Arabs, Jews United Against Jerusalem Tram

Streetcar none desire creates common foe for city's eternally feuding people
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2009 7:15 AM CST

(Newser) – Jerusalem's bitterly divided residents have finally found something they can agree on, the Wall Street Journal reports. From ultra-orthodox rabbis to the PLO, just about everybody has found cause to dislike the new tram system currently under construction. Even the city's secular mayor has questioned the wisdom of continuing the project, designed in a more optimistic time to unify the fragmented city but still unfinished after 7 years of work.

Rabbis fret about the possible mingling of sexes on trams while Palestinian leaders rage against the line's straddling of the pre-1967 border, calling it "an illegal Zionist project." The mayor has proposed turning the tram line into a bus lane—although that would leave the city stuck with 42 useless tramcars, worth $3 million each, reinforced to resist stones and firebombs.