I admire former Mayor Ed Koch’s willingness to break with his own party on issues of principle, but his comments to the Algemeiner today are mind-boggling. In between some very strong denunciations of the Chuck Hagel nomination, Koch casually let it drop that he suspected Obama would abandon his pro-Israel positions after the election. The former mayor, of course, endorsed Obama’s reelection and served as one of his surrogates to the pro-Israel community:
“Frankly, I thought that there would come a time when [Obama] would renege on what he conveyed on his support of Israel,” said Koch, adding, “it comes a little earlier than I thought it would.”
“It’s very disappointing, I believe he will ultimately regret it,” Koch said, “and it undoubtedly will reduce support for him in the Jewish community, but I don’t think he (the President) worries about that now that the election is over.” …
Koch explained to The Algemeiner why he decided to back the President’s re-election even though he says he suspected that Obama would backtrack on his pro-Israel overtures. “I did what I thought was warranted and intelligent,” he said, “He was going to win! There was no question about it. I thought it would be helpful to have a Jewish voice there, being able to communicate.”
The Mayor says he has no regrets, “it’s wouldn’t make any difference. The Jews were going to vote for him no matter what. And that’s the nature of the Jews. They are always very solicitous of everybody else except there own needs and community.”
Just a reminder, here’s what Koch said in a video endorsement for the Obama campaign in October:
“I’m confident President Obama will continue his unambiguous commitment to the Jewish state in his second term, building on his record of leadership by preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and funding the Iron Dome missile defense system that is saving Israeli lives.”
To summarize: Koch believed none of that, but still vouched for Obama with Jewish voters because a.) Obama was going to win and it was important that Ed Koch maintain good relations with the White House so he could encourage pro-Israel policies (which isn’t working out too well, considering the Hagel nomination), and b.) Jews were going to vote for Obama no matter what (which would kind of mean Ed Koch’s entire schtick is irrelevant, no?).