At the end of a surreal week, even by Israeli standards, almost half of the country has been in the scope of rockets, targeted by Hamas. How did we get here and where are we going? Here’s a theoretical discussion between the yin and yang of the Israeli psyche that concludes, unlike with most existential paradoxes, that there is a bottom line.

POINT: The brutal terror assassinations of Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel enabled Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to exploit the situation and go wild on Hamas in an attempt to weaken its presence in the West Bank.

As a result, more than 400 of the organization’s members, many of them released in the prisoner exchange for Gilad Schalit, continue to be held.

Despite holding (and withholding) information that the three boys had been killed soon after their abduction, the lives of thousands of Palestinians in the Hebron area were restricted for days, while the IDF went door-to-door searching for clues to the boys’ disappearance. Despite Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s assured declarations that Hamas was behind the heinous crime, the prime suspects are the rogue Kawasmeh clan, that doesn’t answer to Hamas or to anyone else.

According to Palestinian analysts, Hamas was forced into ramping up rocket attacks against Israel to reassert its relevance and status among the Palestinian population.

COUNTERPOINT: Palestinians have indiscriminately fired over 300 rockets at Israel this week from Gaza.

POINT: The alleged revenge terror attack perpetrated by Jewish Israelis on Muhammad Abu Khdeir – combined with the frighteningly thuggish anti-Arab demonstrations and marches by “nationalistic” Jews on the same day the three Israeli boys were buried and footage of border police allegedly brutally beating Abu Khdeir’s cousin, exposed a side of Israel that we have chosen to sweep under the rug.

To our credit, there has been blanket condemnation of such behavior across Israel, but the fact that it exists even among the fringes raises the question – Are Jewish extremists very different from the Palestinians who favor terror over reconciliation? We’ve always been quick to slam the statements of international leaders who lump together the “extremists on both sides,” bristling at the notion that Jews could possibly behave with the same barbarity we’ve seen from Palestinian terrorists. Evidently, we’ve been wrong.

COUNTERPOINT: Palestinians have indiscriminately fired over 300 rockets at Israel this week from Gaza.

POINT: The Netanyahu government was certainly not in mourning when the US-brokered peace talks broke down in April amid mutual recrimination.

Netanyahu and his right-wing flank led by Naftali Bennett left their dance slippers at the door next to Mahmoud Abbas, leaving not even one to tango, never mind two.

Israel played a double game – complaining that any agreement with the Palestinian Authority would not be worth the paper it’s written on because it wouldn’t harness Hamas, and then expressing outrage when Fatah and Hamas forged a unity government.

COUNTERPOINT: Palestinians have indiscriminately fired over 300 rockets at Israel this week from Gaza.

POINT: Palestinians in Gaza are in a terrible plight, one rife with poverty, shortages of water and basic supplies. Is it any wonder that they whole-heartedly support and identify with Hamas – the ones who are willing to stand up to the “great occupier” of their people. While there has been nary a scratch on any Israeli from the rocket attacks this week, there have been dozens of Palestinian casualties, including children. The world is not going to care that Hamas fires its rockets from amid population centers and the IAF takes great pains to minimize civilian casualties. Images of a ravaged Gaza and grieving families is what they’re going to see.

For Hamas and all the other Palestinian groups aimed at annihilating Israel to be subdued, silenced and made irrelevant, Israel must continue to work tirelessly to engage those Palestinians not in the extremist fold. Our leaders have already admitted that the goal of Operation Protective Edge is to attain another short period of quiet by wounding Hamas. But as long as we don’t return to the negotiating table, we can continue to return to the random name logarithm that will provide us with a pithy name for the next operation, and the one after that.

COUNTERPOINT: All of the above points, bundled together into one neat package of grievances against Israeli policies and actions, can’t hold a candle to the fact that Israel and its people are under attack. This week, over 300 rockets were fired at us from Gaza by Hamas and its cohorts. This is war – and for every Israeli, no matter his political viewpoint, it’s time to circle the wagons, band together and send the message that we’re not going to take it anymore.

No country would.

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