Zionist Camp MK: ‘Not Clear’ Why Israeli Right Prefers Trump

YERUSHALAYIM -
Marc Zell, the head of Republicans Overseas Israel branch, seen at a campaign event supporting Republican candidate Dondald Trump, in Modi'in. (Joe Davids/Flash90)
Marc Zell, the head of Republicans Overseas Israel branch, seen at a campaign event supporting Republican candidate Donald Trump, in Modi’in. (Joe Davids/Flash90)

The Israeli right is backing Donald Trump for President of the United States, Zionist Camp MK Nachman Shai said – and it’s not clear to him why, he told Channel Ten over the weekend. “The right is placing its hopes in a Trump presidency, but the system will prompt him to act like his predecessor.”

Shai believes that in any event, Hillary Clinton is more likely to win. “Trump could pull it off, but I don’t believe he will. I cannot prove anything, but I speak from intuition. I am betting on Clinton but the real issue is not who the president will be, but what direction America will take.”

Israeli media have followed the American election very closely, and analysts have said that one reason right-wing Israelis seem to back Trump is because they believe he will buck the program followed by President Barack Obama to pressure Israel into further concessions to the Palestinians, a policy Clinton is expected to continue. In addition, many Israelis are impressed by Trump’s tough talk on the Iran nuclear deal.

But unlike Clinton, Trump is really an unknown quantity, said Channel Ten commentator Roni Daniel. Agreeing with Shai, he said that he “could not understand this admiration for Trump on the right. There are many reasons to be concerned over a Trump win, such as his claims that he will abandon long-standing relationships between the U.S. and other countries,” reevaluating American foreign policy in light of the benefits and obligations of a country’s relationship with Washington. As the largest recipient of foreign aid, that reevaluation could be detrimental to Israel, he said.

Offering a right-wing perspective was former MK Aryeh Eldad, who said that if he were an American he would vote Trump. “I believe he will be good for Israel. Hillary Clinton will continue Obama’s policies, and that frightens me,” he said.