Israeli Presidential Medal of Honour awarded to President Biden

July 15, 2022 by Gil Tanenbaum - TPS
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President of the State of Israel Isaac Herzog bestowed the Israeli Presidential Medal of Honor upon Joe Biden, the President of the United States, at a ceremony held at the official President’s Residence in Jerusalem on Thursday evening.

President Biden received the medal Scrennshot

The award ceremony came as part of a two-day visit to Israel that President Biden began on Wednesday. And it also came after earlier in the day Biden signed the historic Jerusalem Declaration with Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid. The Declaration reaffirms the special US-Israel strategic Partnership

The two Presidents traded warm and friendly comments before the official presentation of the Medal of Honor.

President Herzog welcomed President Biden saying, “Just as we are united in promoting peace and cooperation in the Middle East, we are united in our opposition to Iran’s terror and drive for a nuclear weapons capability, which is the greatest threat to this region, and perhaps the world at large. We know the United States is committed to Israel’s security, as you have reiterated throughout this visit. This was underscored in the important Jerusalem Joint Declaration which you and Prime Minister Lapid agreed upon today, echoing your own ironclad, unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security and wellbeing.”

On how the new Declaration condemns antisemitism Herzog added, “I commend your administration’s crystal-clear moral stance against all forms of antisemitism and delegitimization of Israel around the world. Thank you for always standing by us.

“Mr President, in our private meeting moments ago,” added President Herzog, “I handed you a document found in our national archives: the minutes of your meeting with Prime Minister Golda Meir nearly 50 years ago, which you often recount with fondness. What is interesting is the reflection of the Israeli diplomat who wrote the minutes, and added the following concluding remark: ‘…the Senator was full of respect and admiration for the Prime Minister and repeatedly said that he had come to learn, but, on the other hand was carried away by his enthusiasm…’ President Biden, your great enthusiasm remains the same, and we all feel it here.”

“President Biden your great enthusiasm remains with us until today and we feel it here,” he added.

President Herzog concluded his remarks by telling President Biden, “You say, ‘God Bless America.’ We say, in our prayers, ‘The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.’ I say to you, my dear friend, The Lord will give strength unto our peoples; the Lord will bless our peoples with peace.”

President Biden signs the visitor;s book as President Herzog watches on

President Biden said that seeing the State of Israel today thrive today and seeing the “wildest dreams of its founding mothers and fathers grow into reality is close to miraculous.”

Biden quoted a Catholic hymn based on the Hebrew Psalms that says, “Until we meet again may God hold you in the palm of his hands.” He then said, “every time I come here… Thank God, God seems to be holding us in the palms of his hands as we seem to get stronger, not weaker.”

“The nation that made the desert bloom and built the Iron Dome I see people growing more secure, greater and more confident,” added Biden. “I see a nation that has forged peace before and will do it again and a nation that will never dwell alone because as long as there will be a United States you will never ever dwell alone.”

“As a leader, I can say that being known as a friend of Israel and receiving this award today is one of the greatest honours of my career and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.”

President Biden signed the visitor’s book referring to the Irish connections both presidents have. President Herzog’s late father Chaim, who was also a president of Israel, was born in Belfast and raised in Dublin.

In the book, he wrote: “Bougie, my friend, thank you for all you and your family have done to deepen the ironclad bond between our two great countries. From our shared Irish roots to our shared love of Israel, we are united in heart and spirit. May our friendship endure and continue to grow! That is the Irish of it, as my grandfather Finnegan would say. God bless you. Joe. 7.14.22”

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