Former US President Barack Obama has said that he is “basically a liberal Jew.”
Mr Obama made the remark while speaking at a New York synagogue last week on his criticisms of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
He also said: “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.
The event at Temple Emanuel in Manhattan was the first time that Mr Obama had spoken publicly about Israel since leaving office.
He defended his decision to abstain at a December 2016 UN Security Council vote denouncing Israeli settlements.
He added: “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.”
He also warned that the West Bank settlement situation is “not sustainable” and could endanger the future of both a Palestinian state and Israel.