NEW YORK – U.S. Jewish groups and leaders mourned the death of Jewish American billionaire Sheldon Adelson on Tuesday, calling him a “true giant” and praising his significant contribution to U.S.-Israel relations.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) sent their condolences to Adelson’s wife Miriam and their entire family in a post on Twitter, noting Adelson’s “extraordinary” support of the U.S-Israel relationship and his “remarkable life.”
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“I lost a great friend and mentor with the passing of Sheldon Adelson. A great man, a true giant,” tweeted Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition Matt Brooks. “The world is a better place because of him.”
The RJC also released an official statement calling Adelson “an American patriot, a dedicated defender of Israel, an extraordinary philanthropist.”
“His death leaves an empty place where a vibrant, committed and caring man once stood,” the statement reads.
“There was no greater humanitarian and devoted lover of Israel,” tweeted President of the Zionist Organization of America Morton Klein on Twitter, adding that ZOA mourns the loss of “a Giant Zionist and humanitarian.”
Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman added that he and his wife Tammy are “heartbroken” by the passing of Adelson.
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“He was the greatest of Jewish philanthropists with boundless commitment to his beloved wife Miriam and entire family,” wrote Friedman. “While blessed with vast wealth, he had exceptional humility and faith. No one will fill his shoes.”
“The Jewish people mourn one of its proudest sons,” wrote Israel’s outgoing Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer on Twitter. Adelson, he said, “devoted himself to strengthening his people, his homeland and the bonds between his beloved America and Israel.”
“He was a true giant, as good as he was great, whose memory will never be forgotten,” Dermer added.
Adelson, who used his wealth to dramatically influence politics in both Israel and the United States, died Monday night at the age of 87 after a years-long battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
He made his fortune by operating casinos around the world and was widely regarded as the political patron of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. U.S. President Donald Trump also considered Adelson to be one of his and Netanyahu’s most important supporters, and both leaders were indebted to him for helping them win their political battles.