So to speak.
Queen Elizabeth II is expected to bestow an unusual honor on President Shimon Peres in a few weeks, and name him a knight in her order.
Peres is to be awarded the title, regarded as the United Kingdom’s highest honor, for his contribution to world peace and the relationship between Israel and the UK.
Peres is expected to leave for an official presidential visit in Britain on November 18. When in London, he is slated to meet with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Foreign Secretary David Miliband.
The highlight of Peres’ visit will be a speech before both houses of the British Parliament – the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
Peres is also scheduled to visit Oxford University and speak before 1,000 of its students. The president will also meet with heads of the British Academia and urge them to lift the unofficial academic ban placed on Israeli institutions.
The next stop on the tour will be the City of London, where he will usher the London Stock Exchange’s trading day.
Once officially titled “Sir”, Peres will join an exclusive list of modern world figures the like of ex-Beatle Paul McCartney, former US President Ronald Regan, U2’s lead singer Bono and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Efforts to have President Shimon Peres “knighted” during a visit to London next month may have been set back by premature publication of the move, Foreign Ministry sources said Thursday.
President Shimon Peres.
Yediot Aharonot, under a headline “Sir Peres,” reported Wednesday that Peres was expected to be appointed an honorary knight by Queen Elizabeth II in appreciation of his contribution to peace efforts in the Middle East and to furthering Israeli-British ties.
While admitting that the embassy in London was working on the issue, the sources said that revealing these efforts prematurely could lead anti-Israeli forces in Britain to try to scuttle the idea.