‘Our brother Joseph’: US President Biden lands in Israel

July 14, 2022 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Prime Minister Yair Lapid and the Israeli government welcomed US President Joe Biden in a state ceremony at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Wednesday in the presence of President Isaac Herzog, and additional dignitaries, the first segment of Biden’s visit to the region.

President Herzog, President Biden, PM Lapid
Photo: Haim Zac/GPO

Lapid greeted Biden at the foot of Air Force One together with Herzog and Alternate Prime Minister Bennett.

Lapid said that the visit is “both a historic visit and a deeply personal one. It is historic because it expresses the unbreakable bond between our two countries. Our commitment to shared values: democracy, freedom, and the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own.”

“It is also a personal visit because your relationship with Israel has always been personal. You once defined yourself as a Zionist. You said that you don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist. You were right, and in your case: A great Zionist and one of the best friends Israel has ever known,” he added.

“During your visit, we will discuss matters of national security. We will discuss building a new security and economy architecture with the nations of the Middle East, following the Abraham Accords and the achievements of the Negev Summit. And we will discuss the need to renew a strong global coalition that will stop the Iranian nuclear program,” he stated.

Two presidents
Photo: Haim Zac/GPO

Herzog welcomed Biden as “our brother Joseph!”

“The people of Israel welcome you to the Holy Land with open arms and joyous hearts, as Joseph son of Jacob who sought out his brothers. Here, Mr President, you are truly amongst family. Like the biblical Joseph, you are both a visionary and a leader, committed to advancing the United States of America, the Middle East, the world at large, and the State of Israel,” he declared.

“In this visit, you will discuss the security challenges emanating directly from Iran and its proxies, threatening Israel and its neighbours and endangering our region. Your first trip here in 1973, was just a few weeks before a terrible war broke out. Today, winds of peace are blowing from North Africa across the Mediterranean to the Gulf. This trip, Mr President, is your journey of peace from Israel to Saudi Arabia, from the Holy Land to the Hejaz,” he said.

Upon landing, Biden visited a display of multiple Israeli defence systems, including the Arrow, David’s Sling, Iron Dome anti-missile systems, and the Iron Beam laser defence system, which is still under development.

Biden will visit sites and meet with Israel’s leadership for the next two days, before a visit to the Palestinian Authority on Friday, and from there he will arrive on a direct flight from Israeli to Saudi Arabia, for meetings with Saudi leaders and senior officials from Arab states in the region.

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