City Journal Winter 2016

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Clark Whelton
Be Not Afraid « Back to Story

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Ed Koch, who was mayor for 12 years, attended enough funerals to have a favorite hymn: "Be Not Afraid."
Great Mayor and great story, Clark! Thank You for sharing...
THANKS for writing this article and sharing about this great man.
Hans Moleman blogs on this and related matters at
Ed Koch, late mayor of New York City, was a fascinating man with a long and impressive career. But when he died recently at the age of 88, his reputation had just taken a self-inflicted and self-confessed hit.

He had endorsed Obama for reelection, and his endorsement went a long way to reassure many Jewish and non-Jewish friends of Israel who were concerned about the president’s tepid (at best) record on support for our only Mideast ally.

When Obama nominated the not-very-bright enemy of Israel Senator Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary, Koch understood it for what it was: the definitive rolling-under-the-bus of Israel. Koch’s reaction was one of outrage, but not of surprise. He confessed that he expected something of the sort, but thought the president might wait a “decent interval” before putting his cards so baldly on the table.

Here is what Koch said on January 7, the day after the Hagel nomination was announced:

“Frankly, I thought that there would come a time when he would renege on what he conveyed on his support of Israel,” said Koch, adding, “it comes a little earlier than I thought it would.”

“I’m sure that the Arabs are drinking orange juice and toasting Hagel’s good health,” Koch said.

“I believe it will encourage the Iranian program. I believe it will encourage the jihadists. They will say ‘ah, we are winning the battle. America is beginning to desert Israel,’” he added.

It is as well that Koch did not live to see the colossal embarrassment of Hagel’s Senate “hearing”. (If the Senators actually heard him, they could not possibly approve him.)

We must hope that Ed Koch is remembered for his amazing career, and not for the unwise political calculation he made in his dying days.
Well said.

From what I have seen since yesterday, the best evaluations have come from those who worked under him, and I am one of those, too.