Jewish organizations in the United States and around the world expressed condolences on the death of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
“His legacy is a more secure State of Israel, safe on its borders and resolved to put an end to the campaign of Palestinian terrorism once and for all. It is not only Israel, but the Jewish people, the U.S., and the international community who have lost a towering figure who offered hope to his people and the region,” Barry Curtiss-Lusher, Anti-Defamation League national chair, and Abraham Foxman, ADL national director, said in a statement.
Sharon died Saturday afternoon at the age of 85, after eight years in a coma following a massive stroke.
The Israel Project President and CEO, Josh Block, called Sharon an “embodiment of the Jewish state and a heroic protector of her people, who will be remembered not only for his strength, but for his courage in pursuit of peace. Sharon’s contributions to bolstering the U.S.-Israel relationship made both nations safer, and kindled the bonds of democracy, liberty, and shared values that we care so much about.”
The National Jewish Democratic Council in a statement called Sharon “a true defender of Israel.”
Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency said in a statement that Sharon “will be remembered as a true friend of The Jewish Agency, as a military man, a leader of Israel, a statesman, and a genuine partner of world Jewry.” He said that Sharon “invested tremendous effort in strengthening Jewish identity, increasing aliyah (immigration to Israel), and combating anti-Semitism around the world.”
Sharon was a “fighter for his country in times of war and a fighter for peace,” said Dr. Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, in a statement.
“Ariel Sharon was a highly regarded military leader, but he was also a peacemaker. One of the country’s most daring and celebrated generals, he was also a man who was able to take bold steps in the hopes of achieving peace,” Jewish Federation Board of Trustees Chair Michael Siegal and President Jerry Silverman said in a statement.