Joe Lieberman
Joe LiebermanArutz Sheva

Former US Senator Joe Lieberman died on Wednesday in New York City at the age of 82, due to complications from a fall.

“Former United States Senator Joseph I. Lieberman died this afternoon, March 27, 2024, in New York City due to complications from a fall. He was 82 years old. His beloved wife, Hadassah, and members of his family were with him as he passed. Senator Lieberman’s love of God, his family, and America endured throughout his life of service in the public interest,” his family said in a statement.

Lieberman, who served as a United States senator from Connecticut from 1989 to 2013, was the first Orthodox Jew to serve in the Senate. He was Al Gore’s running mate in the 2000 election, and thus became the first Jewish candidate on the national ticket of a major party.

Lieberman sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 but dropped out after a weak showing in the early primaries. In 2006, he was defeated in the party primary in Connecticut and then stayed in the race as an independent, winning after enough Republicans voted for him.

In 2008, Lieberman was nearly chosen to be John McCain’s running mate. McCain was leaning strongly toward choosing Lieberman but eventually chose Sarah Palin due to pushback from conservatives over Lieberman’s liberal record.

In 2021, he spoke to Arutz Sheva-Israel National News about the importance and meaning of Shabbat.

Living in the digital age, in which smartphones and technology make it possible to work “all the time every day,” the former longtime US Senator said at the time that “unplugging” for one day a week is all the more significant these days.

More recently, Lieberman denounced Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for his statements in which he called for new elections in Israel and described Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “a threat to peace”.

“For a US Senator, let alone a majority leader, let alone the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in Washington, to tell Israelis that it’s time to get rid of [Netanyahu], that’s outrageous,” the former Senator told WABC 770 AM.

Calling the speech a “mistake,” Lieberman said that he “can’t ever remember anything like it.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday night, "Sara and I grieve with Hadassah and the entire Lieberman family on the passing of our beloved Joe Lieberman."

"Joe was an exemplary public servant, an American patriot and a matchless champion of the Jewish people and the Jewish state."

"In my very first meeting with him decades ago, I was struck by his integrity, decency and civic courage. He had a deep moral sense and common sense and was fearless in the defense of truth," said Netanyahu.

"He was also an extraordinarily kind and loyal personal friend. We will miss you greatly Joe. May the Lieberman family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem," concluded Netanyahu.

President Isaac Herzog said, “It is with great sadness that I - and all the Israeli people - mourn the passing of former Senator Joe Lieberman.”

“Michal and I are proud to have called him a dear friend, and I relied frequently on his wise counsel. Joe was a great statesman, a true patriot, and a steadfast friend to the people of Israel. His legacy will be one of dedication to duty, and devotion to his country, his faith, his people, and his family,” added Herzog.

“We send our deepest condolences to his dear wife Hadassah and all his family.”