Powered by WebAds

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Interview with Ed Koch

Shavua tov, a good week to everyone.

Tablet Magazine interviews former New York City Mayor and Congressman Ed Koch. Some highlights:
When I asked Koch about the importance of Judaism in his life, he called out to his secretary. “Jody! Bring him the tombstone!” She handed me a copy of Koch’s pre-written epitaph: “He was fiercely proud of his Jewish faith. He fiercely defended the City of New York, and he fiercely loved the people of the City of New York.” The headstone also quotes Daniel Pearl’s last words—“My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish”—and notes that these words were spoken “immediately before his beheading by an Islamic terrorist.” Koch believes in God but describes himself as secular.


When I ran for a fourth term, I got 42 percent of the vote [in the Democratic primary], and David Dinkins won. What is interesting is that I’m Jewish, but my biggest supporters were Catholic. Italian and Irish Catholic. I generally, over the years, would get 81 percent of their vote. With Jews, I would get 73 percent. People say, “How is that possible? You’re a Jewish boy!” And the answer is that the liberal wing of the Jewish nation doesn’t find me liberal enough. Because I’m a liberal with sanity.

What are some specific issues on which you clash with liberal Jews?

Well, for example, the death penalty. I have supported the death penalty from the beginning of my professional life, when I ran for Congress. I believe it’s liberal, if you believe that protecting society is liberal.


Do you ever feel that American Jews are afraid to support Israel?

I know there was a dearth of support when Obama changed the policy of the United States towards Israel not very long ago. I’m very proud that I aroused the Jewish community and the Christian pro-Israel community and Obama changed his anti-Israel position, most illustrative of that being when he insulted Bibi Netanyahu. As you undoubtedly know, when George Bush ran for reelection—not election—when he was running against, what’s his name—John, Massachusetts …


Kerry, right. Kerry was not good on Israel, in my judgment. So I supported Bush. And I said at the time, publicly, “I don’t agree with him on a single domestic issue. But on the issue of fighting Islamic terrorism”—which, to me, is more important than any other issue, not just because of Israel; it is because Islamic terrorism is seeking to destroy Western civilization. I said, “The Democratic party doesn’t understand that.” The Republican party did. I was shocked when I saw a poll which said that of Democrats, 48 percent supported Israel. 48 percent! Republicans, 70 percent. So I stood up and supported Bush. I have no regrets.

So why didn’t you support John McCain in 2008?

Well, because I’m a Democrat, and I believed that Obama was as good as McCain.

And now you feel you were misled?

I don’t say misled. I misjudged.
I don't agree with everything he says (especially the part about a 'two-state solution'), but overall he's pretty good.

Read the whole thing.



At 8:02 PM, Blogger Patriot said...

This is an interesting interview into the mind of the Jewish left in America. I'm happy to see that when it came to support of Israel, at least one on the Jewish left got his priorities straight. The rest of the Jewish left in America, will you please do the same?

At 9:08 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

ok fine... respect. now tell the old coot to shut up already. sincerely tired of his mouth. he was the one who told the old Jews in Florida to vote for Obama. now he is so sorry... shut the old queer up. we love you Ed. just stop dictating


Post a Comment

<< Home