By Steven E. White
Yisrael Katz, the Israel Transportation Minister, announced a plan to name the new train station, near the Western Wall, after President Donald Trump. Katz said on Wednesday, the 27th, “The Kotel [Western Wall] is the holiest place to the Jewish people, and I have decided to name the train station leading to it after US President Donald Trump, in recognition of his brave and historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”
The project still has to undergo approval, but if accepted, will run two miles of high-speed railway from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Jewish Press reported. “This project is now awaiting a discussion in the National Infrastructures Planning Committee,” Avner Ovadia, the Transportation Ministry spokesman, continued, “When it is discussed there, it means that it receives priority in its advancement and in carrying out the project.” The project would not only include the Donald John Trump Western Wall station, but also a City Center Station.
Despite the expected opposition, Avner Ovadia says the plan should be approved this coming year and that the train would be open that spring. He spoke, “There’s no reason why this train won’t be built…. We already know how to deal with no less difficult opposition.”
One of the biggest problems is, digging a tunnel to the Western Wall would also entail excavation of Jerusalem’s Old City; where rich archaeological remains of many millenniums, and religious and political sensitivities reside, making for legal and logistical difficulties. Already, Israeli archaeologists have contested an initiative to convert an excavated area of the Western Wall into an egalitarian Jewish Prayer Section.
Early in December, Trump decided to recognize Jerusalem as the Capital city of Israel, and announced his plan to relocate the U.S. Embassy there. He tweeted on December 6, “I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. I am also directing the State Department to begin preparation to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem…”
In 1995, President Bill Clinton signed a law which ordered the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Even with this law, every President since has promised to fulfill it, and move the Embassy, but all have fallen short. They wanted the relocation to come by peaceful negotiation, rather than law. Trump has been the first President since 1995 to fulfill this campaign promise.
Chuck Grassley congratulated and supported Trump in this decision, saying “Jerusalem Embassy Act of ‘95 (Senate vote 93-5 & I voted for it) states embassy should be in Jerusalem by 5/31/99. For 18 yrs, Rep + Dem presidents waived. Congrats Pres Trump for making this move. Amen!!!”
Many individuals and nations fought against Trump; the United Nations voting 128-9 to try and disavow Trump’s declaration. The vote exclaimed his move “null and void” even though the vote has no impact on the decision.
Trump promises to move forward on his decision, to fulfill his promise, regardless of the disapproval of the U.N. and has, in doing so, gained favor of Israeli individuals and officials.