Romney visits Jerusalem’s Western Wall on Jewish holiday

Philip Rucker
The Washington Post

Mitt Romney made a visit Sunday to the Western Wall here in the Old City of Jerusalem, one of Judaism’s holiest sites, to deliver a prayer on the solemn Jewish holiday of Tisha B’av.

In a symbolic gesture to convey his shared values with the Israeli people, Romney interrupted his day of official meetings to add a surprise stop at the historic site. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, wearing a black yarmulke on his head, walked through a crowded plaza to place his prayer in a crack in the wall at the foot of the Temple Mount.

After the wall’s chief rabbi showed him diagrams of the temple area, Romney took a piece of paper from his pocket with his prayer written on it. He stepped toward the wall, bowed his head and placed his right hand on the wall. After about 20 seconds, he looked up and raised his right hand to place his note into a crack.

Romney made no remarks, and a campaign spokesman would not say what Romney wrote for his prayer. As he walked out of the plaza, Romney said, “A real honor to be here.”

Romney stayed in the temple area for only 15 minutes, but drew attention from hundreds of bystanders, both Israelis and American Jews who are living here. People shouted words of encouragement.

One man said, “Good luck to you. God bless you.” Others cried out, “Beat Obama! Beat Obama!”…

The article continues at The Washington Post.

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US presidential candidate Romney touches down in Israel 
DEBKAfile July 28, 2012, 11:02 PM (GMT+02:00)

Mitt Romney’s support for Israel will earn him a warm welcome when he meets Israeli leaders Sunday.  On his fourth visit to Israel, he will be meeting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman as well as opposition leaders. He will also sit down with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Jerusalem.

Update: Capital Confusion: Obama’s Broken Promise on Jerusalem Stirs Anger

As Mitt Romney was welcomed in Israel, the Obama administration struggled to explain its position on Israel’s capital. White House spokesman Jay Carney refused to identify Jerusalem as the capital city during a press briefing on Thursday, and the White House transcript of the press briefing included an explanatory note that reiterated the administration’s deliberate ambivalence:

The status of Jerusalem is an issue that should be resolved in final status negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. We continue to work with the parties to resolve this issue and others in a way that is just and fair, and respects the rights and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians.

Obama had campaigned in 2008 on a promise that “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.” His administration’s position represents the opposite view. Since taking office, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton–all of whom had previously touted their pro-Israel credentials–have objected publicly and vehemently to construction in Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, a stance directly at odds with the idea that Jerusalem is Israel’s undivided capital…

Read the whole thing.

Update 2: Romney and Wife Go to Jerusalem’s Western Wall at ABC News.

Charles Dharapak/AP Photo


Update 3In Israel, Romney declares Jerusalem to be capital


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