In a significant triumph for Temple Mount rights advocacy, Rabbi Yehudah Glick visited the Temple Mount on Tuesday for the first time in a year and a half after a Jerusalem court lifted a restraining order that had banned him from visiting the site.
Glick, a controversial figure, is one of the world’s best-known activists for full access and freedom on the Temple Mount, where only Muslim prayer is currently allowed and non-Muslim access is extremely restricted.
He was full of his trademark positivity following the dropped charges, posting on his Facebook page, “A year and four months ago, only days after an assassination attempt on my life and while I was still in critical and life-threatening condition, [my wife] Yafi gave an interview and said, ‘We will still go up to the Temple Mount together’. Today we achieved it with a heart full of thanks.”
مجددًا .. المتطرف يهودا غليك يقتحم الأقصى قبل قليل في استفزاز جديد لـ مشاعر المسلمين pic.twitter.com/6w4oQPQxJy
— وكالة شهاب للأنباء (@ShehabAgency) March 1, 2016
Glick was acquitted last Thursday of charges of assault and battery after he had been wrongly accused 18 months ago of pushing Zoya Badrana, a Muslim woman, on the Temple Mount, causing her to fall and break her hand. The charge was dismissed when it was proven that Badrana had given false testimony.
The charges against Glick and his ban from the Temple Mount came just a few months before a serious assassination attempt on his life. In October 2014, Glick was shot in the chest four times as he stood outside Jerusalem’s Begin Heritage Center. The attack was committed by a Palestinian Arab as retribution for Glick’s work in opening the Temple Mount up to universal prayer. Miraculously, Glick survived and continued his work, although he was not allowed on the Temple Mount.
Glick explained to Breaking Israel News that the charges were entirely spurious, based on claims “that had no beginning, middle, or end”. Glick is a licensed tour guide, leading groups to the site. The restraining order caused him a significant monetary loss as well as emotional grief, but he bore no malice for his accusers.
“I got the feeling that the all the policemen knew that also. They need to do a chesbon nefesh (spiritual accounting). I was not looking back at the past. I was busy today just thanking God for helping me overcome all the challenges,” he told Breaking Israel News.
When speaking about the future of universal prayer on the Temple Mount, Rabbi Glick was still optimistic. “We’re going to get there eventually, when more Jews come up to the Temple Mount. We’re making it happen. The more people that come to the Temple Mount who support peace and bring a peaceful positive attitude, the more peace there will be in the world.”
Glick is the founder and chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to “reaching complete and comprehensive freedom and civil rights for Jews on the Temple Mount”. He campaigns for expanding Jewish access to the Temple Mount and believes in the universal rights of all religions to pray on the Temple Mount.
It is currently illegal for non-Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount or to enter the site’s two buildings, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque. Non-Muslims are also prohibited from displaying any religious and national symbols, including Bibles and crosses.
Glick is next in line to be appointed a member of the Israeli parliament, representing Likud, should any other party member leave the Knesset.