What does it take to be labeled a ‘right wing activist’? Radical ideas? Hardliner beliefs? Violence?
In the case of Rabbi Yehuda Glick, it seems a long beard and a yarmulke were enough.
On October 29th Rabbi Yehuda was shot four times by an Arab terrorist at close range in Jerusalem. He was badly wounded. The media, reporting on the (political) assassination attempt was quick to label Glick ‘a right wing activist‘. Is it fair to label Glick thus? Let’s look at the facts, and examine his actual activity.
Glick is by the way also an American citizen. Did you hear about this (political) assassination? Did the American embassy issue any sort of condemnation? Did it offer support to Glick’s family?
Yehuda Glick advocates for the right of Jews to visit and pray on the holiest place for Jews – The Temple Mount. As the status quo currently stands Jews are allowed to visit the sacred site only a number of hours a day, excluding Fridays. Saturdays and Muslim Holidays. They, much like the tourists, can enter the Mount from one specific entrance alone, but unlike the tourists they are subjugated to meticulous security checks to make sure they’re not carrying any Judaic items. They are also strictly forbidden from praying, and are usually accompanied by a Jordanian Waqf member (a sort of Islamic policeman), who makes sure they don’t even mutter anything or appear to be praying at heart.
Let me repeat that: Jews are not allowed to pray in the holiest place for Jews in the Jewish state. Most of the time they’re not even allowed in. Furthermore, the single entrance allowed to Jews is often closed depending solely on the mood of the Arabs. (Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4)
The Arabs, who also claim The Mount to be a (third most) holy place to them, on the other hand are free to enter the Mount from any entrance at any time. Entrance to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, that are located there, is barred from all non-Muslims. This discriminatory status-quo is kept in order to “keep the peace” and to “avoid provocation”. Many believe in all seriousness that this is “the most tense place in the Middle East / the entire world” and that “it can start The Third Intifada / World War III”. These absurd claims are, of course, overblown beyond belief. No serious comparative, academic study can actually compare or connect The Temple Mount, and the violence it might have “ignited”, to the rivers of blood being spilled right now in the Middle East, let alone the world. Still, Status Quos seem to be an addiction in Israel.
In the meantime Arabs destroy archaeological relics in their “holy site”, pile garbage at their “holy site”, allow kids to play soccer at their “holy site”, stockpile rocks and fireworks for violent riot and attack against Jews inside their “holy site”.
So coming back to my original question and to Rabbi Yehuda Glick. What was he doing to deserve 4 bullets? Was he indeed a “right wing radical”? Was he indeed “provoking” the Muslims? Was he “inflaming” the entire Middle East, as all the radical Muslim Facebook pages shout, and the “liberal” media cheerfully repeats? Was he, perhaps, calling to destroy the Muslim holy sites and replace them with Jewish ones? Was he indeed “the most dangerous man in the Middle East“?
Not at all. Not even close. His message is a message of peace, coexistence and unity. Just check the videos below. This has always been his message both in Hebrew and in English. Even those videos on YouTube with incitement in Arabic over them prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Yehuda is a man of peace. A Human Rights activist advocating for freedom of religion, not a “right wing activist”.
He, on the other hand, was often a victim on The Temple Mount of verbal and often physical abuse.
Rabbi Yehuda Glick. Judge for yourselves.
Furthermore, Rabbi Yehuda is as apolitical a person as one could get. He always makes it his point not to pass judgement on any politicians or any government decisions. In one of the Temple Mount conventions he arranged, that I visited (a convention much like the one after which he was shot), some of the speakers were, for example, quick to call for the resignation of the Internal Security Minister, in light of the growing violent unrest in the capital. Not so Yehuda. He publicly pronounced in the very beginning of the conference he has no criticism to pass on any politician, nor on the work of the police. Just a deep belief that All is One and a dream of a Prayer House for All Nations, a center for all monotheistic religions.
Rabbi Glick’s ideology put to practice on The Temple Mount.
Sharing a prayer with the Muslims in Arabic and later in Hebrew in good spirits.
And this is, of course, the reason he was targeted by the radical Islamists. Not because he’s a radical, but because he’s a moderate. Because he’s the epitome of moderation. And that’s scary to the Arab extremist. That is much more dangerous to the radical, militant Islam than any far-right oponent, because The Temple Mount must remain a “scary” place for the Jews. Rabbi Yehuda is bringing the Temple Mount to the mainstream consciousness of the Jewish people, where it belongs, and he does it without violence or extremism. And if that happens, if The Temple Mount will return to the mainstream of the Jewish people, the entire “indigenous Palestinian” narrative will collapse as the fallacy that it is.
As a Western, liberal, atheist, I’d like to add that I would expect my country, as a free, democratic country that it is, to equate this religious site to all other religious site, of which our tiny land has an abundance of. No reason whatsoever to treat The Temple Mount with “special needs”. Visiting hours should be, if not the same then, similar to the visiting hours of the Jewish Western Wall or the Christian Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Access should be opened to all without exception, like it is on the Jewish Western Wall or the Christian Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Finally, a site so obviously filled with history, should have archaeological works on it 24/7.
Yehuda, still in a hospital, is luckily on his way to full recovery. A divine intervention?
On the cover image: the sad state of things at the currently Muslim administered Temple Mount.