JERUSALEM (JTA) — President Obama will receive the Presidential Medal of Distinction from Israeli President Shimon Peres.
The award will be presented to Obama during a state dinner hosted by Peres in Jerusalem during Obama’s visit next month to Israel. It is the first time that a serving U.S. president will receive an award of this kind from the president of Israel, according to Peres’ office.
"Barack Obama is a true friend of the State of Israel, and has been since the beginning of his public life," read the recommendation of the advisory committee for the Presidential Medal of Distinction that was released by Peres’ office on Monday after the decision was announced. "As President of the United States of America he has stood with Israel in times of crisis. During his time as president he has made a unique contribution to the security of the State of Israel, both through further strengthening the strategic cooperation between the countries and through the joint development of technology to defend against rockets and terrorism."
The National Jewish Democratic Council praised Israel’s decision to present the prestigious award to Obama.