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Israeli Presidential Medal of Honor

President Shimon Peres created the Israeli Presidential Medal of Honor to recognize those “who have made an outstanding contribution to the State of Israel or to humanity, through their talents, services, or in any other form.” The medal, designed by Yossi Matityahu, was awarded for the first time on March 1, 2012.

Originally it was awarded based on recommendations from a committee led by retired Supreme Court President Justice Meir Shamgar. President Reuven Rivlin disbanded the committee and did not award the medal during his term. President Isaac Herzog reestablished it under the chairmanship of retired Supreme Court Justice Prof. Yoram Danziger and announced his intention to award it to U.S. President Joe Biden.

It was never intended for solely Israelis or Jews and has been awarded to Zubin Mehta, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Angela Merkel.


Sources: Greer Fay Cashman, “Herzog revives President’s Medal of Distinction award,” Jerusalem Post, (April 19, 2022).
Lahav Harkov, “Joe Biden to receive Israeli Presidential Medal of Honor,” Jerusalem Post, (July 7, 2022).
“President Isaac Herzog will award the Israeli Presidential Medal of Honor to U.S. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. during his visit to Israel next week,” Press Release, President of the State of Israel, (July 7, 2022).
“President’s Medal (Israel),” Wikipedia.