Ed Koch

NEW YORK – Ed Koch, a one-time Democratic U.S. congressman and former mayor of New York City, told a radio host today that his vote in the 2012 presidential election is directly tied to how Barack Obama treats Israel.

Koch surprised the political world when he joined many other Jewish voters in turning against the Democrats in the special election to replace former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner. Koch endorsed the Republican candidate, eventual victor Bob Turner.

“I hope that the president takes note of what happened,” Koch told WND Jerusalem Bureau Chief Aaron Klein on his WABC Radio program. “And if he believes that the Jewish vote is not only important, but if he believes that they are correct in assailing his heretofore positions, then he will change those positions and do what I think he should do, which is to send this message to both Turkey and to Egypt, that if you attack Israel, it will be an attack upon the United States.

“That’s the same kind of message that Jack Kennedy, president during the Cuban Missile crisis, sent to Khrushchev, which was, ‘If you attack any country in the Western Hemisphere, it will be deemed by us as an attack upon the United States,'” he continued. “If [Obama] does that, I’ll vote for him.”

Audio of the interview can be heard on Klein’s website.

Klein asked Koch what would happen if Obama failed to stand up for Israel and if Koch would endorse a Republican for president.

Koch replied, “I see myself staying home and not voting for president.”

He then assailed the GOP figures: “I can’t vote for a guy who says he can’t believe in evolution. The other extreme, right-wing positions that a number of those candidates have, I will not be endorsing.”

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.