Rabbi Yehuda Glick, pictured on July 14, 2015, is next in line for the seat of Moshe Yaalon after the Israeli Defense Minister resigned from his position
Rabbi Yehuda Glick, pictured on July 14, 2015, is next in line for the seat of Moshe Yaalon after the Israeli Defence Minister resigned from his position © Ahmad Gharabli - AFP/File
Rabbi Yehuda Glick, pictured on July 14, 2015, is next in line for the seat of Moshe Yaalon after the Israeli Defense Minister resigned from his position
AFP
Last updated: May 22, 2016

Hardline US-born rabbi to enter Israel's parliament

Banner Icon The resignation of Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon on Friday has opened the way for a hardliner who advocates Jewish prayer at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound to enter parliament.

American-born Yehuda Glick is the next in line on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party list, meaning he is entitled to take the seat of any party MP who dies or steps down.

The 50-year-old New Yorker may not have thought he would get this chance, after being shot four times by a Palestinian from Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem in late 2014. The attacker was shot dead by security forces a day later.

The nationalist rabbi, who immigrated with his family to Israel as a child, is loathed by Palestinians, who see as a provocation any Jewish presence at the flashpoint mosque complex in Jerusalem's Old City which houses Islam's third-holiest shrine,

Jews believe the site was home to the first and second Jewish temples before being destroyed by the Babylonians and Romans, and thus revere it as the holiest site in Judaism.

Current rules governing the site allow Jews to visit during set hours but not to pray there, for fear of stoking tensions.

Glick has been an outspoken advocate of Jewish rights to the holy site and has also guided visits there.

In March he returned to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound for the first time since the assassination attempt. Speaking to AFP at the time, he said it was like "returning home".

However he will not be able to visit the Al-Aqsa compound once he becomes a member of parliament, as Netanyahu issued a directive in October banning all lawmakers from going there, in a bid to ease tensions.

He told Israeli media Friday he would abide by the ruling: "With my entrance to politics, I am a team player and not an individual one."

A court recently exonerated Glick of a charge of assaulting a Palestinian woman, and removed the police ban on him visiting the holy site.

blog comments powered by Disqus