Trump, Clinton: Two more reasons to make aliyah

Head of OU Israel says American Jews not happy with presidential candidates, voting against the opponent rather than for whom they prefer..

Gary Willig ,

Trump and Clinton
Trump and Clinton
Paul Morigi/Getty Images, Joe Raedle/Getty Images via JTA

There is an image circulating around the web of US presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.The caption accompanying the image reads 'two more reasons to make aliyah (move to Israel).'

That sentiment gives a hint to the way North American Jews feel about this week's presidential election and their choice of candidates, says Rabbi Avi Berman, the Executive Director of OU Israel.

Rabbi Berman spoke of the lack of enthusiasm among American Jews for either candidate in an interview with Arutz Sheva.

"No one sees their candidate as optimal." Rabbi Berman said. "No one wants to see their candidate under investigation by the FBI or saying inappropriate things. The motive (for their votes) is disappointment."

He noted that many Jews who plan to vote for Trump do so out of fear that Clinton will not be a good president for Israel, despite fearing that Trump would be disastrous for the US economy if he is elected.

"There are people who (say they) would leave North America if their candidate isn't elected."

However, Rabbi Berman notes that Jewish donors still contributed a disproportionate amount to this year's election campaigns despite the lack of enthusiasm from the overall Jewish population. Jews make up only about 2% of the US population, but account for 50% of political donations. Jewish billionaire Haim Saban "is one of the largest contributors to Clinton." Other wealthy Jews, such as George Soros, have also contributed millions to Clinton's campaign.

On the other side of the political spectrum, Jewish casino mogul Sheldon Adelson only recently decided to contribute to defeating Clinton, having been unimpressed until now by Trump's campaign.

Rabbi Berman says that the election is too close to call. "It's impossible to know what will happen in this election. I don't think the polls really capture the position of the man in the street in America." He also pointed out the gaps between the polls and the results in the last Israeli elections and the Brexit vote in the UK earlier this year as evidence that the current polls may be wrong.




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