Last week, during a virtual fundraiser with the American Jewish community, Vice President Joe Biden spoke out strongly against Israeli annexation of West Bank territory and warned of the dangers of even threatening such a move.

While Vice President Biden had previously voiced his opposition to annexation, including in a video message to the AIPAC Policy Conference, this full-throated statement is particularly noteworthy.

For context, the coalition agreement between the two largest parties in the Israeli government — Prime Minister Netanyahu‘s Likud and Defense Minister Gantz’s Kachol Lavan — specifically states that “the Prime Minister can bring forward the agreement that will be reached with the U.S.” on annexation “beginning July 1.” What this means in practice is that according to the agreement, annexation can only move forward with United States approval.

As Amir Tibon points out in Haaretz, Vice President Biden stating that “Israel needs to stop the threats of annexation and stop settlement activity because it will choke off any hope of peace,” is the first time he has spoken out against annexation since Israel made its ability to move forward with annexation contingent on U.S. assent.

The former vice president also indicated that a Biden administration will seek to undo much of the damage the Trump administration has caused regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Saying that as President he will, “reverse Trump administration steps which… significantly undercut the prospects of peace” and will restore diplomatic relations with the Palestinians, among other actions. Vice President Biden also clearly stated he would not condition aid to Israel, ensure Israel maintains its qualitative military edge, demand the cessation of Palestinian incitement and support for terror, strengthen bipartisan backing of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and seek an end to the politicization and exploitation of Israel for partisan gain.

As Congressional Democrats seek to navigate their response to the now-seated Israeli government’s annexation threats, Vice President Biden’s comments should serve as a unifying calibrator. As the presumptive Democratic nominee and therefore standard-bearer for the party, Vice President Biden’s position can serve as uniform political “cover” for any messages emanating from Congressional Democrats moving forward.

Looking further ahead to the historically turbulent waters of the Israel plank of the Democratic platform, the prospects seem to bode well for those invested in ensuring a strong message in support for a viable two-state solution and Israel’s security alongside opposition to unilateral annexation. While any platform is subject to negotiations and the process outlined by party rules, the fact that the presumptive nominee has so publicly voiced such positions creates a greater likelihood that those stances will be reflected in the platform.

Vice President Biden’s consistent and clear message sent a directive last week to lawmakers, platform drafters, and all others concerned with Israel’s long-term security, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the U.S.-Israel relationship: unilateral annexation of West Bank territory must be strongly opposed and now is the time to speak out.