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“Obama Hostile To Israel”

September 21, 2011

Following sinking poll numbers among Jewish voters in both New York City and throughout Florida, former New York Mayor is piling on as well against an Obama presidency Mayor Koch deems has not been a friend to the Jewish state. At the heart of Koch’s complaints are President Obama’s continued emphasis on Muslim-American relations, and the president’s now infamous request that Israel submit to pre-1967 borders with Egypt.

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In a lengthy letter published in the New York Daily News, the former Mayor promised he would campaign against Obama across the country if the president failed to “get the message” and his anti-Israeli policies continued. Mayor Koch also indicated displeasure over the now well-documented example of President Obama rudely leaving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sitting alone in the White House, indicating to the Primer Minister he was going upstairs to have dinner with his family.

Koch also warned Barack Obama that as president he must view any attack on Israel as an attack on the United States. In 2008 Obama enjoyed nearly 80% of the Jewish vote. Such strong support is appearing increasingly unlikely for President Obama come 2012.


When Gov. Cuomo announced there would be a special election in the 9th Congressional District to replace Anthony Weiner, I gave public voice to an idea that had been percolating in my head for some time. As everyone now knows, I wound up strongly supporting the candidacy of Bob Turner, who last week won the seat in a hotly contested race.

I want to explain why I did what I did, so there’s no misunderstanding of my intentions, or of my future plans. I hope President Obama gets the message that’s been sent. If he does — and if he announces, for example, that an attack by Turkey (which is heading toward war with Israel) or an attack by Egypt (which allowed the mob to occupy the Israeli embassy and threaten Israeli diplomats) would be seen as an attack upon the United States — I’d be happy to support him and even campaign in Florida on his behalf in 2012.

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.

Why am I so driven to send a message to a President whom I agree with on many other issues? I am a Democrat. I served the people of New York in Congress, the City Council and as mayor, elected to all of these positions on the Democratic ticket. I campaigned for Obama when he ran for President in 2008. At his request, I traveled to the Jewish communities in Florida and Pennsylvania. He thanked me personally, even as I told him that the Jews in Florida were overwhelmingly for him and needed no coaxing from me.

He received 78% of the Jewish vote nationally. The only group providing a larger vote for him was African-Americans — over 90%.

Following his swearing in, however, it became clear to many Jews, including me, that he was not as friendly to Israel as we thought he would be. His special efforts to solicit support in the Muslim world seemed to me to indicate a change in the relationship with Israel that had existed since 1948, beginning with President Harry Truman and continuing to and including President George W. Bush. That relationship with Israel had always been referred to as special, and, rightly or wrongly, supporters of Israel had the feeling he was distancing himself from it. We were astounded that he has never visited Israel on his several trips to the Mideast.


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