Mitt Romney’s kind of busy today, what with scrambling to explain how he was “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president” at Bain Capital from 1999 to 2002 but didn’t actually have anything to do with anything Bain Capital did from 1999 to 2002, plus going on All The Networks on a Friday night in an effort to drive that rather dodgy point home.
But having said that! He’s also planning a trip to Israel on July 29, and over at Open Zion, I offered him an alternative itinerary. Here’s the top. You’ll enjoy the rest, I promise! (It’s actually kind of funny for once!) Just click here.
Later this month, Mitt Romney will be visiting Israel.
I think we all know why he’s going (to boost his cred among American Jews) and what he’ll do there (follow his friend Bibi to the places official Israel wants him to see, where he’ll smile a lot, except at Yad VaShem, where he’ll be grim-faced and sport a kipa on his Mormon kopf. Also an emotional Western Wall visit. And a speech, in which the Jewish people’s genius and resiliency will be evoked, as will our shared faith heritage, with a barely veiled nod to Barack Obama’s supposed perfidy. There will also be a brief, perfunctory visit with Palestinian officials, but no other Palestinians will be visible). In this day and age, we could Photoshop the whole thing, and save both money and carbon emissions.Not that there’s anything wrong with the Western Wall or Yad VaShem, places I’ve stood grim-faced and emotional any number of times myself. But on the off chance that Mr. Romney is taking alternative itinerary suggestions, I thought I’d offer a few!
The other wall.
Truth be told, it will be all but impossible for Romney to get to his perfunctory meeting with Palestinian officials without at least seeing Israel’s Security Barrier (aka: the Wall)–all 25 concrete feet of it, soaring into the cerulean summer sky–but as impressive as seeing the Wall from a distance can be, there’s really nothing quite like standing right up next to it and imagining it cutting your hometown in half.
There are a number of organizations that offer partial tours (not the whole barrier of course! It runs for hundreds of miles, in and out of the Palestinian West Bank [but mostly in], and who has time for that?), but Romney’s best bet might be Ir Amim, an Israeli NGO dedicated to “an equitable and stable Jerusalem with an agreed political future.” On an Ir Amim tour, Romney would learn about the Wall, sure, but also about the impact of 45 years of Israeli policy on Jerusalem and the exploitation of history for modern political ends.
Make sure to wear a hat and bring your water bottle!
To read the rest of Mitt’s excellent alternative adventure, please click here.