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Published: Wed, January 18, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

Somerset Mayor Quits Woodmont Country Club over Obama Membership Flap

Somerset Mayor Quits Woodmont Country Club over Obama Membership Flap

The controversy has caused one lifelong member to sever ties with the club with a farewell e-mail in which he signs off, "Stay woke".

Some members of the club have said they would not welcome Obama for membership over his decision to abstain from a vote at the United Nations Security Council on a resolution against Israeli settlements.

The mayor of Somerset, Maryland, quit his exclusive country club yesterday citing Martin Luther King, Jr.'s words.

Barack Obama could be refused membership to an prestigious golf club over his anti-Israel policies after he steps down as president.

It is understood those behind the effort to bring Obama into the club were willing to waive the $80,000 fee required from new members.

Obama has golfed at Woodmont four times during his presidency.

Woodmont was founded in 1913 when Jews were often not accepted in other clubs. To this day, the club remains predominantly Jewish.

The controversy has centered on Obama's position on Israel/Palestine.

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In an email obtained by The Washington Post, a longtime 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. His admittance would create a storm that could destroy our club".

Jeffery Slavin resigned as members of the Woodmont Country Club appeared deeply divided over whether or not to invite President Obama to join when he leaves office.

Another member, attorney Marc B. Abrams, called Obama's possible membership "inconceivable" because of his position on Israel. He says he was inspired to resign by a sermon by civil rights leader Rev. William J. Barber II last Friday.

"I can no longer belong to a community", Slavin wrote in an email to the general manager of the club.

He thanked members for the "many great memories". Slavin also is the mayor of the Montgomery County town of Somerset.

"I decided that unless someone did something bold, the club would do nothing", Mr. Slavin said.

Slavin and others assert Obama wouldn't want to join a club with a history of discrimination, as is the case with some other local country clubs.

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