WASHINGTON — Donald Trump will be the next U.S. president, having swept to victory in at least 29 states with 288 electoral votes and jolted a Jewish community made increasingly anxious as his rough-edged nativist rhetoric emboldened the far right and amplified a strain of anti-Semitic invective not heard in decades.
Trump called on all Americans to “heal the wounds of our nation” and “come together as one united people” in his victory speech shortly before 3 a.m. Wednesday at the New York Hilton Midtown, blocks from his iconic Trump Tower. He was surrounded by family, including his Jewish daughter, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, who helped guide his unlikely path to victory.
Republicans were projected to maintain their majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, making Trump’s victory a sweep for his party.
In polling by Edison Research for the National Election Pool, 71 percent of Jews voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton and 21 percent for Trump. The sample size was small, however, and that result is likely to be fine-tuned as more data becomes available.
In his victory speech, the real estate developer turned reality star turned insurgent politician asserted he would be a “president for all Americans.”
“We will deal fairly with everyone — all people and all countries,” he said.
Trump said he had congratulated his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, and her family on a “very hard-fought campaign,” and told his supporters “We owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.”
The mainstream pro-Israel community will likely take solace from Trump’s pivot away from his cool stance on many of its issues during the primaries to a more full-throated support of defense assistance to Israel and investing in the defense alliance. As the Republican nominee, Trump aligned with right-wing Israel advocacy in supporting a retreat from U.S. insistence on a two-state outcome to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and pledging to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Other Jewish groups will be rattled by the election as the world’s most powerful leader of a man who appealed to an anti-immigrant strain among voters. Critics noted that in speeches and in a campaign commercial, Trump embraced the notion of a secretive power cabal that to many observers echoed classic anti-Semitic stereotypes of Jews.
Trump’s insular posture on foreign policy was also likely to stoke concerns, despite his pro-Israel pronouncements, particularly his apparent closeness to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is allied with the Assad regime in Syria, an implacable enemy of Israel.
Clinton’s campaign director, John Podesta, shortly after 2 a.m. Wednesday indicated to her supporters that she would not speak until later in the day, saying, “Go home, get some sleep. We will have more to say tomorrow.”
CNN reported at 2:40 a.m. that Clinton called Trump to concede.