Tisha B'Av Lamentations at the Kotel
Tisha B'Av Lamentations at the KotelIsrael news photo: Ben Bresky

Mitt Romney’s planned visit to Israel on the fast day mourning the destruction of the Holy Temples shows his understanding of threats to Israel, says his campaign adviser.

“What better way for the Governor to understand the opportunities and the threats to Israel than to be there on a day when the people of Israel and Jews around the world commemorate and mourn the destruction of the Temple and of Jerusalem twice in their history," Dan Senor wrote in an email after the Weekly Standard revealed the date of his planned visit, July 29.

The fast day of the Ninth of Av is observed by Jews around the world, including many of those who are not observant. All public restaurants and places of entertainment are shut down in Israel during the 25-hour fast, from sundown July 28 until after dark the following day.  

Eyebrows were raised over the timing, particularly since a $50,000-a-plate fundraising dinner has been scheduled, at least for the time being, for one hour after the fast. It usually is broken with a light meal, if not no other reason than proper digestion.

Politico confirmed the Standard’s assertion that an advisor to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu actually suggested the date, two days after Romney’s scheduled appearance at the Olympic Games in London.

"Governor Romney will be in Jerusalem during the Jewish holy day of Tisha B’Av," Senor said in an email. “Indeed, Governor Romney hopes for this visit to be about remembering the past and looking to the future. With that, in addition to the meeting he will hold with Prime Minister Netanyahu, the Governor is honored that the Netanyahus have invited the Romneys to the traditional break-fast meal following sundown after Tisha B’Av.“