It turns out that Israel doesn’t have just one group of supporters of United States Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump seeking the votes of Israelis with American citizenship on November 8. There are actually two groups. The relationship between them is rather cool, and they hold separate organized events.
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Republicans Overseas Israel is the official party representative here. The group’s campaign director, Tzvika Brot, speaks of the strong conservative bent of many potential American voters in Israel. The other organization seeking to drum up support for Trump, Trump Blue & White, is headed by a 24-year-old Likud activist, Nimrod Zuta. The official Republican Overseas Israel held a major event in Jerusalem in support of Trump in Jerusalem on Wednesday. Trump Blue & White plans to hold a gathering the day before the election on November 7, featuring a march to Jerusalem’s Western Wall.
As measured by the response on social media, Trump Blue & White – which is actually called the equivalent of “Blue and White” in Hebrew but “White & Blue” in English – seems to be coming out on top. It has roughly 12,500 Facebook “likes” compared to Republicans Overseas Israel’s 3,500.
“I understood that Trump has to be good when I saw the negative media treatment he got,” says Zuta. On an event page, Zuta posted a picture of a teary-eyed President Barack Obama taken at a speech following the murder of 20 children at Sandy Hook school, with a caption stating sarcastically that Obama was crying over the rise in support for Trump. Then there was the photoshoped image of Trump covering the Western Wall, promoting the election event.
“The Western Wall is just a supporting wall for the holy place, the [adjacent] Temple Mount,” says Zuta. “Provocations are good.”
A source at Republicans Overseas Israel said after his organization looked into joining forces with Blue & White Israel that it was decided to steer clear of the group, whose Facebook posts the source called “crazy.” They are 17-year-olds,” the source said, “and the official group will not be coming down hard on them. There isn’t a single American listed among the upstart group’s Facebook friends.”
The people from Trump Blue & White were kindly requested not to come to the Republicans Overseas Israel event, the source said. “They were offended and announced that they would hold their own event after Americans in Israel had already voted, but I doubt that their event will take place.”
“We’re in touch with the headquarters abroad, not in Israel,” Zuta retorted. “I won’t mention names, because I don’t want to burn the connections that I have. I met with the group from the party [Republicans Overseas Israel]. I came with an open mind, but they wanted a closed event in a small auditorium, and we want something grandiose with a popular feel. They’re old-fashioned, establishment. Look how we received a lot more [Facebook] friends and they’ve been working for years, with funding and media contacts.”
And Zuta warned that Republicans Overseas Israel’s claims should be taken with a grain of salt. “A few months ago, they announced that Trump was due to come to Israel. I bit my tongue,” he says, explaining that he didn’t want to harm Trump’s cause.
Would Netanyahu vote for Trump?
“I don’t think there’s a single leader who opposes Trump. All of them favor Trump. Netanyahu, the leaders of Arab countries, and also Putin. Look at Gadhafi. He ended up as he did because he didn’t support Clinton.”
Would Gadhafi have supported Trump?
“I assume so.”