NEW YORK (CBSNewYork / AP) – America’s most prominent mayor might not be able to give his support to the President of the United States.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb With Comment From Mayor Bloomberg

With former New York City mayor Ed Koch saying he cannot vote to re-elect President Barack Obama unless the president changes his recent stands on Israel’s borders and settlements, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was asked whether it was a litmus test for him as well.

“Its a long time from now until any election and I certainly look at everything that everybody does, and nobody should make a mistake about it, America’s support for Israel is something that I think is in the ineterst of all Americans, not just Jewish Americans, but all Americans and its a very important issue for me,” Bloomberg said on Wednesday.

“I’m a very big defender of Israel, partially for cultural reasons, I suppose, but really because I think that Israel is the only real democracy in that part of the world,” Bloomberg said, noting that they are surrounded by people who have threatened to annihilate them.

Bloomberg added that it seems easy for those of us thousands of miles away to tell them how they can defend themselves.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday slammed a peace vision presented by Israel’s prime minister and suggested the Palestinians now have their sights firmly set on seeking U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state in September.

Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the U.S. Congress on Tuesday was filled with “falsehoods and distortions,” Abbas told leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization and his Fatah movement. “He did not say anything we can build on positively.”

Abbas’ comments marked the first time he responded publicly to a total of four speeches by Netanyahu and President Barack Obama over the past week.

Abbas praised Obama’s parameters for a Mideast peace deal, saying they lay a positive foundation for negotiations. Obama said border talks should be based on the pre-1967 Mideast war lines, with mutually agreed land swaps, meeting a long-standing Palestinian demand.

The Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war. They have said they are willing to consider minor border adjustments through land swaps that would enable Israel to annex some of the largest of dozens of Jewish settlements it has built on occupied territory.

The Palestinians have limited their reaction to Obama’s speeches to the border issue, while ignoring U.S. proposals less to their liking, such as calls to recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.

In his speech to Congress, Netanyahu promised territorial concessions, but said Israel would keep east Jerusalem and key parts of the West Bank. He also said Palestinian refugees would have to resettle in a future Palestinian state, not in Israel.

An Abbas aide, Nabil Shaath, called Netanyahu’s outlines a “declaration of war” against the Palestinians and said the Israeli leader is not a partner for peace.

Abbas said Wednesday he would consult with Arab League representatives in coming days to discuss the next steps. The Palestinians have developed alternate strategies to negotiations with Israel, largely on hold since 2008, and a bid for U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders is a centerpiece.

Both Israel and the U.S. oppose this strategy, calling instead for the negotiated solution that has been the cornerstone of two decades of peace efforts.

Abbas said negotiations remain his first choice but that if that option is closed, “we are going to go to the option of (U.N. recognition in) September.”

Yasser Abed Rabbo, the secretary general of the PLO, said that as an interim step, the Palestinians may ask the U.N. Security Council and the Quartet of Mideast mediators – the U.S., the U.N., Europe and Russia – to endorse Obama’s outlines of the border deal as the basis for negotiations.

The U.N. and the Quartet would be asked to affirm that negotiations should be wrapped up by September, Abed Rabbo said. Talks could only resume if Israel also accepts Obama’s parameters, Abed Rabbo added.

Abbas, meanwhile, defended the bid for U.N. recognition against criticism from Obama, who said the Palestinians should not engage in what he said were futile attempts aimed at isolating Israel diplomatically.

“Our goal is not to isolate Israel nor to challenge its legitimacy,” Abbas said. “This is not a unilateral act. The unilateral act is (Israeli) settlement expansion.”

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (6)
  1. D. Winter says:

    Maybe Bloomberg’s agenda includes omitting Ron Paul from press coverage because of his America comes first foriegn policy?

  2. Mike from NYC says:

    If you track back any problem in the world you will find a Jew behind it, enough with the Jew propaganda, let’s focus on this country, let’s focus on our people and stop to worry about some pigs

  3. Mike says:

    Surprise! Two Jews upset about Obama’s stance on Israel. Let Israel worry about themselves. They serve no purpose to us. Let’s focus on our country, shall we?! Good for them if they are the only democracy in that part of the world.

  4. RichieT says:

    The law in NYC, is that a mayor can only hold two terms. Bloomberg filled the board that deals with those kinds of laws with his buddies. They waived it. He bought the city He spent over $120 million to get re-elected. Last year,113,552 people, over 40,000 of them are children slept in the city’s emergency shelters That’s got nothing to do with the people living on the streets. 8% higher then last year. It’s increased 37% since 2002. He’s been mayor since 2001. At this point, any person that believes anything he says has a serious problem. Throw people out of their apartments, cut back on all the public services in the city, Fire departments, schools and police. Give his buddies raises .Welcome to NYC.

  5. John Marin says:

    These are two Semitic people battling over a common ground with an Arabic heritage that reaches as far back as 1500 BCE. Jews and Muslims have more in common than they do with Christians and Europeans where both are regarded as outsiders with an agonizing past . Muslims should learn that Jews irrespective of their Zionism are trying reclaim their Arabic heritage from which they have been detached since the Romans obliterated Judea in 70 CE.

  6. Adam says:

    Obama showed his “middle ground”to win over internaytional sympathy leaning toward the palistinians.It’s like inviting someone to your wedding that you know Won’t attend.Looks good ,but will never happen!! Wake up ppl.Israel won’t ever expose themselves to attack! Smart Man Obama!!! Bloomberg and Koch should see it this way!

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