In Israel and Palestine, mixed reactions to Trump

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (WSVN) — In the birthplace of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, many residents have visible reactions when asked about the 2016 U.S. election and President Trump.

Asked whether many people in Israel are talking about Trump and the election, resident Katie Steele told 7News, “Of course.”

A cab driver, Liol, agreed with her. “America is big boss of the world,” he said.

Yoaz, who speaks to tourists at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site, said that he didn’t like former President Obama. But, he said, he is unsure about Trump.

“I don’t like the previous one and I’m afraid from this one because nobody knows what to expect,” Yoaz said. “He have his son-in-law [Jared Kushner], who is a Jew, that’s one side of it. The other side, nobody know what to expect from him. It looks like he has his own kind of ways.”

Liol, who is a former Israeli soldier, told 7News that he likes Trump’s decisiveness. “No talking, he’s doing,” Liol said. “He starts doing something, after a week, he’s doing.”

He also had a bad view of Obama. “In doing the deal with Iran, this not good for us,” he said.

Trump does have his detractors, like Steele, but she thinks Israelis must now hope for the best. “There’s nothing we can do at this point,” she said. “He is the president of the United States, that’s a fact. So, how can it help me? How can it help my family?”

Thirty thousand people, two-thirds Muslims, live a 30-minute drive South, in Bethlehem, Palestine.

Few people were willing to speak to 7News on camera, but many said they don’t think anything will change.

The city suffers from double-digit unemployment.

Johnny Canavati, a shopkeeper, said he is focusing on tourism and the economy. “Family business since 1940,” Canavati said. “Well the new president, I hope he will be better than the old president. We need a strong dollar, a strong economy, so all the world will go up again.”

Yitzhak Kagan, an American who moved to Israel to become a rabbi, is taking a wait-and-see approach. “He has an interesting outlook on things and we have to see how it plays out,” he said.

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