JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL
How Bloomberg, Koch
Paraded to City Hall
Story by Tim Boxer
Photos by Nina Boxer
HIS is how Mike Bloomberg decided to go for the gold at City Hall. Last spring, he asked Ed Koch what it was like to be mayor of New York.
“I’ll tell you this,” Koch said. “I never did dinners.”
“What about parades?”
“I love parades,” Koch said. “I never miss them.”
After Bloomberg did his first one, the Salute to Israel Parade, he called back: “You’re right. It was great. I’m going to run for mayor.”
Mayor Mike related the story at the 25th anniversary dinner of the Jewish Community Relations Council at the Plaza Hotel, where JCRC president introduced him as Mayor Mordechai.
And how did Koch become mayor? He said that in 1977 the editors of the New York Post interviewed the seven candidates. Koch stood sixth in the polls.
A week later his phone rang.
“Is Congressman Koch home?”
“Who’s calling,” Koch asked.
“Rupert…Rupert…doesn’t sound Jewish to me.”
Rupert Murdoch, Neil Cavuto and
Murdoch proceeded to inform the candidate that the next day’s New York Post would endorse him on the front page.
“Rupert,” Koch replied, “you just elected me mayor of New York.”
What was extraordinary, Koch said, was that in his 12 years in office, the media mogul never once asked for favors.
Along with Murdoch, JCRC honored Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott, former head of the New York Urban League, and Jessica Bibliowicz, president of National Financial Partners and daughter of Joan and Sanford Weill of Citicorp.
Murdoch told of the time he took a group of editors from New York and London for a weekend at Ariel Sharon’s ranch. Sharon took them on a bird’s-eye tour of Israel aboard a helicopter gunship, flying over the Golan Heights, West Bank and settlements.
“We saw the vulnerability of the country,” Murdoch said.
“Not all New York newspapers feel the cause of Israel is all the news that’s fit to print,” he added.
Gov. George Pataki praised the publisher: “There is no newspaper in the U.S. more supportive of Israel than the New York Post.”
He warned of a resurgence of world anti-Semitism, as evidenced by the murder of Daniel Pearl, and added, “We have to stand with the people and government of Israel, and with JCRC for another hundred years. Yasher koach!” [Hebrew: More power to you!]