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Koch Test

The former New York City mayor is starting to turn against Barack Obama. And when hizzoner goes for the Republican in a presidential contest, it’s always been bad news for his fellow Democrats.

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Ed Koch. (Photoillustration: Abigail Miller/Tablet Magazine; photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)
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Former New York City mayor Ed Koch, who died today, spoke to Tablet in 2011 about politics and Judaism

The Acrobat

President Obama’s Middle East diplomacy seems to eschew symbolic triumphs in favor of a pragmatic vision that keeps all sides guessing. Israel could have a lot to gain by signing on.

Ed Koch had a piece on the political website Real Clear Politics recently that should worry President Barack Obama. Koch, who backed Obama in the 2008 election, wrote that “If President Obama does not change his position [on Israel], I cannot vote for his reelection.”

One might think that the vote of one octogenarian and often cranky former New York City mayor may not be a big deal, but Koch has a long and eventful history of involvement with presidential campaigns. He almost perfectly captures the views of a certain type of older—often but not always Jewish—Democrat who is nonetheless skeptical of his party on national security issues. While Koch usually backs his party’s candidate, he also seems to have an uncanny ability to back a Republican—tacitly or explicitly—when the Democrats are going to lose.

In 1980, during his first term as mayor, Koch tortured Jimmy Carter over Carter’s position on Israel. At one point, Carter’s people reached out to Koch and asked him not to say anything about a particular administration action until the president had had a chance to explain himself. Koch obliged and went down to the White House for a meeting with Carter. Unsatisfied with the explanation Carter gave, Koch then continued criticizing the administration, infuriating Carter. In Carter’s White House Diary, he recalled that “Ed Koch made a disgraceful statement in New York, referring to [Secretary of State Cyrus] Vance, [National Security Adviser Zbigniew] Brzezinski, [U.N. Ambassador Donald] McHenry, and [Assistant Secretary of State Harold] Saunders as a Gang of Four out to destroy Israel. Cy called him and had some heated words. Koch is almost acting like a fanatic this last couple of days.”

As Carter stumbled toward his 1980 electoral drubbing, Koch demonstrated a particular skill at getting under the president’s skin. Koch later recalled that Carter pulled him aside at a fundraiser and said, “You have done me more damage than any man in America.” One of Carter’s aides told Koch that what was going on inside Koch’s head was more hotly discussed in Washington than the thinking of the Ayatollah Khomeni.

Koch never actually pulled the lever for Ronald Reagan. “I never voted for him, but I loved him,” Koch wrote. In his book Mayor, Koch recounts an appearance with President Reagan at which Koch said: “I am not here to defend Ronald Reagan. But I’ll tell you, I like him. He’s a man of character.” Koch’s approach to Reagan differed from that of Democratic Detroit Mayor Coleman Young, who had denounced Reagan on the same day that Koch praised him. Koch recalls that the difference was not lost on Reagan aide James Brady, who told Koch, quite pointedly, “Now, which one of them do you think we’ll try to help more?” Koch even ran for reelection on the Republican ticket in 1981, although he ran as a Democrat as well. He won overwhelmingly.

Koch was not nearly as sympathetic toward the next Republican president, George H.W. Bush, or to his Secretary of State, James Baker. It was Koch who revealed to the world in a newspaper column Baker’s now infamous remark regarding Jews: “F— ’em. They didn’t vote for us.” Bush himself took notice of the column, writing in a letter to Koch that “I never ever heard such ugliness out of Jim Baker.” (Perhaps he hadn’t, but Koch’s source, the late Jack Kemp, apparently had.) This incident harmed Bush among Jews, but more broadly as well. Bush won only 11 percent of the Jewish vote in 1992, a significant drop from the 39 percent Reagan had attained in 1980. Not coincidentally, with Koch on his case, Bush lost his reelection bid in 1992 to Bill Clinton, whom Koch both “supported and admired.”

The next time Koch bucked his party to back the Republican presidential candidate was also the next time that the Republican candidate won the popular vote. In 2004, Koch backed George W. Bush over John Kerry because of Bush’s stances on the War on Terror, on anti-Semitism, and on Israel. “I believe the issue of international terrorism trumps all other issues,” Koch said and added that he did not “believe the Democratic Party has the stomach and commitment to deliver on this issue.” The anti-Semitism issue was also important. Bush had selected Koch to head the U.S. delegation to an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe conference on combating anti-Semitism in Berlin in 2004. On the third key issue, Israel, Koch wrote that he was “convinced that President Bush will never trade Israel’s special relationship with the U.S. in exchange for political support, be it domestic or international.” At the same time, he “doubt[ed] that John Kerry and the ‘Deaniacs’ who now embrace him would have the same resolve.” Koch added that “most Jewish leaders will concede that of all U.S. presidents, Bush 43 has been the most supportive and protective of the security of the State of Israel.”

In contrast to his more tacit support for Reagan, Koch explicitly endorsed Bush, as he said repeatedly, “even though I don’t agree with him on a single domestic issue,” and spoke on Bush’s behalf in Jewish enclaves in Florida. Koch’s efforts helped Bush improve his showing in the Jewish vote from 19 percent in 2000 to 25 percent in 2004. This improvement in the Jewish vote contributed to Bush’s victories in both Florida and Ohio, two states without which Bush would not have been reelected.

While some Democrats dismissed Koch as a turncoat after 2004, he remained in his mind a loyal Democrat. Although he had supported Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primaries, he endorsed Barack Obama in September of that year. In a prepared statement, Koch said he “concluded that the country is safer in the hands of Barack Obama. Protecting and defending the U.S. means more than defending us from foreign attacks. It includes defending the public with respect to their civil rights, civil liberties and other needs.” And while he had liked certain Republicans in the past, his good feelings did not extend to vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who “fails miserably with respect to her views on the domestic issues that are so important to the people of the U.S., and to me.” In addition, he noted: “Frankly, it would scare me if she were to succeed John McCain in the presidency.”

But as Jimmy Carter learned in the 1970s, getting Koch’s endorsement and maintaining his support are very different things. The first indications of trouble came in an August 2009 Koch column on Real Clear Politics titled “Falling Out of Love with Barack Obama.” In this item, Koch’s concern was not Israel or a security-related issue, but Obama’s approach to health care. Koch expressed concerns about losing “the continued right to purchase and have available insurance that will permit me, no matter my age and physical condition, to purchase with my own money all the medical care I can afford.” His concerns at the time were not enough to drive him away from Obama, though. He saw “falling out of love” as “hopefully, a reversible process.” Indeed, as recently as April 25, he wrote, “I now believe President Barack Obama will be reelected, and although anything can happen between now and Election Day, I expect to be casting my vote for him.”

Koch’s latest piece, however, makes it seem as if the process of falling out of love may now be close to irreversible, especially after the events of the last week. Obama’s tough speech on Israel was followed immediately by strong criticism of Obama even from Democrats and an overwhelmingly positive bipartisan reception for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress. Obama not only lost some face in the back and forth, but he appears to have lost Koch’s backing as well. Given Koch’s long and accurate record of picking presidential winners, this could portend poorly for the president. We are still a long way from the 2012 election, and the Republican field is far from set, but Obama should beware. When Ed Koch goes against his party’s presidential candidate, it is often a very bad sign.

Tevi Troy, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, was a senior White House aide in the George W. Bush Administration.

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Maybe. Who really knows?

John 1947 says:

The strange part is Obama said nothing new on Israel. I can see how the Evangelicals are confused, and irate, but is Koch going senile? Why are normally intelligent Jews behaving in this manner?

Chris says:

What did Koch or any other Jewish man or woman expect from a man who was raised as a Muslim? Who has been openly pro Islam even before and since he took office? Pro Islam means anti Israel. Duh!!!!
The guy said during his campaign he was going to reach out to the Islamist groups sponsoring terrorism. He has given them our money and security. Wake the hell up!
Why any Jewish citizen would vote for Obama is amazing to me.
After all the Jews have been through you think they could identify their enemy.
Koch is senile even considering a vote for Obama. His party is more important then his faith apparently.
Is yours?

regarding obama, fuck him…he never voted for anythinng pro jewsih

Philosemite says:

Will American Jews again vote their delusional, obsessive leftyism over Israel’s security? Will they be satisfied only when Israel’s head is delivered to Hamas on a silver platter? If they do vote for Obama next year, they’ll never again be able to say “Never again!”

Bennett Muraskin says:

Dual loyalty is alive and well on this website. For shame!

Obama said the same exact thing as George W. Bush and the Clintons — Borders would be based on the 1967 borders with negotiated land swaps.

Is this somehow too complicated to expect the media to cover? I can understand why Republicans want to sow confusion, but why are the media simply covering their inaccurate views?

Joseph says:

‘…Koch explicitly endorsed Bush, as he said repeatedly, “even though I don’t agree with him on a single domestic issue”….’

Supporting Israel is one thing, but this is ridiculous.

to joseph and a few others: like it or not, this country has bacome culturally and politically and ethnically balkanized–and increasingly so, despite disingenuous (and dishonest) politicians. We are becoming more like the old Austria-Hungary than ever before. So when Ed Koch speaks his mind, don’t reflexly condemn him–he represents the current spirit of America. Imagine Mexico in a position similar to Israel: can you predict the outcome in this country? And rightly so–the heart has its reasons, no?

Eliza says:

First, the 1967 with land swaps language is the precise wording that Bibi himself signed onto in November 2010 in a joint statement with Sec. of State Clinton so Koch reveals himself to be a gullible old man by falling for Bibi’s histrionics. Second, sorry to be blunt but time is on the side of the Peter Beinart generation of Jewish Americans, not the Ed Koch generation of Jewish Americans.

Mike says:

Koch is right: Obama doesn’t have much credibility regarding his professed pro-Israel stance; hence, anytime he gets close to the line, it’s going to be construed as him being pro-Arab (or at least less pro-Israel than any president since Carter). And why doesn’t he have much credibility? Well, there’s his longtime association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and other assorted anti-Israel, left-wing radicals, including Rashid Khalidi. His stance on residential construction in Jerusalem was also viewed as being heavy-handed and contrary to previous U.S. policy. His support for the overthrow of the “moderate” regime in Egypt combined with his lack of support for the anti-regime protestors in Iran also tends to unnerve Israel and its supporters.

Personally, I think what we’re seeing from Obama is a liberal in the process of getting mugged by the realities of the Middle East–namely, that while it may be cool to “solve” the Israeli/Palestinian conflict from the comfort of a faculty lounge bull session, when you’re in the Oval Office, you’ve got to be much more careful in the way you present the official position of the United States, lest you give the nastier elements in the region reason to believe that they’ll be permitted to prevail.

Blazer says:

Wishcasting. First, Koch said Republican plans to privatize Medicare will make him choose Obama again. Second, GOP Christianists like Palin & Beck are false friends and Bibi/Danon are idiots for relying on them.

Ranen says:

Troy is clearly exaggerating the flawed perception of Obama’s approach to Israel which really doesn’t differ in notable ways even from the Bush administration that Troy served. This is just a cynical political ploy to garner support by Troy for his beloved Republicans and not a critically astute argument.

asherZ says:

Eliza, Peter Beinert and his generation of Jewish Americans will not have Jewish grandchildren. Bennett, this is not dual loyalty. It is loyalty to the USA, as Obama does not represent the values that made America an exceptional nation, which the president does not recognize. Israel is a vital ally for the US and the Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank rejoice when 9/11s occur. We should stand by our allies and friends and someone who calls this dual loyalty is unseeing in regards to our foreign policy as is the maker of this wrongheaded policy.

Adam says:

I’m not sure I get this article. Koch re: Carter – who cares – by now both of them are discredited as politicians. Koch as mover of voters – nope. Koch as bellwether – not this time. His worldview is based in failed 70s politics. Enough of him.

Greg Parker says:

Why did “normally intelligent Jews” vote for Obama in the 1st place?
Nothing in his background suggests he should be pro-Israel?
Wake up, smell the coffee, and vote with your brains and not leftist impules.

Paul Nie says:

Why do people (Ed Koch) think the re-election of Obama is inevitable? The 2012 election will be a referendum on the Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.

Good luck to you if you think that defending his record is a winner.

semby says:

I saw Koch on Neil Cavuto’s “Your World” and he said that the he can not vote for Obama because of Obama’s recent comments about Israel. He said he would not vote for a Republican; he would just not vote at all.

CAVUTO: Well, are you saying you wouldn`t support him in 2012?

KOCH: I will stay home. I can`t support crazy Republicans who want to gut Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security. But I`m not required to vote.

John Alafonso says:

To continue to survive as a nation the US must support Israel above all others. Let Israel decide it’s own borders and where it’s capital city is located.

We must pray for the prosperity and continuity of Israel as a nation. We must supply Israel with the means to defend itself against it’s many enemies.

hacim obmed says:

There is too much misinformation on this thread about exactly why Jews are upset with Obama’s innocent sounding basis for talks. He suggests ” talks about final borders based on the 67-lines with mutually agreed swaps”. Contrary to repeated bare-faced assertions this is not the “standard” or “long standing” US position. The previous US position, which also is the position of UN resolution 242, was that negotiations should concern: “peace between the parties based on Israeli withdrawal from territories captured in 1968 and the establishment of secure and recognized borders” (my memory is dim so please forgive if this phrasing is not quite exact).

One does not have to be a smart lawyer (and Obama is most definitely a very smart lawyer), to see the difference that Obama has introduced. Notably in the original formula, Israel is assured that talk will lead to “peace” and “secure” borders in exchange for “withdrawal from territory”. Note that there is no talk of “full” withdrawal to the 68 borders nor is there talk of the sides needing to “mutually agree about “swaps” to change these borders.

Thus in the prior formula the current borders are the starting point, Israel has to partially withdraw, and will get a final peace in exchange. In the Obama-formula the old (pre 67) borders are the starting point and there will be plus and minus swaps form this line only if both sides agree. Moreover the Obama-talks will only be about borders and will not lead to a final and full peace. Thus in Obama’s approach if the Palestinians stonewall and refuse to agree to anything, then the ’68 borders would become the default endpoint. They have no incentive to agree to any swaps or adjustments whatsoever. These borders are very insecure for the Israeli viewpoint. Moreover, after forceing Israel into this insecure position, the state of war would still continue. Thus the Palestinians could use their new territory as the base for further terrorist attacks.

CenterRightMargin says:

Those suggesting that Obama “said nothing new” have either been misled or are purposely misleading others.

Hilary Clinton described the 1949 Armistace Lines (“the ’67 border”), with adjustments, as “the Palestinian goal,” balanced against the Israeli goals (security, etc.). In diplomatic matters, small word choices matter. This is why the President’s staff were communicating with Israeli leaders before the speach about this very language, and asked not to use it. And in this case, Obama did not do anything to set forth the ‘border as part of a larger package. He did not mention Israel’s need to retain certain settlements (read: suburbs of Jerusalem). He did not mention ending the attempt to demographically flood Israel with the descendents of (then self-identified) Palestinian refugees. He did not mention the reality of security arrangements on the Jordan Valley. He also did this during a time when the Palestinian Authority, in addition to naming sqaures after terrorists and refusing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, just merged with Hamas – no preconditions. So the gov’t of the Palestinians is half a group that as its charter announces that Israel has no right to exist (and the other half believes the same, but doesn’t announce it).

Instead of this, the President said “’67 lines with swaps” and “you guys figure out the rest.” Well… the size of the land granted to the Palestinians is the major Israeli leverage points. And it is this land swap that is exchanged for giving up the claims to demographically destroying the Jewish state (a war aim) or accepting realistic and creative arrangements on Jerusalem and security. But now, the Palestinians can’t demand anything other than: borders first, get out, and then maybe we’ll make peace and accept your right to exist. Because that’s essentially what the President asserted.

This is a dramatic change for the US. Stop kidding yourselves.

Beatrix says:

Hey Bennett:

Irish Americans talk endlessly about the beauty of Ireland, even if they’ve never been there. They know it’s a green land with music and poetry that they love. Irish memories are as much a part of Irish Americans as the green in their eyes and the red in their hair.

And the Italians. Five minutes after you meet an Italian person, you’re surrounded by delicious food, great music, and sunny personalities that remind you of Capri and make you forget the rain.

But Jews who have an historical homeland that is 4,000 years old and who brought a gift that changed religion forever, we alone of all Americans are supposed to forget our heritage and feel no link with our past. It’s our knowledge of who we were that makes us who we are today. We’d have nothing to offer America if we ever turned our backs on Israel.

I still do not understand why so many are confused about the Prez remarks about ’67 borders and mutually agreed swaps. Be glad the Palistians don’t insist on the ’47 borders. Gotta be somewhere….and if the Arabs do not keep their part of the bargain….then it’s
Katie Bar the Door!!! and Israel will be well within their rights to take over Gaza and the entire west bank once again….without excuses, if she wishes.

Yaakov Hillel says:

To the person who wrote why did the Jews vote for him ythe first time. The answer is simple Barack Obama lied about his religion swearing that he is a Christian. It turned out that not just is he pro Muslim he is a Muslim. Always talking about his holy Koran that has written in it that Jews must be killed. Obama, when he ran for Presidency promised that he would be a friend of Israel. He turned out to be an Arch enemy. Israel Is about the size of New Jersey today But the lower two thirds is desert. only a few bedouins and very few kibutzim are there. Which makes Israel about the size of Maryland. Israel has slightly less than 6 million Jews and Obama wants Israel to give away half this territory to a group of people who want to destroy Israel. They tried in 1948 again in 1967 then in 1973 they tried with cooking up two intifadas. If Israel gives up its center mountainous territory it will cease to exist. There are areas that would leave Israel less than 10 miles wide.Need we say more? every day we are fired at from the south by the Hamas. In the next elections Hamas is going to take over Judea and Samaria. Abu Mazzen will dissappear from the map.Haniye will preside over what the Arabs call the west bank.

Yosef Goldstein says:

Obama was boo”d aloud in shul two weeks ago after giving his speech. The prayer for the country was said
and Obama was called our” illustrelius president” and boo”s came from all over the shul. He is the worst
president the US has ever had………. Its really sad, we cant kick him out now before he does even worse….
Good for Mayor Koch saying so.

Jeff davis says:

For those of you who are perplexed about the 67 boarders statement by Obama, I urge you to read Dershowitz on Huffington Post. He was one of the authors of resolution 242 after 67 War. Nothing like the facts.

Grant says:

It is sad to see Ed Koch’s dogmatic view on Obama. President Obama is trying to restart the peace process and save Israel. He stated nothing new in his speech that wasn’t referenced by President Bush, he just said it out loud. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Koch are men stuck in the past and they are both not dealing with the new reality. Israel needs peace because the demographics in the region are working against them. Obama tried to open up the discussion because of this new reality. Koch backing President Bush 43 didn’t bring peace, but rather further screwed up the region with the war in Iraqi and his failure to get Bin Laden. To say Obama is anti Israeli is ridiculous. His chief of staff was Jewish as well as his key advisor Alexrod. Hillary and Bill Clinton are strong supporters of Israel and advise the President on these matters. It doesn’t serve any point to be rigid and extreme on Israel and America taking a hard line on Israel hasn’t made it any safer, rather the lack of a state for the Palestinians have made it less secure. America is never going to abandon Israel, just as we would never abandon Great Britain, and as a true friend, but must tell them what they need to heard and not what they want to hear. With the rest of the Arabs nations in the region more afraid of Iran than Israel, there is more options, although the “Arab Spring” is revealing anti-Israeli feeling in these “new democratic” masses. Israel must look to start talks because times are changing and it’s risk are increasing. President Obama was trying to position America to vote against any UN actions to create a state at the UN. He was being a diplomat, which seems to have gone over Ed Koch’s head because he sees this issue in black and white terms; it is grey with complexity that President Obama is trying to adjust to – but this was lost on Ed Koch.

Andrew P says:

Obama’s policy is clear. He does not like Israel, and would like to be rid of them. Islam owns most of the Earth’s remaining oil, and appeasing Islam to secure access to the oil is expedient for Obama and most of the world.

Additionally, it is in the interests of the Democrats that Israel be disestablished and all the Jews move to the US. Jews are inherent liberals and can be counted on to be Democrats. This would be 7 million new (D) voters, folks! He can’t admit this of course. He has to give enough perfunctory lip service to being pro Israel to avoid upsetting too many NYC voters. But you can bet your bottom dollar than most Democrats, Obama included, desire this outcome.

Frank says:

Give’em HELL ED!

Paul says:

Well we can tell which of the posters here get their talking points from HuffPo, DailyKos and … ObamaSoros has not said anything new indeed.

You’d have to be as stupid as those 4 MSNBC viewers to buy that horse hockey.

Gina2 says:

OK…first of all, as a Gentile, perhaps I have the wrong perspective, but I simply can’t imagine why any Jew would support, contribute to, or vote for Obama. And yet, they do….in droves.

The man spent 20 years listening to anti-Semitic rants by Rev (sic) Wright and is perhaps the most anti-Israel and pro-Muslim Democrat in the country….Ed Koch is articulating the obvious. Wake up!!

ken koester says:

the American Jews have turned their backs on Israel for a long time, that’s no excuse for a President to ignore an back Hamas, amature hour is just about over. I’m glad my comunity is already organized.

Excellent article. 1933 redux. Obama will use the second term to put the nail in the coffin for Israel. Jews who vote for Obama will only have themselves to blame. Obama gives lip service, and then blithly perpetrates a pro-Islamist agenda.

I read the Koch column. It was a very good read. I encourage anyone who is interested in politics/current events/history to read the piece.

I am a conservative, but I have read a handful of Koch’s columns over the past 3 years and I have found him to be fair, articulate, and engaging.

I was too young to know aything about him in the 70s and 80s but he sounds like a striking man. So many politicians are predictable, and flat characters. They align directly with their party and have no qualities of independence and conviction.

Ed Koch in contrast is dynamic, there is a depth to his character that requires you to examine him more closely to see all sides of him. I would like to sit down in a room with him and here him talk about the New York of 25 years ago, the history of Israel, and politics and religion.

tpaine says:

Retreating back to the ’67 borders isn’t NEW?? Ok, what other American President supported it? Jimmy Carter??

JohnLeeHooker says:

I’m just noticing something:

odumbo and the Koch test

and weinergate

anybody? anybody?

Koch has some common sense as does the pollster who is a Dem and appears on Fox alot. Both not only deal with Bama’s failures in foreign policy via Israel, Yemen, Egypt, Oman, and even Libya. But, the real numbers for any group or bloc of voters should be this: there is no recovery. Never has been. In fact, the failures domestically for this Socialist in Chief and his minions in the House and US Senate just add up daily: Obamacare, failed Stimulus, no jobs, unemployment-under-employment near 17%, no border solutions, debt-deficits adding up daily, nothing but a tax and spend routine that never works. I cannot imagine common sense voters like Koch would want to perpetuate Obama like representation in 2012. It would be like America’s suicide.

Mir says:

What Obama said in his May 19 speech about the 67 lines and land swaps is absolutely different from the november 2010 agreement because he did nothing to contextualize those lines/swaps in terms of first settling the major issues, refugees and Jerusalem. His language also contradicts previous assurances by the US, that it is US policy to support Israel in defining safe and secure borders based on realities on the ground.

EJM says:

Barack Obama’s ill-considered and childish attempt to embarrass and pressure Netanyahu to make unilateral concessions by giving a speech a day before the Israeli Prime Minister came to America has already backfired.
Even Harvard liberal and Obama supporter Alan Dershowitz has acknowledged this.

It is of the same piece as Obama publicly demanding Netanyahu stop additional settlements in the West Bank as a condition for resuming the peace talks two years ago, which also fell flat on its face.

In both cases, Mr. Obama has managed both to alienate Israel and sow mistrust among Palestinians and Arabs at the same time, by failing to deliver anything concrete after all his pompous speechifying.

This man has a clear animus against Israel, but even more importantly a completely blinkered ideological vision of the difficult realities of the middle east. For another example, look at how the Obama administration continues to try to “engage” that “reformer” Assad, even as this monster supported by Iran shoots down protesters in the streets and his security forces torture and mutilate 13-year old boys.

Obama’s policies have had the net effect of dismaying and worrying our allies in the region and encouraging and emboldening our enemies. If there were any chance of reviving the peace process two years ago, it is now completely dead. American Jews who want peace in the middle east should understand that their support of Barack Obama is making war more likely. If a new mideast war does come, Israel has already understood that the US under Obama will be an unreliable ally, and she will have have to fight for her survival alone, surrounded by virulent and determined enemies, who for the first time will probably be nuclear armed.

Shefali says:

As an American, I think we should all put America first and our heritage second. Japanese Americans fought the Japanese in WWII, etc. However, Israel is not a threat to the US. Instead, it is our sole reliable ally in the MidEast. It’s a Democracy. Plus, after the Holocaust, it is important that the Jews have their homeland. The Jews are not trying to invade Jordan or massacre Lebanese. They just want a small piece of land that no one else wanted until they had it. Muslims have their Mecca and Medina – why can’t the Jews have their Jerusalem? if the Arabs wanted peace, this would be a no-brainer.

I am not a Jew, I’m a Christian. However, I grew up in NYC and had many Jewish friends. Frankly, I do not understand why Jews vote for Obama or the modern Democrat party.

Traditionally, Jews have supported the rights of the poor and oppressed. Right now, one of the major problems facing the poor in this country is a lack of jobs. How are Obama and Democrats addressing this issue?

Another thing I noticed about my Jewish friends – they valued education. And, if you care about the poor – education is key to stepping out of poverty. But the Democrats cater to the teachers’ unions. They advocate more money for schools.

When I lived in Indiana (while getting my PhD at Purdue) the local school district spent $10,000 per pupil in public schools and $4,000 per pupil in parochial schools. Yet the parochial school kids did a lot better. So it’s not about more money, it’s about changing the system.

Those are just two areas where blind allegiance to the Democrats makes no sense. As far as the Ryan “gutting of Medicare” – his plan ensures no one over 55 will be affected. If we do nothing and the system goes bankrupt – that will be much more painful. I’m not saying his solution is the right one. But we need SOME solution. Obama, instead of offering a counter-proposal, just demonizes Ryan. That’s not particularly conducive to solving the problem.

Bernie says:

Koch said that he would not vote for Obama but would vote for the rest of the Democratic ticket. Hed considers himself a Liberal with sanity. I wonder what he thinks that is.

Beatrix says:

You can’t put your country first and your heritage 2nd, any more than you can put your country first and your family 2nd . Or your country first and the town you live in 2nd. Or your country first and your dog 2nd.

It’s all an essential part of you and what is foremost in your thoughts depends on what is going on in your life and perhaps, which of the many things that are important to you that you feel is being threatened.

I object when every other American is allowed pride in his heritage, but when Jews express this, we’re criticized as Israel firsters or un-American.

I simply say, America is my country, Israel is my heritage. Now shut up, I’m talking!

Beatrix says:

As for Obama, I don’t think he’s anti-Israel, I think he’s simply not a good leader and the country is heading for disaster if he remains in office. If the country morphs from recession into depression, Jews are going to be blamed for putting him in office, and the majority of Jews still back him.

Marcie says:

Go Ed. I have always loved you. I pray you are right…I would like nothing more than to see this disastrous administration in our rear-view mirror.

Marcie says:

Oh and Jimmy Carter (and his family) were virulent anti-Semites. The peanut farmer still is.

danielle says:

I am Jewish; my husband is not. Every once in a while he will ask, with wonder in his voice, why my brethren vote Democrat. He is truly flummoxed. So am I. I try to explain about our socialistic roots, workers, labor, unions, the plight of the underdog. And he says, “The Democrats despise Israel and they have contempt for your people.” I sigh and nod sadly. Any Jewish person who votes Democrat is insane. Absolutely insane. Or blind.

danielle says:

Hey Beatrix: he’s anti Israel. How you or anybody else can reach another conclusion simply amazes me. It’s rationalizing and blindness at crazy making levels.

Beatrix says:

Sorry Danielle, I don’t see Obama as anti-Israel. Nor do I see him as a fervent supporter. Israel is just another conundrum that’s getting in his way. I think he’s a bright guy used to being mentored and he thought the presidency would be a whole lot easier.

On the other hand I’m not stupid enough to be a Democrat. I’m an Independent waiting for the Republicans to put forward a candidate I can vote for. I’m interested in Huntsman, but if Paul wins, which is unlikely, I’m voting for Obama.

American Joe says:

Let the Jews fight thier own battles. Are they not the “chosen ones” ? They are not shy of reminding everyone.

So if God is on thier side why do they need our money and the blood of our children ?

America has fought enough of Israel’s and Brittons battles.

And let us never forget who were the first to extinguish another race of people in a holocaust. It’s in the Bible and Torah. And it’s the Jews.

They forget why God chose them. And so wear it with pride instead of humility. He did not chose them because they were the best of all humans.

And even then with God in thier presence they demanded a earthly king.
Who they then betrayed for a traitor who colaborated with the enemy and played both sides for fools.

Yes House of David, this is you.

P.S. I am not mad at you because you killed Jesus, he was yours, and so is the bill due.

Lou Adams says:

Hey Joe go F yourself

Free Palestine.

Beatrix says:

Hey Joe:

Open a book—it might open your mind.

America has never fought a single battle for Israel—Israel has always fought for herself. In fact, for the first 19 years of Israel’s existence, America wasn’t really an ally.

Only after Johnson became President did the USA start to help Israel financially.

Johnson was from Texas and knew the importance of oil and so he wanted a stable ally in the unstable Mideast. To ensure this, he gave Israel the funds to arm herself in an area where 5 million Israeli Jews are confronted by 300 million hostile Arabs, 74 Million furious Persians, and perhaps 75 million Turks.

Israel has to spend all her money on arms and ¾ has to be spent in the US, which helps both our economy and our balance of trade. American soldiers have never fought for Israel.

Beatrix says:


Israel has tried and tried and tried again to free Palestine. Ehud Barak gave Arafat a peace agreement that even other Arab leaders extolled. Arafat responded with the Intifada.

Sharon walked out of Gaza and planned to unilaterally vacate the West Bank when Hamas took over Gaza and declared themselves dedicated to Israel’s extermination. Israel had to stay in the West Bank or face a nation at war with her.

Now when Israel would like to negotiate peace, Palestine wants everything to be a pre-condition (settlements for example). Netanyahu won’t be as generous as Ehud Barak, but he is Israel’s leader and if the Palestinians want their freedom then he’s the one they have to negotiate with.

Do you think Germany and Japan wanted to negotiate with America, an enemy they’d fought with for 4 years and who dropped two atomic bombs on Japan? Of course not. But they did negotiate and that’s why they’ve been free nations for over 50 years.

benjoya says:

what i don’t understand is: why name a bridge after the last mayor of new york to have crime increase every single year he was mayor?

Gil says:

6/6, Bre says: “Free Palestine.” I agree with Bre. We should free
Palestine of the Arab terrorists and their supporters. That means
“free Palestine of all Arabs.” Jordan is their state–let them
walk 1/2 mile across the border and live there. Problem solved.

Bernhardt says:

i wish Mayor Koch well in all his endeavors . Absolutely correct ,If one cannot contain international terrorism , with continuous provocations from terrorist states, gangs and other strains of hoodlums rejoicing in the slaughter of little children ,mothers and fathers, even as they sleep, in schools or are on school buses chanting “Praise Hitler”, “Islam will destroy USA” and all sorts of other noxious sentiments and “liberal” leaders like Abu Abbas usurping true history and fabricating a “9000” year history of people who only became “Palestinians” post 1967 and who emphatically states no Jews will be allowed to live in the Palestinian state to come( ask him to define the parameters of that and it is apparent to all, even the blind and deaf ( but not the E. U. ) that Israel is not accounted for save by its omission;then truly what is the point of prioritizing domestic issues , issues of no consequence when the great “Mullahs” take over.

Robert Gray says:

My comment is a question -“Why would Ed Koch support Obama?”

My response is Ed Koch is ooooold.

You made some respectable factors there. I regarded on the web for the difficulty and located most people will go along with along with your website. Giacche Double Down Uomo Moncler Sheeny nero


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Koch Test

The former New York City mayor is starting to turn against Barack Obama. And when hizzoner goes for the Republican in a presidential contest, it’s always been bad news for his fellow Democrats.

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