Activist and would-be Likud MK Yehuda Glick, who seeks to promote greater Jewish freedoms at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, is planning to hold a public event Sunday marking the one-year anniversary of a failed attempt on his life in which he was badly injured. Senior government ministers plan to attend the event, during which activists who have promoted Jewish access to the contested holy site will be honored.
Arab fears over alleged Israeli intentions to change the status-quo at the Mount — where Jews are allowed to visit but not to pray — and its al-Aqsa Mosque have sparked major unrest in recent weeks and still play a major part in the current wave of terrorism against Israeli civilians.
The event, scheduled to take place in Jerusalem’s Menachem Begin Heritage Center, “is for everyone who prayed, aided and hoped for my well-being,” said Glick, a rabbi and activist best known for his efforts to allow Jews to freely worship on the Temple Mount, in a statement. “I invite all those people to join in celebrating my miraculous survival and recovery. I am eternally grateful to God, Who must have felt that I have more to do in this world.”
On October 29, 2014, Glick was shot by a Palestinian terrorist outside the Begin Center. The gunman, Mutaz Hijazi, approached Glick on a motorcycle, called him an “enemy of al-Aqsa” and shot him four times at point-blank range. Glick had just concluded a talk on “the importance of maintaining a Jewish presence on the Temple Mount,” according to a press release by the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation, which he founded.
“Glick not only survived the assassination attempt but has relentlessly continued his mission to assure that the Temple Mount remain open to all denominations who wish to ascend this holy place,” the statement said. “In recent weeks, Glick published a guide book of the Temple Mount titled ‘Arise and Ascend,’ which will be available at the event.”
Glick, 49, is a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party. He occupies the 33rd spot on the party’s Knesset list, and is thus only two seats away from becoming a Knesset member.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan — a member of Netanyahu’s security cabinet — Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely are scheduled to speak at the event, titled “Survival and Celebration,” along with Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Arye Stern.
In addition to speeches, “music, dancing” and screenings of a film called “A Jerusalem Hug from Heaven,” which Glick prepared especially for the evening, the event will also commemorate the 850th anniversary of Maimonides’ ascension to the Temple Mount, according to the press release. A group called Callers of Zion “will recognize those who have strengthened and organized access to the Temple Mount.”
Senior Arab leaders continue to accuse Israel of seeking to harm the al-Aqsa Mosque and to allow Jewish prayer at the Mount, which is the third-holiest site in Islam and Judaism’s holiest. Netanyahu has reiterated countless times that his government has no intention of changing the status quo at the site, although some senior members of his party and his cabinet have called for Jews to be allowed to worship there.