US President Barack Obama’s visit to the UK last week in which he gave unsolicited advice pressuring Britain to stay in the European Union (EU) has raised fury among Britons, but also disbelief among American Jewish leaders given Obama’s apparent double standards.
Several top British politicians last Friday suggested Obama is pressuring the UK to stay in the EU because of his Kenyan background, arguing he wants the UK to be less independent given lingering hostility over Britain’s colonialism.
In America his conduct was met with surprise as well, as prominent American Jewish leaders Alan Dershowitz and Elliott Abrams both noted Obama’s hypocrisy given his anger at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu when he spoke in Congress last March warning against the Iran nuclear deal.
Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor, wrote in an op-ed on Fox News last Friday that Obama defended his meddling in the UK vote “by suggesting that in a democracy, friends should be able to speak their minds, even when they are visiting another country.”
“Nor did he stop at merely giving the British voters unsolicited advice, he also issued a not so veiled threat. He said that ‘The UK is going to be in the back of the queue’ on trade agreements if they exit the EU,” pointed out Dershowitz.