WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, spent several days in Israel this week. He and Louisiana Republican Rep. Mike Johnson met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and toured Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on Tuesday with a former member of Israel’s Knesset who was later arrested in conjunction with the visit.
The former Knesset member, Yehuda Glick, advocates for Christians and Jews to be allowed to pray at the Temple Mount, a holy site to both Muslims and Jews where only Muslims are currently permitted to pray. Media in Israel reported Glick was arrested after bringing Jordan and Johnson through the site for being “provocative,” as the Jewish Telegraphic Agency put it, or ” walking too slow, ” as JewishPress.com reported.
“This hardly ever happens in America to former lawmakers strolling in a holy site — or anywhere else, really,” JewishPress.com said.
Jordan is now back in the United States, said a press spokesman, who referred a reporter’s inquiry about the trip to a tweet posted by Jordan.
“Israel is America’s closest ally and great friend,” it said. “Great to travel there this week with @RepMikeJohnson, visit historical and holy sites and meet with Prime Minister @Netanyahu.”
A Jerusalem Post report on Jordan’s visit said President Donald Trump’s peace plan has options for all religions to pray at the site, and that Jordan and Johnson discussed the matter with Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan. Erdan also urged them to push for cuts to America’s financial contribution to the United Nations to protest the publication of the UN Human Rights Council’s black list of companies doing business in areas over the pre-1967 lines.
The publication reported that Jordan and Johnson also visited the Barkan industrial park in Samaria, where Israelis and Palestinians work together.
“Jordan has been a strong advocate of Israel, but got into hot water last year over a tweet that was deemed by some to be antisemitic,” the publication said. “It replaced the letter S with a $ dollar sign in referring to Democratic billionaire donor Tom Steyer, whose father is Jewish.”
JewishPress.com said the trip for the two legislators and their wives was organized by the Yes! Israel Project, an organization that introduces political and business leaders to places often avoided by mainstream American Jewish organizations. It said the pair began their tour on the “Heritage Trail” in Beersheva on Monday, where they learned about the biblical Abraham and the ties of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel. They then traveled to Maon Farm in the southern Hebron hills, and then to the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron.
In addition to visiting the Temple Mount, the pair travelled to Samaria, where they visited Ariel University, the site of the tabernacle in Shiloh, the Psagot winery and the Barkan industrial center, JewishPress.com said.