Israeli politicians and commentators, like most others around the world, woke up Wednesday morning in shock over Donald Trump’s upset victory in the US presidential election.
But Israel was probably one of the few countries where most people viewed Trump’s win as a good surprise.
For months, local polls have showed that a majority of Israelis believed Trump would be better for the Jewish state than his rival, Hillary Clinton.
That is especially true of Israel’s right-wing majority, which views Trump’s victory as the death knell of of the “two-state solution” and all talk of an independent Palestinian state.
Member of Knesset Betzalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) issued a statement calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take the Trump victory as an opportunity “to stand behind the settlements in Judea and Samaria, and announce today the construction of thousands of new housing units, planning and construction of new towns and cities.”
Some commentators on morning radio talk shows even quipped that Israel could now come under American pressure to build more settlements.
MK Yehuda Glick (Likud) invited Trump to “visit Israel and Judea and Samaria to see for himself…that settlement is the way to peace.” Glick also hoped Trump would ascend the Temple Mount and help restore Jewish worship there.