Tributes to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who died on Saturday at age 85, poured in from a wide range of American leaders, from President Barack Obama to former presidents to legislators.
Sharon died eight years after a stroke that left him comatose.
Here are some of their remarks:
President Barack Obama:
"On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the family of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and to the people of Israel on the loss of a leader who dedicated his life to the State of Israel.
"We reaffirm our unshakable commitment to Israel's security and our appreciation for the enduring friendship between our two countries and our two peoples."
Former President George W. Bush:
"Laura and I join our friends in Israel and around the world in mourning the loss of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. I was honored to know this man of courage and call him friend.
"He was a warrior for the ages and a partner in seeking security for the Holy Land and a better, peaceful Middle East."
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:
"Ariel Sharon was a loyal and a fierce defender of peace and prosperity for the Jewish democratic state of Israel. I admired and respected him for his passion and courage.
"He was a good friend of the United States and a partner in seeking a more peaceful Middle East."
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio:
"Ariel Sharon's contribution to establishing and defending Israel’s independence is incalculable and his devotion to peace undisputed.
"The people of America and Israel have forged a friendship based on a common love of freedom, a relationship strengthened by far-sighted leaders like Ariel Sharon.
"He knew, as ancient scripture attests, 'The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.'"
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.
“Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had a dream of peace in the Middle East, and he lived every day trying to realize it.
"He was a giant as a leader of Israel, a skilled warrior in battle and a valued friend of our nation. The United States and Israel are stronger partners in peace because of his efforts, and his loss is a great one."
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.:
"Few people in our world have done as much for their countries as Prime Minister Sharon did for his beloved Israel.
"Few soldiers have fought as selflessly to protect their fellow citizens. Few leaders have shown themselves equal to challenges that were as dire to their nation's existence.
"And few statesmen have made sacrifices that were as difficult, and were prepared to make more painful sacrifices still, for the sake of peace and the security for their nation.
"With the passing of Prime Minister Sharon, all of us should re-commit ourselves to the enduring security of Israel and to realizing the vision that animated the final years of this great man's life — the vision of two states living side by side in peace and security."
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas:
"The story of Ariel Sharon’s life was very much the story of the state of Israel from his birth in Kfar Malal 20 years before Israel was established, to fighting in the Six Days war of 1967, to his service as Prime Minister from 2001-06.
"He experienced enormous struggle and adversity, but persevered in the defense of the nation he loved. Israel has lost a great warrior and the United States has lost a great friend. May he rest in peace."
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.:
"Prime Minister Sharon lived according to the passage in Deuteronomy 6:5 that instructs us to 'love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.'
"A lion for Israel, Sharon was courageous in defending his country and always celebrated how far Israel had come instead of being fixated on how much further those around him felt the country still had yet to go."
Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., chairman of the Republican Study Committee:
“A leader on the battlefield with few equals, Sharon also showed tremendous courage as prime minister. Although his loss is difficult, we can all celebrate the many achievements he made on behalf of the Jewish state of Israel and her many friends including America.
"Ariel Sharon’s legacy will endure for ages.”
Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga.:
"Ariel Sharon's life was one of tremendous consequence marked by courageous leadership and an unwavering fidelity to his people and ours.
"As prime minister, he helped to foster an earnest relationship between Israel and the U.S., and our cooperative efforts ushered in demonstrable improvements for that region.
"Every good heart should endeavor that Sharon's greatest dream becomes the Middle East's new reality: one where people of all faiths can live side-by-side and in peace."
Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz.:
"Ariel Sharon was a strong and fearless leader who cared deeply for his country and fought hard to ensure its vibrant future.
"As a staunch defender of liberty, he sought a peace that was meaningful during his time leading his country.
"Sharon was a stalwart and a clear voice for the people of Israel."
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah:
“Ariel Sharon was a great leader for Israel and strong ally of America. I offer my deepest condolences to the Israeli people for their loss.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.:
“America has lost one of her best friends and the Israeli people have lost one of their greatest champions. Ariel Sharon was a fierce fighter for the State of Israel who boldly embraced peace. His life's work has made him an Israeli icon.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.:
“Ariel Sharon lived a full life dedicated to serving his beloved nation. As a member of Israel’s founding generation, he helped the Jewish state become the vibrant thriving democracy it is today.”
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah:
"Ariel Sharon was a great military and political leader who will be remembered as one of Israel's heroes and a tireless statesman in pursuit of a lasting peace."
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.:
“I’m saddened by the passing of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the people of Israel.”
Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee:
“We mourn the passing of Ariel Sharon. A great general and statesman of Israel. His memory will always be alive.”
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