Despite many efforts by Donald Trump’s election campaign to show off his pro-Israel credentials, a recent survey released Wednesday shows that Israelis prefer Hillary Clinton by a wider margin than do Americans.
In a phone poll of 500 Jews and 100 Arabs conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute, in response to the question, “And whom would you want to win the US presidential elections: Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?” 43.1% of Jews preferred Clinton and only 34.2% wanted Trump as president.
Among Arabs the margin was much wider, with 58% supporting Clinton and only 11.2% hoping for a Trump win. Overall Trump had the backing of 30.4%, while Clinton had 45.6%.
Pollsters did not include Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson or the Green Party’s Jill Stein in their survey.
In the US recent polls show that in a head-to-head contest Clinton leads Trump by five or six points — Fox News puts it at 48%-42% and Huffington Post has the Democratic nominee ahead by 47% to 41.7%.
The Trump campaign has set up offices in Israel to encourage US citizens to vote in the upcoming election. In the month since Republicans Overseas Israel launched its campaign, it has set up five offices and plans to open several more.
Trump’s rhetoric has been stridently pro-Israel, including a claim Monday that if he is not elected, the Iran nuclear deal will destroy Israel.
Yet the majority of Israelis don’t seem to agree with Trump’s doomsday message.
The Democratic campaign rejects Trump’s claim that he is the best for the future of the Jewish state. Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., defended the Iran deal and dismissed Trump’s concerns about Israel as insincere.
“Israel is our strongest partner in the region,” Kaine said. “Trump’s plan was to pat them on the back and tell them good luck. That’s no way to treat an ally, that’s no way to treat a friend.”
According to the IDI poll, an overwhelming majority of Israelis also believe that Clinton will be the next president of the US, with the Democratic nominee ahead 61.6% to 23.8%.
In answer to the question “Which of the two candidates, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, if elected, will be better from the standpoint of the Israeli government’s policy?” 34.3% of respondents said Trump and 34.5% said Clinton.
However, there was a clear difference between Jews and Arabs on this. Of Jews, 38.5% viewed Trump as better for the Israeli government compared to 33.4% for Clinton. Only 13.6% of Arabs thought Trump would be better, whereas 39.8% thought Clinton would be.