Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mitt Romney to hold campaign fund-raising event in Jerusalem

I don't know if the Occupy crowd is protesting a foreign country's attempt to influence the outcome of the 2012 U.S. presidential election, but Americans of all political views might wonder why a candidate for the office of President of the United States is holding a campaign fund-raising event in Israel, which is, as far as I know, a foreign country. As reported by Jewish Telegraphic Agency, July 12, 2012:

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- An invitation to a Mitt Romney campaign fundraiser in Jerusalem makes clear its adherence to restrictions arising from the fast of Tisha b'Av.

The invitation for the July 29 event is scheduled for 9:30 p.m., more than an hour after the fast ends, and notes that "Dietary laws will be observed. Refreshments will not be served until after the fast."

JTA obtained the invitation on Thursday, but not from the campaign. It notes the minimum contribution for attending is $50,000 per couple, and that couples who have raised $100,000 also may attend.

Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate and the former Massachusetts governor, is planning to visit Israel around the time of the fundraiser.

Prior to JTA obtaining the invitation, an official in the campaign reached out on Thursday to push back against reports that the fundraiser was scheduled for the Jewish fast day mourning the destruction of the Temples, among other calamities. This year Tisha b'Av falls on July 29.

The Huffington Post had reported that the Romney campaign canceled the event once its officials realized that July 29 was a fast day. The campaign official said the campaign has been careful in planning the visit to work around the traditions and sensitivities of the fast day.

"The campaign has been aware of the sensitivities of Tisha b'Av," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity but agreed to be identified as a campaign official.
Tisha B'Av is an annual fast day commemorating the destruction of both the first and second Temples in Jerusalem, which occurred about 655 years apart on the same date of the Hebrew calendar.

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