(CNN) - Just weeks after Ed Koch sought to send a message to the White House on Israel by helping the GOP win a high-profile special election, the former New York City mayor said he's back on course with President Barack Obama.
"I believe the recent vote in the 9th Congressional District in New York affected in a positive way the policy of the U.S. on the Mideast," Koch said in a statement Tuesday, citing Obama's speech at the United Nations last week. "I'm now on board the Obama Reelection Express."
This summer Koch grew upset after the president called for Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders, with land swaps, as the basis of a Mideast peace deal.
In his anger, the Democrat crossed party lines to support Republican Bob Turner in his bid to represent perhaps the most Jewish district in the country, which covers parts of Queens and Brooklyn.
Koch's endorsement was widely seen as a turning point in a race that few expected a Republican to win. The district, formerly represented by ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner, is solidly blue, with Democrats outnumbering Republicans by three to one.
As the race headed into the final stretch, Democrats feared the contest had turned into a referendum on Obama's Mideast policies, and both candidates found themselves competing over who was a better friend of Israel.
On Election Day, Turner won in an upset with 54 percent of the vote, as Koch stood next to him while he gave his victory speech.
"I like President Obama ... I helped get him elected," Koch said at Turner's election night party. "But he threw Israel under the bus."
But Tuesday Koch said he was impressed with Obama's handling of the Palestinian bid for statehood last week at the U.N., where the president expressed support for Israel and called for more negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.
"I congratulated him on his speech to the United Nations in which he acknowledged Israel's presence in a difficult neighborhood," Koch said, referring to a party he attended that was hosted by Obama and his wife, Michelle, in New York.
He also credited Obama with his role in helping Israeli diplomatic personnel escape a hostage situation in Egypt, as well as providing the Israeli military with advanced technology and intelligence.