Pro-Israel groups are mourning the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye, the long-time representative from Hawaii who died yesterday at the age of 88.
AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, described the late senator as a person who “deeply understood the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship.” In a statement, the group also said that as chairman of the Appropriations Committee, he “worked tirelessly and effectively to ensure that America’s ally, Israel, had the necessary resources to defend her people. He will be missed by all who appreciated his many decades of leadership in strengthening the ties between America and Israel.”
Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to Washington, called the late senator’s dedication to Israel “unswerving.”
“Our people owe him an immense historic debt. The Iron Dome system that recently intercepted hundreds of terrorist rockets aimed at our homes stands as enduring proof of his commitment to the defense of the Jewish State.” He told Inouye’s family that “the State of Israel grieves with you.”
A decorated soldier who lost an arm during World War II, he had been in public service fore more than 50 years, as a congressman and later, as a senator. Inouye reportedly sold Israel bonds to support himself through college and considered converting to Judaism.
“He joked that he didn’t convert because being Japanese and having only one arm, he had ‘enough tzoris,’” Douglas Bloomfield wrote in the Forward today. “The real reason, apparently, was the effect on his devoutly Methodist mother.”