Jewish groups on Monday mourned the passing of nine-term U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) at age 88, reflecting on what they called his legacy as one of the most pro-Israel legislators in Washington.
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) recalled that Inouye’s appreciation for Israel began when he sold Israel Bonds in Hawaii in 1951, and his co-sponsorship of resolutions condemning Hezbollah and Hamas, supporting Israel’s right of self-defense, and urging President Barack Obama to oppose the Palestinians’ unilateral declaration of statehood at the United Nations.
“For 50 years, Senator Inouye was one of the United States Senate’s most energetic advocates for Israel’s quest for peace and security, and the mutually beneficial U.S.-Israel relationship,” AJC Executive Director David Harris said in a statement.
Inouye, as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, “worked tirelessly and effectively to ensure that America’s ally, Israel, had the necessary resources to defend her people,” the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) said in a statement.
The National Jewish Democratic Council also praised Inouye’s contributions on the Senate Appropriations Committee, saying that the senator’s efforts “resulted in significant increases in aid for Israel.” In a statement, NJDC called Inouye “one of the strongest pro-Israel voices on Capitol Hill.”