Friend Of Israel Senator Daniel Inouye To Be Laid To Rest Tomorrow

Today, Senator Daniel Inouye will be honored at a memorial service in Washington DC before his final trip home to Hawaii where he will be buried. According to Fox News:

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were to be among those offering tributes during the ceremony Friday at Washington National Cathedral, along with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Biden also spoke at a ceremony Thursday at the Capitol, where Inouye was given an honored resting place: beneath the dome.

Inouye was only the 31st person to lie in state in the rotunda, the most recent being former President Gerald R. Ford nearly six years ago.

During the day, congressional staff, tourists and other Capitol Hill visitors filed past to pay their respects at Inouye’s casket, draped with an American flag.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the statement below in response to the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI).

On behalf of the people of Israel, I wish to express my deepest condolences on the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye.

I was proud to call Senator Inouye a friend.  He was a humble man with a towering spirit, whose exemplary bravery on the battlefield during World War II was followed by an exemplary life dedicated to serving his country and defending its most cherished values.

Since the establishment of the State of Israel, our country has been blessed to have had the unwavering support of outstanding American leaders who were dedicated to strengthening the security of Israel and to deepening the unique and powerful alliance between Israel and the United States.

But even among these leaders, the contributions of Senator Inouye stand out.  His friendship to the Jewish people knew no bounds, and he worked tirelessly throughout his public life to safeguard the one and only Jewish state.

The people of Israel will forever owe him a profound debt of gratitude.

My thoughts and prayers are with Senator Inouye’s family at this difficult time.

Eulogy by Former Israeli Ambassador Sallai Meridor follows the jump.
Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Sallai Meridor remembered the late Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) in an op-ed for Israel’s Ynet. Meridor wrote:

Senator Inouye played a leading role in all major aspects of the strategic relations between America and Israel. He initiated transforming from loans to grants the American military aid to Israel, amounting to tens of billions of dollars over the years. He led the American support for the development of multi-layered Israeli initiated missile defense system, from David’s Sling, to Iron Dome. He assured that Israel would not only be allowed to purchase most advanced American weapons systems for its defense, but also be able to develop its own cutting edge systems to assure Israel’s qualitative military advantage over its enemies.

Inouye’s support for Israel has never been conditional, nor has he ever expected anything in return….

Being himself an American of Japanese origin, serving his country while his relatives were kept by his own country in detention camps, he embarked on a life long journey of standing with and for the Jewish people. He bound his soul with the Jewish people and vowed to do all he could to help Israel. From selling Israel’s bonds as a young student to appropriating billions for Israel’s defense as the chairman of the Senate committee, he has always stood with Israel. The room of this American hero and most powerful leader was decorated with Jewish menorahs. Every year, he made the effort to attend Israel’s Independence Day celebration in DC to show his solidarity and support. His door and heart have always been open to Israel’s representatives.

When I served as Israel’s ambassador to the US, I had the privilege of meeting with him in this office. Whenever I was seeking a wise caring advice, help vis-à-vis the administration on critical issues, or achieving for Israel the almost impossible, I would ask to visit Senator Inouye. He has always been proud of Israel and concerned about its future. He profoundly understood the difficulties facing a tiny nation, the dangers emanating from the prevalent hatred towards the Jews and their state, and the existential challenges facing a Jewish democratic state in the Middle East. He unequivocally believed that a secure Israel is in the best interest of the United   States and an important part of the American story. He was more than deeply concerned about the threat of a nuclear Iran. Concern for Inouye has been a call for action. ‘What can I do for Israel’s defense?’ He would ask….

Israel has many great friends on Capitol Hill, but there has only been one Daniel Inouye. A noble human being, an American hero, a lover of Zion.

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