Israel court rejects petitions against Jerusalem cable car

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. lodge / lɒdʒ / (v.) – to raise a concern or complaint to those who have the authority to resolve it

    Ben lodged a complaint to HR about the verbal abuse he experienced from his boss.

  2. desecrate / ˈdɛs ɪˌkreɪt / (v.) – to damage or show disrespect to a holy or much-respected object or place

    The rebels desecrated the church by destroying religious images and burning the Bible.

  3. transit / ˈtræn sɪt / (n.) – the act of moving people or things from one place to another

    The app was developed to help blind riders conveniently use public transit like buses and trains.

  4. mar / mɑr / (v.) – to damage something that’s beautiful

    Our view of the farm was marred by the dark smoke from a nearby factory.

  5. annex / əˈnɛks / (v.) – to take control of a place or territory by force

    The United States annexed Hawaii in 1898.


Read the text below.

Israel’s Supreme Court rejected four petitions on Sunday that sought to derail controversial plans to build a cable car to Jerusalem’s Old City, paving the way for the project to progress.

Palestinian residents of east Jerusalem, environmentalists, urban planners, archaeologists and a small community from the Jewish Karaite sect had all lodged protests with the court in recent years. They said the project would harm the holy city’s historic character, desecrate a Karaite cemetery, and impact the lives and businesses of local residents.

The proposed cable car is being advanced by Israel’s Tourism Ministry and the Jerusalem municipality as a transportation solution to the city’s traffic-snarled streets and poor accessibility to the ancient walled Old City. Critics have pointed out that a cable car is not a suitable transit solution and the massive steel towers supporting the cables will mar the historic landscape.

The route would start near the “First Station,” a renovated old railway station that’s now a popular pedestrian mall, and span the biblical Valley of Hinnom to Mount Zion and terminate at the Dung Gate, the entrance to the Old City closest to the Western Wall, 2 kilometers (1 mile) away.

It is further complicated by the fact that it will be constructed in east Jerusalem, which Israel annexed after capturing in the 1967 Mideast war, but which the Palestinians seek as capital of a future state. Most of the international community does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over east Jerusalem.

In its decision, the court said any decision to relieve congestion around the Old City “even if it was decided not to do anything, would harm someone one way or another. There is no ‘perfect’ solution.”

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion wrote on Facebook that the cable car would get underway following the court ruling.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • If you were a member of Israel’s Supreme Court, what would be your decision on the petitions against the Jerusalem cable car? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, in what area in your country would cable cars be an ideal means of public transit? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • As a tourist, what are you more concerned about, the accessibility of a tourist spot or its conservation? Why? Discuss.
  • What should a government do to preserve its nation’s cultural and historical landscapes? Discuss.