Shamai Glick – a portrait

When one man decides to take a stand.

Glick (with visiting Christians at the Western Wall) guards against any perceived offense to the State of Israel or IDF. (photo credit: PR)
Glick (with visiting Christians at the Western Wall) guards against any perceived offense to the State of Israel or IDF.
(photo credit: PR)
He insists on being considered a human rights activist, while his main activity has been, for the last three years or so, focusing on canceling and preventing any event he considers to be offensive toward the State of Israel or the IDF.
His most famous recent achievement was the decision of the Jerusalem municipality to close down the Barbur Gallery, after its management held an event for the Breaking the Silence organization. On September 10 he announced on his Facebook page a campaign to prevent Gisha (an association that works to enable freedom of movement for Palestinians) from obtaining a $100,000 grant from the Netherlands government.
He is Shamai (Shay) Glick, the nephew of MK Yehudah Glick, a leading activist for the right of Jews to visit and pray on the Temple Mount. The younger Glick says that he became aware of the power of social media for the first time after his uncle was shot by a Palestinian.
“It was there all the time before the curses, the threats, the money they put as a reward on [Yehudah’s] head – I realized how powerful media could be. Right after I heard what happened, instead of going to the hospital where obviously I couldn’t be useful, I sat at my desk, connected and began to spread what I wanted to say.
“In fact, I have not stopped doing it since that day, a little more than three years ago. I checked all the profiles and the names of those who attacked him and threatened him. I hid my profile and asked for their friendship on Facebook, for example, and thus I could follow what they said, what they planned, what they wanted to achieve, and I brought all the names to the police. When some of them found out they began to threaten me. They found out my home address in Beit Shemesh.”
Shamay Glick is the married father of two children and works in hi-tech. He insists that he is an ordinary person, with no political aspirations, but is just not ready to leave the social media arena exclusively to the Palestinians or left-wing speakers.
The turning point was a film made for and by the B’Tselem organization, which Glick thought was offensive to IDF soldiers. Those were the days of Operation Protective Edge in 2014, when Glick used for the first time the weapon he has since sharpened and improved.
Whenever a film or a lecture or any public event aims, in his opinion, to offend or bash the Israeli side or the IDF, he immediately sends letters to city council members if the event takes place in a public venue. If it is an event with a cultural aspect, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev is his first address.
The websites of cities across the country and theater boards are targets of his activity. When this is not enough, MKs and ministers are next on his action list.
One of his notorious achievements in Jerusalem was the action against the Breaking the Silence event at the Barbur Gallery. Even before that, upon discovering that the B’Tselem film was scheduled to be screened at another venue, Beit Hansen, Glick didn’t stop until he got the screening canceled and Mayor Nir Barkat closed down Barbur.
Glick has similarly succeeded in halting the activity of the Al-Midan Arab theater in Jaffa. He warns that he won’t stop until “offensive and bashing events” are totally banished from public venues or funded by public money.
In the case of the Barbur Gallery, Glick claims that, had it included events of right-wing groups, he would not have acted against the gallery. Nevertheless, Glick has become an unavoidable figure in the struggle led by the Right against leftist organizations