Miriam Adel­son to re­ceive Pres­i­den­tial Medal of Free­dom

The Jerusalem Post - - FRONT PAGE - • By MICHAEL WILNER Jerusalem Post Cor­re­spon­dent

WASH­ING­TON – US Pres­i­dent Donald Trump will award the Pres­i­den­tial Medal of Free­dom to the “distin­guished” Miriam Adel­son, wife of Shel­don Adel­son, his largest po­lit­i­cal donor.

The award is the na­tion’s high­est civil­ian honor and is tra­di­tion­ally granted to in­di­vid­u­als who have made “an es­pe­cially mer­i­to­ri­ous con­tri­bu­tion to the se­cu­rity or na­tional in­ter­ests of the United States, world peace, cul­tural or other sig­nif­i­cant pub­lic or pri­vate en­deav­ors.”

The award was es­tab­lished by for­mer US pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy and com­ple­ments the na­tion’s high­est mil­i­tary award, the Medal of Honor.

“Miriam Adel­son is a com­mit­ted doc­tor, phi­lan­thropist and hu­man­i­tar­ian,” the White House said. “She has prac­ticed in­ter­nal and emer­gency medicine, stud­ied and spe­cial­ized in the dis­ease of nar­cotic ad­dic­tion, and founded two re­search cen­ters com­mit­ted to fight­ing sub­stance abuse. With her hus­band, Shel­don, she also es­tab­lished the Adel­son Med­i­cal Re­search Foun­da­tion, which sup­ports re­search to pre­vent, re­duce, or elim­i­nate dis­abling and life-threat­en­ing ill­ness.

“As a com­mit­ted mem­ber of the Amer­i­can-Jewish com­mu­nity, she has sup­ported Jewish schools, Holo­caust me­mo­rial or­ga­ni­za­tions, Friends of the Is­rael De­fense Forces and Birthright Is­rael, among other causes,” the ad­min­is­tra­tion added.

The Adel­sons do­nated $25 mil­lion to Trump’s pres­i­den­tial

cam­paign ef­forts and $5 mil­lion to his in­au­gu­ra­tion, mak­ing the cou­ple the largest donors in the

2016 elec­tion cy­cle. They have main­tained a close re­la­tion­ship with the pres­i­dent, help­ing to con­vince him to re­lo­cate the US Em­bassy in Is­rael to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and, as re­cently as Tues­day, watch­ing the midterm elec­tion re­turns from the White House residence.

The pair gave more than $100 mil­lion to Repub­li­cans in the midterm races.

She is pub­lisher of the rightwing news­pa­per Is­rael Hayom, which has pro­vided Trump and Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu with con­sis­tently fa­vor­able coverage.

Adel­son is an Is­raeli Amer­i­can and was awarded hon­orary cit­i­zen­ship of Jerusalem in 2013.

Hon­orees are tra­di­tion­ally named in batches. In ad­di­tion to Adel­son, long­time Utah Repub­li­can Sen. Or­rin Hatch, NFL vet­eran and jus­tice Alan Page, NFL vet­eran Roger Staubach, base­ball le­gend Babe Ruth, Elvis Pres­ley, and the late Supreme Court jus­tice An­tonin Scalia will re­ceive the award. The medal has been awarded posthu­mously be­fore.

Re­ac­tion to Adel­son’s honor fo­cused on the pres­i­dent’s rare de­ci­sion to award a fig­ure pri­mar­ily known for her po­lit­i­cal al­le­giances. Trump’s pre­de­ces­sor, Barack Obama, hon­ored at least one Is­raeli with the award: Shimon Peres, in 2012. •

(Marc Is­rael Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

MIRIAM ADEL­SON

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