“We Stand Together” Trump Says
With chants of “lock her up” every time Hillary Clinton’s name was mentioned, and “Trump, Trump, Trump” resonating from the audience, it sounded like any other Trump rally in middle America. But this was a rooftop just outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, and the Israeli and American flags flapping in the breeze were part of a pro-Trump rally by American citizens living in Israel.
The highlight of the rally was a brief video appearance by the candidate himself.
“I love Israel and my respect and reverence for Judaism is personal,” Trump said, to applause by the crowd of about 200, mentioning his daughter Ivanka who converted to Judaism. “Together we will stand up to the enemies like Iran bent on destroying Israel and her people. Together, we will make America and Israel safe again.”
The rally was organized by the Israel chapter of Republicans Overseas. An estimated 200,000 Israelis are eligible to vote in US elections, and local polls show that about 80 percent of them will vote for Trump. In the US, about 80 percent of American Jews are expected to vote for Hillary Clinton.
To many of the attendees of the rally, Hillary Clinton is the enemy.
“At this holy site I am reconsidering even mentioning the name Hillary Clinton,” David Friedman, a Trump foreign policy advisor who owns an apartment in Jerusalem said to boos from the crowd. “I do have some concern about dishonoring the holiness of this venue. I’m not going to go through Hillary Clinton’s emails or Hillary Clinton’s missing emails, or bribery or payoffs. Hillary Clinton’s words are the cheapest currency around. There is nobody less believable on any issue than Hillary Clinton.”
Friedman told the crowd that Trump would move the US embassy to Jerusalem over State Department objections, a promise greeted with cheers from the audience.
There was also a video by Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence.
“Over the course of this campaign many people have asked me why we stand so strongly in support of Israel,” Pence said. “Donald Trump and I stand with Israel because Israel’s fight is our fight, because Israel’s cause is our cause. We stand with Israel for the same reasons good people everywhere stand with Israel. Her cause is just, because her values are our values, and because her fate is our fate.”
Trump’s supporters wore T-shirts and hats celebrating their candidate. Ran Hofman, who waved a giant Israeli flag throughout the rally, wore a T-shirt with an outline of Trump’s face next to a Jewish star. Hofman, an Israeli who is not a US citizen and therefore can’t vote, said he had the T-shirt specially made and that he came to the rally just to show his support.
“Eight years of Obama and more years of Hillary — she’s worse than him,” Hofman told The Media Line. “The job of the president is not to sell cookies, you have responsibilities. She (Hillary) released information on how long it takes to launch nuclear weapons. She can’t handle email, it’s unbelievable.”
The slogan of the rally was Jerusalem Forever, meant to strengthen Israel’s control of Jerusalem. It came the same day that the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed a second resolution that denies any connection between Jews and the Jerusalem holy site that Jews say is the site of the First and Second Temples, and Muslims says is where Mohammed ascended to heaven.
“The purpose of today’s event is to strengthen Jerusalem in the wake of the UNESCO votes last week and today,” Marc Zell, the co-chair of the Israel chapter of Republicans Overseas told The Media Line. “The whole attitude of the world seems to forget this is a Jewish city. We want to state unequivocally that we have this eternal tie with this city. People understand clearly which side has Israel’s back and supports what we’re doing.”
Zell said he believes the polls that show Trump losing the election by a large margin are wrong.
“I don’t think the polls are catching the reality,” Zell said. “What happened with Brexit in Britain is happening here. Whether it’s big enough we’ll only know on November 8.
While everyone at the rally was pro-Trump, not everyone in Israel is so supportive.
“When he says he won’t accept the results of the election, it’s idiotic,” Eli Granot, a Jerusalem taxi driver told The Media Line. “When elections are over, you should shake hands. He buried himself. If before this Trump didn’t have a chance, now he really has no chance.”
Yet at the rally there was only love for Trump.
“I’m a big Trump supporter from day one,” Dorraine Gilbert Weiss, told The Media Line, saying she has already cast her ballot for Trump. “My cousin has been friends with him for 30 years and he’s a heimishe (down-home) nice guy. His heart is in the right place. I really believe he’ll do a great job for America and for Israel.”