In an embarrassing moment for the Romney campaign, it has had to cancel a $50,000 per plate fundraiser Romney was supposed to hold while in Jerusalem on July 29 during his whirlwind foreign tour (nor was this his only planned fundraising on the trip — he also plans to raise some money while he is in London). That is because July 29 is Tisha B'Av. Tisha B'Av is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. It marks the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem and is one of only two 25-hour fasts on the Jewish calendar (the other is Yom Kippur — the Day of Atonement).
The Romney campaign thought that they would be able to get away with holding a fundraiser on Tisha B'Av and canceled only after there was a strong public reaction against it. As a GOP strategist explained to The Huffington Post:
"It wasn't really a gaffe," Daniels said. "They knew what the day was, but they were looking for the correct time and circumstance to do it. Instead it ended up seeming like a big dinner, but that's not really what it is."That the Romney campaign was aware of the significance of the date is confirmed by the invitation to the event obtained by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. JTA reports:
"Don't worry, they're not going to not have a fundraiser," he added. "They'll find a way around it maybe by having a breaking of the fast meal combined with a Romney fundraiser."
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."That makes it clear that the Romney campaign, which seeks to portray Mitt Romney as a better friend to Jews that President Obama, thought it was perfectly acceptable to hold a fundraiser targeted at Jewish voters on a Jewish holiday that is the most solemn day of the year for many of us. I'll be spending the day fasting and even if I had that $50,000 to throw away, I wouldn't be yucking it up at some fundraiser. The only way he could have been more tone-deaf is if he had scheduled the fundraiser for Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur.
I know which candidate stands with Jewish-Americans and that is President Obama. For those of you that are Jewish, or have Jewish friends and family on the fence, I suggest you check out Jewish Americans for Obama or pass it along to those friends and family.