Ed Koch: Obama Reneged on Israel Support With Hagel Nomination

Wednesday, 09 Jan 2013 09:31 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch believes President Barack Obama’s decision to nominate former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense will damage relations between the United States and Israel, while emboldening Islamists, and amounts to reneging on support for the Jewish state.
 
Koch, a Democrat who has been one of Obama’s staunchest supporters, said he’d thought all along that Obama would “renege on what he conveyed on his support of Israel,” reports The Algemeiner.

However, Koch said, Hagel’s nomination means Obama is turning his back on Israel a little sooner than he thought he would.
 
“It’s very disappointing, I believe he will ultimately regret it,” Koch said, “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.”
 
Editor's Note: Should Kerry and Hagel Be Confirmed ?
 
Meanwhile, Koch said that since Congress supports Israel, members on both sides of the aisle will defend it against any actions the Defense Department might take deemed negative to the Jewish state — but still, the nomination will encourage Iran and other Islamists.
 
“I believe it will encourage the jihadists. They will say: ‘Ah, we are winning the battle. America is beginning to desert Israel,’” Koch said.
 
He said Democrats will have to join in with Republicans to reject Hagel, but he doesn’t think that will happen.
 
Koch said he doesn’t regret backing Obama, since “he was going to win,” and because Jewish people were going to vote for the incumbent president.
 
But the former mayor is very critical not only on Hagel’s positions on Israel, but also about the former senator’s statements about homosexuals, and he doesn’t believe Hagel regrets opposing an ambassador’s appointment over his sexual orientation.
 
However, Koch said he’s not accusing Hagel of being anti-Semitic.
 
Editor's Note: Should Kerry and Hagel Be Confirmed ?

“You can be hostile to Israel and not be anti-Semitic,” Koch said. “I don’t know where he stands on Jews, but I am not accusing him, I have no basis for that.”

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