According to a New York Times poll, 24% of American Jews voted for Donald Trump, yet according to a poll conducted by iVoteIsrael and released in the Jerusalem Post the Republican candidate received 49% of the Israeli-American vote. On Tuesday, November 22, Mondoweiss reporters asked Israelis in West Jerusalem’s Zion Square what they thought about the election of Donald Trump and found overwhelming support for the incoming U.S. president.
“In this difficult time all over the world, it’s time for strong leaders,” says one Trump admirer.
Support for Trump echoed positive statements by members of the Knesset and of the Israeli government right after the election. Naftali Bennett, the Minister of Education, was the most vocal and fastest to celebrate the President-elect. His team issued a press release stating that: “Trump’s victory is an opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state in the center of the country, which would hurt our security and just cause”. The Habayit Hayehudi chairman also said that “the special connection between the United States and Israel will be preserved and even enhanced.”
Israelis interviewed in Jerusalem anticipated that Trump will be a strong ally for Israel on the global stage. “[He] will give Israel a voice. Up until now, mostly in the U.N. but all over the world, I feel like the Palestinians have a voice and Israel doesn’t,” said another pro-Trump Israeli interviewed in Jerusalem.
In 2015, a poll Panels Politics conducted in Israel revealed that 63% of Jewish Israelis felt President Obama was the “worst for Israel in the last 30 years”. A surprising 37% thought that Bill Clinton had been the best for Israel, although these feelings were evidently not shared for Hillary Clinton.
“I’m very happy Mrs. Clinton lost. She’s an enemy of the Jewish people,” said another interviewee who looked forward to the end of the Obama administration. “Obama is a Muslim himself. He supports the Muslim cause against the Jewish cause.”
Watch more of the Israelis’ responses here: