MK Rabbi Yehudah Glick recently visited an Arab friend in Hebron to celebrate Eid al-Adha feast, but a few days later, the Arab man was arrested by the Palestinian Authority (PA) for associating with Jews and has yet to be released.
Rabbi Glick, a Likud member of Knesset, went to celebrate the Eid al-Adha feast at the house of Muhammad Jabir from Hebron on September 3. Significantly, Eid al-Adha, also called the Sacrifice Feast, is the Muslim holiday honoring Biblical Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son.
Rabbi Glick posted photos of himself celebrating with Jabir’s family on his Facebook page under the Hebrew/Arabic heading, “Happy Eid al-Adha my friend Muhammed Jabir in Hebron. God willing all of us will live here in peace.”
Unfortunately, the joy was short-lived. One week after the holiday celebration, the PA’s General Intelligence agency arrested Jabir.
Rabbi Glick, a resident of Otniel south of Hebron, is a long-time friend of Jabir, was deeply disturbed by the arrest.
“I have known Muhammed since I became a member of Knesset,” Rabbi Glick told the Jerusalem Post. “We have met many times and we speak on the telephone every couple of weeks. He is truly a man of peace and coexistence. His arrest shows that the Palestinian Authority is not interested in dialogue and normalization.”
Rabbi Glick’s assessment seems to be accurate. Members of Jabir’s extended family published a statement on Facebook saying that they “disassociated” themselves from him. Under Rabbi Glick’s Facebook post of his visit with Jabir, many Israelis expressed support for his actions, though a few comments questioned the advisability of entering into regions under Palestinian Authority control.
A few comments were posted in Arabic, all opposing the connection between Jews and Arabs. One comment was a death threat targeting Rabbi Glick.
Rabbi Glick, considered right-wing in Israeli politics, is a powerful advocate for universal prayer on the Temple Mount, and as such, has been targeted by Palestinians in the past. In 2014, Rabbi Glick was shot four times by a Palestinian from the Abu Tor neighborhood in Jerusalem. Miraculously, Rabbi Glick survived the assassination attempt.
Rabbi Glick has turned to the US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, to intervene with the PA in order to secure Jaber’s release, but no news of Jabir’s current situation has been forthcoming.
It is not uncommon for coexistence between Jews and Palestinians to be discouraged by the PA. Last October during the holiday of Sukkot, four Arabs visited the Sukkah of Oded Revivi, the Mayor of Efrat. The next day, they were taken in for questioning by the PA Police and held for four days. They were released only after General Mordechai intervened.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly castigated left-wing nongovernmental organizations claiming to serve humanitarian causes for remaining silent about the detention of the four Arabs.
“Where is the outrage of human rights organizations? There is none. To their great shame, they are silent,” Netanyahu wrote on Facebook. “I call on the international community to work to help free these innocent Palestinians whose imprisonment is yet another proof of the Palestinian refusal to make peace.”