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.
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
But even holding the fundraiser after the sun has set on Sunday
night has some put off.
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.
happy event in jtown [Jerusalem] when people mourning her destruction?” he
Lahav Harkov contributed to this report from Jerusalem.