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The Temple Institute has released a short video taken during a tour of Har Habayis by Republican Congressman Dennis Ross (FL-15) last week. The video clearly shows groups of fully covered female Muslim agitators following and harassing the Congressman and his group with calls of: “Allah Akbar” and “Leave!” among other things. The Congressman spent a full hour on the mount accompanying a group of Jewish visitors led by Yitzchak Reuven of the Temple Institute, during which he experienced anti-Jewish discrimination firsthand. He was witness to Jewish groups being separated and subjected to excessive security checks, then followed closely by Islamic Waqf guards to ensure that they don’t partake in any form of prayer or non-Muslim worship. The group had to wait for over an hour before being allowed entry to the Holy Site, during which time hundreds of tourists ascended with ease. In addition the congressman’s son was taken into a private room and body searched to ensure that he wasn’t in possession of any religious paraphernalia.
When asked on camera, how he felt about the strange welcome he received, the Congressman responded: “It’s a little bit of a different reception than what I am used to, but coming from a country that respects freedom of religion we respect what they are doing.” He also commended the Jewish group for their perseverance and commitment to their own religious freedom at the site.
Yitzchak Reuven, who led the group commented: “It was a great honor to host Congressman Ross and his family on a tour of Har Habayis, it was unfortunate that he had to witness the duress and harassment that Jewish visitors are subjected to on a daily basis. It is important to note that these agitators receive direct payment from extremist Islamic organizations for their efforts to intimidate us, but they will not scare us away. The number Jewish visitors to the site continue to grow.”
The Congressman was in Israel on a one week mission arranged by YES! to a Strong Israel. He also meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Cabinet Ministers and Members of Knesset, as well as members of the security community. In addition to being a guest of the IDF, visiting sensitive military sites some by helicopter, and viewing the complexities of Jerusalem.
It is pointed out that Gedolei Yisrael Shlita and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel prohibit visiting Har Habayis because of the issurim involved.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)