‘Disneyfication’ of Jerusalem with cable car to Western Wall

MSN – 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.

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.

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. READ MORE

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