Israel announces plan to name Western Wall train station after Trump

Israel's transportation minister has called the move the grandest tribute ever for an American president

By Matthew Rozsa

Published December 27, 2017 12:48PM (EST)

 (Menahem Kahana, Pool via AP)
(Menahem Kahana, Pool via AP)

President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has resulted in an upcoming train station being named in his honor.

"The Western Wall is the holiest place for the Jewish people, and I decided to name the train station that leads to it after president Trump – following his historic and brave decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel," Transportation Minister Israel Katz explained in a statement to The Jerusalem Post. Katz has been nicknamed "the bulldozer" in Israeli politics due to his ability to successfully execute a number of major transportation infrastructure policies throughout Israel.

In terms of the Trump train station, Katz plans for it to be located very close to the Western Wall. It will be part of a larger new high-speed rail link that will connect Jerusalem to two major hubs of activity in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv — the country's commercial center.

The Western Wall is one of the holiest sites in Judaism, as it was part of a rampart that surrounded the Second Temple before it was destroyed by the Roman Empire in 70 AD. In subsequent years, the site of the temple was used to build the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, the latter being where the Muslim prophet Mohammad is believed to have made his journey to heaven.

Trump has been heavily criticized for his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Although the president has characterized the decision as merely granting formal recognition to a matter that was already an informal reality, critics have pointed out that it has destabilized an already volatile region while simultaneously damaging America's ability to serve as a credible third party broker for peace.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Donald Trump Israel Katz Jerusalem Western Wall