Jan 17th, 2017
Resignations and division over Obama membership
Jewish-founded Maryland club split over the Prez
Words: Tim Southwell Photography: Getty Images
As Bart Simpson once said: "The ironing is delicious". He meant to say the irony was delicious, of course.
The ironing is not quite so delicious for out-going President of the United States Barack Obama, whose application to join Maryland golf club Woodmont has created a veritable whoopsie storm.
Woodmont was founded more than century ago for people who weren't welcome anywhere else. Jewish people, specifically.
And now Woodmont is facing its own exclusion row over whether to admit Barack Obama.
The rumblings have been going on for a few weeks but now members have started resigning in protest.
Many members have objected to the President joining the club because of Obama's Israel policies. Citing Obama's decision last month to abstain from a UN security council resolution criticising Israeli settlements, members have said he could "destroy" the club, where he played four times during his presidency.
Others, such as Jeffrey Slavin, a Woodmont member and mayor in Montgomery County, have resigned due to the stance of his fellow members.
Slavin wrote in an email to Woodmont's general manager: “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.”
Marc B. Abrams, a lawyer, said it was “inconceivable” that Mr Obama could be welcomed as a member due to his position on Israel..
Members are also offended by a speech by John Kerry, Mr Obama's secretary of state, at the end of last month, in which Kerry accused Mr Netanyahu of standing in the way of peace in the Middle East.
“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,” a source told the New York Post.
The club was founded by the Jewish community in 1913, at a time when Jewish golfers were routinely rejected from other courses in the area.
“Woodmont was a place you could go when you weren’t welcome anywhere else,” Mr Slavin said. “There are so many ironies here.”
We'll leave the last word to Bart...