Two U.S. congressmen said Thursday that they were detained by police and searched adjacent to the Temple Mount after picking an olive branch off the floor atop the holy site.
Congressman Scott Tipton, R-Colo., and David B. McKinley, R-W.Va., visited the Mount as part of a week long fact-finding mission hosted by Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, an evangelical-Christian group that says it’s mission is to “educate Christians about their biblical responsibility to stand with our Jewish brethren and Israel, and by Jaffe Strategies, a political consultancy firm that represents a slew of conservative organizations.
McKinley said he had visited the site before, but that the experience was markedly difference today.
“This apparently is the same experience that many Jews have to experience when they are there,” McKinley said in a video released by Jaffee Strategies. “They detained us because they thought we shouldn’t have something from the holiest of sites. … This is not my first time at the Temple Mount, (but) I felt this time we were pressured, we were pushed along in a very hurried fashion.”
Following the incident, the congressmen raised the issue with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, asking the prime minister if he has “any voice on prayer, and the speed at which you are pushed through? I think it’s important for all of — as Christians, as Jews — to be able to experience more of the Temple Mount,” said McKinley.
Tipton added that Netanyahu apologised for the incident and said it should not have happened.
“The irony of all this isn’t lost — they have problem with the olive branch, the symbol of peace,” said Tipton. “People ought to be aware — that a holy site for the Jewish religion, and also for islam, to be run through like cattle, without the freedom to be able to stop, to be able to pray.”
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Source: Christian Post