WATCH: Two US Congressmen Detained by Police After Picking Up Olive Leaf on Temple Mount

This morning, two US Congressmen, Congressman David McKinley of West Virginia, and Congressman Scott Tipton of Colorado, were detained by the Israeli police.  Why?  The Muslim WAQF requested that they be detained – for bending down on the Temple Mount to pick up an olive leaf.

Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va

Congressman McKinley momentarily bent over to pick up an olive leaf that was on the floor. Unfortunately, that is all forbidden by the Muslim Waqf.

What is the Waqf?  They are a Jordanian Muslim organization, given authority over the Temple Mount by the Israeli government. They forbid people from bending down on the Temple Mount because they forbid bowing.  Similarly, they forbid people from taking anything off of the Mount, including an olive leaf, or even a stone.

The Congressmen did not know that the Muslim Waqf would end up having them detained by the Israeli police. The police patted down the Congressmen and asked for the olive leaf.

As Congressman McKinley states so clearly, “This is apparently the same situation that many Jews have to experience when they are there. Something significant showing dominance and control on their part… They detained us because they did not think we should have something from the holiest of sites.”

Congressmen McKinley and Tipton are visiting Israel as part of a special fact finding mission hosted by PJTN and Jaffe Strategies’ Yes Israel Project. As part of this mission, they wanted to experience going up to the Temple Mount as Jews experience.  The tourist experience is of course a completely different story. The Congressmen got to experience part of the humiliating experience that Jews experience on our holiest site.

The Irony

Congressman Tipton sums up the status on the Temple Mount, and the Middle East, quite clearly, when he states that “The irony isn’t lost (that) they (the Muslims) have a problem with the olive branch.”

Both Congressmen were on their way to a scheduled meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after their Temple Mount visit. They both plan on speaking about this experience to understand what power the Prime Minister has to change this situation.

The Congressmen saw first hand how the Muslims forbid freedom of worship to non-Muslims.  Jews are literally treated like herds of cattle – on the holiest site to the Jewish people.  On the other hand, Muslims treat the Temple Mount with total disrespect, leaving rubbish and debris everywhere.

That of course raises the question, is the Temple Mount really holy to the Muslims at all? One doesn’t see such disrespect at the Muslim holy sites in Mecca and Medina.

Watch the Video

See with your own eyes the whole episode unfold in the following video. Congressman McKinley bends down to pick up an olive leaf while walking on the Mount. Upon exiting the Temple Mount, Congressmen McKinley and Tipton were taken aside by the Israeli police.  They were then escorted into a side Police Station to be checked.

Video starts with the congressman picking up an olive leaf

Rabbi Richman of the Temple Institute told a very telling story to the Congressmen as they were walking through the Temple Mount. The moral of the story is that the Muslims know the Temple Mount belongs to the Jews. He explains that one day we will be rebuilding our Temple where the 1st and 2nd Temple stood.

Congressmen McKinley and Tipton are in Israel as part of a special fact finding mission hosted by PJTN and Jaffe Strategies’ Yes Israel Project.

Kelsey Mix, a spokeswoman for Tipton, said, “They picked up an olive branch, the symbol of peace, on the Temple Mount that was on the ground. They did not remove it from the Temple Mount, it was eventually dropped along the way. No harm was intended and they were not aware that picking up leaves or branches is prohibited.”

Watch the full Temple Mount visit here: