This is not Koch’s first such reversal. During the 2008 Democratic Party primary season, Koch had worried that a Barack Obama would not be a friend to Israel:
Hillary recently attempted to warn Iran that were it to launch nuclear weapons against Israel, the U.S. “would be able to totally obliterate them.” Hillary’s comments were totally in keeping with the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction which kept the Soviet Union at bay during the Cold War when it threatened its European neighbors and members of NATO.
Instead of joining Hillary in a similar warning to Iran, Senator Obama on “Meet The Press” criticized Hillary stating, “It’s language reflective of George Bush…This kind of language is not helpful.”
We now know just how far Senator Obama is prepared to go to defend our friends and allies. It is not far enough.
Just four months later, without any change in Obama’s positions, Koch endorsed Barack Obama.
Then he went off to heavily Jewish states to convince American Jews that Israel should not be an issue in the campaign because Obama and McCain were equal in their support of Israel.
Once Obama was elected and proved to be horrible for America and Israel, Ed Koch became a leading critic of the POTUS and his anti-Israel policies. In March 2010 he wrote a commentary for the progressive Huffington Post called “Never Again Should We Be Silent“:
Now, in my opinion, based on the actions and statements by President Obama and members of his administration, there is grave doubt among supporters of Israel that President Obama can be counted on to do what presidents before him did – protect our ally, Israel. The Arabs can lose countless wars and still come back because of their numbers. If Israel were to lose one, it would cease to exist.
In April 2010 Koch doubled down, telling Neil Cavuto on Fox News;
“I have been a supporter of President Obama and went to Florida for him, urged Jews all over the country to vote for him saying that he would be just as good as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on the security of Israel. I don’t think it’s true anymore,” Koch told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got a chilly reception at the White House last week after Israel announced plans to build 1,600 new apartments for Jews in East Jerusalem during a visit from Vice President Biden. The announcement drew sharp condemnations from Washington and calls to cancel the construction plans – requests that Netanyahu says he will not heed.
Koch said he believes Obama “orchestrated” what happened in Israel.
“What they did is they wanted to make Israel into a pariah,” he said. “It’s outrageous in my judgment. “
Koch went on to say the self-serving Chuck Schumer had explained to him he wouldn’t speak out against Obama’s Israel positions publicly because he was working behind the scenes to get Obama to change is policy (it didn’t work). The former mayor continued by saying Schumer promised to speak out against Obama publicly should he not change his policies (Schumer hasn’t). He concluded by saying:
“I believe that the Obama administration is willing to throw Israel under the bus in order to please Muslim nations.”
Just this past September, Koch was a big part of the GOP victory in the special election to replace Anthony Weiner in NY-9. Koch’s reason for supporting the Republican Bob Turner was to send a message to President Obama.
If Jewish New Yorkers and others who support Israel were to turn away from the Democratic Party in that congressional election and elect the Republican candidate to Congress in 2011, it might very well cause President Obama to change his hostile position on the State of Israel and to reestablish the special relationship presidents before him had supported. His own reelection will be decided next year in 2012. The outcome of the 2011 congressional special election in the 9th Congressional District will certainly get his attention.
The former Mayor made this political threat to the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave:
But if he doesn’t read the tea leaves and change his position, you can be certain I will continue to bang my drum. I will campaign against him not only in New York, but in other parts of the country next year. I’ll be loud and clear about what I believe. There are many Floridians who are concerned about the Obama administration’s treatment of Israel, and Florida will be crucial to the President’s reelection.
This week however, the once strong-minded Mayor made the same flip-flop he made in 2008 as he hosted an Obama fundraising event which raised a half a million dollars from 100 members of the Jewish community.
Koch’s change of heart comes the same week as the release of multiple reports of the Obama administration warning Israel not to defend herself against Iran.
President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other top officials have delivered a string of private messages to Israeli leaders warning about the dire consequences of a strike. The U.S. wants Israel to give more time for the effects of sanctions and other measures intended to force Iran to abandon its perceived efforts to build nuclear weapons.
Even though I disagreed with many of his positions, Ed Koch was one of my political heroes. He seemed to be a different kind of politician–one who put convictions in front of party affiliation.
I should have known better. Ed Koch is comfortable bashing Obama until he sees the election coming–and suddenly any backbone is replaced by a wet noodle.
No voter should ever pick a President solely based on his position about Israel. I could understand if the former Mayor said that other issues were much more important than Israel in the coming election. That is not what happened.
In 2008 he reversed himself lying about Obama to Jewish voters; saying the future President was McCain’s equal on the issues of terrorism and Israel. Now he is trying to do it again, first promising “But if he doesn’t read the tea leaves and change his position, you can be certain I will continue to bang my drum,” then breaking his promise.
Despite the fact that Obama has not budged in his anti-Israel positions, Ed Koch is trying to fool us once again and convince Jews that Obama is a Zionist.
When Koch was mayor he used to walk around the NYC saying “How am I doing?” The answer today is…. lousy!