Donald Trump campaign opens in Israel

For the first time ever, a US party is running a ground-campaign in Israel, with the Republicans hoping to mobilize the vote for Trump.

Yoni Kempinski ,

Zell with young Trump campaigners
Zell with young Trump campaigners
Yoni Kempinski

The Donald Trump campaign launched a ground campaign in Israel today, trying to get US citizens living in Israel to make sure to vote for the Republican candidate.

Marc Zell, Chair of Republicans in Israel, who is leading the campaign, said: "There are 300,000 to 400,000 potential votes in Israel, and many of them are coming from the key battleground states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. These are states with large Jewish populations, where the Jewish vote matters. We estimate there might be 10 to 12 thousand votes from Florida alone here."

Speaking to potential voters, Zell recounted how in 2000, George Bush beat out Al Gore thanks to a few hundred votes in Florida. "1,500 votes for Bush came from Israel during that election. So if they hadn't voted, Bush wouldn't have been President. Your vote really counts."

Campaign activists are hitting Israeli malls in areas with high concentrations of American citizens to make their pitch to voters on the fence, and have begun distributing Trump hats, stickers, and buttons.

Emphasizing his support for Israel and playing up frustration among American-Israelis over the Obama administration’s handling of America’s relationship with Israel and the Iran nuclear deal, the Trump operation in Israel has rolled out a new logo with the slogan “Trump – the Israeli Interest” – in Hebrew.

"The Hebrew logo was designed in the same spirit as the American logo,” said a Trump campaign press release. “The message is clear: he is appealing to the American-Israeli community, which leans to the right politically and is more associated with the Republican Party."