RJC Mourns Passing of Ariel Sharon

Washington, D.C. -- The Republican Jewish Coalition released a statement from RJC National Chairman David Flaum on the passing on former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon:

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Ariel Sharon. He was a great warrior who fought wholeheartedly for Israel’s existence, security, and well-being from the very beginning of the State of Israel. He was willing to take risks and to lead from the front – on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.

"In 1998, the RJC had the privilege of taking four U.S. governors to Israel; one of them was then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush. Then-Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon took the governors on a helicopter tour of Israel that opened their eyes to the size of Israel, the proximity of her enemies, and the dangers she faces on all sides. That ride was also the beginning of a friendship between Bush and Sharon, two men who would soon become the elected leaders of their respective countries. This trip formed a strong bond between these leaders and fostered an historic strengthening of the U.S.-Israel relationship.

"Ariel Sharon’s strength and insight have been sorely missed in the years since his devastating stroke. We join with the people of Israel in mourning the loss of one of the true giants of Israel."

*The date of the governors' trip to Israel has been corrected.