Ed Koch assures Jews, Obama will maintain ‘commitment to Jewish state’ in second term

Israel/Palestine
on 13 Comments

In endorsing Obama for a second term, Ed Koch offers himself as the mayor of American Jews:

I’m proud to stand with Obama because he’s listened to the Jewish community and proven himself a true friend of Israel….

Koch says he was proud to hear Obama talk in the last debate about his unbreakable bond with Israel; and the former mayor quotes the president’s Gaza-rains-rockets-on-Sderot line from that debate. So Obama throwing the Palestinians under the bus in that debate was a quid pro quo?

You can forget about the two state solution. Koch tells us that:

“I’m confident President Obama will continue in his unambiguous commitment to the Jewish state in the second term, building on his record of leadership by preventing Iran….”

That commitment includes relieving pressure on Israel to end its colonization project.

Then there’s this frank appeal to dual loyalty.

I’d hope my opinion would be enough for you. But I’m joined in my confidence by guys you might know, like Defense Minister Ehud Barak…

Colin Powell– who cares! Look what the top title is on the stack of books on Koch’s left: an Ariel Sharon biography.

Sharon book
Sharon book, at right

And Obama’s domestic policy? That comes at 3 minutes in. Thanks to Scott Roth.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

13 Responses

  1. atime forpeace
    November 1, 2012, 12:33 pm

    So Mr Koch is asking American Jewry to back Israel come hell or high water.

    Interesting proposition, I think too many American Jews have a very well developed social conscience which would cause them to question blindly supporting Israel once they become more aware of the “facts on the ground”.

    We see this happening daily as others take the blinders off and look with clear eyes at what Israel has become, or maybe always was.

    I hope that the very term “facts on the ground” could be used to open the eyes of American Jewry.

    Friends don’t let friends drive drunk!

  2. seafoid
    November 1, 2012, 2:20 pm

    A true friend of spain would never have supported fascism. A true friend of israel would never support YESHA. Jewish history is littered with examples of stupidity dressed up as wisdom. Just read the torah.

  3. Rusty Pipes
    November 1, 2012, 4:14 pm

    Speaking of “facts on the ground” and “hell or high water,” a week after the final debate in which Global Warning was not mentioned once and Israel mentioned over 30 times, the former mayor of New York endorses Obama in language that suggests that his former constituents are more concerned about perpetuating Israel’s status quo than about Mother Nature occupying Wall Street.

  4. Hostage
    November 1, 2012, 4:52 pm

    I don’t think the Democrats or the Obama camp are still listening to Ed Koch. After all he’s been endorsing GOP candidates, representing the Likud PM, and negotiating with Adelson and Romney over a possible endorsement in Florida:

    From Ed Koch Got a Special Visit From Sheldon Adelson
    link to nymag.com

    Ed Koch’s relationship with the Obama campaign has been pretty loveless over the past few months. However, the former New York City mayor continues to tepidly support the president, despite their differences of opinion when it comes to Israel (among other things.) So, you can’t blame Israel’s richest cheerleader, billionaire Mitt Romney-backer Sheldon Adelson, for at least trying to get Koch on his team. During his traditional Saturday lunch circle, Koch recalled a recent visit Adelson made to his office. . . .

    From Ed Koch furious at Obama over Israel — so why is he still supporting him?
    link to foxnews.com

    Think of it as Ed Koch 3.0. It means Barack Obama can expect a New York headache any day now.

    The Democrat and former mayor led the charge to elect a GOP congressman last year to protest Obama’s policy toward Israel, only later to make peace with the president and endorse him. Now he’s back on the warpath.

    “I’m pissed,” he told me. “I’m not off the bus yet, but I’m pissed and I’m going to harangue them.”

    The anger has a familiar, even circular ring: Obama’s making America look like a paper tiger in the face of Islamic violence, and his policy toward Israel is wrong. Obama’s refusal to meet last week with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “unacceptable.”

    “There should be a certain courtesy involved,” Koch said. “You don’t just say we can’t fit him into our schedule.”

    From Ed Koch ‘Doesn’t Trust’ Obama on Israel
    link to nymag.com

    “I don’t believe in trusting politicians,” the former New York mayor Koch said in a radio show with Aaron Klein, a Jerusalem-based right-wing author whose two new titles accuse Obama of being a secret Socialist. Still, Koch is campaigning for the president out of pragmatism: “I believe that he is going to win whether I vote for him or not. I believe that he is going to win. So wouldn’t it be better that he wins changing his positions?” he explained. The position Koch most wants to change? Obama’s wait-and-see strategy with Israel and Iran. “We should say that an attack upon Israel is an attack upon the United States and that we will militarily respond,” he said.

    • Citizen
      November 2, 2012, 9:20 am

      Israel spurned an offer by the USA to enter a real mutual defense treaty, with each side bound to support the other if either is attacked. Nothing like an advocate for having your cake and eating it too. Israel gets to do whatever it wants, and the US gets to support Israel’s whims, and has been funding them for many decades, no matter the cost to America in blood, treasure, and reputation. Embarrassing, to say the least as an American.

  5. DICKERSON3870
    November 1, 2012, 5:18 pm

    RE: “In endorsing Obama for a second term, Ed Koch offers himself as the mayor of American Jews” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Yippee! Obama gets the endorsement of a Likudnik Republican.

    “Why McCain Should Have Stood by Hagee”, By Ed Koch, Politico, 6/03/08

    [EXCERPTS] Senator John McCain was wrong to reject the endorsement of Texas evangelist Rev. John Hagee.
    Several years ago Rev. Hagee delivered a sermon that was caught on tape in which he preached, “Then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone with a gun, and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter. How did it happen? Because God allowed it to happen.
    Why did it happen? Because God said, ‘My top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel.” Anyone hearing the tape would conclude that Hagee is hostile to the Jews, but nothing could be further from the truth. He and his congregants are among Israel’s strongest supporters. For religious reasons, they want Israel to rule supreme over all of the lands that made up the ancient Jewish kingdoms of Israel and Judea.
    Evangelicals believe that the Messiah – Jesus Christ – cannot return to the earth until the Jews return to the land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael), they having been expelled by the Romans in 70 AD after the Second Temple — the one built by Herod — was destroyed.
    Christian fundamentalists believe that every word of the Old and New Testaments represents the will of God. . .
    . . . Rev. Hagee, being a fundamentalist, believes that each word is the word of God, and that everything that occurs on Earth happens as a result of God’s direction. Events caused by people like Hitler, for some fundamentalists, are explained as a punishment visited by God on Jews who had fallen away from the faith and did not follow all of God’s mandates. . .
    . . . Rev. Hagee apparently believes that Hitler was used by God to bring the Jews back to the promised land. . .
    . . . Hagee was not praising Hitler the monster, he was simply offering the fundamentalist opinion that Hitler was used by God to cause the creation of a Jewish state to which the Jews of the world would return.
    Hagee’s followers have supported the State of Israel in many tangible ways. Evangelicals continue to visit Israel as tourists even during the most dangerous times, which is more than can be said for some Diaspora Jews.
    It has become fashionable among liberals, including Jews, to ridicule and denounce Hagee and other fundamentalists. I do not. I appreciate their support of the State of Israel and thank them for their enormous contributions to the Jewish state. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to realclearpolitics.com

    • ED KOCH SUPPORTS REPUBLICAN “SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE”: “Republican Bob Turner wins New York special election”, By Agence France-Presse, 9/14/11

    [EXCERPTS] . . . Samuel Abrams, professor of political science at Sarah Lawrence College outside New York City, said special elections like this often take on wider meaning as frustrated voters try to show off their power . . .
    . . . But there were also significant local issues, especially the heavy concentration in the district of Orthodox Jews, who are socially very conservative and also fervently pro-Israeli.
    Weprin [a Democrat], as a state assemblyman, voted for same sex marriage in New York and also has backed the constitutional right of Muslims to build an Islamic center near the site of the 9/11 attacks in downtown Manhattan. Turner, in contrast, portrayed himself as a social conservative and his campaign ads resurrected last year’s bitter public debate over the so-called “Ground Zero mosque.”
    Turner [the Republican "social conservative"] won the support of a former New York mayor and lifelong Jewish Democrat, Ed Koch . . .

    SOURCE – link to rawstory.com

    • ED KOCH SUPPORTS REPUBLICAN “SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE”[from Adam Dickter, The Jewish Week, 9/14/11]:

    [EXCERPT] Interviews at the polls reflected the impact of two salient factors: Koch’s public call early in the campaign to elect a Republican in the district — for the first time in nearly a century — as a way to protest Obama’s priorities in the Mideast peace process and Orthodox anger about Weprin’s support for gay marriage.
    The latter issue led some Flatbush Orthodox rabbis, in an unusually strident letter last week, to issue a prohibition not only against voting for Weprin but against donating time or money to his campaign. . .

    SOURCE – link to thejewishweek.com

    P.S. I have already voted for Stein/Honkala (Green Party) by absentee ballot. Here in Georgia I had to do so by write-in, but they will be on the ballot in most other states. Here is their map of ballot access in the various states. – link to jillstein.org
    Notwithstanding Ed Koch’s endorsement of Obama, had I resided in one of the 2012 Swing States (the electoral votes of which might realistically go to either Obama or Romney), I might have voted for Obama.

    P.P.S. “FREE DON” SIEGELMAN PETITION – link to change.org

  6. yourstruly
    November 1, 2012, 9:19 pm

    ed koch

    mayor of american jews?
    israel firsters, yes
    but jewish friends of mine?
    none who were or remain close
    unless it’s mutually agreed upon
    that whenever in life our paths cross?
    we waste no time & energy trying to (re)educate each other
    after all, could there be a more futile pursuit?
    what instead?
    peaceful coexistence
    and everything else we seek?
    soon to follow
    afterwards, it’s as if everything just happened to fall into place
    once the violence ended
    with nobody, subsequently, ever having to die for one cause or another

  7. Echo
    November 1, 2012, 11:29 pm

    Thank goodness they had that menorah in the background would have never figured out he was Jewish……

  8. piotr
    November 2, 2012, 12:32 am

    As Hostage’s compilation shows, Koch flipped-flopped.

    The old story was that while Obama appears to support Israel, he is very derelict on this account, for example by

    trying to be nice to Arabs

    supporting the deranged idea of settlement freeze

    showing shocking lack of respect for the Prime Minister of our most valuable and beloved ally

    having anti-Israeli middle name

    Iran still being there

    putting Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt

    Romney is better in all aspects. Very nice middle name. Totally innocent on Iran still being there, in fact he even does not know where Iran is (in Romney geography, Iran borders with Syria which constitutes Iran’s road to the sea; to be charitable, as recently as in 600 A.D. Iran was bordering Syria, and they marched through Syria to the Mediterranean a few times ). Not only Romney showed the highest regard for Netanyahu, on the way to Israel he found time to insult the Brits to show how much more he values Israel.

    Thus it is bit of a puzzle why about a week before elections Koch changes his mind.

  9. seafoid
    November 2, 2012, 4:06 am

    “I’m confident President Obama will continue in his unambiguous commitment to the Jewish state in the second term”

    Would this have been imaginable in 1980?
    There would appear to be evidence of a deep insecurity when it is felt required to have senior people like Koch mouth such platitudes in the mass media. Behind all the “no daylight” and standing ovations at Congress and 33 mentions in the Foreign Policy debate I guess people realise that it is all artificial.

  10. Kathleen
    November 2, 2012, 10:15 am

    Phil
    Chris Matthews did a segment on Bloomberg coming out and endorsing Obama
    link to msnbc.msn.com
    “NYC Mayor Bloomberg Endorses Obama”

  11. ToivoS
    November 3, 2012, 2:04 am

    One thing that has really struck me is that Obama has had more meetings with and spent more face time with the prime minister of Israel than any other world leader. This has to be compared with the time Obama has spent with the leaders of the following countries:

    China
    India
    Japan
    Russia
    Germany
    Indonesia
    Pakistan
    Brazil
    Great Britain

    This list represents most of the people on earth and most of economic productivity on earth. But our president has to spend more time with the PM of that tiny Mideastern country than any of these other countries that are real world powers. Not only that but when Obama refused to meet Netanyahu for another face to face to meeting in NY during the UN meeting it became a major political scandal that Romney used to attack Obama.

    It is so humiliating that our leader must kow tow to that insignificant nation. When oh when will this insanity come to an end. And buffoon Koch remains an important voice in American politics.

  12. Accentitude
    November 5, 2012, 2:38 am

    So basically what this U.S. election has come down to is which pro-israel candidate is more pro-israel than the other pro-israel candidate. It’s not about whats good for american taxpayers anymore. Its not about who’s going to create jobs, or who’s going to re-stabilize the economy, or improve international opinions of the U.S., or who’s going to bring the troops home, or who’s going to improve schools, or feed the homeless, or create a national healthcare that actually works.

    It’s about who is more pro-israel: pro-israel Obama or pro-israel Romney? And who of the pro-israel candidates is more pro-israel and is willing to work in the next 4 years to advance the pro-israel stance more so than the other pro-israel candidate? Who will be pro-israel when settelements are brought up again in the UN Security council? Who will be pro-israel when Palestinians complain about land thefts, the gaza blockade, and the on-going occupation? Who will be pro-israel when it comes time to decide the fate of Iran? Who will be pro-israel when the Israelis kill more people in Gaza…or on another ship carrying aid? Who will be pro-israel when “rockets are raining down” on southern Israel and the request is made for more Iron Dome systems or Hellfire Missiles or White Phospherous? Who will be pro-israel when the Palestinians go to the UN or finally decide to use the ICC? Who will be pro-israel when it comes to remembering the holocaust but denying the nakba? Who will be pro-israel when MENA countries that border Israel are revolting against their governments again? Who will take the pro-israel stance when its ok to support freedom for the people of Libya or Syria or Egypt but its not ok to support the freedom of the people of Palestine?

    This is the only election I could remember in the last few (I’ve been around since the Reagan years) where Israel has occupied nearly 90% of the focus of the U.S election. Its thoroughly disgusting.

Leave a Reply