If U.S. President Barack Obama was hoping to pursue a golfing career after leaving office on January 20, he may not be able to practice on his course of choice, according to a New York Post report, all thanks to his policy toward Israel.
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Obama has been planning to join the highly exclusive Woodmont Country Club in Maryland after leaving the White House, and was even offered a free membership, bypassing the $80,000 initiation fee expected of applicants.
The club is mostly Jewish however, and "In light of the votes at the UN and the (Secretary of State John) Kerry speech and everything else, there's this major uproar with having him part of the club, and a significant portion of the club has opposed offering him membership," the New York Post quoted a source as saying.
"Can you imagine how angry I would be if I had paid $80,000 to have to look at this guy who has done more to damage Israel than any president in American history?" an official from a Jewish organization in Washington told the Post.
The report also pointed out the irony of Woodmont's beginnings. Founded in 1913 by the D.C.-area Jewish community, it drew a crowd that was banned at other clubs for being Jewish.
Obama has met sharp criticism from the Israeli government and some U.S. Jews as well for choosing to abstain from a recent UN Security Council vote against Israeli settlements in the West Bank, a move considered by many to have been anti-Israel. Kerry gave a speech after the UN vote and singled out the settlements for criticism as well, adding to the resentment of some Israelis and American Jews.
Obama warned in an interview broadcast Tuesday that "unfettered support" for Israel's settlement policies would lead to a "worsening situation" over time between Israelis and Palestinians.
"If the notion is that unfettered support for Israel or more specifically support for the Netanyahu government's policies — no matter what they are, no matter how inimical they may be to the prospects for peace — if that's what qualifies as a good friend, then I think that we will see a worsening situation over time," Obama told Israeli s during the interview with the Channel 2 "Uvda" program, filmed in Washington last week.