Radically Different Responses on Right, Left to Trump Victory

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)

Right and left awoke in Israel Wednesday to a new political reality – and the reactions on both sides differed like night and day, with the left mourning what MKs called “lost chances for peace,” and the right celebrating “a new paradigm in politics” that would benefit Israel.

Donald Trump, the newly elected President of the United States, is “a racist and rabble rouser,” wrote Issawi Freij, an Arab MK from far-left party Meretz. “The victory of Trump is not a mistake, and it is not our main problem right now. The problem is the direction the American people and the rest of the world are going in. The world has become more violent, racist, and fearful. Trump’s victory is the alarm clock that must awaken us, and prompt us to think about how we overcome this situation.”

MK Dov Hanin (United Arab List) echoed Freij’s comments. “Sometimes anger can bring about positive change, but when the change does not lead to a leftist arc, more people will veer towards the dangerous arc of rightward change. The Trump campaign proved that when there is no true platform on the left to systemic crisis, there grows – quickly, and to monstrous proportions – a phony and dangerous ‘solution’ on the right. The results of this election are difficult to accept, and worrying.”

The right, on the other hand, was in very good spirits as the final results of the election came in on Wednesday morning, Israel time. Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) said that Trump’s victory “is a marvelous opportunity for Israel to immediately pull back from the idea of establishing a Palestinian state in the heartland of the Jewish people, a major danger to Israeli security and to the truth of our path. Such directness is the credo of the elected president, and it should also be our credo. This is the end of the era of the concept of a Palestinian state.”

For Shomron Council Head Yossi Dagan, the day after Election Day “is a holiday not just for the United States but for Israel as well. Jewish residents of Yehudah and Shomron now have a real friend, and Shomron can look forward to excellent relations with a president who admires and likes Israel, and who supports settlement in Shomron . We are looking forward to the first visit of President-elect Trump. I invite Mr. Trump to come visit Shomron, the cradle of Jewish history and the heart of the State of Israel.”