Jewish golf club broiges over whether to admit Obama


A predominantly Jewish golf club north of Washington DC is reportedly having an internal debate over whether Barack Obama should be admitted as a member due to his stance on Israel.

Members of the Woodmont Country Club in Maryland are “at each other’s throats” over the issue, according to the New York Post. Some members had suggested the club should waive its $80,000 joining fee for President Obama, who has announced his intention to continue living in Washington after his term ends on Friday January 20. 

The Post quotes a source saying, “In light of the votes at the UN and the 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 recent decision by the US not to veto a UN resolution condemning settlement building has enraged some. The clumsy language of the resolution – which implied that Israel had no right to land including the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, as well as the Western Wall - angered far more.

One member of the club, whom the New York Post describes as “an official in a Washington Jewish organisation” said:

“Can you imagine how angry I would be if I had paid $80K to have to look at this guy who has done more to damage Israel than any president in American history?

“After the UN vote and attack on Israel, I think it probably hurts the club. If there is a club that excludes Jews, he would probably be more comfortable around those folks.”

Woodmont was founded in 1913 by Jews in Washington, who at the time were not permitted to join other golf clubs in the area.

In an email obtained by the Washington Post, another member of the club, Faith Goldstein, wrote:

“He has created a situation in the world where Israel’s very existence is weakened and possibly threatened.

“He is not welcome at Woodmont. His admittance would create a storm that could destroy our club.”

However, other members of the club felt differently.

Jeffrey Slavin, a mayor in Montgomery County, resigned his membership in the club on Monday, which he noted was Martin Luther King Day in America.

“Woodmont was a place you could go when you weren’t welcome anywhere else,” Mr Slavin said. “There are so many ironies here."

“I can no longer belong to a community: Where intolerance is accepted; where history is forgotten; where freedom of speech is denied; and where the nation’s first black president is disrespected,” he wrote in an email to the general manager of the club.

Despite the row, there has been no indication from the White House on whether Mr Obama had planned to apply for membership in the first place.


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