Labor platform would give up control of the Temple Mount

Ha’aretz, Dec. 17, 2002
By Yossi Verter

The Labor Party will reportedly propose in its election platform that Israel give up control of the Temple Mount. This emerges from a draft of the party platform to be presented to the Labor bureau for approval Thursday.

The proposal talks of a “special regime” in the Old City of Jerusalem and in the “holy basin” that will reflect the unique nature of the place for the three monotheisitic religions, according to Yigal Tsehor who headed the platform committee.

This differs, however, from the text adopted by the party convention in July that spoke of an “international supervisory council.”

Sources in Labor said the new phrasing was intended to soften the effect of the concession which, at the time, caused a furor in the party.

The original text was brought to the convention by then-party leader Benjamin Ben-Eliezer who believed Labor should abide by the Clinton blueprint for peace discussed at Camp David in the summer of 2000 and incorporate some of the Saudi peace plan into its platform. While heading Labor in the 2001 elections, former prime minister Ehud Barak also spoke of commitment to the Clinton plan.

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