A group including three Congressmen was harassed as they toured the Temple Mount, The Jerusalem Post reported today. Reps. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.), and Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) were visiting Israel as part of a trip organized by the Israel Allies Foundation. Jenkins’ wife Elizabeth was also in the group.
The delegation said the harassment began when they ascended the Mount, and Mrs. Jenkins, who was wearing a calf-length skirt and a long-sleeved shirt was yelled at that she needed to cover up more, and police were needed to break up the melee and clear the way for the group to continue the visit.
The delegation’s guide then began to speak about the history of the site, which is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims, but is controlled by Jordan and the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf. When the guide showed the group a map of Israel, a man who was cleaning nearby notified another man in the area, who asked the guide questions about the maps and diagrams, demanding to be shown if any of them feature the Temple, and told him he cannot use the term “Temple Mount,” only “Dome of the Rock,” as can be seen in a video the group provided to The Jerusalem Post.
Men wearing shirts with Waqf insignia then repeatedly interrupted the guide and tried to grab his diagrams and maps. The guide responded that he is doing nothing illegal and will only stop if told to do so by police.
“There was an effort to completely suppress not only any expression of religious conviction, but any articulation of historical reality,” Franks told the Post. He also said that the harassment “shows the fundamental dynamics of the greater contention throughout the Middle East.”
On their way out, the group saw a group of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount accosted by Murbitat—self-proclaimed protectors of holy places—who are paid by the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel to harass non-Muslims who tour the Temple Mount.
Franks said that the harassment he experienced served as “a reminder of challenges both in micro and macro that the people of Israel face every day.”
[Photo: Discovery World / YouTube ]