President Obama said he is personally hurt by the anti-semitism accusations he has faced since signing the nuclear deal with Iran.
Obama told the Jewish publication Forward “there’s not a smidgen of evidence” to back up the charge.
The president is seeking to soothe tensions with the Jewish community over the Iran nuclear deal, which is opposed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and many U.S. Jewish groups.
Obama’s critics have slammed him for negotiating with the Iranian regime, which denies the Holocaust and funds terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
Some, including GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson, have gone as far to suggest the deal makes Obama an anti-Semite.
“I think anything is anti-Semitic if it's against the survival of a state that is surrounded by enemies and by people who want to destroy them," Carson said this month on Fox News Sunday. "And to sort of ignore that and to act like everything is normal there and that these people are paranoid is anti-Semitic.”
The president said the U.S.’s alliance with Israel “will continue unabated” despite the disagreement over the Iran deal.
He acknowledged differences with the Jewish state can be difficult for American Jews.
“If you care deeply about Israel, then you have an obligation to be honest about what you think, the same way you would with any friend,” he said. “And we don’t do anybody, any friend, a service by just rubber-stamping whatever decisions they make, even if we think that they’re damaging in some fashion.”
Obama drew a parallel to the fierce debate over the Iran deal in the Jewish community to disputes he’s witnessed among African-Americans.
“You saw this historically sometimes in the African-American community, where there’s a difference on policy and somebody starts talking about, well, you’re not black enough, or you’re selling out,” he said. “And that, I think, is always a dangerous place to go.”