US lobby group: Both Clinton, Trump to continue pro-Israel tradition
Israeli soldiers are seen next to a bus stop covered with posters from the Israeli branch of the US Republican party campaign in favor of Donald Trump, near the West Bank Jewish Settlement of Ariel October 6, 2016. (Reuters)
Staff writer, Al Arabiya English Tuesday 08 November 2016
As Americans head to cast their vote on Tuesday, Israelis are endlessly assessing which candidate will be better at protecting its interests and breaking down their every comment for policy clues.
However, The Israeli Project, a US-based pro-Israel lobby group, told Reuters that the “traditional” stance of Washington standing by Tel Aviv will “continue.”
“We enjoy and appreciate the strong bipartisan support we get,” said Lior Weintraub, vice-president of The Israel Project, and a former chief of staff at the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC.
“We believe either president will continue the tradition of the many presidents from both sides of the aisle of fostering the alliance on every front, from security to culture.”
Clinton, a former New York senator and US secretary of state, has repeatedly emphasized that she will protect Israel’s interests. Trump has said he will move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a popular line that would all but enshrine Jerusalem as the country’s capital.
While polls show most Israelis favor Clinton, Trump has a hard-core following among some national-religious Israelis, many of whom are originally from the United States.
When it comes to policy, Israeli analysts see Clinton as having a better handle on the issues, and the people who are likely to handle the Middle East if she is elected are more familiar faces than those in Trump’s circle.
The question is what it may mean for the Palestinians. With deep internal divisions and little prospect of a resumption of peace talks with Israel, Palestinian observers believe neither candidate has their best interests at heart.
“Either of them will maintain the US commitment to aid Israel, the two have publicly angered the Palestinians in electoral speeches,” said analyst Hani Habib. “The only difference was that Trump promised to move the US ambassador to Jerusalem while Clinton kept silent.
“Any betting on either of them is a losing bet,” he said.