My Statement on the Middle East

Barack Obama
2 min readMay 31, 2024

Today, President Biden put forward a clear, realistic and just plan to establish an immediate ceasefire and end the war in Gaza — a plan that ensures Israel’s security, returns hostages taken on October 7th to their families, increases aid into Gaza and relieves the suffering of Palestinian civilians, and engages Israelis, Palestinians, Arab countries and the broader international community in the process of rebuilding Gaza.

A ceasefire alone won’t ease the terrible pain of Israelis whose loved ones were butchered or abducted by Hamas, or the Palestinians whose families have been shattered by the subsequent war. It won’t resolve the longstanding conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, or answer contentious issues surrounding a two-state solution or continuing settler activity in the West Bank. But what it can do is put a stop to the ongoing bloodshed, help families reunite and allow a surge of humanitarian aid to help desperate, hungry people. It can save lives, here and now — and it can lay the foundation for what will be a long and difficult road to a future in which Israel is secure and at peace with its neighbors, and Palestinians finally have the security, freedom and self-determination that they have sought for so long.

As the tragedy in Gaza has unfolded over the past eight months, we’ve witnessed an often fierce public debate here at home — and around the world — regarding how the United States should respond. But no matter where each of us stand in these broader debates, an enduring ceasefire is something we should all support — for the sake of Israelis, Palestinians and the world at large. I am deeply encouraged by the steady, tireless efforts of President Biden, Secretary of State Tony Blinken and our diplomatic team to bring this awful war to an end.