Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Bayit Yehudi party, had praise on Sunday for U.S. Senator John McCain, whom he branded as “a hero”.
Bennett had earlier met with McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham. The three discussed the developments in Syria, Iran, Lebanon and Egypt, and how they affect the U.S. and Israel.
Writing on his Facebook page after the meeting, Bennett wrote, “A special connection was made with John McCain,” adding that the 2008 presidential candidate was an "American hero."
“There are three reasons I think so highly of him,” wrote Bennett.
The first reason, he wrote, is that McCain "is a true friend of Israel and is fully committed to us." The second reason is that "he is making his way to meet troops in Afghanistan and celebrate the American Independence Day, the 4th of July, with them. He does this every year. With the soldiers, in the field.”
The third reason that he is highly appreciative of McCain, said Bennett, is that "when he was captured in Vietnam in 1968, he was offered a release due to his superior rank in the army. He refused because there were Americans imprisoned before him, and he believed that it would be inappropriate for him to be released before them.
"He remained captive for five (!) years under excruciating torture. How can you not appreciate such a person?" wrote Bennett.
McCain has long been a vocal opponent of President Barack Obama's Syrian policy. He recently visited Syria, becoming the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the country since the start of the war in March 2011.
In Syria he met with Free Syrian Army commanders and later said that they had all told him, “Assad has turned the tide of battle on the ground. His foreign allies have all doubled down on him. Iran is all in. Russia is all in. Shiite militants are flowing into the fight from Iraq. And Hizbullah fighters have invaded Syria by the thousands.”