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June 14, 2012 8:57 am

Obama Awards Israeli Leader Peres with Medal of Freedom (VIDEO)

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President Obama and Shimon Peres at the White House. Photo: screenshot via youtube.

President Obama awarded Shimon Peres, the president of Israel, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Wednesday, noting the Israeli leader’s commitment to achieving peace in the Middle East and the security of Israel.

“Shimon knows the necessity of strength,” said Obama.  “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.”

Peres, who also won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize, along with former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat, reportedly discussed recent developments in the Middle East and the Iranian nuclear program with Obama, according to Haaretz.

“Shimon to all of our friends here tonight, and to our fellow citizens across America and Israel, may we never lose sight of our destination.  Shalom, and may we always be as young as our dreams.   L’chaim,” toasted President Obama.

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To watch a video of the ceremony, click below.

“opened its eyes to stand up against oppression, poverty and corruption to seek freedom.”

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