Breitbart: Former President Barack Obama told a Jewish congregation in Manhattan Thursday that he is “basically a liberal Jew” as he defended his administration’s record on Israel and his decision to criticize Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria.
The event at Temple Emanuel in Manhattan marked the first time that Obama spoke publicly about Israel since leaving office.
Obama defended his decision to abstain at a December 2016 UN Security Council vote denouncing Israeli settlements. He explained that vetoing the resolution would have hurt “our credibility on human rights.” He also stated that “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 said that the situation in the West Bank was “not sustainable” in the long term and could endanger Israel’s existence as a Jewish and democratic state. He warned that settlements could make the creation of a Palestinian state practically impossible if they continued to grow at the current pace.
One attendee told Ha’aretz that the former president grew “visibly frustrated when he spoke about the settlements.” read more