Dear Friends and my dearest friend President Bill Clinton,
When I call you my friend I know that I speak for the entire people of Israel.
Your unwavering commitment to the Jewish People and your moving support for the State of Israel will always be cherished by each and every one of us.
Your love extended far beyond the American shores, reaching over seas and mountains, straight into our hearts. Your unique ability to connect with people on a personal level, the amazing combination between your intellectual and emotional intelligence made you the most beloved leader on earth.
You were the first leader in the era of globalization and you recognized and harnessed its qualities. Your empathy crossed divides and borders. You transferred the "zero sum" mentality into win-win situations for the people, from Northern Ireland to the Balkans, and from Africa to the Middle East. Where possible - with an embrace. Where needed - with strength. And always with charm.
You invested great wisdom, boundless energy and skill to promote peace between us and our neighbors. You presided over the signing of the Israeli – Jordanian peace treaty. Your work laid the foundations which will one day bring peace to our region – the two sates solution. You trail blazed the way to that desired destination. And although the work is not yet complete, the future will hang upon your immeasurable contribution.
My friend, we were moved when you used the meaningful Hebrew word for friend. It was the perfect way to remember Yitzhak Rabin. Your friend. Our leader. My partner.
It became a symbol for feelings of loss that we all felt, and still feel. Bill, I don't think that you have achieved less out of office than in office. Seeing all you are accomplishing through the Clinton Foundation, you are tempting me into retirement. The Clinton Global Initiative reminds us that one man can inspire an entire generation. To change lives for the better. You mobilized troops of goodwill. And you encouraged aspirations in a visionary and imaginative way, across oceans and seas. You offered to all of us what we call in Hebrew "Tikun Olam", which means making the world a better place.
Hillary and you have both been great friends to my country every step of the way. I was privileged to witness this unusual attitude. Both of you have shown unmatched friendship to my country in times of need and occasions of hope. Bill, you are an amazing story of a selfless young man who became a leader. A youngster from Arkansas who matured into the leader of the free world.
The greatest contribution you have offer us, Bill, goes beyond your state, your country, your language. You became a leader of humanity by inspiring, not imposing. You became a servant of humanity without ruling. You are the American dream that became a hope for the world.
It is my privilege for me to confer upon you today the highest honor of Israel, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Through this modest gesture, the entirety of my country and my people thank you for your support, for your care, for your friendship. Toda rabba, Bill. God bless you.