web analytics
August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


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.

Current Top Story
Brooklyn's "Vote No on the Nuclear Deal" rally organizers singing Ani Ma'amim. (L to R) Cantor Shlomie Rabin, Councilmember David Greenfield, Jeffrey Davis (back row), Kalman Yager (back row), Chanina Sperlin, State Sen. Jesse Hamilton, Zaki Tamir, Yaacov Berhman, Assemblyman Dov Hikind. Aug. 26, 2015.
In Show of Unity, Bklyn Pols Rally Against Iran Deal
Latest News Stories
Brooklyn's "Vote No on the Nuclear Deal" rally organizers singing Ani Ma'amim. (L to R) Cantor Shlomie Rabin, Councilmember David Greenfield, Jeffrey Davis (back row), Kalman Yager (back row), Chanina Sperlin, State Sen. Jesse Hamilton, Zaki Tamir, Yaacov Berhman, Assemblyman Dov Hikind. Aug. 26, 2015.

Brooklyn politicians and community leaders called on Cong. members to vote down the Nuclear Iran deal.

Dr. Ben Carson (left) at the Western Wall in December 2014.

Both Carson and Trump are solidly behind Israel, but their real drawing card is that they are not politicians.

Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon.

Oregon’s Jeff Merkley announced he is backing the nuclear deal, leaving Obama only three shy of a veto-proof majority.

A natural gas drill rig in the Mediterranean.

The gas field is far larger than those discovered off Israel’s coast and will supply Egypt with gas for decades.

Israel’s Elbit Systems has racked up two more sales, this time by its cyber security subsidiary Cyberbit to a European police force and an African enforcement agency. Elbit, listed on NASDAQ, did not disclose the amount of the sales. It set up the Cyberbit subsidiary earlier this year to include the cyber and intelligence divisions […]

The regime’s Fars [Read “Farce”] News Agency reported that three Israelis and Jordanians were killed.

Jaffa port is a nice little port with a pleasant promenade to walk around on.

Barenboim rejected from Iran because he’s a “Zionist”. The irony is overwhelming.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC chair, allegedly blocked a DNC resolution supporting the Iran Deal.

Dr. Sacks was one of the greatest, if not the greatest, neurologists.

Arab readers of the Arabic version of Aljazeera responded with astonishment at the restraint shown by an armed Israeli soldier, who was filmed while a group of female villagers physically assaulted him during a rally.

Palestinian Arab terrorists shot and wounded an Israeli driver on the road near Kedumim.

Firefighters in Galilee were able to stop a brush fire on Sunday from spreading into a wildfire.

An Israeli woman has allegedly flown to Turkey to cross the border into Syria to join ISIS.

PM Netanyahu told Italian PM Renzi during weekend talks in Florence Israel does not object to a “civilian” nuclear program in Iran.

The car headed towards a group of four soldiers in Hebron, striking one.

More Articles from Combined News Services
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Schumer has come under intense pressure from constituents to oppose the deal, with his office being flooded with more than 10,000 phone calls over the past two weeks, Politico reported.

Secretary of State John Kerry

Before Tuesday’s announcement of the extended deadline, Secretary of State John Kerry said in Vienna on Sunday that the talks could still go “either way,” claiming the administration will walk away from the table rather than settle for a bad deal.

I’ve had such a rich and meaningful life. Of course I wish I had more time.

Boehner criticized President Obama for failing to take the threat of terrorism and the Iranian nuclear threat seriously.

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder welcomed the museum’s decision to discover which pieces were looted by the Nazis and to work to restitute them.

“We want the residents of Gaza to live in dignity and prosperity, rebuild their homes and return to normal life,” Yaalon said. “But we are very worried. Just yesterday Hamas representatives said they intend to reconstruct the infiltration tunnels, instead of rebuilding the homes of Gaza’s residents.”

“When the Metropolitan Opera incites violence you can’t know what will happen,” Wiesenfeld said at the protest.

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

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: