A late-night, under-clothed, possibly drunken swim in the Sea of Galilee involving several Republican Congressmen raised so many questions that even the FBI looked into the incident, according to Politico. Jake Sherman and John Breshanan reported last night that more than 20 people on a Congressional fact finding mission to Israel took a dip in the famous lake, drawing a rebuke from Majority Leader Eric Cantor and a brief inquiry from FBI agents who wanted to make sure that nothing seriously inappropriate happened.
Politico's detailed reconstruction of the event says that lawmakers were on a tour of Jewish and Christian holy sites last August, when a group of about 60 people had dinner at a restaurant near the lake. After Cantor and other senior lawmakers left the group, several freshmen Congress members and staffers continued with the meal/party. About 20 people, including Representatives, their family members, and some staff decided to cool off with a swim. While most went into the water fully clothed, Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas reportedly took off all his clothes before jumping in. The most shocking claim in Politico's report is that "alcohol may have played a role."
The trip was sponsored by the American Israel Educational Foundation, which regularly brings new lawmakers to Israel to tour holy sites, meet prominent Israeli politicians, and pitch the importance of closer ties between the two countries. That's why after learning about the swim, a "livid" Cantor reportedly gave the other lawmakers a dressing down for undermining the cause of the mission. An aide from Cantor's office says the FBI "investigation" amounted to one phone call and a handful of questions, but that nothing else came from it. For the non-Biblically inclined, the Sea of Galilee is where Jesus Christ was said to have walked on water. So if you're looking for another reason to disapprove of this highly unlovable Congress, feel free to add "inability to behave themselves in the Holy Land" to the list.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.