Why Are Prominent Obama Critics Alan Dershowitz, Ed Koch, and Haim Saban Now Endorsing the President?
If President Barack Obama is so bad on Israel, why are some of his most prominent Jewish critics planning on voting for him anyway? The list of these critics is long, but it includes former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, and media tycoon Haim Saban. All three spent Obama’s first term laying into the president on his Israel policy as if it were their litmus test—and all three are now publicly supporting his re-election.
Powerhouse lawyer Alan Dershowitz criticized Obama in the Wall Street Journal for not sending a tough enough message to the Iranian regime, and he even wondered openly if the president might be remembered as “the Neville Chamberlain of the 21st century.”
However, it seems that Dershowitz was sufficiently impressed by Obama’s seriousness regarding Iran when, in a personal meeting in the Oval Office, the president assured him, “I don’t bluff.” Now the professor is stumping for the president in Florida, and yesterday he officially endorsed him in the Jerusalem Post, writing that “the case for the reelection of Barack Obama is a compelling one, based not only on his past record but on the specific policies he has proposed for the next four years.”
Ed Koch famously sent “a message to President Obama that he cannot throw Israel under the bus with impunity” last year in the New York Times. He ripped the president in 2010 when the administration made a big issue out of continued Israeli construction in East Jerusalem. “What they did is they wanted to make Israel into a pariah,” he said of the White House. “It’s outrageous in my judgment.” Koch noted that he campaigned for Obama in 2008, and pushed Jews to vote for him, arguing he would be just as solid in his support for Israel as the Republican candidate, John McCain. “I don’t think it’s true anymore,” said Koch.
But now the mayor is back in Obama’s fold, if somewhat reluctantly, “I believe that he is going to win whether I vote for him or not,” Koch told a radio interviewer in September. “So, wouldn’t it be better that he wins changing his positions?”