White House Honor for Israel’s Peres, With Critical Issues Looming

By Dan Raviv originally posted in June 2012

Here in Washington, Israel’s President Shimon Peres is enjoying the highest possible American government accolades — receiving the Medal of Freedom Award from President Barack Obama.
shimon peres, israel spy, spies against armageddon, israel covert operationsThe 88-year-old, still in good health and mentally sharp, now holds a ceremonial post; but in past decades Peres was a senior defense official, a cabinet minister in several capacities, and prime minister of Israel.   He pops up often in our book, Spies Against Armageddon, as he was entrusted by Israel’s first prime minister — David Ben-Gurion — with carrying out the fateful, secret decision to develop nuclear weapons.
Peres also has been an active peacemaker, whenever peace efforts seem possible in the Middle East, and he calls on the current coalition government in his country to make stronger efforts at re-starting peace talks with the Palestinians.
In remarks prepared for delivery on Wednesday evening at the White House, President Obama praises the newest Medal of Freedom honoree:

“The United States is fortunate to have many allies and partners around the world.  Of course, one of our strongest allies, and one of our closest friends, is the State of Israel.  And no individual has done so much over so many years to build our alliance and bring our two nations closer as the leader we honor tonight—our friend, Shimon Peres.

“…in him we see the essence of Israel itself—an indomitable spirit that will not be denied. … Shimon knows the necessity of strength.  As Ben-Gurion said, ‘an Israel capable of defending herself—which cannot be destroyed—can bring peace nearer.’

“And so he’s worked with every American President since John F. Kennedy.  And it’s why I’ve worked with Prime Minister Netanyahu to ensure that the security cooperation between the United States and Israel is closer and stronger than it has ever been.  Because the security of the State of Israel is non-negotiable.  And the bonds between us are unbreakable.

“And yet, Shimon knows that a nation’s security depends, not just on the strength of its arms, but upon the righteousness of its deeds—its moral compass.  He knows, as Scripture teaches, that we must not only seek peace, we must pursue it.  And so it has been the cause of his life—peace, security and dignity, for Israelis and Palestinians and all Israel’s Arab neighbors.”

September 27, 2016

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