[Update - Sunday 10:39 am PDT: Romney has again changed his mind. The press will be allowed into the King David Hotel fundraiser:
Mitt Romney's campaign has reversed a decision to not allow the media into a fundraiser here Monday morning, bowing to reporters' demand that they be allowed to record the Republican's address to some of his top donors.]
Speculation over why GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has excluded reporters from his Jerusalem King David Hotel fundraiser is perhaps beside the point. Nobody in the American press is going to center a story around the event upon the fact that this hotel was the scene of an awful act of terrorism, perpetrated upon the British in July, 1946:
On the morning of the 22nd of July 1946 a party of between 15 and 20 Jews, dressed as an Arabs entered the King David Hotel. The hotel housed the Secretariat of the Government of Palestine and Headquarters of the British Forces in Palestine and Transjordan. The terrorists were able to enter the building without arousing too much attention because part of the building was still being used as a hotel and other people frequented it. The Jews pretended to be an Arab working party. Having unloading from their lorry several milk churns filled with 225 kilogram’s of explosive, they placed them in the basement of the wing of the hotel occupied by the Secretariat.
A British officer standing nearby, one Major Mackintosh, became suspicious of this group of Arabs and began to ask questions, but was suddenly gunned down by a member of the Jewish gang and subsequently died. A policeman stationed at the tradesman’s entrance suffered a similar fate when he challenged the Jewish terrorists. Both victims were unarmed. A gun battle soon began between the terrorist and guards during which time the Jews ignited the fuse and bolted from the building as the alarm was given. As they ran several were shot and wounded by guards, but most managed to make good their escape. There was no time to evacuate the building and the charge exploded with devastating effect. Many were killed instantly as the whole wing of the building collapsed about them, others were trapped and many more injured.
Rescue work started straight way as soldiers and police began to pull away the rubble in the hope of finding survivors. Members of the Royal Engineers were hurried to the scene with heavy lifting equipment, but they had difficulty reaching the King David Hotel because of Jewish road blocks. The Royal Engineers were stoned and booed as they tried to make their way to the scene of the bombing.
Nobody in Jerusalem is going to be stoning and booing Romney on his way to or from the King David. While he’s there, he will probably shake hands or even hug a billionaire under investigation for allegedly bribing Chinese officials in Macau by both the State of Nevada and the U.S. Justice Department, and a smarmy thug who was part of an espionage ring that stole nuclear devices and other nuclear bomb materials from the United States late in the last century.
Although Romney relented, reporters were pissed about Romney’s campaign breaking a supposed promise to not exclude them from this event. But they won’t be allowed by their editors to write about how corrupt Sheldon Adelson and Benjamin Netanyahu are, or how dangerous Romney’s conduct in this case actually is. Case in point:
Romney’s campaign announced Saturday that it would block the news media from covering the event, which will be held at the King David Hotel. The campaign’s decision to close the fundraiser to the press violates the ground rules it negotiated with news organizations in April, when Romney wrapped up the Republican nomination and began opening some of his finance events to the news media.
Under the agreement, a pool of wire, print and television reporters can cover every Romney fundraiser held in public venues, including hotels and country clubs. The campaign does not allow media coverage of fundraisers held in private residences.
Campaign spokesman Rick Gorka declined to explain the campaign’s decision to violate protocol with the Jerusalem event. Pressed repeatedly by reporters to offer an explanation, Gorka said only that the fundraiser was “closed press.”
“That’s all I’ve got for you — it’s closed press,” Gorka said.
Obama’s campaign will not counter Romney’s secret King David fundraiser with a press release or campaign ad that messages “Romney Follows London Gaffs with Fundraiser at Hotel Zionists Bombed to Kill Brits and Meets with Macau Crime Boss and Former Spy Against the USA.” None of that will be brought up.
It is not allowed.
Juan Cole lists ten reasons why Romney’s Israel visit is “distasteful.” He brings up the inappropriate venue of the King David, especially after Romney’s London visit.
I find it even more distasteful that our media refuses to give this campaign visit context.