January 11

Obama says Sharon dedicated his life to Israel

Tributes to Sharon also poured in from Secretary of State John Kerry, former President Bill Clinton and other Washington leaders.

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Saturday remembered former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s “commitment to his country,” and Vice President Joe Biden will lead the U.S. delegation for the memorial service.

The Israeli soldier-turned-politician-turned statesman died on Saturday, eight years after a stroke put him in a coma. He was 85.

“We join with the Israeli people in honoring his commitment to his country,” Obama said in a written statement. Obama also used the occasion to reaffirm “our unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security.”

“We continue to strive for a lasting peace and security for the people of Israel,” Obama said.

Biden said he looked forward to the opportunity “to pay respects to the man and to pay tribute to the unshakeable partnership between the United States and Israel.”

Tributes poured in from Secretary of State John Kerry, former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and other Washington leaders.

Kerry said he would never forget meeting “this big bear of a man” after Sharon became prime minister.

“In his final years as prime minister, he surprised many in his pursuit of peace and, today, we all recognize, as he did, that Israel must be strong to make peace, and that peace will also make Israel stronger,” said Kerry.

Since becoming America’s top diplomat last year, Kerry has made 10 trips to the Middle East in hopes of brokering a lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

“It was an honor to work with him, argue with him, and watch him always trying to find the right path for his beloved country,” added Clinton.

Bush, who held office simultaneously with Sharon, called him a friend and “man of courage.”

“He was a warrior for the ages and a partner in seeking security for the Holy Land and a better, peaceful Middle East,” Bush said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Israel “has lost one of its greatest sons and America a friend.”

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at OnlineSentinel.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)