When cars arrived in Jerusalem

The first era of cars in Jerusalem, almost a century ago, just after the British Mandate was established, is a memory to be rekindled

By DAVID GEFFEN
August 17, 2017 20:16
4 minute read.
Vintage vehicles are parked near the Western Wall during a London-to- Jerusalem car rally raising

Vintage vehicles are parked near the Western Wall during a London-to- Jerusalem car rally raising. (photo credit: AMOS BEN GERSHOM, GPO)

 
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The other night on television, there was a lengthy program about driverless cars. One of the main points made was that there would be fewer accidents, fewer deaths and fewer car problems.

Here in Jerusalem we live in an age of cars. In 1963, when my wife and I, as students, were here for the first time, we learned a real lesson. The local populace had been nearly stripped of cars following Israel’s independence. All the car dealers left and the government imposed enormous taxes on any private vehicles sold. In Jerusalem, except for some diplomat’s cars and for the prime minister’s car, practically the only cars here were giant Studebakers that were brought from the US to serve as paid urban transportation.

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