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Congressmen Harassed During Visit to Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Image: Congressmen Harassed During Visit to Temple Mount in Jerusalem
Temple Mount in Jerusalem (AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 11 Aug 2015 04:46 PM

Three members of Congress who are part of a delegation visiting Israel were reportedly harassed by a group of Muslim men at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem Tuesday.

Reps. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.), Evan Jenkins (R-W.V.), and Jenkins' wife Elizabeth were on a tour of the sacred Temple Mount during the incident, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The delegation was organized by the Israel Allies Foundation.

"There was an effort to completely suppress not only any expression of religious conviction, but any articulation of historical reality," Franks told the Post.

Rothfus said the group of men first approached the delegation when they were in the plaza of the Temple Mount.

"We walked up there and were almost immediately approached by several men who started shouting," Rothfus told the Post. "We were tracked the entire time we were there and found these individuals surprisingly intolerant and belligerent."

The men allegedly shouted at Elizabeth Jenkins, who the Post reported was wearing a long-sleeved shirt and a skirt that ended mid-calf, to cover up more. Police helped clear the men out of the way so the tour could move forward, but the shouting and taunting continued.

Later, other Muslim men interrupted the tour guide and attempted to grab the maps and brochures he was showing the delegation. At one point, reports the Post, 15-20 men surrounded the group and were shouting and pointing fingers.

A brief video obtained by the Post shows part of the incident unfolding at the Temple Mount.

The congressional delegation "wasn't doing anything controversial, no one was even wearing a yarmulke. [The Muslims on the Mount] did a good job of making everyone feel very uncomfortable just for being up there as a non-Muslim," said EJ Kimball, the director of U.S. Operations for the Israel Allies Foundation, in the Post story.

It's not uncommon for Muslims to harass non-Muslim visitors to the Tempe Mount. Religious acts such as praying by non-Muslims are banned at the site, which is managed and patrolled by the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf.

A similar incident unfolded at the Temple Mount earlier this year, when Rep. Dennie Ross (R-Fla.) was harassed by women clad head-to-toe in black robes shouting, "Allah Akbar!"

Last week, a Christian tourist was harassed after waving an Israeli flag at the Temple Mount, the Christian Post reported.

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Three members of Congress who are part of a delegation visiting Israel were reportedly harassed by a group of Muslim men at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem Tuesday.
congressmen, harrassed, visit, temple mount, jerusalem
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2015-46-11
Tuesday, 11 Aug 2015 04:46 PM
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