BY Hana Levi

Julian – Arutz-7 1/28/09

Likud party chairman and Knesset Opposition leader MK Binyamin
Netanyahu warned at the Jerusalem Conference Wednesday, January 28th,
that the Obama administration and leftist Israeli politicians will
try to internationalize Holy Sites in Jerusalem — and he vowed to
fight the move.

Netanyahu told the audience, “Some politicians are trying to blur the
importance of the Temple Mount to the Jewish People by referring to
it as the ‘Holy Basin.’ We, as Jews, know who built the Temple Mount.”

The term “Holy Basin” refers to the area of the Temple Mount, the
Mount of Olives, Mount Zion and a variety of Christian holy sites
which the administration of former U.S. President Bill Clinton
recommended be administered under a “special regime.”

This raises the issue of who would administer the Temple Mount, since
at present the Wakf Islamic Authority controls the site, albeit under
Israeli sovereignty. Moreover, the Arab neighborhoods surrounding the
Temple Mount, home to tens of thousands of Israeli Arab residents,
are also a part of greater Jerusalem, and thereby fall into the same

Former prime minister Netanyahu, who will likely return to his old
leadership role after the February 10 Israel elections, repeatedly
emphasized the Likud’s loyalty to the concept of a united Jerusalem.

“We have demonstrated in the past, and will continue to demonstrate
our commitment to a complete, undivided Jerusalem,” Netanyahu assured
a packed hall at the Jerusalem Regency Hotel, where he opened the
final day of the Jerusalem Conference.

“What would have happened had we not built all those neighborhoods”
around the central part of the capital after the Six-Day War,
Netanyahu asked.

“Jerusalem would have been choked.” Moreover, he said, transferring
sovereignty over those areas to the Palestinian Authority is not an

“Everyone knows what will happen if we were to leave those areas and
divide Jerusalem. Someone will enter – and that someone will be

Dividing the capital, or resurrecting the specter of
internationalizing the “Holy Basin”, this time at the recommendation
of the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, would cause more
problems even for the international community that it would solve, he

The three major religions of the world exist in peace, have access to
all their sites, only because Jerusalem is united and under Israeli
rule, Netanyahu contended, adding in deliberately Hebrew-accented
English, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

National Union party Chairman Yaakov Katz, Likud MK Dr. Yuval
Steinitz, Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu spoke at the 2009
Jerusalem Conference After Netanyahu’s Jerusalem Conference speech,
he convened with his fellow party member Dr. Yuval Steinitz and Ichud
Leumi (National Union) party Chairman Yaakov Katz. Katz asked the
Likud chairman what his plans are for a coalition after the Israel
elections. Netanyahu responded, “We will establish a broad coalition
based on all the Zionist parties – blue and orange.” [Orange is the
color associated with the Ichud Leumi (National Union) party and its

The meeting between Netanyahu and Katz was held in a positive
atmosphere with reciprocal intentions for developing a close working
relationship. Katz later told reporters, “Only a strong Ichud Leumi
(National Union) in the Knesset will insure that all the good
intentions of the government will be implemented. ”