Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will host a fundraising event in Jerusalem at $60,000 or more per person July 29, Israeli Republican political consultant Jonny Daniels told The Jerusalem Post
Attendees will travel to Israel from the United States. After the fundraiser, Romney will hold a conference in Jerusalem, where he will explain his Mideast policy. The trip to Israel will come after Romney holds two fundraisers in London and attends the July 27 opening ceremony of the Olympics there.
Romney will spend two days in Jerusalem, where he’ll meet with his long-time friend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Shelly Yechimovich, leader of the opposition Labor Party; and senior Palestinian officials.
“It’s going to be a statesmanlike visit, because [Romney] needs to be careful about how everything is perceived,” Daniels said. “It’s 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 worry for the trip is Jonathan Pollard, a U.S. intelligence analyst who received a life prison sentence in 1987 for spying on behalf of Israel, Daniels said. Both Netanyahu and Peres are expected to advocate clemency for Pollard in their meetings with Romney.
The candidate will have to deal with the issue delicately, because many Republican voters are unfamiliar with Pollard’s “disproportionate sentence,” and thus likely won’t be too wild about releasing him, Daniels said. However, former CIA director James Woolsey, a Republican, has advocated Pollard’s release, he noted.
Last year, Romney told the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations that he would be "open to examining" Pollard’s sentence if he gained the White House.
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