The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court has ordered the police to pay Temple Mount
rights activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick almost NIS 30,000 in compensation for
wrongful arrests on two occasions.
Glick has long claimed that the police
discriminate against religious Jews wishing to visit the Temple Mount compared
with treatment received by Jews of a non-religious appearance.
and others, said that the police demand that religious Jews wishing to go up to
the Temple Mount deposit their identity card at the police security booth at the
entrance to the site. They also limit the number of people in a religious group
and conduct more rigorous searches on religious Jews than on other
In 2009, he filed a petition with the High Court of Justice on
this issue but the case was dismissed.
In December of that year Glick
tried to film the security booth in order to provide proof of his claim, but was
arrested (on two occasions) by the police for this activity.
rabbi subsequently filed a suit for damages against the police, arguing that the
arrests caused him mental anguish and were defamatory and injurious to his
Judge Aviv Malka of the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ruled on
Tuesday in favor of Glick, awarding him NIS 29,700, plus interest and adjusted
for inflation, in accordance with the demands made by the rabbi in his
“The plaintiff was arrested not because of any specific activities
but rather because of the fact that he was identified as a provocateur (perhaps
justifiably), a consideration that is not acceptable for detaining or arresting
someone without a factual basis justifying the detainment or arrest,” the judge
“The arrest or detainment of a person without an immediate or
fitting reason except for past activities or his opinions is an act that
characterizes dubious regimes and not the democratic government of the State of
Israel. The result is that the plaintiff is entitled to compensation for these
A complaint filed against the police by Glick in relation
to a third arrest was dismissed by the judge who ruled that the rabbi had not
succeeded in proving that the police had acted unreasonably.
incident, Glick had brought a goat into the Old City of Jerusalem in March 2010
ahead of the Passover festival, but was arrested by the police on suspicion that
he wished to perform the Jewish ceremony of the Passover sacrifice on the Temple
Glick claimed that he had intended to merely conduct a prayer
ceremony in the Hurva synagogue with the goat in symbolic remembrance of the
Passover sacrifice, but Judge Malka ruled that the police had been justified in
detaining him on that occasion.
Glick has for years worked with several
organizations that seek to assert Jewish visitation and prayer rights on the
Temple Mount and actively encourage more Jews to visit the holy place.
now heads a new project called Liba, funded by the Temple Mount Heritage
Foundation and the Israel Independence Fund, which conducts legal advocacy to
advance civil rights at the site as well as public advocacy promoting Jewish
Increasing numbers of religious people, mainly from the
national religious community, have begun visiting the Temple Mount in recent
years, largely due to the activities of the Temple Mount rights
The phenomenon has led to increased security tensions at
the site as well as increased political tension between nationalist and national
religious politicians and Arab political parties in the Knesset.