web analytics
January 26, 2015 / 6 Shevat, 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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ilana Medar, 18, of Paris, made Aliyah last year.
Jewish Agency Planning for Massive Aliyah of 120,000 French Jews
Latest News Stories
Ilana Medar, 18, of Paris, made Aliyah last year.

If US Jews were to make Aliyah at the rate the Jewish Agency expects from France, Israel would have 1 million more Jews.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, with their sons Yair (R) and Avner (2L),  on December 01, 2014.

Iran allegedly is plotting to assassinate the sons of the current and former Israeli prime ministers.

Presidents Reuven Rivlin and Barack Obama.

The White House is passing up the opportunity for Obama’s first meeting with the new Israeli president.

Israeli soldiers block road near the Lebanese border.

Northern Israel is on a high tension wire. The IDF temporarily closed roads Sunday because of a reported “security incident.”

Jewish journalist Damian Pachter has arrived in Israel from Argentina via Uruguay, having fled for his life after reporting on the death of a prosecutor.

President Abbas has been genuinely committed against violence – John Kerry, March 3, 2014 at AIPAC conference.

Prior to Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Bibi talked about the dangers of Iran, ISIS and anti-Semitism and the importance of Aliyah.

It appears the bomb was thrown or placed there yesterday but didn’t explode.

The Histadrut national labor union has warned that Israelis may have to travel without Egged buses on Monday unless company management satisfies employees and drivers’ demands on salaries and work conditions. As things stand now, late Sunday afternoon, Egged workers will stage a one-day warning strike Monday following what they say is a failure of […]

United Hatzalah, Israel’s largest emergency medical response organization received a new ‘Ambucycle’ from Columbus donors.

ISIS terrorist murder of a Japanese citizen is terror against the world, says Israeli PM Netanyahu.

PM Binyamin Netanyahu says he’ll go anywhere he’s invited to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons.

Forensics show Argentina federal prosecutor, Alberto Nisman was murdered over the 1994 Jewish center bombing case.

In the Alberta province of Canada, a synagogue was defaced with huge block letters scrawled on its walls: ‘Leave Canada’

The small right-wing parties will hurt their ideological allies and voters, unless they get past their egos and ideological perfectionism and help their side for a change.

Japan is a very resilient nation, and they’ve chosen to respond to ISIS’s threats and blackmail demands with black humor. They’ve taken the photos that ISIS released and reworked them into various memes:

More Articles from Combined News Services
L-R: Generals Omar Bradley, George Patton, and Dwight Eisenhower inspecting art stolen by the Nazis.

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.

Moshe Yaalon and Ban Ki-moon met Monday in New York.

“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.

“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.

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: