Former President Obama (D) said “nobody’s hands are clean” amid conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
“[I]f you want to solve the problem, then, you have to take in the whole truth,” Obama said in a Pod Save America podcast clip posted to X Saturday, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
“And you then have to admit nobody’s hands are clean, that all of us are complicit to some degree,” the former president continued. “I look at this and I think back, ‘What could I have done during my presidency, to move this forward?’ as hard as I tried. I’ve got the scars to prove it.”
Obama condemned Hamas but also expressed sympathy for innocent civilians in Gaza.
“What Hamas did was horrific and there’s no justification for it. And what is also true is that the occupation and what’s happening to Palestinians is unbearable,” he added.
The former president also made remarks about the conflict in the Middle East being a “moral reckoning for all of us” Friday.
“[A]ll of this is taking place against the backdrop of decades of failure to achieve a durable peace for both Israelis and Palestinians,” the former president said at the Obama Foundation’s “Democracy Forum” Friday. “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.”
“Now, I will admit, it is impossible to be dispassionate in the face of this carnage,” Obama continued. “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.”
The current conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas began with a Hamas attack on Israel in early October that left more than 1,400 people dead. Israeli air campaigns and a recent ground offensive in response have more than 9,200 Palestinians dead, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.
This story was updated at 4:04pm.