The head of Israel’s Republicans gave thanks for Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election at the Western Wall on Tuesday, seeing a divine hand in the businessman’s defeat of Hillary Clinton.
“I feel fantastic and very grateful and I came here to thank God for the miracle that he performed for us yesterday,” Marc Zell, the local head of Republicans Overseas, said according to remarks published on the Orthodox news site Vos Iz Neias (Yiddish for “What is News?”).
Zell told the press that he believed that Trump’s election would lead to a more favorable American policy on Israel, including the relocation of the United States embassy in the country to Jerusalem and an end to pressure on the Jewish state to freeze settlement building on the West Bank.
“We expect a few things: First, to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, something the U.S. has not done in over 68 years,” he said.
“Second, we expect that President Trump to fulfill his promise to leave Israel alone regarding building in the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria. This is a decision only Israel should be able to make,” he added.
During the election, Zell spearheaded efforts to get American-Israelis — especially those living in the settlements — to cast their ballots for Trump, telling the Forward in September that he was impressed with the Republican leader’s commitment to the Jewish state.
By Republicans Overseas’ own estimates, 400,000 eligible American voters reside in Israel and the occupied territories, with 60,000 of those people living as settlers on the West Bank.
Zell said that Trump’s success must cheer pro-Israel people in the United States.
“The most important element here is that we sent a critical message to people in the United States who support and love Israel …that we are with them,” he said. “This message has gone viral, and we see the results – people got out to vote, supported Trump and they were part of yesterday’s miracle.”
Daniel J. Solomon is the Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.