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August 4, 2011 2:34 pm
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The Elevator Interview – Ed Koch (Exclusive)

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Former Mayor Ed Koch. Photo: Ruvi Leider.

DK: What’s the most striking change you notice in NYC from the time you were mayor to now?

EK: A reduction to nearly zero of racial division which I attribute to Mayor Bloomberg’s style of governance.

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DK: Do you have a Jewish name? If so, what is it?

EK: Yiedel Itzak

DK: What’s going through your mind with regards to developments in Albany?

EK: The designation by the Brennan Centre for Justice of the Albany legislature as dysfunctional is an understatement.

DK: The Associated Press reported that you have chosen to include on your tombstone (may you live a long, healthy life!) the line, “He was fiercely proud of his Jewish faith.” What makes you fiercely proud of Judaism?

EK: The traditions, particularly the sense of justice that Judaism teaches.  The biblical statement “Justice, Justice shalt thou render” has been explained by the sages to mean, justice for the non-Jew as well as the Jew.

DK: Is there a joke that still makes you laugh?

EK: A campaign anecdote from 1977:  I told a group of 200 elderly New Yorkers that a judge I knew who had been mugged that week called a press conference and said, “This mugging of me will not influence my decisions,” and an elderly woman stood up and said to me, “Then mug him again!”

DK: What was an interesting experience as Judge on the TV show The People’s Court?

EK: A man sued, alleging that a woman had called him on stage, sat him down and leaned over him with her heavy bosom and, said he, gave him a concussion.  Judgment for the woman.

DK: Israel. What’s there to still say?

EK: If I were the mediator, I have no doubt that I could settle the disagreements in two weeks of discussion.

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  • Dan Friedman

    We got a look at what makes Koch tick during the Tony Kushner embroglio. Koch came down on the side of the far left anti-Zionist Kushner and publicly, and hysterically, betrayed a longtime friend in the process.

  • Nathan Gross

    I think Ed Koch is seeking to change history. When Koch was Mayor, Jewish tradition meant nothing to him – and has written the nastiest vile statements against The Lubavitcher Rebbe as well as other Jewish leaders. In a statement, Koch exclaimed that he felt closer to Cardinal Mahoney than he did to the Lubavitcher Rebbe and other Jewish leaders. A Jew of “tradition” as Mr. Koch claims he is, does not “feel closer” to a Catholic Cardinal than to Rabbi’s of his own (supposed) faith.

    I guess now that Mr. Koch is an octogenarian, he realizes his Judaism does matter. If this is the case, then apologize to the Jewish leaders for the statements he made against them, as well as the ones he published in his books.

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