A proposed cable car project through occupied East Jerusalem has received new impetus from the rise of the Israeli far right and Washington's decision to move its embassy to the city, Jonathan Cook writes in his View from Nazareth.
Planning for the $55 million tourism project continues despite unifying archaeologists, architects, Palestinians, and a tiny community of Jews against it - in a sign of Israel's ever-growing confidence in making unilateral moves in occupied parts of Jerusalem.
Critics say the cable car will help hide the local Palestinian population from the roughly 3 million tourists who visit Jerusalem each year, turning the city into a 'Disneyland' focused on promoting Israeli interests.
"The advantage for Israel is that visitors can be prevented from having any dealings with Palestinians," said Aviv Tartasky, a researcher with Ir Amim, an Israeli organisation that campaigns for equal rights in Jerusalem.
"The local population will be largely erased from the experience of visiting Jerusalem. Tourists will pass over Palestinian residents, via the cable car, and then pass under them via tunnels."
Hanna Swaid, a Palestinian planning specialist and former member of the Israeli parliament, said the cable car was illegal because international law allows major changes in occupied territory only out of military necessity or for the benefit of the population under occupation.
"It will parachute tourists to Jewish sites like the Western Wall, and marginalise Muslim and Christian sites," he added.
Read the full story here: www.jonathan-cook.net/2019-05-13/jerusalem-cable-car-objections/
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