In these hours, we must clearly stand by Israel, the Israeli people and the victims of Hamas’ act of terrorism. Let me hereby express my deepest condolences for the families of the victims, and I hope that the people taken hostage by the terrorists will soon get home safe.

After the first words of compassion and standing by the Israeli people however, we must also remember that the current events are part of a decades-long conflict.

Both sides have their grievances and both sides have their faults, too. There have always been politicians on both sides who have been profiting from the decades-long conflict between the people of Israel and Palestine.

Indeed, you can hardly see any leadership on the Palestinian side that would be interested in a true peace process or be able to conduct it. The corrupt Fatah that draws lucrative profit from the current system is unfit for this purpose – not to mention Hamas that is ready to use terrorist methods for the entire world to see right now. So, the Palestinian leaders do have their share of responsibility for the situation the Palestinian authority got into over the decades.

On the other hand, it is also true that Israel, as the region’s only democracy and a major military power, has been putting off making the decisions that could form the basis for a long-term settlement. Today, the relationship with the Palestinians can become just as an efficient nationalistic card in Israeli election campaigns as ever, and the successive Israeli governments haven’t really been able to break with the idea that the Palestinian issue is a matter of fences, walls, military force and intelligence operations, despite the fact that Israel has many Arab citizens who have been able to integrate into the Israeli society.

The reduction of the Palestinian issue to nothing but a matter of national security serves as a hotbed for the constant radicalization of Palestinian youth.

We can only hope that one day both sides will have the wisdom and sense of responsibility to put an end to this conflict so that innocent people would no longer have to suffer on account of the political decisions made by irresponsible leaders. I am convinced that most Israeli and Palestinian people wish for the same thing: to live in their homes in peace.