04 November '14..
The New York Times referred to him as a “Far-right activist.” The BBC and LA Times labeled him a “Right-wing Jewish activist.” The Sydney Morning Herald calls him a “Far-right religious activist.” Throughout the media, there is an unusual consistency with the terms being used to describe Rabbi Yehuda Glick, who was the victim of an attempted assassination last week. But this is just another example of the media’s using terms that fit a preset narrative rather than the reality.
The reality of Rabbi Glick’s views is quite different than the way he is being described. He is a proponent of the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Temple Mount is considered the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam. Those familiar with the Rabbi know that his goal is not to supplant Muslim prayer in that place. He is actually an advocate of allowing all prayers there. In his own words:
We are talking about sharing, coexistence, tolerance, respecting one another. I think that genuine peace must begin with tolerance and respect. I think that Jews, Muslims, or Christians, anybody who supports peace, anyone who supports praying — talking to G-d — should be allowed to on the Temple Mount.
Are these the views of someone who is truly “right-wing?”
The current policy on the Temple Mount allows visitors of all faiths to tour the area, but not to pray. While speaking openly about the historical significance of the area is allowed, the authorities will expel any non-Muslim who they believe is trying to pray. Rabbi Glick is an advocate of changing the status-quo and allowing adherents of all faiths to not only visit, but also pray at this holy site.
This stands in direct contrast to the view of the Palestinian Authority. As the Palestinian Ambassador to the U.N. Ryiad Mansour told CNN:
Al-Aqsa Mosque is always open for visitors…but it is not open — except for the Muslims — to pray there.
So if the view of the Palestinian Authority is that non-Muslims must be prevented from uttering a prayer, while Rabbi Glick advocates equal religious rights for all — who should the term “right-wing” be most accurately applied to?
Yet search for a term of any Palestinian official being described in the press as “right-wing” for articulating that Jews should be prevented from praying on the Temple Mount. You won’t find any because to call the Palestinian belief “right-wing” contradicts the media’s view of Jewish extremism.
Image: CC BY-SA Wikimedia Commons/Amitay Salomon and CC BY flickr/eleart