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

In his first foreign trip as U.S. president, Joe Biden is visiting Israel to show his commitment to the Middle East ally and to their 70-year partnership. At the same time, he is trying to set a different tenor from his predecessor, Donald Trump, who was seen by many as taking sides too often in the region’s disputes, including between Israelis and Palestinians.

In an address Monday, Biden expressed strong emotions — recalling his late son, Beau, who visited a number of times — and spoke of strong military and economic ties but also notes of caution. He steered clear of any mention of a two-state solution, which Biden has supported in the past to resolve tensions between Israelis and Palestinians — a polarizing subject he plans to address during his visit. He instead spoke of “lasting peace” and “just and lasting security” for both Israel and its neighbors.

Biden also reiterated the U.S.’s “unwavering” commitment to Israeli security, which Trump had Overall, Biden made it known that Israel can count on the U.S., while also making it clear that peace and security must be balanced with security threats.