Ed Koch has been a public servant for many years. He was a councilman, congressman, and gained notoriety as a three term mayor of New York City. It’s difficult not to be impressed by the man who’s 86 years young and by his opinions. He is currently a writer and a partner in the law firm of Bryan Cave. NewsRealBlog talked with him about his feelings regarding Israel and the War on Terror.
NewsRealBlog: Considering what happened in Times Square over the week-end, do you have an opinion?
Ed Koch: We are the luckiest people in the world. We have the best and bravest police and fire departments. Also, the street vendors were terrific.
NRB: Do you think this incident further emphasizes why Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should not be tried in NYC?
Koch: They should not be tried in NYC or any other city. They should be tried on a military base. This incident shows that the city must protect against other possible terrorist attacks. The impact on the business community would be substantial.
NRB: Why do you support a military tribunal?
Koch: Different rules of evidence. We do not want to destroy any confessions.
NRB: Do you feel the Democrats have lost their way regarding national security?
Koch: In 2004 I crossed party lines and supported George W. Bush because I did not think John Kerry understood the dangers of terrorism to the same extent as Bush.
NRB: But you seem to not be on the same page as Bush domestically yet you supported him?
Koch: Terrorism and how we responded to it trumped every other issue. I have no regrets.
NRB: Do you regret supporting President Obama?
Koch: I made a mistake in thinking Obama was as good as McCain on the terrorism issue.
NRB: Why do you support Israel?
Koch: Somewhere in the world today a Jewish Community is being persecuted. They can go to Israel and Israel will take them
NRB: Do you think there is a disconnect with the President’s attitude toward Israel as opposed to the Palestinians?
Koch: Barack Obama is in effect making Israel a pariah nation. He wants to encourage the support of the Sunni Muslim nations. He is blaming Israel for everything and placating the Arabs. He needs to remember that Israel is a great ally in the area.
NRB: What do you see as the major problem between Israel and the Palestinians?
Koch: The Arabs have to first recognize that Israel is a Jewish State. The Arabs do not believe that a Jewish nation should exist in this area. Until they come to their senses there won’t be peace.
NRB: Why do so many Jews vote Democratic?
Koch: This saying explains my belief: “If I am not for me who will be. If not now when. But if I am only for myself what am I.” I don’t think the Jews understand this extraordinary statement. They should be more discriminating then giving their support to only one party. When their brothers and sisters in Israel are attacked they stand there and do relatively nothing.
NRB: Would you vote for President Obama today?
NRB: Do you still consider yourself a Democrat?
Koch: I consider myself a very good Democrat, one in the image of Humphrey and Scoop Jackson. I am a liberal with sanity.