Yehuda Glick aims to end the Jewish prayer ban at the sacred Temple Mount.

Yehuda Joshua Glick, an American-born Israeli rabbi, officially became a member of Knesset, the unicameral national legislature of Israel, last Wednesday (May 25). The position in the assembly opened up after Moshe Ya'alon, who has been serving as the Defense Minister of Israel, resigned on May 20, 2016.

Glick, while joining the party, promised that he will abide by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s directive, a directive designed by the PM to defuse tensions at the Temple Mount. The directive explicitly prohibits the Knesset members and ministers from going to the Temple Mount.

However, last Monday, in a direct violation of Netanyahu’s directive, Glick visited the Temple Mount. This irked the PM, who scolded Glick upon his return, and told him never to do that again.

Glick has always been an avid campaigner for expanding Jewish access to the Temple Mount. In fact, he is the leader of HaLiba, an organization that is working towards obtaining complete and comprehensive freedom and civil rights for Jews on the Temple Mount.

In 2015, he received the award of Moskowitz Prize for Zionism, for being active for human rights and religious freedom on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Glick also survived an assassination attempt in 2014, by Mutaz Hijazi, an outfit of Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine.

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is a holy place for both Muslims and Jews. For political and security reasons, the Israeli government has imposed entry limits to the Temple. Muslims have full access to the site. They have the exclusive right to pray there. Jews, however, has restricted visiting hours. Also, praying and worshiping in the Temple is prohibited for the Jews.

In addition to all this, Jewish Law also prohibits Jews from ascending the mount. The mount is the site of Judaism’s first and second temples. The Ark of the Covenant is supposedly stored in the First Temple. The restriction for Jews is based on the fear that they might inadvertently step over the holy relics.

During his swearing-in speech, Glick called for an end to the ban on Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount site. According to The Times of Israel, Glick said that he would do everything in his power to end the injustice that is taking place at the holiest place in the world for them. He also criticized the Muslim officials at the Temple Mount for triggering violence at the site.

Glick is opposed to the establishment of a Palestinian state. However, Prime Minister Netanyahu supports a two-state solution.

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