WASHINGTON – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said a two-state solution “is the best way to ensure a secure and peaceful Israeli future for the Jewish and democratic State of Israel.”In a recorded video speech at the AIPAC policy conference on Sunday, former vice president Biden apologized that he could not attend in person due to his preparations for Super Tuesday. “Israelis wake up every morning facing an existential threat from their neighbors’ rockets from Gaza, just like this past week,” Biden said. “That’s why I’ve always been adamant that Israel must be able to defend itself. It’s not just critical for Israeli security. I believe it’s critical for America’s security. That’s why I’m so proud of the Obama administration, unprecedented support for security, including the life-saving Iron Dome system.”He also emphasized the need to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians and criticized a possible Israeli move to annex settlements in the West Bank.“You don’t have to be anti-Palestinian to be pro-Israeli,” said the former vice president. “Israel and Palestinian children are equally deserving of safety, security and an opportunity to pursue their dreams. We all need to work together to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza because there is a crisis and we’re not going to achieve that future if we don’t condemn steps on both sides that take us further from peace.”Biden said Palestinians need to eradicate incitement on the West Bank.“They need to end the rocket attacks from Gaza,” he said. “They need to accept once and for all the reality and the right of a secure democratic and Jewish state of Israel in the Middle East.He also said Israel needs to stop with its threats of annexation and settlement activity, like the recent announcement of building thousands of settlements in E1.“That’s going to choke off any hope for peace. And to be frank, those moves are taking Israel further from its democratic values, undermining support for Israel in the United States, especially among young people of both political parties,” he said. “That’s dangerous. We can’t let that happen. We can’t let Israel become another issue that [is a bipartisan point of disagreement].”Democratic presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg was expected to speak live at AIPAC on Monday. The former New York mayor is expected to be the only candidate to speak at this year’s conference.Sen. Amy Klobuchar addressed the audience on Sunday, saying she would never stop fighting for a strong US-Israel relationship period.“I am also committed to a peace process that can lead to a two-state solution that allows Israelis and Palestinians to live side by side in peace and security. And, to me, that means working with all parties to support direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians that can produce this two-state solution.“We need to make sure that enduring bipartisan support for Israel is above politics and beyond politics,” she added. “That includes not only working toward a two-state solution, but also security assistance, opposition to BDS, supporting congressional delegations and strong economic relations between our two countries.”Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, who was also expected to send a video speech, dropped out of the Democratic race on Sunday night, telling supporters in South Bend that he recognized that he has no path for the party’s nomination.