“Your success, Mr. Trump, is our success”: Trump’s victory – the view from Israel
Much of the world has reacted with shock, horror and revulsion – whether overt, or of a more muted variety – to the victory of racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, conspiracist hard-right candidate Donald Trump in the 2016 US Election.
His campaign has been accused of stirring up antisemitism in the US; the Israeli newspaper Haaretz has called his triumph “the greatest victory and validation for anti-Semitism in America since 1941”, the Washington Post says that “anti-Semitism is no longer an undertone of Trump’s campaign, it’s the melody”, and even the Zionist Anti-Defamation League has criticised his campaign for using “rhetoric and tropes that historically have been used against Jews and still spur antisemitism”.
Yet despite this, in Israel Zionist political leaders of all hues – from the Prime Minister on down – have been quick to celebrate Trump’s election, praise the US President-elect and look forward to bringing “to new heights” the collaboration between Israel and the US that has seen the Palestinian people occupied, tormented, subjugated and colonised for decades.
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister: “President-elect Trump is a true friend of the State of Israel. We will work together to advance the security, stability and peace in our region. The strong connection between the United States and Israel is based on shared values, shared interests and a shared destiny. I’m certain that President-elect Trump and I will continue to strengthen the unique alliance between Israel and the United States, and bring it to new heights.”
Reuven Rivlin, Israeli President: “I want to congratulate President elect Donald Trump, his family, and all the American people who have once again shown the world it is the greatest democracy. I hope together Israelis and Americans can grow our innovation and cooperation, which are the fruits of liberty, and equality. God bless you, Mr. President.”
Naftali Bennet, Education Minister: “Trump’s victory is a tremendous opportunity for Israel to immediately announce its intention to renege on the idea of establishing Palestine in the heart of the country – a direct blow to our security and the justice of our cause. This is the president-elect’s outlook as it appears in his platform, and that definitely should be our way. Salient, simple and clear. The era of the Palestinian state is over.”
Ayelet Shaked, Justice Minister: “[Trump is] a true friend of Israel. I am certain Trump will know how to lead the free world to success in the goals of the global war against terror. This is an opportunity for the American government to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel. This will symbolize the close relationship and courageous friendship between the two nations.”
Tzipi Hotovely, Deputy Foreign Minister: “Congratulations to the new President, Donald Trump. I look forward to the fulfilling of the promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. That would be an important historic move.”
Yuli Edelstein, Speaker of the Israeli Parliament: “The relations between the United States and Israel have always been close and warm, and I am convinced that they will continue to be in the Trump era. The American people will continue to stand united to meet the challenges of America and the world. Your success, Mr. Trump, is our success.”
Isaac Herzog, leader of the ‘opposition’ Zionist Union: “Warm wishes to the president of the strongest and biggest global power: Donald J. Trump! The U.S. elections are a continuation of a global trend of rejecting the old ruling elites and a wish for a clear and emphatic change. Trump’s election is the continuation of a social, economic and political tsunami that we’ve seen in many countries, which will also bring about change in Israel. This is a time of change around the world, and it will soon take place in Israel as well.” In a comment in Hebrew on his Facebook page, he also said that “the American democracy has voted today to place at its helm an American leader, who has taught the commentators and the skeptics that we are in a new era of change and the replacement of old ruling elites! You have done the unexpected against all odds, polls and studies and the prophets of the old era. I am convinced that the security and economic alliance with our strong and important ally will continue and be strengthened under your presidency. Good luck to you, Donald J. Trump.”
Yair Lapid, leader of the ‘opposition’ Yesh Atid: “Yair Lapid also sent his warm wishes. “Congratulations to President-elect Donald J. Trump. The United States is Israel’s closest and most important ally. We look forward to working with President-elect Trump and building on the incredibly strong ties which bind our two nations together. Ours is a relationship based on shared values and mutual interests. I know he is deeply committed to those values and to the strategic relations between our two countries.”
Nir Barakat, Mayor of Jerusalem (including illegally occupied and annexed Palestinian East Jerusalem): “On behalf of the city of Jerusalem, I am writing to congratulate you on your victory. I am certain you will lead the American people with dignity towards a bright future for the United States. The United States has been the most important ally of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. This steadfast alliance is based on our shared values of freedom and democracy. You have been a dedicated friend of Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel and the heart and soul of the Jewish people, and for that I thank you. In your term as President, I am confident that you will continue to empower our city by reaffirming its sovereignty and moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.”