Just hours after Republican nominee Donald Trump was declared the winner of the 2016 presidential election, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated him in a video address (below).
“I congratulate Donald Trump on being elected the 45th president of the United States of America,” he said. “President-elect Trump is a true friend of the State of Israel, and I look forward to working with him to advance security, stability and peace in our region.”
Although Netanyahu has had a strong alliance with conservatives in America, many Jews are worried about what a Trump presidency could mean for them and other minority groups.
The business mogul and reality TV star failed to distance his campaign from its more radical supporters, many of whom trafficked in anti-Semitic and racist conspiracy theories.
At a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition in December 2015, Trump repeatedly played up Jewish stereotypes, angering some attendees.
“Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals? Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken,” he told the crowd, according to BuzzFeed. Later, he said, “Stupidly, you want to give money. Trump doesn’t want money.”
He’s also been vague about how he plans to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He angered many supporters of Israel when he questioned the country’s willingness to work toward a peaceful solution in an interview with The Associated Press.
"A lot will have to do with Israel and whether or not Israel wants to make the deal -- whether or not Israel's willing to sacrifice certain things," Trump said. "They may not be, and I understand that, and I'm OK with that. But then you're just not going to have a deal."
The Trump campaign was also widely criticized in July for tweeting an image of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, a pile of cash and the words “most corrupt candidate ever,” overlaid on a six-pointed star that resembled a Star of David. The Daily Beast reported the image had been created by a Twitter user who had previously expressed anti-Semitic and racist views.
The nonpartisan Anti-Defamation League has repeatedly criticized Trump’s statements. Just before the election the organization released a statement slamming his final campaign ad for "conjuring painful stereotypes and baseless conspiracy theories."
Still, many were excited by Trump's victory.
“Congratulations, Donald Trump. I hope for the US and the world that he actualize the promises of his acceptance speech, not the campaign,” tweeted Tzipi Livni, a member of the Zionist Union and the Israeli legislative body.
Trump had promised to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that would be counter to previous U.S. policy and could spark conflict with Palestinians.
“On behalf of the city of Jerusalem, I am writing to congratulate you on your victory,” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat wrote in a letter, according to The Times of Israel. “I am confident that you will continue to empower our city by reaffirming its sovereignty by moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.”