by Maayana Miskin
Police protocol regarding Jews and the Temple Mount: reasonable, discriminatory, or non-existent?
For years, activists have claimed that police are discriminating against Jews on the Temple Mount, the holiest site on earth according to Jewish tradition. Now, one police commander is arguing that police protocols regarding the Temple Mount are not discriminatory, but rather, do not exist at all.
The latest development began with a lawsuit filed by Rabbi Yehudah Glick, who heads the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation in Jerusalem. Glick appealed over a police order barring him from the Temple Mount, arguing that the order, which prevented him from continuing his work as a tour guide on the Mount, violated his right to freedom of occupation.
Police argued that Glick had been banned for good reason, after violating the rules for proper conduct in the area. However, when the judge asked to see the rules in question, police failed to produce them.
Superintendent Avi Biton of the Jerusalem Police then told the court that police would be unable to produce the rules because there are no official rules.
The court ordered police to produce the rules or see Glick get free access to the holy site. For now, Rabbi Glick is allowed to access the Temple Mount under a temporary court order.
Glick believes that police are arguing that they have no protocols in order to avoid a bigger embarrassment: having the protocols revealed as illegal. Senior police commanders know that their rules for Temple Mount access would not stand up in court due to their discriminatory nature, he explained.
"It's an outrage. The police are acting like the neighborhood bully, not the body responsible for public order," he accused.