TEL AVIV – The Israel director of Republicans Overseas said on Sunday that he and other Republicans in the Jewish state would still vote for Donald Trump despite the lewd audio recording released over the weekend.
Marc Zell said that he and his five daughters will be voting for Trump, and maintained that the majority of the 200,000 registered U.S. voters in Israel – half of whom are women –would still support Trump “with all of his shortcomings.”
“I’m saying he doesn’t need to [resign]. He did what he did. His comments are disgusting and absolutely unacceptable, we are against it,” Zell told Israel’s Army Radio. But “he said he’s not perfect, he apologized.”
He added that there is “no chance” Trump will quit.
According to Zell, Trump’s decade-old comments pale in comparison to Hillary Clinton’s offenses, not least of which are the leaked emails – also released over the weekend – showing her questionable relationship with Wall Street.
“The public wants Trump, with all of his shortcomings, over Clinton with her failures, her corruption, her lies,” he said.
“I have five daughters and they will all, all, vote for Trump,” Zell added.
As several GOP leaders announced the withdrawal of support for Trump following the audio’s release, Zell called on Republicans to band together.
“I call upon all the Republican leadership, who understand like we do that we need a change to the White House immediately and undo eight years of damage caused by Obama and Clinton to the United States around the world — to unite and to support the ticket, from the top to the bottom,” Zell said.
Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign manager in Israel Tzvika Brot told Army Radio that it “was good he regretted [his comments], but he isn’t running for chief rabbi. There are only perfect leaders in Hollywood.”
Brot added that both Republicans and Democrats had not necessarily wanted both candidates as their first choice but despite this “the parties are standing behind them.”
A Facebook page for Republicans Abroad Israel called on supporters to stick by Trump.
“When your team is under attack, you RALLY AROUND THE FLAG, YOU DON’T BURN IT AND RUN,” one posting read.
Zell, an international lawyer based in Jerusalem, did not support Trump early in the campaign but later changed his mind. Zell maintains that among the reasons for his change of heart was witnessing Trump’s staggering success in the primaries – winning 37 states to beat out 16 other candidates in the race.
“First and foremost, the people have spoken, and they have spoken in an unequivocal fashion,” the Washington DC native told the Times of Israel in August.
Zell also praised the Republican platform for dropping the notion of the “two-state solution” as an answer to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“I’m against unrealistic policies. I am against trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. There’s no context in which a two-state solution in today’s world would work.”
He said the GOP nominee also deserved accolades for bringing topics that have been taboo in previous elections to the fore – NATO, immigration and American trade agreements to name a few.
“Here’s a guy who, just by the unorthodox manner of campaigning, introduced these topics into public debate. That’s fantastic. This shows already his ability to influence public opinion and to change the order of things,” he said.
Zell, who is a Princeton graduate, praised Trump’s ability to detect the electorate’s ire over the current political establishment, the report said.
“He understood this, either instinctively or deliberately, and he tapped into that groundswell of discontent and rode it to (nomination) victory,” he said.
“The system needs to be shaken up, both domestically and in terms of foreign policy.”