July 13, 2012 "Jerusalem Post" -- Presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will host a fundraising event in Jerusalem at $60,000 or more per plate on July 29, The Jerusalem Post learned on Wednesday.
Delegates are set to fly in from the US for the event, which a Republican source said would be “a small meeting, but a big fundraiser.”
Immediately after the fundraising 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 Jerusalem Post, during which Romney will meet with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, opposition leader Shelly Yechimovich (Labor) and senior Palestinian officials.
“It’s going to be a statesmanlike visit, because [Romney] needs to be careful about how everything is perceived,” Daniels explained. “It’s exciting to have the president of Israel meet with the next president of the United States four months before he is elected.”
Daniels has been in touch with the Prime Minister's Office, which he says is debating how to hold a Netanyahu-Romney photo-op without showing the cast on the prime minister's leg, from a soccer injury.
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.
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.