Long-time American senator, war hero, and repeat presidential candidate John McCain lost his battle with brain cancer on Saturday.
Among his many other accolades, Israeli leaders sought to remind everyone of how staunch an ally McCain was of the Jewish state.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Twitter: "I am deeply saddened by the passing of John McCain, a great American patriot and a great supporter of Israel. I will always treasure the constant friendship he showed to the people of Israel and to me personally. His support for Israel never wavered. It sprang from his belief in democracy and freedom. The State of Israel salutes John McCain."
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni said of McCain: "He loved Israel and believed in its righteousness and always supported its security. Israel owes him a big thanks. I had the privilege of working with him and will always remember the rare person he was."
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked tweeted: "He loved his land with all his might and he recognized Israel’s challenges. Over 36 years of public service in the House of Representatives and Senate, Israeli governments knew they always had a friend in him."
John McCain first visited Israel in the late 1970s, and he returned to the Holy Land many more times over the following decades.
During his years in the Senate, McCain unwaveringly defended Israel and opposed any measures that might endanger the security of the Jewish state. Most recently, despite supporting a diplomatic solution to the Iran nuclear crisis, McCain harshly criticized former President Barack Obama's approach to the situation because, among other things, it left Israel vulnerable.
PHOTO: John McCain prays at Jerusalem's Western Wall during a 2008 visit to Israel. (Nati Shohat /FLASH90)