Just Before Entering Knesset, Yehuda Glick Visits Temple Mount for Last Time
Jerusalem (TPS) – Temple Mount activist and soon-to-be Likud Member of Knesset Yehuda Glick seized the final opportunity on Monday morning to visit the Temple Mount, a contested holy site that also houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Glick, an American-born rabbi with a distinctive red beard, is an outspoken advocate for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. Currently, parts of the site are open to visits by small groups of Jews, but only Muslims may pray or perform any acts of worship.
Members of Knesset are now banned by order of the prime minister from visiting the Temple Mount due to fear of stirring passions around the holy site that may result in violence. The Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque compound have been a central flashpoint, and tensions around the area are seen as contributing to the recent wave of terrorism against Israelis.
Glick has said he would not defy the ban and would call to allow Jewish prayer on the site “from within the Knesset.”
Glick was previously banned from visiting the Temple Mount due to fears that his presence would cause riots and uproar. After being acquitted on charges of harassing a Palestinian woman, however, he was granted re-entry to the site three months ago.
He barely survived an assassination attempt when he was shot by a Palestinian gunman outside Jerusalem’s Begin Center in October 2014, following a conference concerning the Jewish presence on the Temple Mount. According to Glick, before opening fire the gunman told him, “you are an enemy of Al-Aqsa.”
He was placed at the back of the Likud slate for the Knesset in the last election and did not get a seat. However, after last week’s resignation by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Glick will be sworn in as the newest member of Knesset representing the Likud party. He will officially assume the position on Monday night at 11 p.m.