Jerusalem Divided – Touring the City Line

The line cut across the heart of the city. It was drawn in exhaustion – a temporary armistice line, yet it froze as a hostile border between the Kingdom of Jordan, and the State of Israel. Fortifications were deployed, civilian buildings became military posts. From the top of the Old City walls Arab snipers terrorized Jewish residents, who could not afford to live in safer neighborhoods. Jerusalem grew in two directions – North and West, as two shabby, tormented cities. A derelict strip of “no-man’s-land” between them, ran like an ugly scar between them. Western Jerusalem was the official capital of Israel, but the center of action was in Tel Aviv. East Jerusalem was holy, but far from the Jordanian capital, Amman.

Then, suddenly, after 19 sleepy years, the city was “United” or “Liberated” or “Occupied” – the terminology depends on one’s point of view… A massive surge of development changed the city boundaries and complicated the lives of its inhabitants. Concrete walls and barbed wired were removed from the division line, but the mental separation remains. The Jerusalem Light Rail runs along the Northern part of the line, mixing Arabs and Jews in a cautious form of co-existence. Touring the City line, one sees shadows of the past and glimpses of the future.

Route: Ramat Rachel observation point and olive trees monument > Sherover Promenade > Abu Tor > Bible Hill > Mishkenot Sha’ananim windmill > Mamilla mall > Tzahal Square > Ammunition Hill.

Duration: 6-8 hours

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