Donald Trump is beginning a 17-day working vacation at the Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey. When Barack Obama was president, Donald Trump tweeted at least 27 times in criticism of Obama for playing golf too much when he should be dealing with the country’s problems (for example: “Obama’s mind, IsIs, ebola, etc.... and then thinking, boy I wish I was on the golf coarse [sic]. What should I wear on the Links” and “While our wonderful president was out playing golf all day, the TSA is falling apart, just like our government! Airports a total disaster!”). In fact, Obama played golf 11 times in his first 7 months, while Trump has already played golf 21 times since his inauguration. What golf story about Donald Trump has a Jewish connection?
Donald Duffs by Steve Jurvetson is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
A. Donald Trump visited Israel in May of this year, and was given a tour of many historic sites in Israel, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The entourage visited the historic amphitheater at Caesarea before driving past Israel’s Caesarea Golf Club, site of the only 18-hole golf course in Israel that meeets international standards. Trump said to Bibi Netanyahu, “Let me buy that decrepit stadium and I’ll build a first class golf club and resort there. Then the world will respect Israel.” Netanyahu and his staffers laughed at what they thought was a joke, but Trump just gazed seriously at them before changing the subject.
B. Donald Trump originally decided to purchase Mar-a-Lago, the estate of socialite and heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, as a winter home for himself and his family. However, he faced major opposition from local politicians and wealthy residents of the area, and long legal battles ensued. At one point, the claim was made that Trump wanted to turn that property into a private club (which, of course, he eventually did) because he was angry that the nearby super exclusive Bath and Tennis Club would not invite him to join. In response to that claim, Trump stated, “Do you think if I wanted to be a member they would have turned me down? I wouldn’t join that club, because they don’t take blacks and Jews.”
C. In October 2009, Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka married Jared Kushner at the Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey, where large tents were set up in the middle of the golf course for the ceremony and reception. Another tent was set up with an entire kosher kitchen inside, as the management of the catering facility in the clubhouse refused to allow their kitchen to be kashered for the event. Originally, Ivanka wanted to arrange for the kitchen in the clubhouse to be kashered, but the catering manager refused, reportedly saying that “the last time those rabbis came into this kitchen they almost burned the place down.” When Ivanka asked her father to intervene, he replied, “When I bought this club, I made a deal with the caterer. I told him, ‘I won't tell you how to run your kitchen, and you don’t tell me how to play golf.’”
D. The Trump International Golf Club in Dubai opened in February 2017 with an invitation-only ceremony. Donald Trump did not attend, but was represented by his sons Eric and Donald Jr. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was also scheduled to attend the event, which was originally supposed to take place in the fall of 2016. Construction delays led to the opening being delayed until Feburary. By then, Trump had become president, and on the advice of Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, Trump instructed Kushner to skip the event out of concern that sending Kushner, who is Jewish, might offend some in the Arab world.
E. In 2009, Donald Trump purchased the Pine Hill Golf Club in New Jersey, turning it into a private and exclusive golf resort, the Trump National Golf Course where he is now vacationing. In 2011, when renovations to the course were completed, Trump allowed a Golf Channel camera crew to accompany him on a round of golf. At one point during the filming, Trump approached a couple who were golfing and said to them (while pointing at the three men with whom Trump was playing), “You got some place here, I’ll tell you [referring to the golf course]. Even these spoiled, rich Jewish guys, they can’t believe how good this is, you know?”
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