The beers and red- and blue-themed drinks had given way to coffee and tea as bleary-eyed political junkies still awake at 4:00 a.m. in Jerusalem tensely watched the election results roll in at Mike’s Place. The event was an informal party for Republicans Overseas Israel, with plenty of angry jeering every time Hillary Clinton flashed on the screen.
Likud activist Osnat Maiden, an Israeli wrapped in an improvised American flag scarf, said she came in order to show her support for Trump. “There’s going to be a revolution, he’s going to win with a big margin,” she said. “The first time I saw Donald Trump a year and a half ago on Fox News, I said that man is a genius, it doesn’t matter what he says or the stupid things he does, he’s so strong, he’ll be president.”
Others in the crowd were a little testier. One man, festooned with Vietnam veterans patches, yells expletives at the TV every time it shows a photo of Clinton. “That bitch right there is a Bengazhi murderer!” he yelled. “That piece of [expletive] woman is a whore!”
“I’m so obsessed with these elections and I can’t breathe,” said Eitan Rosenfeld, who works for an Israel advocacy organization on college campuses in the US and just moved to Israel. “I voted for Gary Johnson because I think people deserve another party. The two-party system is broken. These two people are going to drive the country apart,” he said. Though Rosenfeld noted that there were a few Clinton supporters as well, even though the Mike’s Place event was billed as an informal event for Republicans Abroad Israel. “It’s nice to be in the same bar, that people are respecting each other. We are taking part in something so important. Democracy is so important.”
A group of 18-year-old Aish HaTorah yeshiva students sat at one table, watching intently in the first election where they were able to vote.
“We’re here to watch history in the making,” said Yeshua Soskil, from Maryland. He said he thinks the rabbis will “probably be OK” even if they’re tired for tomorrow’s classes.
“We can’t miss this, we can’t sleep through this,” said a fellow Aish HaTorah student from New Jersey, who voted for Gary Johnson. “I basically feel like the Republican party is dying, they are taken over by this crazy guy.” He believes that eventually Libertarians will gain more traction and eventually overtake the Republicans. “I’d like to see Trump win because I think it will be so entertaining to watch,” said this student. “Though I’ll also feel safer with Trump, I feel like my survival chances are best with him.”
There was a small “PantSuit Nation” table of Hillary supporters at Mike’s Place, as supporters began to fall asleep with their head on the table. “We’re adding a much needed liberal presence to downtown Jerusalem at this moment,” said Michal Hubert, a new immigrant from New York.
Mike’s Place in Jerusalem, the American bar hosting a heavily Republican watch party, was selling red and blue mixed drinks in honor of the candidates.
“The Donald obviously has bourbon, we use an American bourbon, Wild Turkey,” explained Mike’s Place General Manager Udi Kaniel. Other ingredients: lime juice and sour mix, not to make any comment on Trump, Kaniel is quick to explain, but just because he likes sour drinks. Pomegranate grenadine gives it the signature red color. The Donald is garnished with an orange, for the orange skin, and, possibly, as a nod to the battle state of Florida. The Hillary has a lemon garnish for her blonde hair. That drink has Smirnoff Vodka, Blue Curacao, pineapples for flavor, and triple sec.
“We’ve sold a close amount of Donalds and Hillary, and we won’t reveal the actual amount until later in the night,” said Kaniel. “But the difference is less than 4%.”
As for the Donald drink? “I hope Donald does as good as it tastes,” said Marc Zell, the director of Republicans Abroad Overseas.