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Obama mourns Koch’s passing

JTA

February 1, 2013 | 1:44 pm

A headstone bearing the name of former New York City mayor Ed Koch at a cemetery in New York on Feb. 1. Photo by Eric Thayer/Reuters

A headstone bearing the name of former New York City mayor Ed Koch at a cemetery in New York on Feb. 1. Photo by Eric Thayer/Reuters

President Obama mourned the passing of New York Mayor Ed Koch, noting among Koch's passions his love for Israel.

"In public office and beyond, his energy, force of personality, and commitment to causes ranging from civic issues to the security of the state of Israel always informed and enlivened the public discourse," Obama said Friday. "Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Ed’s loved ones, and to the city that survives him."

Koch twice endorsed Obama, in 2008 and 2012, although each endorsement was followed by periods of lacerating criticism of Obama's Israel-related policy, and most recently of Obama's nomination of Chuck Hagel as defense secretary.

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