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David Bedein


Daniel Inouye
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In Memory of Daniel Inouye: The US Senator who Registered to Sell Israel Bonds without Commission in 1948

by David Bedein, Dec 20, 2012

As a journalist in Israel for the past 26 years, I have met hundreds of polticians from around the world who visit Israel and laud the Jewish state with superlatives of support.

There is only one visiting politician whom I ever met who had tears in his eyes as he discussed his connection to Israel.

That was Senator Daniel Inouye, the Democrat from Hawaii who has just passed away, who just passed away

When I first interviewed Inouye in 1987, I held out my right hand to shake his hand, not realizing that he did have an right arm.

Although I felt embarrassed, he went on to reassure me, with a genuine good spirit, that his loss of a right arm in the war against Germany in World War II was nothing like the losses suffered by the Jewish people to the Nazis.

The Senator went on to relate that in the 20 months that Inouye spent in US Army hospitals recovering from the loss of his right arm and other wounds, he learned about the Jewish death camps from a fellow officer in the hospital and that he spent his convalescence reading up on Jewish history, and, when Israel was formed in 1948, he became a registered Israeli bond salesman - without commission.

Looking at my kippah, I will never forget how the Senator smiled and told me that he spent a few years considering conversion to Judaism, but that he did not want to make his Methodist mother uncomfortable.

This was a man whose support for Israel and the Jewish people was deep and geunine.

Daniel Inouye will be mourned in Jerusalem.

*********
Editor's note: AIPAC has issued the following statement:
 
December 17, 2012

 

 

 

 

AIPAC MOURNS THE PASSING OF SENATOR INOUYE

WASHINGTONAIPAC mourns the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye, an extraordinary American patriot and hero. Senator Inouye deeply understood the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and as chairman of the Appropriations Committee, worked tirelessly and effectively to ensure that America’s ally, Israel, had the necessary resources to defend her people. He will be missed by all who appreciated his many decades of leadership in strengthening the ties between America and Israel.

 
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