Yehuda Glick the 'Extremist' - and that Palestinian Guy

Ari Soffer,

Yehuda Glick
Yehuda Glick
Flash 90
Ari Soffer
Born in London, UK, he was active in a variety of pro-Israel and counterextremism organizations before making Aliyah and joining Arutz Sheva in 2013. Today he lives in the ancient Jewish town of Shiloh, in Israel's Samaria region. Follow him on Twitter: @AriSoffer1 Read Ari's Op-Eds here....

Sometimes an event occurs which blows the lid off the entire false discourse surrounding the Arab-Israel conflict. The attempted murder of Temple Mount activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick last night is just such an event.

Consider the following bizarre/hypocritical responses to the attack, and ask how it is that otherwise "intelligent" people subscribe to them unquestioningly - and how often we fail to challenge them ourselves.

1. Scores of secular Jews and non-Jews have been sort of, kind of, justifying the shooting or attempting to partially deflect blame from the killers, by claiming that Jews shouldn't be allowed to visit the Temple Mount (which just happens to be the holiest site in Judaism) in the first place because - get this - it is "against halakha" (Jewish law) to do so!

Apart from the fact that this is inaccurate (there is a halakhic debate about if and how it is permitted to ascend the Mount, with prominent rabbis in either camp, and surely it is not up to Islamists or other non-Jews to have the final say in the form of violence and intimidation,) it is remarkably odd that people who don't give a damn about, or are even hostile towards Orthodox Judaism suddenly turn into hardline conservatives when it comes to Jews being allowed on the Temple Mount.

2. Islamists and other regular inciters against Israel immediately and angrily denounced the closure of the Temple Mount by Israeli security forces, as part of a security lockdown following the shooting, and cited it as "proof" that "Al Aqsa is in danger", as if it happened in some sort of a vacuum. Another example of how Palestinians and their supporters are simply unable to take responsibility for their own actions.

3. A culmination of number 2., Mahmoud Abbas - who bears much of the responsibility for ongoing violence in Jerusalem - said the Temple Mount closure was "an act of war" by Israel. 


And shooting a rabbi is what, precisely...?

4. Predictably, Yehuda Glick - an unarmed, nonviolent activist for equal prayer rights - is being cast as an extremist, while ongoing Palestinian violence is being framed as a "natural reaction" to one thing or another.

Consider this beauty from Reuters:

Israeli police on Thursday shot dead a 32-year-old Palestinian suspected of having tried hours earlier to kill a far-right Jewish activist, leading to clashes in East Jerusalem and fears of a new Palestinian uprising.

Moataz Hejazi's body lay in a pool of blood among satellite dishes on the rooftop of a three-story house in Abu Tor, a district of Arab East Jerusalem, as Israeli forces sealed the area and repelled stone-throwing Palestinian protesters.

People, please take note:

Convicted terrorist suspected of attempted murder, who opened fire at police as they came to arrest him = Just a regular "32-year-old Palestinian", no frills.

Arab youths hurling rocks and other projectiles at police in an attempt to defend said suspect = "stone-throwing protesters."

Peaceful activist who was gunned down after giving a seminar = far-right.

Or this from AFP:

Israeli police Thursday shot dead a Palestinian suspected of an assassination attempt on a hardline campaigner for Jewish prayer rights at Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

...Shortly afterwards, local youths began throwing stones at the force and dragged a rubbish skip into the middle of the road [as you do...] as police fired back sporadically with rubber bullets and tear gas.

Or this:

 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday ordered a "significant increase" in police deployments in Jerusalem following an assassination attempt on a Jewish ultranationalist.

Does this look like a "hardline" "far-right" "utlranationalist" extremist to you?

Joint prayer for peace with Muslims on Temple Mount:

5. You may have noticed this in the above quote, but... um... Al-Aqsa mosque compound? Terminology here is extremely important. They are essentially delegitimizing any Jewish claim by framing the Temple Mount as a Muslim shrine, period. I mean, it's not like the Jews were there first or anything, right?

But wait, there's more:

The compound houses Islam's third holiest site, but is also the most sacred spot for Jews [by the way] who refer to the site as the Temple Mount due to the fact it once housed two Jewish temples.  Although non-Muslims are allowed to visit the site, Jews are not allowed to pray there for fear it could disturb the fragile status quo [and we wouldn't want that].

Again, placing Jewish claims secondary (despite the fact that historically its status as a Jewish holy site precedes its Islamic "status" by centuries and more) is a subtle but effective device used to play down Jewish claims. The use of a term like "who refer to the site" is, again, something similar: i.e. "it is called the Al Aqsa mosque compound, but Jews insist on referring to it as something else to further a (later? illegitimate?) claim."

And protecting the "fragile status quo" is assumed to be a clearly noble cause, worth sacrificing Jewish prayers rights as a matter of course. No questions asked.

Reuters did it better though:

Hejazi was suspected of shooting and wounding Yehuda Glick, a far-right religious activist [pejorative #1] who has led a campaign for Jews to be allowed to pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, Jerusalem's most sensitive site and holy to Islam and Judaism. [Oh, so that's what it's called.]

Glick, a U.S.-born settler, [pejorative #2] was shot as he left a conference at the Menachem Begin Heritage Centre in Jerusalem late on Wednesday, his assailant escaping on the back of a motorcycle. A spokesman for the center said Hejazi had worked at a restaurant there. Glick,48, remains in serious but stable condition in hospital, doctors said.

The area around Al-Aqsa, also know as Temple Mount, was closed to all as a security precaution, an act the Palestinian leadership dubbed a near-declaration of war.

Only much later do we find a fleeting reference to: "Al -Aqsa and the Temple Mount, the third-holiest shrine in Islam and the holiest place in Judaism."

This isn't an exhaustive list (I could go on all day) - so if you have suggested additions feel free to post them in the comments section below.