TAMPA, Fla. – Since President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney both have positions that are “acceptable” on Israel, American Jews should vote Democrat in support of Obama’s domestic agenda, contends former New York City Mayor Ed Koch.
After previously criticizing the Obama administration’s approach toward Israel, Koch is now campaigning for Obama within the U.S. Jewish community.
Speaking on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” yesterday, host Aaron Klein asked Koch whether he is bothered by some Jews who say they are disappointed the ex-mayor is back in the Obama camp.
“I think that I have done more than many people in support of the state of Israel, including many of these critics,” Koch replied. “So while they have the right to criticize me, that doesn’t make any difference as far as I am concerned. I trust my own judgment.”
Koch argued that when it comes to Israel, “I have concluded that [Obama’s and Romney’s] positions are acceptable in both cases … so that I won’t be voting on who’s better between the two candidates on that issue.”
Koch stated that since Obama is “good” on Israel, Jews should support the president’s domestic agenda “as it relates to Medicare and Medicaid, Obamacare, abortion, food stamps.”
“On every single domestic issue, the Republicans are dead wrong and the Democrats are dead right,” he said.
“If I felt the Democrats are hostile to Israel I would not support them. But they are not.”
Koch said that when Obama states his support for Israel, “I believe him.”
“I think he’s an honorable man,” he added.
Koch has been back and forth regarding his support for Obama.
In 2010, the former mayor took to Klein’s show to slam Obama’s treatment of Israel as “outrageous” and “hostile,” declaring he is “close” to “getting off the Obama train.”
Koch was taking issue with the Obama administration’s diplomatic row with Israel in March 2010 after a Jerusalem municipality announced the construction of 1,600 new homes in the neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo, an existing Jewish community in Jerusalem.
The announcement came during a visit to the region by Vice President Joe Biden, resulting in the White House calling the new construction an “insult” and an impediment to Israeli-Palestinian peace.
A subsequent visit to the White House by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was described in media reports as tense, with Obama reportedly leaving in the middle of his meeting with the Israeli leader.