In an interview with The Algemeiner, former Mayor of New York, Ed Koch, who supported President Obama’s recent re-election, expressed disappointment with the President’s decision to nominate Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense
“Frankly, I thought that there would come a time when he would renege on what he conveyed on his support of Israel,” said Koch, adding, “it comes a little earlier than I thought it would.”
“It’s very disappointing, I believe he will ultimately regret it,” Koch said, “and it undoubtedly will reduce support for him in the Jewish community, but I don’t think he (the President) worries about that now that the election is over.”
“It’s not good,” he said, “but fortunately, Congress, overwhelmingly both Democratic and Republican supports the Jewish state, so I’m sure they will defend it against the defense department when it ruptures the current good relationship which exists.”
“I’m sure that the Arabs are drinking orange juice and toasting Hagel’s good health,” Koch said.
“I believe it will encourage the Iranian program. I believe it will encourage the jihadists. They will say ‘ah, we are winning the battle. America is beginning to desert Israel,’” he added.
Koch explained he decided to back the President’s reelection even though he suspected that Obama would backtrack on his pro-Israel overtures. “I did what I thought was warranted and intelligent,” he said, “He was going to win! There was no question about it. I thought it would be helpful to have a Jewish voice there, being able to communicate.”
The Mayor says he has no regrets, “it’s wouldn’t make any difference. The Jews were going to vote for him no matter what. And that’s the nature of the Jews. They are always very solicitous of everybody else except their own needs and community.”
“Now I want to make something clear, I am not accusing him of anti-Semitism. You can be hostile to Israel and not be anti-Semitic. I don’t know where he stands on Jews, but I am not accusing him, I have no basis for that,” Koch concluded.