Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that Israel has no regard for the lives of innocent Palestinian civilians. Let us further assume that Israel has  no moral problem with targeting schools, mosques and hospitals. Let us also assume that Israel’s current presence in Gaza was totally unprovoked but rather the result of a historic tendency towards wonton violence towards a peace-loving Palestinian population whose only crime is that of seeking self-determination. Let’s assume finally that Israel is the devil incarnate as proclaimed by the Palestinian leadership.

With the above assumptions in place, it should then be quite simple to issue an unambiguously damning indictment against Israel for the operation that it is currently conducting in Gaza. However, before signing and sealing the indictment, it is imperative that just a few questions be answered.

Why, for the past few years – after Israel has withdrawn from Gaza – were thousands of rockets fired by Palestinians from Gaza at the civilian population in Israel’s cities and villages? Would this not be regarded as a casus belli by any self-respecting civilized country? Why over the past few years have the Palestinians devoted themselves to digging an intricate system of tunnels from Gaza into Israel and Egypt? Why, over the years, did the Hamas funnel money and supplies intended for civilian construction for Palestinians to a system of tunnels designed for destruction of Israelis? Why do these tunnels emanate in the homes of Gazan civilians, mosques and medical clinics and terminate in Israeli kibbutzim and fields? Why have the Palestinians consistently and repeatedly refused to accept or respect humanitarian cease-fire agreements that required no more that a temporary  cessation of hostilities so that Palestinians themselves could stock-up on food and bury their dead? Why, according to the United Nations, have the Palestinians – on  at last three occasions – (mis)used UN schools built for the welfare of Palestinian children as sites for stockpiling rockets. Why has the UN reaction to this act of infidelity been so anemic?  Why, according to a July 31, 2014 New York times headline do ” Arab Leaders, Viewing Hamas as Worse Than Israel, Stay Silent”?

Maybe, Israel has regard for the lives of innocent Palestinians civilians – but also for the lives of innocent Israel civilians.

Maybe Israel does see a moral problem with targeting schools, mosques and hospitals – but only when they are used for their stated purposes and not as ammunition dumps, strategic vantage points and shelters for terrorists .

Maybe Israel’s current presence in Gaza was totally unprovoked and the result of a historic tendency towards wonton violence towards a peace-loving Palestinian population whose only crime is that of seeking self-determination. But maybe not.Maybe Israel has nothing to gain by once again capturing Gaza. Maybe Israel just wants peace and quiet for its civilians.Maybe all military actions is Gaza – past and present – were the direct result of Palestinian provocation.

Maybe Israel is the devil incarnate as proclaimed by the Palestinian leadership. But then again maybe it is the Palestinians who are subjecting their own population to death and destruction who are the true devils.