Tishrei 20, 5770, 08 October 09
by Maayana Miskin
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday night against hearing a case brought by former Temple Institute Director-General accusing police of discrimination against religious Jews on the Temple Mount. Justices Dorit Beinisch, Hanan Meltzer and Yoram Danziger determined that police's decision to bar non-Muslims from the mount was a security-related matter in which the court should not interfere.
"The right to access to the Temple Mount is not absolute, and the [police's] decision to restrict it due to concern for public safety does not give us cause to intervene,” the justices wrote.
Police argued that “recent violent events on the Temple Mount and in the Jerusalem area” were sufficient cause to keep Jews and other non-Muslims off the mount in order to avoid further angering Muslim rioters. Muslim worship has been limited as well, police attorneys pointed out – only Muslim men over the age of 50 are allowed to attend prayers on the Temple Mount, as are Muslim women of all ages.
Access to the Mount has been limited for several days, since Muslim rioters attacked a group of religious Jews who visited the Mount. Muslim leaders later issued a call accusing Israel of plotting to destroy the Al-Aksa Mosque atop the Mount, sparking riots that spread to the greater Jerusalem area.
Beyond arguing that police should not selectively bar Jewish worshippers while allowing Muslim worship to continue, Glick had also argued that police had a general policy of discriminating against religious Jews when it came to Temple Mount access. On multiple occasions, he said, police allowed religious Jews to ascend the mount only in small groups, while Muslims, other non-Jews, and Jews who were not religiously observant were allowed to visit the Mount in large numbers.
Regarding Glick's complaint of routine discrimination, the court ruled that Glick should address his complaints to the relevant officials within the police force. Glick had argued that he complained to police, but his complaints were ignored.
Glick: At Least I Wasn't Silent
Following the court's refusal to hear his plea, Glick said he had at least accomplished his primary goal – he had not stood silent in the face of discrimination.
“I had one central focus,” he said, “the desecration of G-d's name caused by the fact that during the seven days of Sukkot, when we are commanded to go up to the place which G-d chooses, the Temple Mount, the Mount is closed to Jews due to Muslim violence and nobody speaks out in protest.”
"At least now, we can say that we were not silent, that we protested using the measures available to us,” he added.
If the Supreme Court had accepted his report of discrimination and closed the Temple Mount to worshippers of all faiths, Jews would be blamed for the subsequent Muslim riots, Glick said. "Now, if the Muslim violence continues – and they have proclaimed tomorrow a 'Day of Rage' – they won't be able to blame the Temple Mount faithful for causing the violence,” he stated.