Former US presidents to honor Peres

Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, Henry Kissinger among those invited to special White House dinner in which Obama will present President Peres with Medal of Freedom


WASHINGTON – Former US presidents, state secretaries and a long line of Hollywood stars and business tycoons will take part in a special event to be hosted by President Barack Obama in honor of Shimon Peres.

Peres and George W. Bush (Photo: Ariel Yerusalimsky)

Peres and George W. Bush - Photo: Ariel Yerusalimsky

The White House is set to host a grandiose dinner on June 13 during which Obama will award Peres with the Medal of Freedom.

The White House has invited former presidents Jimmy Carter, George Bush Senior, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The dinner will take place at the State Dining Room which can hold up to 120 people.

The dinner will also be attended by Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, Israel’s Ambassador to the US Michael Oren and US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapira.

The White House has decided not to invite any Jewish leaders so as not to offend anyone who was not invited. It is still considering which Jewish congressmen to invite. The task at hand has reportedly caused organizers many sleepless nights.

Peres. Special honor Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg

Peres. Special honor - Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg

Among the celebrities set to participate in the event are singer Barbra Streisand, filmmaker Steven Spielberg and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Obama wishes to pay special tribute to Peres and that is why he has decided to separate this event from the one which honored this year’s other 12 Medal of Freedom recipients which was held earlier this week.


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By Yitzhak Benhorin