Right-wing Israelis march to Temple Mount to protest Glick shooting

Police disperse 2 riots in east Jerusalem; Glick regains partial consciousness; 4 wounded from Jerusalem terror attack still in hospitals.

Right-wing protesters supporting Yehuda Glick (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Right-wing protesters supporting Yehuda Glick
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Surrounded by a coterie of police officers, dozens of rightwing Israelis outraged by the assassination attempt against Temple Mount activist Yehudah Glick marched Thursday night from the site he was shot to the gate of the contested holy site.
Glick, who has partially regained consciousness following multiple surgeries, has become a potent symbol for Jewish prayer rights at the Temple Mount since he was shot four times at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center by an Islamic Jihad member last week.
As young men waved large Israeli flags and blue flags with the inscription “Build the Temple” under a full moon, Yehiel Yisrael explained why the march was so important.
“We’re here in solidarity with Yehudah Glick,” he said. “His major leadership is to allow Jews to pray on the Temple Mount.”
Noting that the Supreme Court allows Jewish prayer at the holy site, yet severely restricts visitation and forbids any form of prayer that can be deemed “incitement” – including Jews merely moving their lips – Yisrael said the status quo must be changed.
“The only thing I can compare it to is Nazi Nuremberg laws,” he said. “It’s totally corrupt and totally wrong. We have every right to be there.”
Akiva Ariel, a 20-year-old yeshiva student, said he was marching to make clear that Arabs do not have sovereignty over Judaism’s holiest site.
“I want to show that the Temple Mount belongs to the Jews and that the Arab who tried to kill Yehudah Glick wanted to show that the Temple Mount doesn’t belong to us,” he said.
“It doesn’t belong to Arabs and terrorists.”
Moreover, Ariel said, it is unacceptable that the few times he has visited the holy site, he was accosted by Muslims shouting “Allahu akbar” (God is great).
“They don’t let us pray and it’s not right,” he said.
“It’s not enough to hope [Glick] wakes up soon; the people must wake up,” added Ya’acov Hayman.
“The status quo is not holy, the Temple Mount is holy. The time has come for Jews to be able to pray on the Temple Mount and to stop all discrimination there.”
Hayman added that he found it particularly objectionable that the only democratic country in the Middle East enforces religious restrictions on its own people.
“The only religion that’s discriminated against in the Jewish state is the Jewish religion, and it’s most pronounced on the Temple Mount,” he said.
Husband and wife activists Stuart and Arlene Gherman said Glick’s shooting propelled them to take action.
“We have to stand up against violence, and we feel a closeness to people who feel a closeness with their Jewish heritage,” said Stuart. “Jewish rights being denied on the Temple Mount is an abomination.”
“Mainly, we’re here because we read about these things happening all the time and say ‘What can we do?’” added Arlene.
Meanwhile, according to a hospital spokeswoman at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Glick is presently “awake from time to time” and slowly improving, but not yet out of danger.
The spokeswoman said he has been able to answer questions with “yes” and “no” and recognizes his family, but has not yet spoken full sentences. Reached by phone Thursday morning, Glick’s sister-in-law said the family is encouraged by his ongoing recovery.
“We’re very relieved and he’s doing better every day,” she said.
As for those wounded in Wednesday’s terror attack in Jerusalem, a hospital official said three male patients remain hospitalized, one seriously in the general intensive care unit; another in moderate condition in the orthopedics department; and the third in very serious condition in the cardiac intensive care unit for treatment of a heart attack he suffering after being lightly wounded in the attack.
The Hadassah University Medical Center in Ein Kerem has two patients from the terror attack, one in moderate condition, who after surgery regained consciousness and has significantly improved, and another person who is in critical condition.
The hospital also has three victims of Wednesday’s terror attack in Gush Etzion, with three wounded. One is in good condition, the second in moderate- to-serious condition and undergoing an operation, and the third in intensive care and in serious condition, an official said.
With respect to ongoing violence in the capital, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said two riots took place Thursday afternoon in the east Jerusalem neighborhoods of Abu Tor and Shuafat.
“In Abu Tor police were attacked by approximately 30 suspects who threw rocks at them,” he said. “No arrests or injuries were reported and police were able to disperse rioters using nonlethal stun grenades.”
Noting that Arab rioting is common following Friday prayers on the Temple Mount, Rosenfeld said security assessments are being made for the Old City, and that heightened security will remain in effect throughout the capital indefinitely.
Judy Siegel contributed to this report.