Outgoing Israeli President Shimon Peres is awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award in the U.S.. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Outgoing Israeli President Shimon Peres is awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday (June 26). Peres is the first sitting Israeli president to receive a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award in the U.S.. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for his work as foreign minister during the Middle East peace talks that led to the Oslo Accords. Peres thanked the U.S. for their long-term friendship; "I learned the two great bodies that are still under the icon marble dome, the Senate and the House of Representatives, offered a tiny Israel, struggling for life, an unbelievable, an unbreakable friendship." The White House had previously said Peres "has strengthened the unbreakable bonds between Israel and the United States" as an advocate for Israel's security and for peace. Although Israeli heads of state are not directly involved in political decision-making, Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, used the presidency as a pulpit for advocating peace with the Palestinians, often taking a more conciliatory stance than Netanyahu. Peres, 90, ends his seven-year presidential term in July.