With just days to go until he leaves the White House, one prestigious Maryland golf club is considering blocking President Barack Obama from membership over his policies on Israel.
Members at the historically Jewish Woodmont County Club have said an application from the outgoing president should be rejected following the White House's decision last month to abstain from the vote on United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which bans Israel from building settlements on land claimed by the Palestinians.
"He has created a situation in the world where Israel’s very existence is weakened and possibly threatened," longtime member Faith Goldstein wrote in an email, first obtained by the Washington Post. "He is not welcome at Woodmont. His admittance would create a storm that could destroy our club."
Another source inside the exclusive golf club had this to say, according to the New York Post: "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 [his] membership."
Making his final pitch for a two-state solution, Kerry lectured Israel in late December, asserting that the state "cannot be both" Jewish and democratic. The diatribe was heavily criticized on social media.
According to the Washington Post, Obama has played at the course at least four times during his presidency. Ironically, the club was founded in 1913 by the Washington, D.C., Jewish community because they were barred from playing golf elsewhere.
It is important to note that there has been no indication so far that the president actively pursuing a membership at the Woodmont club.
"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 unnamed Washington Jewish organization official said.
"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," they added.
However, some have rejected the idea of banning the president from golfing at the club. In fact, Jeffrey Slavin, a Democratic mayor in Montgomery County and an Obama supporter, wrote an email to Woodmont, reportedly saying he can no longer patronize the club.
"At this time it is my hope that you will take action immediately to erase this emerging stain on The Club’s stellar reputation," Slavin, a lifelong member, wrote. "The folks opposed to President Obama’s membership should be ashamed of themselves."
When rumors first began to spread that Obama could be considering joining the club, Brian Pizzimenti, the CEO and general manager, was very welcoming.
"We’d be honored to have the president at the club as a member," he told the Jewish publication The Forward. "We’re glad to have offered [Obama] fun and relaxation."
In the wake of the 14-0 vote at the UN, barring Israel from building in the West Bank, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Obama for failing to "protect Israel" and even accused the White House of colluding behind the scenes to advance the resolution.
Netanyahu also took to Twitter to praise President-elect Donald Trump, thanking him for his "warm friendship" and "clear-cut support" for the Jewish state.