Politicians, NGOs mourn the passing of Sheldon Adelson

"The US-Israel relationship is stronger today because of him."

Sheldon Adelson speaks during an inteview (photo credit: REUTERS/TYRONE SIU)
Sheldon Adelson speaks during an inteview
(photo credit: REUTERS/TYRONE SIU)
Politicians and public figures in Israel and the US sent their condolences to the family of Sheldon Adelson, after the 87-year-old Jewish tycoon passed away on Tuesday.
"[My wife] Sara and I are heartbroken by the passing of Sheldon Adelson," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement, adding that Jews in Israel and abroad mourn his loss.
"He was a wonderful friend to us personally and an incredible champion of the Jewish people, the Jewish state and the alliance between Israel and America," he said. "Sheldon unabashedly loved America and cherished the freedom and opportunity it gave him. He worked tirelessly to ensure that very same freedom and opportunity would be given to others in America and around the world.
"The warmth of his heart, the clarity of his thinking and the decisiveness of his actions were truly exceptional."
Adelson's importance not just to Israel, but to global Jewry, was emphasized in a statement by Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog, who called him "the modern Montefiore, the breaker of the walls and the builder of Jerusalem."
"I had the privilege of having had a deep personal connection with him for many years," Herzog said. "Without a doubt, he was one of this generation's great Jewish leaders.
"He always stood out for his kind attitude, openness, modesty and accessibility, and even when we disagreed, I loved him very much."
Outgoing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that Adelson's life "represents the best of the American dream."
"From his service to his country in the US Army, to his entrepreneurial spirit, to his efforts to strengthen the alliance between Israel and the US, Sheldon's life was one of great consequence," Pompeo's statement reads.
The world, Israel and the US are safer because of his work, Pompeo explained. "His philanthropic giving has impacted the world of medicine, education, and the lives of Jewish-Americans. His political involvement strengthened our democracy."
"Our nation lost a remarkable man with the passing of my friend Sheldon Adelson," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement.
Adelson "poured his success into philanthropy," the Senate's top Republican continued, "from drug abuse treatment to research into cancer and other diseases to the countless Jewish causes around the world that were especially close to his heart."
DONALD TRUMP JR. wrote in response to Adelson's passing that "Sheldon was a true American patriot and a giant among men. He treated his employees like family. His philanthropic generosity changed countless lives." He added that "The US-Israel relationship is stronger today because of him."
Former US president George W. Bush dubbed Adelson an "American patriot" who "battled his way out of a tough Boston neighborhood to build a successful enterprise."
In a statement, the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) praised Adelson for being "one of the most consequential figures in American Jewish history," calling him "an extraordinary philanthropist and a dear mentor and friend."
Birthright called Sheldon "A man of vision, action, Zionism and inspiration," adding that, "Over the years we were both honored and humbled to work alongside the Adelson family, which ultimately guarantees the future of the Jewish people."
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein wrote that "The late Sheldon Adelson was a Zionist in all he did; a warm Jew with a great love for the State of Israel.
"His activity in Israel and around the world for the state was well known. His passing is a loss to all lovers of Israel," Edelstein added. 
"During my time as chairman of the steering committee of Birthright, Sheldon was one of the program's great contributors," the minister wrote. "I saw up close his deeds, dedication, caring and generosity. I saw up close how important Zionism was to him, just like his father's legacy, as he used to point out. May his memory be blessed."
Yaakov Hagoel, chairman of the World Zionist Organization, also expressed his condolences in a statement, calling Adelson "one of the greatest supporters and contributors in our generation for Zionism, Israel and the Jewish people."
"We received the news about the passing of Sheldon G. Adelson with a heavy heart and great sadness," the Israeli-American Council (IAC) said in a statement, mourning "the loss of our visionary, mentor and true friend.
"Sheldon’s unequivocal love of Israel and of the Jewish people will be a legacy that will always inspire us. We will greatly miss his wisdom, leadership and dedication, and we will strive to continue to fulfill his vision in support of Israel and of the Jewish people."
Outgoing US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman took to Twitter to mourn the loss of "the greatest of Jewish philanthropists."
"While blessed with vast wealth, he had exceptional humility and faith," he tweeted. "No one will fill his shoes."
"The Jewish people mourn one of its proudest sons, Sheldon Adelson z”l, who devoted himself to strengthening his people, his homeland and the bonds between his beloved America and Israel," Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer said over Twitter.
"He was a true giant, as good as he was great, whose memory will never be forgotten."