web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » News & Views » US » NY »

Thousands Pay Final Tribute To Ed Koch, Colorful Mayor And Champion Of Israel

On a visit to Jerusalem in 1990, former New York mayor Ed Koch was hit in the head by a rock thrown by a Palestinian. Here he recounts the incident to then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. Mr. Koch died last week at age 88.

On a visit to Jerusalem in 1990, former New York mayor Ed Koch was hit in the head by a rock thrown by a Palestinian. Here he recounts the incident to then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. Mr. Koch died last week at age 88.

Koch got his start in politics as a Democratic district leader in Greenwich Village, then worked his way up to City Council, and in 1968 beat incumbent Whitney North Seymour Jr., a Republican, in a race for Congress. Though he served for nine years in Washington, Koch remained a creature of New York, saying he got the “bends” whenever he stayed away from the city for too long.

In 1977, Koch ran for mayor, upsetting Abraham Beame – the city’s first Jewish mayor – who oversaw a fiscal crisis that brought New York to the edge of bankruptcy. Upon taking office, Koch immediately set to cutting the municipal budget, trimming the city’s workforce, reaching a settlement with unions and securing federal aid that had been denied to Beame. In his second term, he turned the $400 million deficit he had inherited into a $500 million surplus.

He easily won reelection to a second and then a third term, but then things went sour. His administration was beset by a series of corruption scandals, rising drug-related violence and burgeoning racial tensions. Koch became the target of black ire for closing a hospital in Harlem – a move he later conceded had been a mistake – and for saying that Jews would be “crazy” to vote for the Rev. Jesse Jackson in the 1988 presidential primary, given Jackson’s support for Palestinians and his 1984 reference to New York as “Hymietown.”

Koch lost his bid for election to a fourth term in 1989 when David Dinkins bested him in the Democratic primary.

In his later years Koch seemed to swing like a pendulum between Democrats and Republicans, and his political imprimatur was eagerly sought by both sides.

He endorsed Giuliani, a Republican, in his successful mayoral bid in 1993 against Dinkins. He often shared – and sometimes took over – the stage at endorsements for other Republicans, including New York Gov. George Pataki, Sen. Al D’Amato and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Koch stumped hard for George W. Bush’s presidential reelection in 2004, and was not afraid to tell baffled Jewish Democrats why: Bush had Israel’s back, Koch said.

Four years later, Republicans hoped to win a repeat endorsement for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), but Koch, alarmed at what he saw as Republican plans to degrade the social safety net he had championed as a congressman in the 1970s, instead threw in with Barack Obama.

Almost as soon as Obama became president, however, Koch took to criticizing him for his perceived coolness to Israel.

In 2011, Koch supported Republican (and eventual winner) Bob Turner over Democrat David Weprin for Anthony Weiner’s former seat in New York’s Ninth Congressional District. He said at the time that he endorsed Turner “to send a message to President Obama” regarding Obama’s actions such as calling for Israel to agree to pre-Six-Day War borders with the Palestinians. But soon after the election Koch warmed again to Obama when the president gave a speech at the United Nations notable for its full-throated backing of Israel.

Koch went on to endorse Obama in the 2012 election despite his previous criticism of the president’s Middle East policies. “Whatever rift existed before – and there was – that’s gone,” he told The New York Times.

But Koch’s tune changed again in late 2012, when he was fiercely critical of Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel for defense secretary.

Koch, who never married, held twin passions he guarded ferociously: the Jewish people and New York City.

After the stone-throwing incident in 1990, Koch took the stone and blood-stained handkerchief to a frame shop, but the shop lost the stone and substituted a fake – which Koch immediately spotted. He was placated only by a letter from Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, who praised him as “the first eminent American to be stoned in the Old City.”

Instead of the stone, Koch framed Shamir’s letter along with a photo of his wound.

– JTA, JNS, Jewish Press staff

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Thousands Pay Final Tribute To Ed Koch, Colorful Mayor And Champion Of Israel”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh would replace Abbas chairman of the Palestinian Authority if elections were held today.
Poll: Hamas Would Rule Judea and Samaria in New Elections
Latest News Stories
Former Congressman Eric Cantor is going to Wall Street.

Cantor can thank his defeat to a Tea Party candidate for leading him to more lucrative and stable career.

Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh would replace Abbas chairman of the Palestinian Authority if elections were held today.

Hamas won the war in political terms, but that won’t stop Kerry.

Cannabis Greenhouse

A farmer in the (legal) Tikkun Olan Cannabis farm near Tzfat. This is one of their greenhouses. The company is licensed by Israel’s Ministry of Health to grow, process and distribute the medicinal plant.

Police set up roadblocks throughout the Sharon region and beyond to track down terrorists believed to have infiltrated the area.

Israeli intelligence sparked a massive manhunt that foiled an Arab terror attack, caught two suspects and kept Israeli civilians safe.

The ‘Talansky affair’ corruption trial of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert re-opened today in Jerusalem.

Iran has successfully tested a new defensive radar and missile system, its air force chief announced Monday.

Diplomatic relations with Israel are likely to remain in deep freeze for the next few years, Turkish PM Davutoglu signals.

Events on the other side of Israel’s northern border are heating up. The IDF is on high alert in the Golan Heights.

Germany and other western countries have begun providing weapons to Kurds in fight against the IS.

Sept. 1 is a spectacularly important day in Israel.

BDS will be claim victory, but the truth is that a logistics would be a major factor if SodaStream leaves Maaleh Adumim.

The body of 1st Sgt. Shachar Shalev was laid to rest this afternoon in the cemetery in Hipsin.

Palestinian Authority terrorists wounded a three-year-old girl and a bus driver in two separate rock throwing and firebombing attacks on Monday. Both victims suffered light injuries and were treated on the spot, without need for hospitalization. The girl was riding a bus in northern Jerusalem when the attackers smashed a glass window on the bus. […]

“He was part hippie, part yippie, part beatnik, and part New Age,” – Elli Wohlgelernter in a Jerusalem Post eulogy in 1994.

Palestinian Authority manipulation of the media makes it impossible for peace between PA Arabs and Israelis.

“I know that you spent your vacation doing things not according to what you planned,” the prime minister told students in southern Israel.

More Articles from Combined News Services
Roots in ISIS: Police stand guard at Jewish school in Brussels following attack that left four dead.

Nemmouche became a radical jihadist while serving a sentence in France in 2009 for armed robbery, TF1 reported.

Pope Francis prays at the Western Wall accompanied by the Kotel Rav, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitz.

“Never again, Lord, never again,” the pope implored. “Here we are, Lord, shamed by what man, created in your own image and likeness, was capable of doing.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas must choose between peace with Israel or Hamas.

“We stand at the gate of hell on earth,” MK Yariv Levin (Likud-Beiteinu) said. “The visit by a delegation of the parliament of an independent and strong Jewish state, together with survivors who were here, symbolizes Israel’s total commitment to the protection of the Jewish people.

Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon was laid to rest Monday at his family’s ranch in southern Israel following a state funeral that drew international dignitaries – Vice President Biden represented the U.S. – and scores of Israeli officials.

“Today is a day of joy to our people, our families and our hero prisoners who’ve achieved freedom,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared Monday night as he personally greeted 18 terrorists released by Israel.

“They wanted ransom. They dropped him off in international waters in the Pacific, and now he is in an undisclosed location. But still a lot is unclear, and I’m still waiting to talk to my father.”

Israel’s peace talks with the Palestinians remain mostly shrouded in secrecy, but one thing is certain: The Palestinian prisoner release that paved the way for their resumption is increasing tensions in Israel’s governing coalition.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-news/ny/thousands-pay-final-tribute-to-ed-koch-colorful-mayor-and-champion-of-israel/2013/02/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: