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Romney denies J'lem fundraiser falls on Tisha B'av

July 13, 2012 02:00

Republican candidate to arrive in Israel July 29, present Mideast policy at conference in J'lem.

Mitt Romney steps off his campaign plane [file]

Mitt Romney steps off his campaign plane 370 (R). (photo credit:Brian Snyder / Reuters)

WASHINGTON – The campaign of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney has long been aware that the candidate’s visit to Israel would coincide with the commemoration of Tisha Be’av, and even reached out to the Israeli government to discuss how to properly handle events with respect to tradition, according to someone connected to the campaign.

The Romney campaign has taken some heat for planning a fund-raiser the evening that the day of fasting and mourning the destruction of the First Temple ends, and some have erroneously reported that the fund-raiser would coincide with the holiday, which concludes at sunset on Sunday, July 29.

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The fund-raiser is planned to begin only after the fast ends, and campaign sources made clear that such an event – which the Romney team has yet to officially confirm – would never be scheduled to take place on the day itself.

Instead, Romney is expected to spend the day meeting with Israeli officials and giving a speech that would reference the solemnity of the holiday.

But even holding the fundraiser after the sun has set on Sunday night has some put off.

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Jeremy Saltan, parliamentary assistant to National Union leader Ya’acov Katz, tweeted his concerns about the timing and its Jerusalem location even if the holiday will be officially over.

“[A] happy event in jtown [Jerusalem] when people mourning her destruction?” he wrote.

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report from Jerusalem.
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