BY ED KOCH
Former Mayer of New York
I weep as I witness outrageous verbal attacks on Israel. What makes these verbal assaults and distortions all the more painful is that they are being orchestrated by President Obama.
For me, the situation today recalls what occurred in 70 CE, when the Roman emperor Vespasian launched a military campaign against the Jewish nation. Masada became the last refuge of the Jewish people, and the Jews of Masada committed suicide rather than let themselves be taken captive.
In Rome itself, I have seen the Arch of Titus with the sculpture showing enslaved Jews and the treasures of the Temple including the menora – the symbol of the Jewish state – being carted away as booty.
Oh, you may say, that is a far fetched analogy. Please hear me out.
The most recent sacking of the Old City of Jerusalem – its Jewish Quarter – took place under the Jordanians in 1948 in the first war between the Jews and at least five Muslim states – Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. At that time, Jordan conquered east Jerusalem and the West Bank and expelled every Jew living in the Jewish Quarter, destroying every building, including the synagogues, and expelling from every part of Judea and Samaria every Jew living there, so that for the first time in thousands of years, the old walled city and the adjacent West Bank were judenrein – a term used by the Nazis to indicate the forced removal or murder of all Jews.