Sen. John McCain speaks at Albuquerque New Mexico during a Memorial day event held in 2008. He is wearing a purple heart..
(photo credit: T TOES/ WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked eulogized the late US senator John McCain on social media writing that "he was a true patriot and a true friend of Israel."
McCain passed away on Saturday from glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, at the age of 81.
Shaked lauded the veteran US Navy pilot for his refusal of an offer from the Vietcong to release him in 1968 when his father, John S. McCain Jr, was named commander of all U.S. forces in Vietnam.
"He refused to be liberated from his captivity before other soldiers were released," Shaked wrote.
McCain was captured in October 1967 when his A-4E Skyhawk was shot down by a missile over Hanoi. He was a prisoner of war until his release in 1973.
"He knew the challenges [facing] the state of Israel," Shaked wrote, "during his 36 years of service...the governments of Israel knew they had a friend. May his memory be a blessing."
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman also wrote on social media a personal story about the late US Senator.
"During one of our last meetings in Washington D.C.," wrote Liberman, "he showed me a photograph taken when he was in captivity and said: "Despite the terrible suffering, I never doubted my commitment to the values of freedom and justice."
"McCain will be missed by all of us very much," wrote the Defense Minister.
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