When President Trump declared the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he certainly expected to receive praise from officials and citizens in the Jewish state. What he may not have anticipated was having his name enshrined in the most controversial train station in the country, one that is being planned for the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City.
Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said Tuesday the station would be named after the U.S. President who accepted what Israelis have known for millennia. Like the city itself, the station will be contested by the international community for antagonizing Palestinians. When complete, it will give a direct connection between Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv to the Western Wall. With a top speed of around 100 mph, it will cut travel time between the airport and Israel’s most popular tourist attraction to 28 minutes.
“The Western Wall is the holiest place for the Jewish people,” Katz said. “I decided to name the train station leading to it after US President Donald Trump, following his brave and historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders applauded the name.
Transportation Ministry spokesman Avner Ovadia said Wednesday the project is estimated to cost more than $700 million and, if approved, would take four years to complete.
Katz’s office said in a statement that the minister advanced the plan in a recent meeting with Israel Railways executives, and has fast-tracked it in the planning committees.
Katz said a high-speed rail station would allow visitors to reach “the beating heart of the Jewish people — the Western Wall and the Temple Mount.” He proposed naming the future station after Trump “for his brave and historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital” earlier this month.