“I receive this honor today on behalf of the people of Israel. They are the true recipients of this honour,” Shimon Peres, the president of Israel says on receiving the US Presidential Medal of Freedom.
As reported in and on several Israeli news channels and papers including the Jerusalem Post , Haaretz and Nana Channel 10, The White House awarded President Shimon Peres the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his achievements in leading Israel and working for peace. In Peres' typical unpretentious style, he awarded the honour to the Israeli people.
Peres entered office as the ninth President of Israel on July 15th, 2007. A strong advocate of peace, he is only the second Israeli to receive America’s highest civilian honor. As the Jerusalem Post reports, President George W. Bush awarded former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky the medal for his defense of democracy.
Peres was born August, 1923 in Polish controlled Belarus, 100 kilometers south of Minsk. As noted in an extended interview in The Academy of Achievement, in 1934, aged 11, he emigrated to Israel, then known as Palestine.
Peres' political and diplomatic career extends over 50 years. He was first elected to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, in 1959, as a member of the Mapai party. After Prime Minister Rabin's assassination in 1995, Peres became Acting Prime Minister and Acting Defense Minister for seven months until the 1996 elections. During his short term, Peres promoted the use of the Internet in Israel and created the first website of an Israeli prime minister.