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President Obama to receive Israel’s Presidential Medal

By Mason White 1:17 PM February 20, 2013
President Obama and President Peres 

By: David Ross
(Scroll down for video) Despite the rocky relationship President Obama had with the State of Israel in recent years, he will still receive a prestigious medal award, according to press reports in the United Kingdom.

Barack Obama will receive one of the most prestigious honors of Israel, during his upcoming visit to the Middle East. On Monday, the office of Israeli President Shimon Peres announced that Obama will receive the Presidential Medal of distinction.

A statement said that Obama will be recognized for his “unique and significant contribution to the consolidation of the State of Israel and the security of its citizens.”

Obama’s political opponents have complained constantly that he has tried to distance himself from the traditional U.S. support of Israel. During the recent U.S. presidential elections, the Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, accused Obama of repeated efforts to throw Israel under the bus.

A recent pick by Obama for Secretary of Defense has also been criticized because of comments allegedly made ​​by Chuck Hagel on the power of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington.

The Obama White House has always maintained its support for Israel, but the president has had a tense relationship with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in particular with regard to the settlements in the West Bank and the lack of a peace process with the Palestinians.

President Peres and the prize committee behind the award, note Obama’s friendship and support of the Iron Dome missile defense system. Obama’s visit to Israel will be his first visit to Israel as president. He did visit Israel as candidate Obama.

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