Members of Congress reacted Saturday morning to the death of former Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who was 85.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said in a statement:
“I join the people of the Jewish state of Israel in mourning the loss of Ariel Sharon, one of the greatest warrior-statesmen in modern history. Sharon’s contribution to establishing and defending Israel’s independence is incalculable and his devotion to peace undisputed.
“The people of America and Israel have forged a friendship based on a common love of freedom, a relationship strengthened by farsighted leaders like Ariel Sharon. He knew, as ancient Scripture attests, ‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.’
“I send condolences to his family, friends, and countrymen.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said:
“Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had a dream of peace in the Middle East, and he lived every day trying to realize it. He was a giant as a leader of Israel, a skilled warrior in battle and a valued friend of our nation. The United States and Israel are stronger partners in peace because of his efforts, and his loss is a great one. Our nation mourns his passing and joins Israel in honoring his tremendous legacy of independence, strength and peace. My thoughts are with his family and the Jewish people of Israel who he devoted his life to serving.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said:
“Israel has lost one of its greatest sons and America a friend in the passing of Ariel Sharon. A legendary military man dating back to the Israeli War of Independence, Ariel Sharon distinguished himself as a strategist and a soldier in virtually every major Israeli conflict of the second half of the 20th Century. His subsequent career as a politician spanned more than three decades, culminating in his memorable service as Prime Minister from 2001 to the tragic illness that had left him incapacitated since 2006. Elaine and I mourn former Prime Minister Sharon’s passing after his long illness. We extend heartfelt condolences to the Sharon family and to Israelis everywhere.”
Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) said:
“Ariel Sharon followed a long line of Israeli leaders dedicated to a secure and prosperous nation. Under his leadership, Israel flourished as a strong military presence in an often-unstable region. Today, we join with our friend and ally Israel to remember the legacy and contributions of former Prime Minister Sharon.”