“The situation for Jews on the Temple Mount has dramatically improved over the past few years,” says Rabbi Yehudah Glick. “This type of thing hasn’t happened in some time.”
By Tsivya Fox-Dobuler
Former MK and Temple Mount equal-rights activist Rabbi Yehudah Glick was verbally attacked by a Waqf security guard while giving a tour of the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem on Tuesday. The Temple Mount is the holiest site in the world for the Jewish people and the third-holiest site for Muslims.
“I was touring a group of about 20 people, as I do every Tuesday, when an official guard from the Waqf suddenly yelled profanities at us,” Glick told United With Israel (UWI). “He was shouting, ‘Everything here is Muslim.’ We ignored him and kept walking. Then he started cursing at us. We still ignored him.”
During the 1967 Six-Day War, the IDF liberated the Old City of Jerusalem from Jordanian occupation. Israel, while maintaining security control of the Temple Mount, handed administration of the site back to the Jordanian Islamic Trust, or Waqf.
In the Hebrew-language video below, the Waqf security guard is seen cursing Glick and his group, calling them “garbage,” “sons of dogs” and “sons of 1,000 whores.”
For years, Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount were met with verbal attacks by Palestinians, often women hired to disrupt Jewish visits to the holy site.
Following the Israeli government’s outlawing of verbal violence on the Mount, visits have become much more calm, Glick, who survived an assassination attempt in October 2014, told UWI. “Unfortunately, yesterday’s event reminds us of what was,” he said.
“The situation for Jews on the Temple Mount has dramatically improved over the past few years,” Glick said. “I want to point out that this disturbing incident is a single case. This type of thing hasn’t happened in some time.”
There has been a marked increase of Jews and tourists visiting the holy site, which helps make visits “calmer and more respectful,” he said.
In 2019, close to 50,000 Jews have visited, compared to 15,000 in 2014.
The abusive security guard was arrested by police and has been banned from the Temple Mount for at least one week, Glick said.
Prayer on the Temple Mount
For years, Jews were forbidden to pray on the Temple Mount even though it is the location of the Jewish people’s two most holy ancient houses of prayer. The first was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and the second by the Romans in 70 CE.
“Allowing Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount took a long process,” Glick told UWI. “The change happened over the past two to three years. At first, one could perhaps whisper a prayer. Then, one could pray a bit louder. Even today, as long as Jews don’t organize a demonstrative prayer, pray loudly, sing or dance on the Temple Mount, they can pray in a certain location void of Muslims. That’s been the situation for about a year. I pray for people who ask each time I go up.”
For the Sake of Jerusalem
Glick served as a member of the Knesset from 2016 through 2019. Rather than seeking a political career, he said, he strives to promote his ideology of peace that comes through uplifting the status of Jerusalem and returning the Temple Mount as the global center for peace and reconciliation between peoples.
Glick is the founder and president of the “Shalom Jerusalem Foundation,” which seeks to promote Jerusalem as an inspiration for universal peace and encourages prayer by all nations on the Temple Mount.
“In a few weeks, the holiday of Chanukah will be celebrated,” Glick said. “It is a time when we remember the darkness that was brought upon the Jewish people by the ancient Greeks when they defiled Jerusalem’s holy Temple. From a small amount of pure oil that was miraculously found and should only have lasted one day, the light lasted for eight.
“This time of year is when we especially fight darkness with light. Every candle helps to make a change. Every visitor to the Temple Mount is like a candle. I call on everyone to go to the Temple Mount and make it was it was designed to be, a house for pray for all nations of the world.”
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