NEW YORK (Jan. 16)
Rep. Edward I. Koch, in addressing more than 300 people in the Central Synagogue Auditorium at a forum cosponsored by the Central Synagogue and the American Jewish Committee, reiterated the contention that the American arms lift saved Israel, and that in the first two days of the Yom Kippur War, it was the individual courage of the Israeli that prevented a catastrophic military defeat for Israel.
Koch, who was in Israel during the Thanks-giving recess as a member of the International Trade Sub-Committee of the House Banking and Currency Committee, visited the Suez and met with Premier Golda Meir and numerous government and military officials. Koch, in praising America’s support of Israel in her time of need, recalled Mrs. Meir’s statement to his Congressional delegation: “Our children’s grandchildren will remember how America saved Israel.”
Focussing on the overwhelming Congressional support of the $2.2 billion appropriation for Israel, Koch attributed this to several factors: the Administration’s support of the legislation which rallied considerable support from Republican Congressmen, and the efforts of American Jewry in convincing the legislators of Israel’s dire need. He also praised the Black Congressional Caucus, and in particular Rep. Charles Rangel (D-R,NY) and noted that 13 of the 16 members of the Black Caucus supported the $2.2 billion appropriation, Koch noted that in general the response of the American public in the aftermath of the war and the subsequent energy crisis has really been admirable.
Following his talk, numerous questions were asked about the Congressman’s opinion of the U.S. Secretary of State. Koch replied, “In my opinion, Henry Kissinger is the one who saved Israel.” In response to a question about his views of President Nixon, Koch stated, “Based on what I presently know and unless otherwise refuted, it is my intention to vote for his impeachment, but you must in fairness acknowledge and give the President credit for what he did for Israel.”