Rep. Pelosi Tours Jerusalem Holy Sites
JERUSALEM -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi toured Jerusalem holy sites Saturday alongside a congressional delegation that included the first Muslim elected to Congress.
The tour was part of the congressional delegation's first full day in Jerusalem, the first stop on their fact-finding trip to the Middle East. The group arrived here Friday.
Flanked by security guards, Pelosi, D-Calif., and the delegation toured the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Christians believe Jesus' body was buried, in Jerusalem's Old City. They also visited the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, where Jews have gathered for centuries to pray.
Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison said his presence -- as a Muslim -- on the trip sent a message to Israelis and Palestinians that "people can come together."
"Reconciliation is possible," he said.
Ellison, a Minnesota congressman, said he hoped to visit the compound above the Western Wall known as the Temple Mount to Jews and the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims. The compound, the site of the biblical temples as well as the third-holiest site in Islam, is one of the main points of friction between Israel and the Palestinians in the Middle East conflict.
"I haven't seen it yet, but I hope to, I'm really looking forward to it," Ellison said of the compound, which is also home to the Dome of Rock shrine.
No, it isn't the holiest site. The Temple Mount is.
The Western Wall is not sacred but revered because the Temple is destroyed and for all those who don't hold by the permissitory orientation that one can enter certain parts of the Temple precincts even today, that's as close as one cant get to the holiest site.