Court: Temple Mount Activist Can Visit the Site Again

Yehuda Glick, formerly banned from the site and now allowed to visit under certain conditions, slammed the ruling for being 'disproportionate.'

Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick.
Emil Salman

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ruled Tuesday that right-wing activist Yehuda Glick can visit the Temple Mount once again, after he was barred from doing so several months.

The decision came in the wake of an indictment served against him for attacking a Palestinian woman at the holy site, in Jerusalem's Old City, and following a claim by the government that his presence there was liable to cause provocations and violence. At the same time, the court accepted the request of the State Prosecutor’s Office to postpone the decision by three days in order to enable the state to appeal to the district court.

Judge Miriam Kaslasi accepted Glick’s appeal and said he would be henceforth permitted access to the site under certain restrictive conditions.

According to her ruling, Glick can go up to the Temple Mount once a month, at a time to be decided by the police, accompanied by one person who does not have a criminal past. Glick is prohibited from bringing a telephone or camera with him, or from making any loud pronouncements “so that he won’t be able to incite the Muslim community.”

Regarding the claim that Glick’s presence in itself is liable to cause disorderly conduct and may constitute a danger to the public, the judge wrote that, “First of all, it hasn’t been proven to me that this is a clear and present danger. Secondly, on the assumption that there is such a danger – it is not necessarily related to activities in which the respondent is liable to engage, and therefore the criminal procedural realm is not the correct or proper framework in which to discuss it.”

Last October, Glick, the driving force behind the movement to enable Jews pray on the Temple Mount, was the victim of an assassination attempt. About two weeks prior to that incident, he was served an indictment for attacking a Muslim woman on the Mount, which is also holy to Islam.

According to the charge sheet, during a visit there by Glick in late August 2014, there was an altercation between him and Ziva Badarna, 67, a member of the Mourabitoun (the Palestinian “guards” on the Mount), during which Glick reportedly pushed her, knocked her down and caused her to break her arm.

Along with their indictment the police submitted a request, which was approved by the Jerusalem District Court, to distance Glick from the area until the conclusion of proceedings against him. He appealed the decision, claiming that his freedom of access had been compromised, and that this prevented him from engaging in his work as a tour guide. Glick added in his appeal that he would visit the site tied to a wheelchair, to calm the fears of the police and prove that he is not dangerous to Muslim worshipers at the site.

Glick’s response to the latest ruling in Jerusalem: “I congratulate the court for accepting my basic claim that the job of the police is to protect the public, and that it is unconscionable for them to punish the victim of violence because of a danger from violent groups.

“At the same time the decision is far from being proportionate, both because it confers permission to ascend [to the Temple Mount] once a month to someone who was used to ascending three to four times a day. And also because it is based on the mistaken assumption that Arab violence is a result of the behavior of the Jews and not due to a terrorist initiative, as security experts have already revealed.

“In addition, we must harshly criticize the fact that the court is harming the disabled by ruling that a person who has trouble walking cannot be a tour guide. My attorney and I will study the decision and consider what further steps to take.”