Former President Barack Obama stunned the Jewish community this week by calling himself “basically a liberal jew” at a temple in Manhattan.
“To be a true friend of Israel, it is important to be honest about it, and the politics of this country sometimes do not allow for it,” Obama continued, speaking about the United States – and either the West Bank or his personal religious views.
When and if a full transcript is released it will be easier to tell if the 2-term POTUS was speaking metaphorically, telling the truth about his religion (finally!) or just pulling Israel’s chain.
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More from The Hill:
While speaking at a New York City synagogue this week, former President Obama said that he is “basically a liberal Jew.”
Obama made the comment in discussing his criticisms of Israel settlements in the West Bank, and said that such an attitude is part of his friendship to Israel, according to Haaretz.
“To be a true friend of Israel it is important to be honest about it, and the politics of this country sometimes do not allow for it,” he said, referring to the U.S.
He said the West Bank settlement situation is “not sustainable” and could endanger the future of both a Palestinian state and Israel.
In his appearance at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan, a Reform Jewish congregation, the former president defended his decision to abstain from a U.N. Security Council vote at the end of his term that denounced Israeli settlements, allowing the resolution to pass.
He said that vetoing the resolution would have hurt the U.S.’s “credibility on human rights.”
Obama faced backlash after abstaining from the vote, as the move was seen as a significant break from longstanding U.S. policy on Israel.
Then again, Obama is a Democrat. If he speaks to a group of Scientologists tomorrow, he’s likely to be “basically a Scientologist”…until 24 hours later.