Former President Barack Obama said a way forward for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is only possible if people acknowledge the “complexity” of the situation.
“If there’s any chance of us being able to act constructively to do something, it will require an admission of complexity and maintaining what on the surface may seem contradictory ideas that what Hamas did was horrific, and there’s no justification for it. And … that the occupation and what’s happening to Palestinians is unbearable,” Obama said in an interview on the podcast “Pod Save America.”
The former president’s comments come as the Israeli military focuses its offensive against Hamas in Gaza City and northern parts of the enclave.
Behind the scenes, American officials also believe there is limited time for Israel to try to accomplish its stated objective of taking out Hamas in its current operation before uproar over the humanitarian suffering and civilian casualties reaches a tipping point.
Obama specifically criticized the discourse on social media and “TikTok” activism about the issue.
“If you want to solve the problem, then you have to take in the whole truth, and you then have to admit nobody’s hands are clean – that all of us are complicit to some degree,” he said.
Millions have turned to platforms like TikTok and Instagram in hopes of comprehending the brutal conflict in real time, but Obama said he would rather see people “out there talking to people.”
“Including people who you disagree with. If you genuinely want to change this … you’ve got to figure out how to speak to somebody on the other side and listen to them and understand what they are talking about and not dismiss it,” Obama said.