CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Third District Congressman Evan Jenkins says a group of Muslim men who harassed him, his wife and the congressional delegation he was apart of while visiting Israel this week, is “very telling” of the region.
The incident, along with other reasons, is leaving Jenkins to vote against the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Jenkins said the group of men harassed them during a visit to the Temple Mount on Tuesday. He said they shouted and pointed as they traveled the site with a tour guide.
“They don’t seem to have any other purpose other than to harass non-Muslims. We were the victims and targets of that harassment for the full hour to hour and a half that we were there,” said Jenkins on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
The shouting came from the group after Jenkins and the group took pictures together.
“I simply put my arm, in a group picture, on my wife’s shoulder and it drew fist pounding, screams and pointing that that was against the Islamic-Muslim doctrine and insisting that we stop,” he said.
Jenkins said the incident showed him that even a sacred place can have an extreme demand and authority over other religions. After meeting with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Ambassador to Egypt R. Stephen Beecroft, he said he was glad to get a first hand impression of the region to reassure his decision.
Coming back to the United States even more convinced he should vote against the deal, Jenkins said it would be a threat to Israel and the entire area.
“It’s a game changer,” he said. “This deal provides a full path to nuclear legitimacy for Iran. We know Iran is the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism.”
President Barack Obama previously said the alternative to the deal would result in war, but Jenkins called that a false choice.
“The idea that we’re going to embolden and allow Iran to financially get back on their feet, continue to support terror, legitimize their nuclear program – we can avoid war by not approving this deal,” he said.
“I would hope that we could all stand together for not only Israel, but safety and peace around the world.”
Elsewhere, Obama’s finalization of the Clean Power Plan announced last week also had Jenkins shaking his head.
According to the plan, states have to come up with methods to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 30 percent in the next 15 years.
“It’s a bad deal. Our silence will not be bought by this administration. Even in its preliminary stages, we knew were bad. It’s turned out to be even worse than expected,” he said.
Jenkins said they have been working to de-fund the federal EPA by over $1 billion.
“We actually have an amendment that I pushed that’s been put into prohibit even one penny of the EPA’s funding to implement this,” he said. “We can keep coal on its feet, if this Obama administration would get off our neck.”