President Biden on Thursday received the Israeli Presidential Medal of Honor during a reception in Jerusalem in recognition of his decades-long commitment to the U.S.-Israel relationship.
“As a leader, I can say without hesitation that being known as a friend of Israel and receiving this award today is among the greatest honors of my career. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart,” Biden said.
Biden joined Israeli President Isaac Herzog for a ceremony where the two men spoke about the importance of the ties between the U.S. and Israel, and how Biden has embraced Israel as an ally dating back to his time as a senator.
Herzog spoke about how Israeli diplomats were struck by Biden’s enthusiasm during previous meetings when he was a senator, and Herzog remarked that Biden still carries that enthusiasm with him today.
Biden used his remarks to speak about the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship. He highlighted U.S. investments in Israeli defense and efforts to broker cooperation in the Middle East, which is a key focus of Biden’s visit to the region this week.
“As you know, there’s still so much more work to be done. That’s why America’s commitment to Israel’s security remains ironclad, today and in the future,” Biden said.
“That commitment is not about me or any other American president,” he continued. “It springs from a deep affinity and enduring connection between our peoples. And it’s our responsibility as leaders to nurture that bond.”
The President’s Medal of Honor is typically awarded to recognize those who have made notable contributions to the State of Israel.
Biden will spend part of his day on Friday in Jerusalem delivering remarks at a hospital before meeting with Palestinian leaders in the West Bank. He will then travel to Saudi Arabia for meetings with Kingdom leaders on Friday and Saturday before heading back to Washington, D.C.
Source: The Hill