President Obama may be prevented from joining an exclusive Maryland golf club because of his administration’s tense relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Obama, who is hoping to join Rockville’s Woodmont Country Club, drew ire from many of its Jewish members after failing last month to block a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlements, the New York Post reported late Tuesday.
Days after the White House decision to abstain from the U.N. Security Council vote, Secretary of State John Kerry reprimanded Israel for threatening a two-state solution with Palestinians.
“In light of the votes at the U.N. 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,” an unnamed source told the Post.
The country club had planned to provide the outgoing president with a complimentary membership, which costs regular members an $80,000 initiation fee and another $9,673 in annual dues. A source said this was now unlikely following the administration’s handling of the U.N. Security Council vote.
“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?” an official in a Washington Jewish organization told the Post.
“After the U.N. 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,” the source continued.
Woodmont Country Club was founded in 1913 by members of Washington, D.C.’s Jewish community who were banned from golfing at other clubs.
Despite pushback from members, Woodmont CEO and general manager Brian Pizzimenti said he would “be honored” to have the president as a member.
“We’re glad to have offered [Obama] fun and relaxation,” Pizzimenti told the Jewish publication The Forward.