Former President Barack Obama spoke at an event hosted by his foundation and referred to the Israel-Hamas conflict as a “moral reckoning.”
He called for a two-state solution and an end to the “occupation,” without specifying which occupation he meant.
Obama acknowledged the difficulty of remaining impartial in the face of the ongoing violence and expressed the need for a path towards peaceful coexistence. (Trending: Is It Time For Joe Biden To Drop Out Of 2024?)
“All of this is taking place against the backdrop of decades of failure to achieve a durable peace for both Israelis and Palestinians,” he said.
“One that is based on genuine security for Israel, a recognition of its right to exist, and a peace that is based on an end of the occupation and the creation of a viable state and self-determination for the Palestinian people.”
The United States, under President Biden, has expressed support for Israel’s right to self-defense but is now open to a humanitarian “pause” in the conflict.
“Now, I will admit, it is impossible to be dispassionate in the face of this carnage,” Obama said. “It is hard to feel hopeful. The images of families mourning, of bodies being pulled from rubble, force a moral reckoning on all of us.”
“We’ve had to sort through our anguish, our outrage, our fears and our differences on the issues,” he added. “I had a conversation with a group of you around this issue, and you were passionate and pushed me around some of the public statements I’d made.”
“And the issue is not a wish for different outcomes – an end to the killing, peaceful coexistence between two sovereign and free peoples – but rather different assessments of the path that we need to take in order to get there.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opposes a pause, citing concerns about Hamas regrouping.
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