Jul 26, 2021

In a bizarre story, Rabbi Yehudah Glick, a former Likud Member of Knesset and long-time Temple Mount activist, was detained by the police on Saturday night on suspicion of attempting to smuggle an unregistered Palestinian into Israeli territory.

But the truth, told by Rabbi Glick himself, suggests an entirely different story.

An Arab hitchhiker

Rabbi Glick had spent Shabbat in the Har Gilo, a suburb about five miles south of Jerusalem. When the Sabbath ended, Rabbi Glick was driving home when he stopped at the entrance to Har Gilo to pick up a hitchhiker. He discovered that the hitchhiker was a young Arab and he asked him if he had the proper permits to enter Jerusalem, to which the young man replied in the affirmative. 

The young man told Rabbi Glick that he was resident of al-Walaja. Al-Walaja is partly under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority Bethlehem Governorate and partly of the Israeli Jerusalem Municipality. The city is majority Muslim but has a significant Christian population. 

When he arrived at the Walaja checkpoint on the outskirts of Jerusalem at the Walaja checkpoint on the outskirts of Jerusalem, he was waved through. But Rabbi Glick stopped to inform the soldiers that he had an Arab hitchhiker and asked that his permits be checked. The soldiers checked the young man’s papers and discovered that he did not, in fact, have the proper permits to enter Jerusalem. 

Rabbi Glick’s identification was taken by the police and not returned as he was handcuffed and taken to the police station for questioning. He was finally released at 3:00 AM. 

“During routine checks, Border Police officers stationed at Walaja checkpoint stopped a car containing an illegal alien without appropriate permits,” the Border Police said in a statement, according to KAN 11 News. “As the driver was informed he was being detained, he caused a disturbance and refused to cooperate with the officers. The driver was released on bail, and the illegal alien was transferred to Ofer Prison.”

Rabbi Glick: A police target?

Rabbi Glick was awarded the 2015 Moskowitz Prize for Zionism for being “Active for human rights and religious freedom on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount”. On 29 October 2014, Rabbi Glick survived an assassination attempt by a member of Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine. 

In 2014, the Israeli police banned Rabbi Goick from the Temple Mount claiming that that “allowing Glick on the site posed a threat to public order”. He sued in response to sue the Israeli police over his ban from the site and was later awarded NIS 650,000 in damages and legal costs due to his ban. Additionally, as part of its ruling, the court upheld that Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount is legal.