Atty Rom and family on Temple Mount
Atty Rom and family on Temple MountFamily album

Attorney Nati Rom, who represents many Temple Mount detainees, referred to the arrest of former Knesset Member Yehuda Glick for questioning following his visit to the Temple Mount.

According to Rom, the form of police conduct was an unusual incident, although "Israeli police involvement in nonsense and Israeli police officers getting into trivialities is not new on the Mount.

"Unfortunately, in the capital of Israel, on the Temple Mount under Israeli sovereignty, basic human rights are violated," says Rom, referring to rights such as freedom of worship, freedom of movement, and other rights deprived to Jews on the Temple Mount. "They're taking police and putting them on non-law-enforcement-related tasks which is extremely problematic and puts them in a corner."

ח"כ לשעבר יהודה גליק מעוכב לחקירה במהלך עלייה להר הביתבאדיבות המצלם

On rights denied to Jews on the Mount, Attorney Rom notes it is puzzling to him that no one talks about this issue, and in his lectures abroad on human rights violations on the Mount complex "people are shocked and horrified. Who arrests whom and why? Everyone knows you can't pass an anti-prayer law. Surely it's inconceivable that Muslims or Christians would be banned from praying in Jerusalem, so how does the Right-wing government prohibit prayer on the Temple Mount?

"How does it happen that if you're a Jew you'll wait hours and hours before entering the Temple Mount and if you are a tourist you go through an abbreviated procedure? How does it happen that contrary to the law when you walk on the Temple Mount, cops surround you, watch you, and watch your movements, and people who call themseves 'Waqf' walk around and that's also illegal. This is threatening harassment and the Supreme Court had its word about that.

"There's been improvement over the past year, but we're still far from the optimal situation and a big shout has to be raised about the violation of human rights. It's unimaginable that a Jew cannot say Shma Yisrael on the Temple Mount. This slackness may have come from the Moshe Dayan era, but it's come the time to fix it."

Regarding Glick's remarks a few weeks ago about improvement in Temple Mount prayer, Attorney Rom says he prefers not to emphasize the story because "it was intended either so that the trend won't stop or because it's not enough. We're far away from the natural way things should be and the law.

"A Jew and a gentile can go to Jerusalem without being arrested even when they pray. These are racist regulations that hurt the Jewish People and the Zionist movement," says Rom, who is convinced that presenting the issue as what it is - a human rights issue - will gain an attentive ear in the world. "It's impossible to talk about human rights while precisely in Jerusalem the most basic things for us as a free people do not happen."

He says the police are well aware that you cannot claim a public arrest for a Temple Mount prayer, so they make allegations of assaulting a police officer and disturbing the public order. "This brings police to false accusations because they cannot admit that they arrested someone for praying. This must stop. If Muslims are allowed to play soccer in the place of the Holy of Holies, the Jewish People in its capital must also have the opportunity to pray."