President Obama said people who attack Jews who support the Iran nuclear deal are like African-Americans who differ with him on policy and then conclude he’s “not black enough.”
Obama, in an interview with the Forward, was asked whether it hurt him personally when people say he’s anti-Semitic.
“Oh, of course,” Obama said. “And there’s not a smidgeon of evidence for it, other than the fact that there have been times when I’ve disagreed with a particular Israeli government’s position on a particular issue.”
The president added, that he’s “probably more offended when I hear members of my administration who themselves are Jewish being attacked.” Obama didn’t mention any specific critics or targets by name.
Obama’s Treasury Secretary, Jacob Lew, who is Jewish, was heckled this summer at a Jewish-themed conference in New York when he defended the nuclear deal and spoke of the administration’s support for Israel. Dan Shapiro, U.S. ambassador to Israel, has received “threatening letters related to the Iran deal,” according to a U.S. official, who was not authorized to discuss the issue and spoke on condition of anonymity. The interview, held on Friday, was released Monday.