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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Obama's award is from Peres and not from the people of Israel

I'm getting a lot of email asking me how Israel could be awarding its 'highest civilian honor' to the most anti-Israel President of the United States ever, Barack Hussein Obama. Here's some fairly typical coverage from Fox News.
Israel will award President Barack Obama the country's Presidential Medal of Distinction during his upcoming visit.

Israeli President Shimon Peres' office said Monday that Obama will be recognized for his "unique and significant contribution to strengthening the State of Israel and the security of its citizens."
Obama is scheduled to visit Israel in March -- his first as president.
Obama has often had a tense relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Jewish state's West Bank settlement policies and the lack of peace process with the Palestinians.
But Peres and the committee behind the award noted Obama's overall friendship and backing of the Iron Dome missile defense system.
Israel's Presidential Medal of Distinction is comparable to the France's "Legion of Honor" or the "Order of Canada."
When this story was covered in Israel, it was clear that this was a medal decided upon and awarded by President Shimon Peres and not by any elected representative of the people of Israel. Notice that the JPost headline is "Peres to honor Obama with medal..." and the article makes quite clear that the medal is a quid pro quo for Obama awarding the medal of freedom to Peres last June. This is from the JPost link:
In the business of presidential medals, reciprocity is the name of the game.

President Shimon Peres will honor US President Barack Obama with Israel’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Distinction, just as Obama conferred the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian award, on Peres at a presidential dinner in Washington in June.

Peres will present the medal to Obama next month at a state dinner in Jerusalem to be attended by senior Israeli public figures and representatives of the US administration.


In fact no one sings Obama’s praises louder and with greater frequency than Peres.
The Presidential Medal of Distinction, which came into being at Peres’s initiative, was awarded for the first time last year. Among the people on the advisory committee is Israel’s fifth president Yitzhak Navon, who in addition to his former role, is one of Peres’s lifelong friends, and, like the president, is a devoted disciple of David Ben-Gurion.
Last year when Peres received the Medal of Freedom, there were many voices raised in Israel and the United States urging him to decline it until such time as convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, who has spent more than quarter of a century in an American prison, is released.

After Peres accepted the medal, there were those who urged him to give it back for the same reason. Now advocates for Pollard are protesting the awarding of a medal to Obama at a time when Pollard’s period of incarceration is approaching 10,000 days. 
Peres giving the award to Obama (and to Henry Kissinger last year) says no more about what Israelis think than Obama presenting a medal of freedom to Toni Morrison said about what Americans think.

But Peres presenting a medal to Obama says even less than Obama presenting a medal to Peres. Obama was at least 'elected' by the 'American people' (the scare quotes are my acknowledgement that some people may have voted more than once). Peres, who has never won a popular election in this country, was elected by the Knesset in a political deal because they had some confidence that he was old enough that he would keep his pants on... unlike our previous President.

As I pointed out last year, despite his angelic image in the eyes of the world, Israelis know exactly who and what Shimon Peres is.
If Peres had any morals and convictions, he would decline that medal unless Obama releases Pollard, thereby forcing Obama to choose between Jews and Israel - on the one hand - and the heirs of the meshumad (destroyer) Caspar Weinberger - Yimach Shmo v'Zichro (may his name and memory be obliterated) - on the other hand.

But as we have known in this country since the 1950's that Shimon Peres has no morals and no convictions other than the greater glory of Shimon Peres.
We Israelis cannot stop Shimon Peres from presenting a medal to whomever he pleases, and the Prime Minister will - probably much to his chagrin - have to show up to the dinner. But trust me on this: This medal has even less meaning than the Nobel Peace Prize that Obama got for his 'future contributions to peace.'

Peres is a master tuches licker.

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At 4:34 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Well, I think the issue is that your President only seems to curry favor from the Progressive Democrats. And I guarantee you that virtually everybody in the U.S. sees this as an Israeli endorsement of the next Progressive marcuse new left candidate, Hillary2016.

Unless you're saying that this medal (and the one given to Henry Kissenger) are invented by Pres. Peres and are not official Israeli medals, then what's to say. Profoundly confusing.

At 4:42 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

BTW, AtlasShrugs has created hesitation in my frustration, as she expresses sympathy for a small country trying anything to keep above water, including this. So, I could be very wrong. I was there when the warcrime rockets flew onto Israeli civilians in summer '06, but I returned to the U.S. after a couple of weeks. I throw tantrums over the silence from Israel and the U.S. over the warcrime rockets that never end, but there has got to be something I'm not seeing in this picture.

At 5:51 PM, Blogger BH in Iowa said...

Actually, greasing The Celebrity's ego may not be a bad strategy. Then again at this point it's probably expected.

At 11:07 AM, Blogger olog-hai said...

JFTR, that Fox News page features an Associated Press article. They have been doing that a lot over the past few years versus doing their own news writing.


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