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Israelis Hope Next Congress will Bolster Trump Middle East Policy


JERUSALEM, Israel – Most pundits consider this year's midterm elections one of the most important in decades, one that will have a profound impact on the United States. Israelis are also considering how the midterms will affect the Jewish state.

For the past two years, many Israelis have agreed with the policies of President Donald Trump. He moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem. He pulled out of the Iranian nuclear deal and he's drawn closer to Israel's neighbors, such as Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Head out to Jerusalem's open-air market, Mahane Yehuda, and you can find that sentiment reflected among Israelis talking about the midterms.

"I'm sure Israelis as a whole, probably if a poll were to be done, would more be in favor of the GOP doing well in these elections," Brian Hoffman told CBN News.  

"I think the Democrats are terrible for Israel. Why? Because they've taken a hard left turn, and their policies are not pro-Israel," Anna Kaladner said.   

Pollster Mitchell Barak said Israelis love the US president.

"You can safely say – and I've been polling this since the elections, the presidential elections, Israelis love Trump and he's only gained in popularity here. And there's a number of reasons for that," Barak told CBN News. "He's very blunt. And the way that he has defended Israel in the United Nations and really shaken up the United Nations with Ambassador Haley and with the policies, that's music to Israeli ears."

Barak says Israelis favor certain candidates.

"They seem to want candidates that are more pro-Israel; that tends to be candidates that are Republicans, candidates that are from the evangelical community, from the South," he said.

Former Ambassador Yoram Ettinger, who served as Israeli liaison to the US Congress, understands the importance of the midterm elections for the House and Senate.
"The question is will Congress, beginning January 2019, provide tail wind or head wind to the president's national security policy," Ettinger said.    

"We should never underestimate the power of the legislature. The legislature can provide very, very intense head winds to American presidents, which would transform an American president into a very weak personality in global politics," he said. "I trust that reflecting the majority of the American population the coming Congress beginning January 2019 will be as supportive of enhanced US Israel relations."  

Whatever the outcome of Tuesday's elections, the results will have an effect beyond the borders of the US, to Israel, the Middle East and beyond.


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