The office of Yerushalayim Mayor Nir Barkat claimed on Thursday that Haaretz took his words out of context in a reported assertion that a proposed cable car in the capital will stop at the Arab Silwan neighborhood to show “who really owns this city.”
“The mayor’s comment, better translated as ‘who really built this house,’ was made in reference to an ancient promenade which served millions of Jews on their way to the Bais Hamikdash, underscoring 2,000 years of Jewish history in Yerushalayim,” the municipality said in a statement.
The Haaretz story quoted from the mayor’s remarks at a Likud meeting captured on video:
“I want to enable Jews and non-Jews to recreate this experience. Anyone who wants to immerse [in Siloam] and then go up toward the Har HaBayis experience, anyone who does this will know exactly who the owner of this city is.
“When they have this experience, even leftists get totally confused, because they understand that this is real, and our ties to Yerushalayim can never be unraveled. For this experience, it’s also necessary to create a means of transportation.”
The municipality further explained that said Barkat intends to utilize the cable car to unite the capital’s populations, not create more division.
The cable car, up for approval at the Transportation Ministry, was presented as a way of promoting tourism in the city. Plans for the project, first announced in 2013, proposed a a mile-long route connecting the Old City to the Har Hazeisim, including a stop at Dung Gate, adjacent to Silwan.