That was the gist of a charge leveled by a senior member of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling Fatah faction in protesting the Jerusalem Municipality’s plan to build a cable car to ease access to the Old City.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has openly endorsed the plan, which envisions a cable car stretching from the city’s old train station (which is now a popular pedestrian venue) to the City of David to the Mount of Olives and back to the Lion’s Gate of the Old City.
“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,” said Barkat. “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.”
Muslim officials were furious.
Sheikh Ekrima Sa’id Sabri, head of the Supreme Muslim Council in Jerusalem, called the cable car a “dangerous” provocation and part of a larger effort to “Judaize” the city.
Rafat Alayan, a Fatah representative in Jerusalem, threatened that “the Palestinian people will never” permit the cable car to be built.
Alayan added the hysterical warning that if the cable car were built, the Jews would next attempt a transportation link between Tel Aviv and the Muslim holy city of Mecca.
PHOTO: Artist’s rendition of the proposed Jerusalem cable car.