Apparently, dissing Israel for the last few months of the election season is something Israel appreciates. It has now been announced that President Barack Obama will be awarded Israel’s Presidential Medal of Distinction when he visits Israel in March. For those of you keeping score, if he actually shows up in March, that would be the first time he has set foot there, despite being President of the United States for four years already and achieving reelection. According to the Israeli President’s office that made the announcement, the distinguished award is reserved for people like Obama that have made a “unique and significant contribution to strengthening the State of Israel and the security of its citizens.”
It’s a little mind boggling, for sure. President Obama has not exactly had an awesome relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, culminating in his refusal to meet with him running up to Election Day. It was widely theorized that Obama was afraid of any political fallout if Netanyahu pressured him on action against Iran. So, like any good Leader of the Free World, Obama decided the best course of action was to just avoid the problem like the plague. This isn’t the first time Obama has received an award that had everyone scratching their heads. Remember the Nobel Peace Prize before he actually did anything as President? And how he went on after that to become the leader for civilians killed by drone strikes?
So, what are the Israelis thinking? Maybe they think that if they give him a medal, maybe he’ll find the audacity to man up and actually show up in their country. We’ll have to wait and see if President Obama sees fit to make the trip in March or if he accepts the award in absentia.
Of course, this is all contingent on whether he has a vacation planned for that week or not.