The President of the State of Israel, Isaac Herzog, on Wednesday decorated the Advisor to His Majesty the King, André Azoulay, with the Presidential Medal of Honor, during a grand ceremony held at the Presidential Palace. In a statement to MAP, Azoulay expressed the “great pride” he feels in serving His Majesty King Mohammed VI, and before Him, His late father, His Majesty Hassan II. “In Morocco, the land of Islam, I am a proud Jew, and I live my Judaism to the full,” stressed Azoulay, whose career and life have always been rooted in and defined by his Moroccan identity and the various high responsibilities entrusted to him. “This award is a source of great hope and immense pride for my country, Morocco, and for Moroccan civilization and the Moroccan exception which is being celebrated today and which continues to strongly embody the values of peace and coexistence,” he added. “All Moroccans have been honored today. It is a tribute to my dear country, Morocco, with all its Arab, Amazigh and Jewish tributaries, among others”, he stressed. He further noted that the Kingdom, under the wise leadership of HM King Mohammed VI, is “the clear embodiment of the art of the possible, where all spiritualities rub shoulders, coexist and interact in peace and harmony.” On this occasion, the Israeli President hailed Azoulay as “a man of peace and dialogue, a clerk of the State, advisor to HM King Mohammed VI and the late HM Hassan II.” The President’s Medal is the highest Israeli civilian decoration awarded by the President of the State of Israel. Initiated by former Israeli President Shimon Peres in 2012, the medal has so far been awarded to 29 personalities, including Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Angela Merkel, among others. At the ceremony, Azoulay was hailed as a man of peace and dialogue, for promoting links of communication and rapprochement between cultures, civilizations and religions, and understanding between peoples, but also between Israelis and Palestinians. “A proud Jew in the land of Islam, a life dedicated to promoting dialogue and tireless action in the service of peace, driven in this by the vision of his King, and radiating wherever he is the culture of the Moroccan nation, deeply rooted in the values of tolerance and living together.” Azoulay has always encouraged Moroccans of the Jewish faith in Israel, Morocco and around the world to preserve their identity and heritage on a spiritual, philosophical and moral level. Today, their Moroccan identity is a source of inspiration. He is also known for his historic commitment to peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and to a two-state solution in which sovereignty, dignity and justice resonate in the same way and with the same demands for both peoples. The ceremony was attended by several hundred guests from Israel’s political, economic, cultural and academic circles, as well as the head of the Moroccan liaison office in Tel Aviv, Abderrahim Bayoud, and the president of the Essaouira communal council. Azoulay’s award of the Israeli President’s Medal of Honor is in recognition of the tireless efforts made by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Al Quds Committee, to promote interfaith dialogue and the Middle East peace process, and to defend the two-state solution as the basis for any resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
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