Israeli President Shimon Peres will be in DC today to receive the nation's highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom. Peres was selected by President Obama for the award that is meant to recognize "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors." In addition to the medal, President Obama will give Peres the original letter issued by President Truman in which he gave his support for the creation of the Israeli state.
Unfortunately, President Peres has chosen to turn what should be an honored and somber occasion into an opportunity to insult the United States. He will use the moment to once again lobby for the release of Jonathan Pollard. Pollard was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in the 1980's for passing classified U.S. intelligence to the Israeli's.
"Jonathan's release, Mr. President, will be a real medal of freedom for us and for all of Israel!"
The timing of this stunt couldn't be more inappropriate. Just this past weekend was the 45th anniversary of the sinking of the USS Liberty by the Israeli military.
While Israeli and U.S. government officials both maintain the attack was simply the result of a breakdown in communication between the Israeli forces and the U.S. Navy, former U.S. Rep. Paul Findley, R-Ill., maintains the attack was deliberate.
"The Israeli government almost succeeded in destroying an American Navy ship and blaming the attack on the Arab governments," he said.
He said he believes the attack was an attempt by Israeli forces to solidify its alliance with the United States and to draw the United States into the Six-Day War.