Cable Cars Over Jerusalem? Some See ‘Disneyfication’ of Holy City
Cable Cars Over Jerusalem? Some See ‘Disneyfication’ of Holy City
Cable Cars Over Jerusalem? Some See ‘Disneyfication’ of Holy City
Cable Cars Over Jerusalem? Some See ‘Disneyfication’ of Holy City
Cable Cars Over Jerusalem? Some See ‘Disneyfication’ of Holy City
Cable Cars Over Jerusalem? Some See ‘Disneyfication’ of Holy City
Cable Cars Over Jerusalem? Some See ‘Disneyfication’ of Holy City
Cable Cars Over Jerusalem? Some See ‘Disneyfication’ of Holy City

JERUSALEM — At a glance, Jerusalem’s Holy Basin still looks pretty much as it must have looked centuries ago. The Old City’s yellow walls still read in silhouette against an ancient landscape of parched hills and valleys. The skyline is still dominated by the city’s great Muslim and Christian shrines: the gold, glistening Dome of the Rock and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus was said to have been buried.

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Proponents view the cable car as an innovative solution to traffic woes, while critics call it an eyesore, a Disneyfication of the sacred city or a ploy to "The cable car will send oblivious tourists flying over the heads of Palestinians and drop them off in the middle of occupied east Jerusalem , the eye of the

A planned cable - car project in Jerusalem would shuttle visitors to the Western Wall, the holiest site in the Jewish world, by 2021. The plan would bypass a Palestinian district of East Jerusalem and has horrified Israeli preservationists, who fear the “ Disneyfication ” of the city . The network also illustrates

But this is about to change. Israeli authorities have approved a plan to build a cable car to the Western Wall, the holiest site in the Jewish world, by 2021.

It’s the first phase of what Nir Barkat, Jerusalem’s former mayor and now a Likud member of Parliament, describes as a long-term vision to install a fleet of cable cars crisscrossing the basin.

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“The future cable car will change the face of Jerusalem , allow easy and convenient access for tourists and visitors to the Western Wall and serve as an exceptional tourist attraction,” said Israel’s Tourism Minister Yariv Levin. He was speaking at a cabinet meeting held in the Kotel tunnels to mark the

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Trumpeted by right-wing Israeli leaders as a green solution to the challenges of increased tourism and traffic in and around the Old City, the plan has provoked howls of protest from horrified Israeli preservationists, environmentalists, planners, architects and others who picture an ancient global heritage site turned into a Jewish-themed Epcot, with thousands of passengers an hour crammed into huge gondolas lofting across the sky.

“A total outrage against a fragile city,” the Israeli architect Moshe Safdie says. “An aesthetic and architectural affront.”

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Floating over Jerusalem without ever seeing the city 's Arab residents. Meetings with residents near the cable car ’s planned stops have been held over the past few Disrespect for the unique value of the city and another example of the ‘ disneyfication ’ of Jerusalem under [Mayor Nir] Barkat. Zeidman also said the idea that “someone can send a cable car 150 meters away from the Al Aqsa

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The cable-car project is an example, illustrating how Israel wields architecture and urban planning to extend its authority in the occupied territories. Whatever its transit merits, which critics say are negligible, the cable car curates a specifically Jewish narrative of Jerusalem, furthering Israeli claims over Arab parts of the city.

It also shows how Israel’s current government seems to hold preservation less sacrosanct than previous ones — eroding, for political purposes, the protections on landscape and heritage that make this city a global icon of faith and history, much as the Trump administration in the United States has been loosening protections for national monuments and endangered species.

The plan is basically this: Suspended from giant pylons, entered via elevated, glass-enclosed stations, the cable cars will swoop down from a Jewish neighborhood in the western part of Jerusalem to Mount Zion. They will skirt, where possible, Jewish grave sites in acknowledgment of biblical prohibitions about passing over cemeteries.

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More protests over Trump's Jerusalem decision 02:57. Jerusalem (CNN) Four Palestinians were Tens of thousands of worshipers came to the al -Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem 's Old City for Friday Some waved the flags of countries most critical of Trump's announcement, including those of Turkey

The cable car is billed as a tourism attraction as well as a solution to serious traffic congestion and pollution around the Old City walls. The cable car route is to start next to the popular First Station cultural complex south of the city center, from where it will pass through, but not stop at, a cable car

From Mount Zion, the cars will land near the Western Wall, on the rooftop of what is to be a new multistory center for a right-wing Jewish settler organization called the City of David Foundation, in the midst of a Palestinian district of East Jerusalem called Silwan. The City of David oversees archaeological excavations centered on uncovering biblical Jewish remains in an effort to cement an ancient Jewish connection to a contested site. Israel considers East Jerusalem annexed, but international law considers it occupied territory.

For years, the foundation has also been trying to drive Palestinians out of the neighborhood and move settlers in. Archaeology works hand in glove here with settler efforts to press Jewish claims on the land.

Cable car passengers will be funneled through a Jewish version of the city’s history. After disembarking at the City of David, they can tour the archaeological site, then proceed underground to the Western Wall via Herodian passageways walked by Jewish pilgrims during the era of the Second Temple and now partly excavated beneath the homes of Palestinian families in Silwan.

Notwithstanding that several Arab homes may be demolished to make room for it, in effect the cable car pretends Arab Silwan isn’t there. Tourists will fly over and tunnel under Silwan’s Palestinian residents without actually having to encounter them.

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Jerusalem , of course, is not only the capital of Israel, but also one of the world’s most famous cities . As a result, it’s perhaps not surprising to know that Jerusalem is one of the most fought over cities But ignoring all that political tension, Jerusalem really is an amazing city . And yes, the sites we’ve

I return to East Jerusalem that evening in a car with Israeli plates rented in East Jerusalem by the Palestinian American wife of my friend who is working on the EU project. She also has Israeli citizenship through her father who is an Israeli Palestinian, but spends the summers with his family in the Aida

The plan can bring to mind Israel’s so-called bypass roads, built to safely speed Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank to Jerusalem without passing through Palestinian towns.

“Arabs will supposedly benefit from using the cable car,” says Jawad Siyam, a Silwan resident whose family members were recently evicted from part of their home to make way for City of David settlers. “But the cable car is not about solving problems for us. It’s about creating them.”

Mr. Siyam maintains that if Israeli authorities really want to benefit Arab residents, they should repair the busy, rutted, narrow, dangerous, often impassable road that is the only way in or out of Silwan for thousands of Palestinian residents.

“Silwan is huge and hilly,” he adds. “Most of us don’t even have an easy way to get to the cable car.”

Cable car advocates dismiss the criticism. Jerusalem is “far behind other places in terms of public transport,” Mr. Barkat argues. This plan involves “thinking out of the box.”

He describes a kind of Jetsons-like future Holy Basin in which cable cars will eventually glide up to the Mount of Olives, down to the Garden of Gethsemane, and make a second stop in Silwan, beside the excavated remains of what City of David officials say is the Pool of Siloam, where ancient Jewish pilgrims cleansed themselves before ascending the Temple Mount.

Yes, Mr. Barkat acknowledged, the plan also promotes the City of David.

“This is the Zionist element of the project,” he said. “The City of David is the ultimate proof of our ownership of this land.” To go from there to the Western Wall is to follow “the path where Jewish pilgrims came to worship God in the ancient city,” the former mayor pointed out, when “there were no Christians or Muslims.”

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"The cable car will enable people to reach the Old City without a car or a bus," said Barkat. "What you see today is not the way Jerusalem will look in the future. Tomorrow I want to bring 10 million tourists to these places, but without an infrastructure of trains, cable cars , a fast train (to Tel Aviv), hotels, etc

Jerusalem is a fascinating city ; a city where old meets new, holy meets secular, and where The Old City is home to sites of key religious significance, including the Temple Mount, the Western And yes, although the Old City of Jerusalem makes this Holy City an absolute must see on your trip to Israel

He predicts the gondolas and cable car stations will be less of an intrusion on the skyline than critics fear. “It’s a matter of taste and perception,” he says.

The architect for the stations, Mendy Rosenfeld, agrees. He has devised the glass designs to appear as immaterial as possible. “There is no way you can hide a cable car system,” he admitted.

But Mr. Rosenfeld cites I.M. Pei’s pyramid at the Louvre, a modernist glass interloper in the historic courtyard of France’s former royal palace. Skeptics attacked the pyramid before it opened.

“Now everyone loves it,” Mr. Rosenfeld said.

But Jerusalem is not Paris.

Having worked as an architect and planner on projects in the Holy Basin over many years, Gavriel Kertez recalls how Israeli officials used to be “enormously sensitive to any tiny intrusion on this sacred place.”

In a city long defined by low-rise, stone-clad buildings, Israeli authorities are now approving 40-story glass towers and cut-and-paste office park development more in keeping with Singapore or Jakarta than Jerusalem.

“Apparently a forest of huge pylons and high-rise cable car station on Mount Zion is O.K., too,” Mr. Kertesz laments.

It has not been lost on Arab residents that the government chose Jerusalem Day last year to announce a budget plan for the cable car. Jerusalem Day commemorates Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem during the Six Day War of 1967.

Since then, Israel has been strategically redrawing borders and constructing roads, walls and massive Jewish settlements to safeguard Jews but also to take over, divide, cordon off and limit the expansion of Arab neighborhoods.

Even the cladding of East Jerusalem’s settlements in Jerusalem stone, the architectural uniform traditionally worn by buildings in Jewish West Jerusalem, helps spread the image of a single Jewish city.

The cable car, critics say, is part of this same effort to inculcate a Jewish narrative of occupied Jerusalem.

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“More than demography,” says Ronnie Ellenblum, a sociology professor and historical geographer at Hebrew University, “this is the true battlefront for control of the city.”

Mr. Ellenblum contrasts the cable car’s architectural effect — “straight, inflexible, indoctrinating” — with the Old City’s maze of Christian, Jewish and Muslim quarters, requiring “that you pass through all sorts of places before you reach your destination, mingling, feeling lost, ultimately finding yourself.”

“The Old City is ecumenical, uncontrollable, multicultural public space,” he said. “It is historical Jerusalem. The cable car, with its Disneyfication of the city, expresses the failure of Israel today to dominate this public realm.”

Modern Jerusalem was spared Disneyfication, first by the highborn culture of British colonialism, with its awe for the city’s antique past, and next by Jordanian paralysis, which froze the Old City as if in amber.

Then after 1967, Teddy Kollek, Jerusalem’s mayor, while no hero to Palestinians, promoted the notion of a global melting pot, greater than any single narrative or religion.

His cosmopolitan attitude reflected a posture of Israeli confidence, according to Mr. Safdie, the architect.

After 1967, Mr. Safdie worked on various projects in the Old City, including around the Western Wall, onto which he now looks down from his home. The Western Wall is “a ruin, humble, an ancient site of sadness and loss,” he says. “It is the true heart of Judaism. The cable car is the opposite, flashy, vulgar and aggressive.”

It symbolizes a blustery kind of inward-turning.

“Its aggression suggests not strength,” is how Mr. Safdie puts it, “but insecurity and weakness.”

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Tunisia turns the page on Ben Ali .
With the burial in Saudi exile Saturday of former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia is turning the page on more than two decades of nepotism and repression with a large dose of indifference. Forced out of Tunisia on January 14, 2011, by weeks of popular outrage spurred by the self-immolation of a market trader protesting police harassment and unemployment, Ben Ali died on Thursday in the Saudi city of Jeddah. require(["inlineoutstreamAd", "c.

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