Most Israelis believe that literally any of the current US presidential candidates would be better for Israel than President Barack Obama has been, a new poll reveals, but more Israelis want Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton as president than Republican candidate Donald Trump.
However, while Clinton is thought to be better for the state of Israel, more Israelis think that Trump would have a closer relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The survey, conducted by Israel’s Channel 1 and released on Sunday, found that 51 percent of those polled believed any one of those in the running for the American presidency – including notoriously anti-Israel Bernie Sanders – would be better for Israel than current president Obama, whose has not tried to hide his cool attitude towards the Jewish state.
Another 26 percent felt there would be little change in US policy towards Israel no matter who was elected, and eight percent said the relationship would worsen.
As for the individual candidates, 42 percent of those polled said that Clinton would be better for Israel and 34 percent believed Trump was the best pro-Israel candidate. When it came to working with Israeli leader Netanyahu, 42 percent responded that they thought Trump would get along best with him, and 32 percent chose Clinton.
Trump has said that he likes Netanyahu personally, though he cancelled a trip to Israel last year after Netanyahu made statements disparaging Trump’s suggestion to block Muslim immigration to the US. “I did not particularly like [Netanyahu’s] statement,” Trump said at the time. “I like him. I have always liked him. I was disappointed in his statement.”
A clear majority of 68 percent of respondents said they had a favorable view of Clinton, while 43 percent viewed Trump positively. The negative numbers were more divisive, with only 14 percent viewing Clinton negatively and a whopping 37 percent viewing Trump unfavorably.
The findings were consistent with previous polls, which have repeatedly confirmed that more Israelis prefer Clinton over Trump.
Trump’s and Clinton’s victories in the recent New York primary make it likely that the two will face off in the final contest for the White House. The race for the party nominations will end in the summer, when each party will acknowledge its candidate.
Clinton’s path to the nomination is much clearer than Trump’s, who faces considerable opposition within the GOP. His Republican rivals, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, announced on Saturday that the two will work together to block Trump from winning the GOP nod.
The two candidates agreed to give each other wide berth in states where one is more likely to win votes in hopes of taking more delegates from Trump. Cruz will focus on Indiana, allowing Kasich to campaign more heavily in Oregon and New Mexico.
Trump tweeted his response to the move on Sunday.
Wow, just announced that Lyin’ Ted and Kasich are going to collude in order to keep me from getting the Republican nomination. DESPERATION!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2016
While Trump is the clear front-runner, he has yet to collect the requisite 1,237 delegates needed to claim the nomination, and the Republican party is gearing up for a rare brokered convention, in which delegates are allowed to switch sides and realign votes in order to determine who will represent the party in the presidential race.