Israelis unruffled by Trump, left cold by Bernie — poll
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Israelis unruffled by Trump, left cold by Bernie — poll

61% of country's Jews believe Republican front-runner is Israel-friendly, while most prefer Clinton in Democratic face-off

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the media during a press conference in West Palm Beach, Florida, on March 5, 2016. (AFP/Rhona Wise)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the media during a press conference in West Palm Beach, Florida, on March 5, 2016. (AFP/Rhona Wise)

The front-runner in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump, is generating far fewer jitters among Jewish Israelis than in America, with most (61 percent) believing that he is either “moderately friendly” to the Jewish state or “very friendly,” according to the Israel Democracy Institute’s monthly Peace Index poll, released Sunday.

Only 14% assess his position — alongside several very pro-Israel statements, Trump has said that he will try to be a “neutral” broker in the peace process — as either “not so friendly” or “not at all friendly.” In an abstract, the IDI said 44% of Arab Israelis have not formed an opinion on Trump, noting that the figure “is too high to take this question into account.”

When it comes to the general election, roughly one-third (34%) of Jewish Israelis think a Republican president will be more pro-Israel than a Democratic one (28%), the poll found. Those trends are reversed among Arab Israelis, 47% of whom said a Democratic president would be more pro-Israel; 30% who saw no difference between the two parties; and 23% who believe a Republican candidate would be more pro-Israel.

In a head-to-head between the Democratic candidates, Israelis prefer Hillary Clinton over Jewish rival Bernie Sanders by a vast margin, with 40.5% saying Clinton is “preferable from Israel’s standpoint,” as opposed to “only 16.5%” who think Sanders would be the more pro-Israel candidate, the abstract said.

US Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders shake hands before participating in the MSNBC Democratic Candidates Debate at the University of New Hampshire in Durham on February 4, 2016. (AFP/JEWEL SAMAD)
US Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders shake hands before participating in the MSNBC Democratic Candidates Debate at the University of New Hampshire in Durham on February 4, 2016. (AFP/Jewel Samad)

 

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