At a post-election celebration in Israel, members of the Republican Party branch in that country gathered to discuss how their efforts contributed to Donald Trump’s victory on November 8. On hand were the president of the Republican group, Marc Zell, Tzvika Brot, Ariel Sander, and others. Zell said that despite the important contribution of Israeli-American voters to Trump’s victory, there were too few absentee ballots cast from Israel to alter the outcome of the election. But Trump’s popularity in Israel did persuade non-Jewish voters in the U.S. to pull the lever for the New Yorker, said Zell.
 
"There were over a 100,000 people - maybe well over a 100,000 people that voted in this election from Israel, and 80% roughly voted for Donald Trump. We can be proud of that. But those votes didn't determine the outcome of this election directly. As you know, the difference in the major states like Florida was greater than the number of votes we had here."
 
Trump’s campaign efforts in Israel, said Zell, included opening multiple field offices and conducting the first get-out-the-vote operation by an American campaign in Israel. It had a significant, albeit indirect, effect on securing a victory for Trump, Zell said. Zell, who directed Trump’s campaign in Israel, said “... the votes here in Israel were instrumental - fundamentally instrumental - in causing the cevangelicalChristians in the United States to vote in numbers that were more than 15-20% more than they were in 2012. And that was the difference in most of the states that gave Donald Trump the victory. So I want you to know that they… in the Trump campaign and in the Republican National Committee understand the importance of what we did here."
 
According to Zell, the visible and public support for Trump in Israel encouraged a massive turnout among evangelical Christians. Zell said that Vice-President-elect Mike Pence called him after the election and told him “You guys were the difference.” Zell noted that a newspaper for evangelical Christians that “Israeli-Americans are coming to the polls and supporting Trump in large numbers and we should do the same.” 
 
A post-election poll conducted by the Ruderman Family Foundation found that 83 percent of Israelis believe that President-elect Donald Trump will be a “pro-Israel president.”  The poll of 500 respondents found that only 32 percent of Israelis were either slightly concerned or concerned by the increase in anti-Semitic incidents reported in the United States since the election, with 16 percent very concerned and 20 percent not concerned at all.
 
Following Trump's victory, Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu issued a congratulatory video in which he saluted Trump as "my friend." Moreover, Netanyahu hailed Trump as a "great friend of Israel."
 


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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