It was founded more than century ago as a refuge for Jewish American golfers being discriminated against, but now a Maryland country club is facing its own exclusion row over whether to admit Barack Obama.
Several members at the exclusive Woodmont Country Club have said an application by the outgoing US president, a keen golfer, to join the historically Jewish club should be rejected because of his Israel policies.
The existence of Jewish and Gentile clubs may seem strange to most Americans, but it remains a feature of the country club scene in many places. One of those is Palm Beach, where I found this out the hard way growing up there. Excluded from the Gentile clubs (which were started first,) Jews founded their own clubs. In the case of the Palm Beach Country Club, support for Israel charities is expected from new members, and I suspect at Woodmont it is the same.
The supreme irony in all of this is that the one person (in Palm Beach at least) who has done more than anyone else to break this Jew-Gentile separation pattern in clubs is none other than Donald Trump, which he did when he made Mar-a-Lago (his Florida White House) a private club.
My advice to well-heeled Evangelicals in the Washington area is to apply for membership at Woodmont. We’re not Jewish, but after our support for Israel, there should be a reward for that somewhere on this side of eternity.