Former New York Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat who campaigned for President Obama in 2008, slammed the U.S. leader's recent treatment of Israel as "outrageous" and "hostile," declaring he is "close" to "getting off the Obama train."
Koch's sentiments are significant. The former politician has long been an indicator of American Jewish sentiment regarding U.S. presidents and Israel. His statements may serve as a signal that some American Jews are moving away from the Obama administration.
Koch was speaking in a radio interview with WND senior reporter Aaron Klein, who hosts an investigative program on New York's WABC 770 AM.
The former mayor took issue with the Obama administration's diplomatic row with Israel last month after a Jerusalem municipality announced the construction of 1,600 new homes in the neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo, an already existing Jewish community in Jerusalem.
That 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.
"I think it's outrageous what he has done," stated Koch, referring to Obama, who Koch said has called for Jews not to "build apartments anywhere they want to and can afford to in their own land in Jerusalem."
"It's clear that Netanyahu was treated so terribly at the White House," he said. "It is just rude what they did to him. ... I am extremely distressed with the attitude that the president has shown Israel. I consider it to be hostility."