Former President Barack Obama recently weighed in with his "thoughts" on the current Israel-Gaza conflict more than two weeks after it began, but that only served to "raise questions" about whether or not Obama was truly on "Israel's side," according to New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin.
Indeed, Obama did seemingly pay lip service to somewhat condemning the "horrific acts" committed by Hamas terrorists against predominately civilian Israelis on Oct. 7 in their murderous rampage throughout parts of southern Israel that left more than 1,400 dead, thousands more wounded, and more than 200 taken hostage.
Yet, he also mostly appeared to caution Israel against taking any sort of decisive action to address the existential threat it faces from the Iranian-backed Islamist terrorist organization that is sworn to bring about the demise of the sole Jewish nation.
On Monday, in a post to Medium, former President Obama acknowledged the atrocities and "unspeakable brutality" committed by Hamas against mostly Israeli civilians more than two weeks earlier and reiterated his previously expressed support for Israel's right to defend itself as well as President Joe Biden's expressed support for "our long-time ally in going after Hamas, dismantling its military capabilities, and facilitating the safe return of hundreds of hostages to their families."
However, he quickly transitioned to essentially lecture Israel on the manner in which it goes about doing so and insisted that the aggrieved victim in this instance formulate its "military strategy" to ensure that it "abides by international law" and avoids "the death or suffering of civilian populations" -- even as its barbaric attackers two weeks prior paid no mind to such things.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Obama also injected into his lecturing of Israel a potshot at his own nation by accusing Americans of having "fallen short of our higher values" in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in our zeal to exact revenge against the Al Qaeda terrorists who perpetrated that deadly assault on the U.S., and warned Israel against doing the same thing.
Now, after the systematic massacre of Israeli citizens, a massacre that evokes some of the darkest memories of persecution against the Jewish people, it’s understandable that many Israelis have demanded that their government do whatever it takes to root out Hamas and make sure such attacks never happen again. Moreover, Hamas’ military operations are deeply embedded within Gaza -- and its leadership seems to intentionally hide among civilians, thereby endangering the very people they claim to represent.
However, Obama wrote, "the world is watching closely" as Israel gears up to take on Hamas in Gaza, and he cautioned that a "military strategy that ignores the human costs could ultimately backfire" in terms of worsening a humanitarian crisis, hardening Palestinian opposition, eroding public support for Israel, and undermining efforts to achieve regional peace and stability.
Former President Obama went on in his Medium piece to express support for Israeli efforts to "incapacitate Hamas" -- notably not to completely destroy them -- while at the same time calling for humanitarian relief for Palestinians in Gaza and a two-state solution that has always seemed unworkable.
He also devoted a paragraph or two to decrying antisemitism and recognizing Israel's right to exist while also including several more paragraphs condemning Islamophobia and "dehumanizing language" against Palestinians and even went so far as to specifically highlight a section lamenting the historical plight of the Palestinian people.
And, as if his own words weren't enough to cast doubt on where Obama actually stands in this particular battle, he included links to other "useful perspectives and background" that quite clearly favored one side over the other -- and that more favored side is most certainly not Israel.
In his op-ed for the New York Post, Goodwin not only provided several counterpoints to Obama's piece but also connected it to what he viewed as dubious actions by President Joe Biden's administration that have effectively constrained and delayed Israel's justified reaction to Hamas' Oct. 7 campaign of terror.
That includes past and current policies to appease Iran that have only served to embolden and empower that Islamist regime's funding and support of terrorist activity across the Middle East -- including numerous attacks against U.S. soldiers and interests that have been downplayed or kept secret -- while at the same denigrating and handcuffing Israeli forces.
In the end, Goodwin left it up to readers to conclude for themselves the rather pertinent question of: "Whose side are they on?"