JAFFA, Israel – Saudi-Americans take great interest in the upcoming presidential elections and mainly support Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, the London-based Al Hayat newspaper reported.
The paper carried out a survey in partnership with the student group “Saudis in USA” and found that Sanders gets the highest approval ratings out of all the candidates.
“Sanders looks after the middle and lower classes, and comes out against the corruption that enables unacceptable levels of richness,” Saudi-American Abdel Aziz Shahrani told the paper, in a statement repeated by many others.
“Sanders focuses on domestic affairs, he doesn’t like wars and doesn’t want to meddle in other countries’ business,” explained another Saudi-American, Turqi Abdelqader.
Saudis in USA chairman Ghassan Jamal said that many young Saudi-Americans are increasingly involved in politics.
“What they generally care about is to what extent the next president will be involved in Middle Eastern affairs and to what extent he or she will cooperate with Riyadh at the economic as well as the diplomatic levels,” he said.
Hassan Albar, the editor of Saudis in USA magazine, said that all of the candidates, barring Hillary Clinton, are largely unknown internationally. “Many people have heard of (Donald) Trump because of his provocative remarks. But there’s a group of Saudi-Americans who follow the race with anxiety.”
“The well-informed are split between those who want to see Clinton elected and those who see her presidency as similar to Obama’s,” he said. “There is a significant group that wants to see Sanders winning, even though he’s Jewish, because the Saudis distinguish between the Jews and Zionist occupiers.”
“However, there are those who wish to see Trump win despite his racism, because he will sever ties with the Arab world and make the Arabs manage on their own,” he said.