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In Israel, Voters Back Clinton — But Just Barely

Israeli voters back Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by a 37%-to 34% margin, a new poll has found, with supporters of the ruling right wing Likud party bakcing Trump, while Zionist Union voters on the center-left prefer Clinton.

A poll released by Geocartography, an Israeli research institute, queried 500 Israelis with a 4.4% margin of error. The poll found that Israeli party affiliation is a strong indicator of which American presidential candidate Israelis like better.

Overall, Israelis slightly prefer Clinton over Trump. Some 37% of Israelis like Clinton compared to 34% who like Trump. Almost a third of the Israelis polled answered “other.”

When it comes to Likud voters, 59% like Trump while 24% like Clinton. Jewish Home, the ultra right nationalist party, had 54% support for Trump, with a quarter choosing Clinton. United Torah Judaism’s ultra-Orthodox voters polled strongly in favor of Trump, at 88%; only 11% of UTJ voters liked Clinton.

The only right wing party that went for Clinton was Yisrael Beitenu, a nationalist secular party whose voters prefer Clinton by 38% over Trump at 34%.

Geocartography president Avi Dagani told the Jerusalem Post that Yisrael Beitenu voters might be drawn to Clinton’s pro-immigrant stance, since many Russian immigrants to Israel vote for Yisrael Beitenu.

On the left, Zionist Union voters favor Clinton by 68%, with 19% supporting Trump. Meretz, to the left of the Zionist Union, shored up even more support for Clinton with 78% support of the Democratic candidate and 11% support for Trump.

The only party where voters were roughly split between Clinton and Trump was Shas, the ultra Orthodox religious party whose voters are primarily Mizrachi, or of Middle Eastern descent.

“Trump broadcasts strength, which represents the views of the Israeli Right, while Clinton’s central messages deal with cooperation and a feeling of togetherness, which are identified with the messages of the Left in Israel,” explained Dagani.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement on Monday that he was confident that the U.S. and Israel would remain close partners no matter who is elected. He said that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could not be resolved with “preconditions” or in the international arena.

“Whoever is elected, the new president, I am convinced that US-Israel relations, which are solid and strong, will not only remain as such, but will further strengthen,” he said.

Meanwhile, Zionist Union chief Yitzhak Herzog has claimed that Netanyahu is interfering in the U.S. election through his “patrons.”

Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a close ally of Netanyhau, has donated millions to the Trump campaign and his Israeli newspaper Yisrael Hayom has endorsed Trump.

Contact Naomi Zeveloff at zeveloff@forward.com or on Twitter @naomizeveloff

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