Why are Israeli, US Jews divided between Trump, Biden?

Israelis are from Venus, US Jews are from Mars when it comes to the Trump-Biden race.

OCTOBER 15, 2020

If Israelis could vote in next month’s US elections, some 63% of them – according to an i24 News poll this week asking Israelis which candidate they preferred – would apparently vote for US President Donald Trump, compared to only 19% for Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

By contrast, according to a Pew poll also released this week, 70% of American Jews plan to vote for Biden, and only 27% for Trump

Some may look at this mirror image – something identical in form but with the structure reversed – and say it illustrates how far American and Israeli Jews have drifted apart. Some may look at those figures as proof of their premise that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump have driven a massive wedge between the world’s two largest Jewish communities.

But those people would be wrong, because this phenomenon of American Jews preferring one US presidential candidate, and Israelis another, is not unique to the Trump era and predates, even, Netanyahu. This is a recurring phenomenon that – with the exception of the 2016 race – has occurred during every other US election since 2004.

While in the last election an Army radio poll showed that Israelis preferred Hillary Clinton to Trump – though at far lower levels than their co-religionists in the US (41%-31%, as opposed to the 71%-24% margin among American Jews who voted) – that was the exception over the last 16 years.

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