Tributes have been paid to George HW Bush following his death last Friday aged 94.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the 41st President as a “great American patriot” whilst President Reuven Rivlin said he was a “true friend” of Israel.
National remembrances have taken place since his death.
US President Donald Trump paid respect during his lying-in-state at Capitol Rotunda.
A state funeral at Washington National Cathedral took place yesterday, prior to the former US President being laid to rest in a family plot alongside his wife, Barbara Bush, and three-year-old daughter Robin Bush, who died of leukaemia in 1953.
“On behalf of the citizens of Israel, I send heartfelt condolences to the Bush family and to the American people over the passing of a great American patriot,” Netanyahu said.
“His wise leadership at the end of the Cold War helped steer the world to a peaceful transition and the spread of democracy.
“The people of Israel will always remember his commitment to the security of Israel, his important contribution to the liberation of Soviet Jewry and his efforts to promote peace in the Middle East at the Madrid Conference.”
The 1991 conference revives Israel-Palestinian peace negotiations.
“We have lost an American hero who fought in the killing fields of the Second World War, who knew to distinguish between good and evil and how to build strong regional coalitions against cruel tyrants,” President Reuven Rivlin noted.
Rivlin added that Bush led his country with “skill and wisdom” at the end of the Cold War’
He continued, “Under his leadership, our strategic relationship evolved into the strongest of alliances. “The Jewish people will always remember his help in bringing the Jews of Ethiopia to Israel and his determination to ensure the Arab world recognize the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security.
“On behalf of the people of Israel, my deepest condolences to a true friend of Israel.”
Israel’s UN Ambassador Danon said Bush stood against PLO terrorism and was instrumental in helping saving tens of thousands of Jews from the Former Soviet Union and Ethiopia.
“America lost a patriot and remarkable individual today,” he added.
World Jewish Congress President, Ronald S. Lauder, described Bush as a genuine American hero and a true friend of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
He added, “I got to know then Vice President Bush well when I served in the Reagan Administration, and we had many conversations in which he expressed unambiguous sympathy and support for a broad range of Jewish causes.”
“The Jewish people will never forget the instrumental role played by the late President in making possible the dramatic airlift to freedom of Ethiopian Jewry and his unwavering assistance in enabling Soviet Jews to emigrate. President Bush was also responsible for revoking the scurrilous United Nations resolution that equated Zionism with racism.
‘Despite occasional disagreements, he was a firm ally of the State of Israel and worked tirelessly to achieve an end to the Israeli-Arab conflict. As an American, I also stand in awe of his leadership and determination during the first Gulf War that saw the effective end of Saddam Hussein’s threats against the Jewish state. He embodied the values of decency and patriotism at their finest.”
Bush served one term as president from 1989 to 1993, Bill Clinton ended his hopes of a second term in office.
Former President George W. Bush, eldest of his sons, and his wife, Laura, accompanied his father’s body to Washington.
Jimmy Carter, Clinton, Bush and Barack Obama are now the surviving former presidents.
Bush entered politics in the 1960s, elected to Congress in 1967, he served as Ambassador to the United Nations and China, CIA head Republican National Committee chairman before two terms as Ronald Reagan’s vice president.