Former President Obama was apparently extremely selective when it came to answering questions for a written interview with Jewish Insider.
In a published interview on Monday, JI features reporter Matthew Kassel laid out all of the questions that were sent to the 44th president and the answers that were received. However, out of the 13 questions that were sent, Obama answered just five of them, putting “[No answer.]” following the inquiries that received no response.
“The former president avoided every question touching on Israel and the Middle East that JI posed to him,” Kassel wrote. “Of the 13 questions JI sent to the former president, listed below in full, he provided answers to just five, focusing on the history of Black-Jewish relations, the Capitol siege, the state of American politics and the rise of antisemitism, among other topics.”
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Among the questions Obama skipped include his assertion that critics of the Iran nuclear deal were motivated by interests of another country rather than being for a policy disagreement, if he thought there was “any hope for Iran’s pro-democracy demonstrators, and what he believed contributed to the Abraham Accords, the Trump-era Israeli peace agreements between multiple Arab nations and the Jewish state.
However, the former president did manage in the very few answers he provided to JI to suggest that his successor, former President Trump, was to blame for the rise in anti-Semitism.
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“In my last year as President, I gave a speech at the Embassy of Israel where I said that the seeds that gave rise to the Holocaust have always been with us. They have found root across cultures, faiths, and generations. And they have reemerged again and again, especially in times of change and uncertainty,” Obama wrote. “When I gave that speech, it was clear that anti-Semitism was on the rise around the world. People’s anger over everything from immigration to inequality was boiling over—and many of them were looking for someone else to blame. And for four years, we had a President in the White House who fanned those flames.”