Congressman Mike Johnson (R, IL) was among those who went up to the Temple Mount with Rabbi Yehuda Glick when the latter was arrested on the holy site for “walking too slowly” on Tuesday.
Following that event, Johnson lamented the police decision while blasting the lack of freedom of worship that he witnessed saying:
“It was a delightful visit up to the Temple Mount with Yehuda Glick. It was the first time I went up. It was a remarkable experience. We were allowed to freely move, have open dialogue and take photos. It was a great experience. I didn’t sense any tension with anyone while we were walking with Yehuda, but it’s a delicate balance politically and among the religions, and we are sensitive to that. Overall it was a great experience and we were surprised to hear what happened to Yehuda Glick after we departed. But that is a picture of the constant contrast and struggle that goes on the Temple Mount.”
Regarding the fact that Jews are discriminated against on the Temple Mount, especially when it comes to freedom of worship, Johnson added the following:
An important issue that came up for me is the issue of Freedom of religion, the first part of the first amendment. It specifically is first because religious belief is grounded in morality. I saw the contrast on the Temple Mount and walked and an saw that anyone who is an observant Jew has to continue to move and is forbidden to pray on the Temple Mount. It’s a jarring thing to see. As a constitutional lawyer I defended religious expression in federal courts for 20 years and to see that you don’t have freedom of expression if you are a Jew or a Christian on the Temple Mount, which is arguably the holiest site in the whole world. It is a remarkable thing to observe and a sad thing to observe. I hope that can change.”
Meanwhile, Rabbi Glick responded to his arrest blasting the Israeli government’s discriminatory policies and calling on people worldwide to pressure Trump to enforce the clause in the ‘Deal of the Century’ that compels the Israeli government to allow freedom of worship on the holy site.