Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed condloences over the passing of Jewish-American comedian Joan Rivers Thursday night.
Rivers, a staunch supporter of Israel who became a mainstay on American television defending the Jewish State over the summer, died in New York at age 81 Thursday. She was hospitalized August 28 after going into cardiac arrest in a doctor’s office following a routine procedure. The New York state health department is investigating the circumstances.
“Joan Rivers brought laughter to millions around the world and was proud of her Jewish heritage and a vocal supporter of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “We will miss her deeply and we send our heartfelt condolences to her family.”
Rivers made waves recently after setting off on a lengthy pro-Israel rant when asked by TMZ for her opinion on this summer’s Gaza conflict, saying Hamas was to blame for the flare-up with Israel as “you cannot throw rockets and expect people not to defend themselves.”
She also said international press should be “ashamed” of their coverage of the conflict, which tends to favor the Palestinian narrative.
Other public figures also weighed in on the death of Rivers, a raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities.
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) September 4, 2014
First Robin. Now Joan. The world just became a less funny place. RIP Joan Rivers.
— Gilbert Gottfried (@RealGilbert) September 4, 2014
Goodbye my friend Joan Rivers. You were a huge part of my professional life and you brightened up the horizon with your Chutzpah! Sad!
— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) September 4, 2014
“No one loved life, laughter, and a good time more than Joan. We would have dinner and laugh and gossip and I always left the table smiling. She was a brassy, often outrageous, and hilarious performer who made millions laugh. In private, she was the picture of elegance and class. I will miss her, ” Barbara Walters said in a statement.