Civil Rights Group: MK Yehudah Glick Should Be Compensated for Temple Mount Ban

The Supreme Court will decide Monday whether to hear an appeal by Glick aimed at restoring damages awarded for his ban from the Jerusalem holy site for over two years.

Speaker Yuli Edelstein, right, looks on as MK Yehudah Glick speaks during the Knesset session in which the MK was sworn in, May 25, 2016.
Menahem Kahana, AFP

The Supreme Court will decide Monday whether to hear an appeal by Yehudah Glick aimed at restoring damages awarded for his ban from Jerusalem’s Temple Mount for over two years. Glick entered the Knesset in May, representing Likud.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel is supporting Glick’s appeal and has asked to be listed as an appellant.

In 2011, the day after Israel Channel 10 aired a story that showed Glick saying a prayer on the site, he was arrested and banned from the Temple Mount until further notice. He was not allowed back into the compound for over two years. Glick sued the state, demanding compensation and arguing that the ban was not reexamined during the entire period.

In 2015, Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court Judge Malka Aviv ruled in Glick’s favor and ordered the state to pay Glick 500,000 shekels ($126,000) in damages and 150,000 shekels in court costs.

The state appealed to the Jerusalem District Court, which in January overturned the ruling of the lower court. In the verdict, Judge Nava Ben-Or agreed that the police were negligent in not reevaluating the ban but noted that Glick had not sought to reduce the damage by petitioning the High Court of Justice to rescind it.

The latter part of Ben-Or’s ruling led ACRI to seek to join Glick’s appeal. ACRI legal adviser Dan Yakir said it is unreasonable to expect a citizen to petition the High Court of Justice to prevent negligence by a government agency.

“We believe that it must be determined, as a rule, that an administrative authority that does wrong cannot evade paying compensation for damages it unlawfully caused an individual by arguing that the individual should have sought a court order to get it to stop the injustice,” he wrote in ACRI’s request.

“The burden of ending the injustice lies with the wrongdoer, even more so on a public wrongdoer. It does not lie with the court prompted by the injured party.

“The injured party can of course choose to make a preemptive appeal to the court, whether it be the High Court of Justice or any other competent court, asking for the public injustice against him to be stopped. But he is also permitted not to do so,” Yakir wrote.

Glick said yesterday he hoped justice would finally be done.