Biden, in Israel, hits notes of loyalty, emotion — and caution

 Biden, in Israel, hits notes of loyalty, emotion — and caution

In his first visit to Israel as U.S. President, Joe Biden delivered an emotionally powerful message of loyalty to the Jewish state while balancing Washington’s traditional support for a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Biden assured Israeli leaders and people he would never waver in his loyalty to the world’s only Jewish state. At the same time he was careful to give assurances to the Palestinians that a two-state solution is still the only viable way forward.

“Let me say this as directly and as plainly as I can: America’s commitment to Israel’s security is ironclad and unwavering,” Biden said after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other leaders in Jerusalem. “Our friendship is strong and it is enduring. We stand together, now and always.”

Towards Palestinians, Biden said the U.S. was “committed to a two-state solution,” adding that there is “no alternative” to a secure and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians. He asked both sides to take the necessary steps to improve the lives of Palestinians, saying he would continue to “push the parties, working both sides, to be ready to begin meaningful negotiations on the many difficult issues that have long been the source of tension and conflict.”

The president was welcomed with open arms by Israeli officials and people alike for his strong show of support for the country. At the same time, Biden’s nuanced words of support for peace and a two-state solution were cautiously optimistic among the Palestinian people as they still remain cautiously skeptical about their future and prospects for peace.