About to Become Likud's Newest MK, Yehuda Glick Agrees Temple Mount Is Out of Bounds, for Now

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
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Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick.
Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick. Credit: Emil Salman
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

For almost six months, Yehuda Glick, a person associated with organizations devoted to reviving the  Jewish Temple, has been waiting on the brink of entering the Knesset. In the next few days, with the departure of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, he will be sworn in.

“I was afraid that I’d join the Knesset after someone was caught doing something shameful and having to resign and I’m glad that didn’t happen.  I’m very sorry Ya’alon has gone. I think the nation owes him a great debt and that this is a big loss for the Likud party," he told Haaretz.

"If he changes his mind I’ll be the first to rejoice. I do understand the constraints Netanyahu was operating under and I have no complaints.”

Glick was recently attacked verbally, cursed by right wing activists for expressing support for Ya’alon in the case of the soldier who shot the prostrate dying terrorist in Hebron, and for condemning in writing the conduct of that soldier, Elor Azaria. Glick also expressed support for a unity government. He’s been supporting the prime minister in recent months, although he’s still active in promoting the Temple Mount issue.

Glick was number 33 on the Likud’s list of Knesset candidates, a slot which, before the elections, seemed unlikely to be filled. He was part of former MK  Moshe Feiglin’s Jewish leadership movement, a faction within the Likud. In contrast to Feiglin, Glick did not leave that movement. Glick used to be the Transportation Ministry spokesman but resigned after the disengagement from Gaza. Since then he’s devoted all his time to the struggle for allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, becoming a spokesman for various organizations espousing a revival of the Temple. 

Glick collaborated with MK Miri Regev in the previous Knesset, raising the issue of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. In October 2014 he was shot by a Palestinian assassin as he came out of a conference dealing with that topic. He was gravely wounded but recovered following prolonged treatments.

For a long time he was barred from the Temple Mount by police and state attorneys, based on concerns that his appearance there would lead to violent outbursts. On several occasions he went on lengthy hunger strikes in protest. Three months ago he was acquitted of charges of assaulting a Palestinian woman on the Mount and the prohibition on his visits was rescinded. He returned to visiting the compound, but as a Knesset member he will no longer be able to do so, due to an order by the prime minister prohibiting such visits. This order was given as part of agreements reached with Jordan’s King Abdullah in an attempt to reduce tension on the Mount.

“I have no intention of violating this order,” said Glick, noting his understanding of this decision. “The prime minister made it out of necessity after the place became a center of incitement by MKs from the United Arab List. MKs must convince people that they act responsibly. I won’t violate the order but I’ll try and see how it can be changed. I’m not euphoric about my new position, I only hope to be a loyal representative, working for the benefit of the people of Israel.

"There are many things I want to be active in, but of course, ‘if I forget thee Jerusalem let my right hand lose its cunning’, so that I assume that the things that occupied me up to now will continue to do so.”

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