US Congressmen Arrested on Temple Mount

Muslim Waqf officials reported them for allegedly violating ban on non-Muslim prayer after they bent down to pick up olive branch

United States lawmakers Scott R. Tipton (R-Colo) and David B. McKinley (R-W.Va) were stopped and questioned by Israeli police on the morning of February 22nd while they were visiting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

According to media reports of the incident (see, for example, here and here), Tipton and McKinley were detained by Israeli officers guarding the site after the Waqf—the Jordanian-funded Islamic Trust that administers day-to-day activities there—brought to their attention that one of the congressmen had apparently taken an olive branch that he had found lying on the ground while touring the place.

It’s pretty sad—and truly ironic—that picking up a fallen olive branch, the symbol of peace, is viewed by Waqf officials as such an abhorrent infraction that they would see it as appropriate and necessary to raise such a fuss about it.

But, as we’ve noted in many prior posts, this is the disgraceful and absurd reality on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, where only Muslims are allowed the freedom to worship and everyone else who goes is harassed, made to feel unwelcome, and denied the opportunity to visit the place in a dignified fashion.

Read more: Temple Mount | Jerusalem | Waqf | Religious Freedom

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