During a short verbal exchange Wednesday at the Ben Gurion Airport Terminal Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger thanked President George Bush for the US's military intervention in Iraq.
"I want to thank you for your support of Israel and in particular for waging a war against Iraq," Metzger told Bush, according to the chief rabbi's spokesman.
Bush reportedly answered that the chief rabbi's words "warmed his heart".
Metzger's stand on the Iraqi war, while reflecting the Israeli majority and Orthodox Jewry, is not shared with most US Jews. The American Jewish Committee's annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion, published last year, found that 70 percent of US Jews disapprove of the Iraq war, with 28 percent backing it.