In an unexpected series of events, Temple Mount Activist, Yehuda Glick, is set to take a place as a member of Knesset, rekindling hopes that one day Jews may be allowed by their own government to pray at their holiest site: The Temple Mount.
Glick is slated to replace Likud Minister of Defense Mosh Ya’alon, who resigned Friday morning. His appointment will come as a surprise to many since Glick is 33rd on the Likud list and was not expected to become an MK.
Yehuda Glick is an American-born rabbi who campaigns for religious equality and multi-faith prayer on the Temple Mount. The present agreement between the Muslim Waqf and the Israeli government prohibits non-Muslim prayer at the site. He is also the chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation and supports the building of the Third Temple. Glick lives in Otniel, in Judea south of Hebron.
On 29 October 2014, Glick was shot four times by Mutaz Hijazi, a member of Islamic Jihad. After his assailant was killed by Israeli police, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas sent a letter of condolence to Hijazi’s family.
Moshe Ya’alon announced he is quitting politics after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the Defense portfolio to the head of Yisrael Beteynu and former Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who is considered to be far right. During last year’s elections, Lieberman created a storm of controversy when he said, ““(Arabs) who are with us deserve everything, but those who are against us deserve to have their heads chopped off with an axe.”
Ya’alon told the press on Friday, “This morning I let the Prime Minister know that due to his conduct and recent developments, and due to a lack of confidence in him, I am resigning from the government and from the Knesset and taking a timeout from political life.”
Netanyahu’s decision was partly a result of Ya’alon supporting IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan, who compared Israel to Nazi Germany at a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony, and told IDF officers to give their personal opinions even if it meant opposing the expressed policies of the Israeli government.
Ya’alon’s announcement comes as a surprise since Lieberman has yet to accept the position. It was also rumored that Netanyahu was ready to offer Ya’alon the now-vacant post of Foreign Minister. Opposition Leader and head of the Zionist Union, Isaac Herzog, also offered Ya’alon a place in his party.