Sen. Inouye, Friend of Israel, Dies at 88

Final Word from Hawaii Lawmaker Was 'Aloha'

Friend of Israel: Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii has died at 88.
getty images
Friend of Israel: Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii has died at 88.

By Reuters

Published December 18, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Democratic Senator Daniel Inouye, a decorated World War Two veteran who lost an arm in battle and represented Hawaii in Congress since its statehood more than a half century ago, died on Monday at age 88.

Inouye, who was chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee and was known as a strong supporter of Israel, died of complications from a respiratory illness, his office said in a statement.

“Aloha” was the last word he spoke, the statement said.

The son of a Japanese immigrant father and a Hawaii-born mother whose parents came from Japan, Inouye and his family were declared “enemy aliens” by the U.S. government at the outbreak of World War Two. Inouye would later rise to become the highest-ranking elected Asian-American official in U.S. politics.

During a political career spanning seven decades, he gained national attention on the Senate Watergate Committee and as chairman of the Select Intelligence Committee during the 1970s.

He was also chairman of a special panel that investigated the Iran-Contra affair - involving secret U.S. support of anti-Communist Nicaraguan rebels with illegal sales of missiles to Iran - during Ronald Reagan’s presidency in the 1980s.

At the time, he criticized what he called a “shadowy government with … the ability to pursue its own ideas of the national interest, free from all checks and balances, and free from the law itself.”

“Senator Inouye deeply understood the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and as chairman of the 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 said in a statement, JTA reported. “He will be missed by all who appreciated his many decades of leadership in strengthening the ties between America and Israel.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.