Jul 14, 2012 11:00 PM GMT
Diplomacy and Politics
Exclusive: Romney to host fundraiser in Jerusalem
By LAHAV HARKOV
Republican candidate to arrive in Israel July 29, present Mideast policy at conference in J'lem.
Photo: Brian Snyder / Reuters
Presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will host a fund-raising event in Jerusalem this month at $60,000 or more per plate, The Jerusalem Post learned on Wednesday.
Delegates are set to fly in from the US for the event on July 29, which a Republican source said would be “a small meeting, but a big fund-raiser” as the Tisha Be’av fast ends. Immediately after the fund-raising meeting, Romney will host a conference in Jerusalem, where he will lay out his Middle East policy.
Romney plans to visit the UK for two days, attending the opening ceremony of the London Olympics on July 27, before flying to Israel.
The Republican candidate will stay in Jerusalem for two days, Israeli Republican political consultant Jonny Daniels told the Post, during which Romney will meet with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, opposition chairwoman Shelly Yechimovich (Labor) and Palestinian Authority leaders.
“It is going to be a statesmanlike visit, because [Romney] needs to be careful about how everything is perceived,” Daniels explained.
“It is exciting to have the president of Israel meet with the next president of the United States four months before he is elected.”
The Romney camp’s biggest concern on his trip to Israel is Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard, according to Daniels, who said both Netanyahu and Peres are expected to raise the issue.
Romney will have to tread carefully, because many Republican voters are unfamiliar with Pollard’s “disproportionate sentence,” Daniels explained, and as such, may not be sympathetic to releasing someone convicted of espionage. The consultant pointed out that former CIA director James Woolsey, a Republican, has spoken out in favor of Pollard’s release. (Pollard was the Israeli spy caught stealing info from the US and is still in US prison)
Last year, Romney told the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations he would be “open to examining” the Pollard case if elected president.
The Republican candidate plans to leave Israel on July 31, and is considering a stop in Germany en route to the US
THIS SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING OUTSIDE OUR OWN COUNTRY !