Obama's Israel stance may cost him golf club membership
President Obama's clashes with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may cost him a membership at an exclusive golf club, sources said.
Obama is looking to join the elite Woodmont Country Club in Maryland once he becomes a private citizen.
But members of the mostly Jewish club are at each other's throats over whether to accept the golf-loving president, with many saying he deserves to be snubbed for not blocking an anti-Israel vote at the United Nations, according to the sources.
Obama's UN decision was followed by a speech by Secretary of State John Kerry that was seen by many in the Jewish community as hostile to Israel.
"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 Post.
Obama's complimentary membership in the club - which charges regular members an $80,000 initiation fee - would have begun after he leaves the White House on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day.
The Obamas will continue to live in Washington, DC - and the Rockville club would offer a relaxing respite just miles from his new home.
It would also offer a chance for Obama to hit the links on "two premiere golf courses . . . known across the country for their spectacular championship play and . . . rave reviews by golfers throughout the years," according to the club's Web site.
"It's a very exclusive, high-end club," a source said.
In addition to the steep initiation fee, members must cough up $9,673 in annual dues.
"Originally, this was supposed to be a back-door thing to get this done and give him the membership - free of charge - and circumvent the rules," said a source.
"But now, with the UN thing, they are not in position or likely to do it," he added, saying the club is currently facing threats of potential lawsuits and litigation for breaching the bylaws to let Obama join.
Democrats and Republicans in the club both oppose waiving normal procedures for the soon-to-be ex-president, a source said.
While the club "probably skews more Republican than the Jewish community as a whole," there are many prominent Democratic members, a number of whom supported Obama's campaigns. But they might not support him now.
"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 organisation fumed to The Post.
"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."
Ironically, Woodmont was founded by the DC-area Jewish community in 1913 precisely because Jews were banned at other clubs.
Obama first played there in September 2015 with aide Joe Paulson, former Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides and John Shulman, head of the private equity firm Juggernaut Capital Partners.
Shulman and his wife, Alison, have donated thousands to the Obama Foundation, according to published reports. His daughter also reportedly attends the Sidwell Friends School, as do the Obamas' daughters. He did not return calls seeking comment.
When rumors first began to spread in Washington that Obama might consider joining the club, the CEO and general manager, Brian Pizzimenti, welcomed him.
"We'd be honored to have the president at the club as a member," Pizzimenti told the Jewish publication The Forward. "We're glad to have offered [Obama] fun and relaxation."
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Additional reporting by Bob Fredericks