Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP
Jerusalem Light Rail
Photo: AP

What will Jerusalem look like in 2031?

On Jerusalem Day we ask former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg, media personality Yedidia Meir and city councilwoman Meirav Cohen to describe holy city two decades from now

To celebrate Jerusalem Day on Wednesday Ynet has asked three representatives of the city to describe their outlook of Jerusalem in the year 2031.


Former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg, media personality Yedidia Meir and new city councilwoman Meirav Cohen, of the Wake Up Jerusalem Movement, predict who will be the foreign minister and president and what will become of the Jerusalem light rail a few decades from now.



Avraham Burg: A temple in Jerusalem

Thank God, we have arrived at Jerusalem Day 2031. The last 20 years were the most amazing years of Jerusalem, equal only to the first 20 years of the Kingdom of David. At some point during Netanyahu's tenure the detestable Temple Mount mosques went up in flames and no one protested.


A short while after the Mount was cleansed by 300 rabbis who dipped in 300 mikvehs… the Temple Mount was declared pure. The Israeli government appointed a special minister in charge of a project to build a third temple.


It was declared a national project and a special minister, Shanior Zalman Lior Kosher, was put in charge of building the third temple. He was given authority over governmental institutes, such as the Israel Land Administration, Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Religious Services.


Foreign Minister Haim Yitzhak Gurnisht, was instructed by the government to request the United Nations to recognize the temple as a world wonder. The company "Beit Zvul" won the tender published by the Israeli government, committing to hire only Cohens, after they undergo a special DNA test to check their Cohen roots.

A model of the first temple in the Israel Museum (Photo: Ziv Reinstein)


Jerusalem Day 2031 was named "inauguration day" and people were invited from all over the world by the Minister of Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs to the "most important spiritual event in the west since the revelation on Mount Sinai.


It was leaked from the Presidential Residence that the speech of President Shimon Peres is expected to stir up global interest, and even follow the elderly president's example of a newly religious global movement with a united Jerusalem as its center.


Yedidia Meir: Global center

In 20 years Jerusalem will be the center of the world. Not everyone will live in it, but all citizens of the world will feel they are Jerusalem residents in some way. Physically, it will be the capital of the State of Israel, but spiritually the temple built in its center will be intended for all people.


The most moral people on the face of the earth will live there. People who devote their lives to the Torah and charity will bear witness that the spirit can overcome the body, that this conflict we were all born into is resolveable. They will not shut themselves in their ivory tower, but rather shine a powerful light to every African refugee and ill man in Africa. Even to the people of Tel Aviv.


Jerusalem will be a cultural center as well. Art works, music and literature will make their way from the city to every corner of the earth, uplifting its residents. "There used to be Hollywood once, do you remember?" people will recall. "The movies they made there were the center of attention. We believed that the Hollywood 'happy end' was as happy as it gets." The Jerusalem culture will not leave the people feeling hollow, but rather complete.


The city will also set an example regarding its approach to money. There will be leading companies and profitable factories there, but they will prove that you can give away a tenth of your profits to charity, and keep making money. Furthermore, they will prove that we can stop the slavery for one day a week. The world will be in awe to see our top businessmen stop, for one day a week, with the stock market, twitter, unanswered calls and Facebook. For one day they will look into their children's eyes without checking us sent them a text message.

The Jerusalem Chords Bridge (Photo: AP)


Even when it comes to relationships between the sexes Jerusalem will bring about amazement and admiration. In a world where boundaries are constantly being broken, it will set limits and not fear the use of the word "sacred." Not with 'chastity squads', force or zealotry, but rather with mutual respect and simplicity.


The people of Jerusalem will want to respect themselves. The haredim will not try to correct the secular, and the secular will not try to correct the haredim. Every person will attempt to correct himself.


Jerusalem will become a city of believers, but the Jerusalem faith will be a non-irritable faith. The residents will not even be irritated by the promise that the Jerusalem light rail will begin to operate within a few years.


Meirav Cohen: Pluralistic city

If there is one city in the world of which it is hard to predict the future – it's Jerusalem. Throughout its glorious history it has changed completely many times over. It has been passed from one hand to anther, between kingdoms and empires and back.


It was barely a small town only 200 years ago and during a short time, in historical terms, it has become the capital of the State of Israel with a population of hundreds of thousands of residents, advanced technology, growing tourism and a complicated day-to-day life.


However we can only dream. I see Jerusalem in 2031 as a pluralistic and thriving city. A city with an excellent educational system, with many housing plans for young families and tens of thousands of students who fit right in with the haredi, religious, secular and Arab landscape – creating a multi-cultural, bubbly atmosphere.


I see a city with millions of tourists visiting to get a taste of its magnificent history and architecture. With tens of thousands of people working in the public sector… who have finally left Tel Aviv… A city with a large and productive haredi populations, who has become the spearhead of Israeli high-tech.

Jaffa street in Jerusalem (Photo: Noam Moskovich)


I dream of a city connected by the light rail… allowing residents of the city to commute from any neighborhood to their work place within a few minutes, and a fast train to Tel Aviv enabling young couples in Jerusalem to be only a half hour's drive away from the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.


In 2031, I dream of a young generation… born into a city of peace.


In order to keep the young people working in Jerusalem and to return those residents who had left, the Israeli government must turn these dreams into actual goals. No more declarations about a united city or strengthening Jerusalem, but actions in the field to solve the inner issues of the city.


As a first step, the Israeli ministers whose officers operate from Tel Aviv, against the law, are welcome to give a personal example and move their offices to our capital. The sooner the better.



פרסום ראשון: 06.01.11, 14:29
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