Netanyahu Urges Romney Tisha B’Av Visit (COMMENTARY MAGAZINE) Alana Goodman 07/13/12)
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At the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol confirms new details of Mitt
Romney’s upcoming visit to Israel:
During discussions about the trip over the last month, advisers to
Romney and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the
appropriateness of a Romney visit to Israel on this date [Tisha
B´Av]. But Netanyahu, the Weekly Standard has confirmed from top
aides in Jerusalem and Boston, encouraged Romney to be in Jerusalem
on this solemn day, one that recalls the tragedies of Jewish history
and calls to mind current threats to the Jewish people.
Indeed, the Weekly Standard can report that Prime Minister and Mrs.
Netanyahu have invited the Romneys to join them for the traditional
meal breaking the fast following sundown after Tisha B’Av. This
gesture suggests that what may have started out as a routine
candidate touchdown in Israel has become a more serious and
significant moment for both Netanyahu and Romney.
Some media reports criticized Mitt Romney for scheduling a Jerusalem
fundraising event shortly after the conclusion of Tisha B’Av, the day
of Jewish mourning for the destruction of the First and Second
Temples. But it sounds like the event will now be postponed due to
Romney’s dinner with Netanyahu.
Romney could not have chosen a more important and symbolic time to
visit Israel this summer. Tisha B’Av and the nine days leading up to
it is a time of mourning not just for the temples, but for all the
historical atrocities that have befallen the Jewish people on that
date, from the Alhambra Decree issued in Spain in 1492 to the
deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to a Nazi extermination
camp. Breaking the fast with Netanyahu and his wife will add to the
weightiness of Romney’s visit. Politically, it will also sharpen the
contrast between Romney and President Obama — it’s hard to imagine
Netanyahu and Obama sitting down for any meal together, let alone a
meal as intimate and meaningful as this one.
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