Last week, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch spoke at a Jewish event in New York where he promoted strong Catholic-Jewish ties. “We’re 13 million Jews in the whole world—less than one-tenth of 1 percent. And we need allies. The best ally we can have is the Catholic Church.”
In my 2009 book, Secular Sabotage, I said that Ed Koch was “one of the greatest friends that Catholics have ever had.” What he said last week only confirms his status—he is a genuine friend to Catholics. But it is not just Jews who need Catholics: the reverse is also true.
In the current edition of Commentary, an outstanding magazine with a long Jewish tradition, there is a chilling article by David Aikman, “The Worldwide Attack on Christians.” Aikman describes, in excruciating detail, how in 131 of the world’s 193 countries, Christian persecution is rampant; most of the oppression is occurring in Communist and Muslim-dominated nations. In other words, Christians need allies as well, and the Jewish community is the logical place for us to turn.
In the 1990s, I had several exchanges with A.M. Rosenthal of the New York Times. Like Koch, he was a Jewish heavyweight who often spoke about Christian persecution, and the need for Jews to align themselves with Catholics. Indeed, Rosenthal was ahead of the curve on this issue.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the letter I received from Ed Koch today about two Orthodox Jewish attorneys who recently made a series of incredibly anti-Catholic comments in a mid-Western courtroom; we are pushing for them to be disbarred, and the process is underway. Koch said, “I agree with you that the conduct displayed deserves maximum punishment.”
The Catholic League is proud to stand with the Jewish community in this time of unrelenting attacks on both Catholics and Jews.