Notwithstanding Ed Koch’s reputation for candor, I didn’t believe my eyes when I read that Koch said he knew President Obama would “renege” on his support of Israel. Koch said his only shock was that it happened so soon, citing Obama’s nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary, according to The Algemeiner newspaper.
Is it true? Did Koch really say that?
“I did say it,” he told me yesterday, adding he was making a point about why he had endorsed Obama, despite such misgivings.
“People don’t really change when you get to his age,” the former mayor said of Obama. “So I had no doubt that with the course of time, his new strength would weaken.”
Still, he insists, “I don’t regret supporting him. I believe it bought time . . . I’m just sorry it was so short-lived.”
Now it was my turn to be shocked. Not over the fact that Koch thinks Hagel is a disaster for America and Israel. I agree. Rather, I’m shocked that Koch is shocked at Obama.
How could he not see that the betrayal would be instant?
Except during his two campaigns, Obama consistently tilted away from Israel and toward its enemies. His uncertain policy toward Iran, which has threatened to wipe Israel off the map, has unnerved many Israelis and Americans, and his antagonistic attitude toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sealed the impression of hostility.