Stormy Cabinet Meeting Erupts Over Glick Shooting

MKs rip into Internal Security Minister, Police Commissioner for Glick shooting, violence in J'lem, and incitement in stormy hearing.

Hezki Baruch and Tova Dvorin,

Internal Security Minister, Yitzhak Aharonovi
Internal Security Minister, Yitzhak Aharonovi
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The weekly Cabinet meeting dissolved into a stormy debate on the Temple Mount and Jerusalem on Sunday, as ministers hotly argued over the proper course of action to take before - and after - the attempted murder of Temple Mount rights activist Yehuda Glick.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) reportedly left the room at the start of the debate, which erupted after Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett began firing serious allegations at Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich (Yisrael Beytenu) over the shooting and the issues behind it. 

Among other things, Bennett asked Aharonovich why there were no indictments filed against Arabs who have assaulted Jews who had come to the Temple Mount in recent months - on the background of Arab rioting in Jerusalem in general, which has skyrocketed to the point that more than 5,000 arrests are being made per month. 

Bennett also raised serious questions on the nature of Israel's incitement laws and their enforcement, noting that "if it was a Peace Now activist [who was shot] the police would be stepping on my toes right now." 

In addition, the Jewish Home Chairman noted that no fewer than five death threats were lobbed against Glick before the shooting - and that not only did police ignore the threats, but that one senior police officer once called Glick "the most dangerous man in Israel" - inspiring incitement himself. 

Additional accusations were lobbed at the security establishment hours later Sunday, during a related meeting in the Knesset Interior Committee on Glick, which was held, inter alia, with several MKs, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, and Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino. 

Committee Chairman MK Miri Regev (Likud) noted that the "writing was on the wall" in Glick's case, and chastised Danino for not taking action sooner to quell the ongoing violence in Jerusalem. 

Danino, as usual, attempted to downplay his role in events, stressing that "all leaders have a responsibility - to Jews and Arabs alike - to keep security." 

Things slowly began to devolve, however, after MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) then accused Danino of falsifying police reports, noting that "anyone who says that rock-throwing in Silwan has declined recently is disconnected from reality," after multiple security incidents erupted over the weekend. 

Danino responded by saying that "anyone who does not say there is a decline in rioting and rock-throwing is disconnected from reality," and by emphasizing that, unlike in the past, the Israel police is now working to ensure that Jews can ascend to the Temple Mount safely. 

Both Aharonovich and Danino have become focal points for criticism over what many perceive as an inadequate response to the constant cycle of violence in Jerusalem - prompting much drama around goings-on in the police and the government over how the attacks have been handled. 

Frustration with both security leaders has climaxed, as Glick's shooting is the latest in a series of major attacks that were played down by the Israel Police and Internal Security Ministry, including the murder of 27-year-old construction worker Netanel Arami hy"d last month and 19-year-old Shelly Dadon hy"d earlier this year. 

The frustration also stems from the revelation that in June senior police officials reportedly decided to ignore a Moked 100 hotline call from abducted teens Naftali Frankel (16), Eyal Yifrah (19), and Gilad Sha'ar (16), hy"d, after they reported their own abduction. The teens were murdered shortly after the call. 




top