What is the U.S. doing turning the screws on our most loyal ally in the region by pressuring Israel to agree to halt hostilities? Have we forgotten who the real enemy is in the Middle East?

We didn't hear the president or the State Department over the last few days ask Hamas to avoid killing civilians — though that's pretty much what Hamas does, along with storing weapons in residential homes and hospitals with innocent victims.

But the scolding was saved for Israel, the country that drops leaflets warning Arab civilians to flee for safety.

Secretary of State John Kerry, meanwhile, praised Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas "for his leadership, for his deep engagement in the effort to try to find a cease-fire." Shouldn't Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be praised too for his leadership in the self-defense of his people, on whom rockets have been raining down?

Is there any doubt about how committed Hamas is to Israel's destruction? In 2006, a mother of six sons successfully ran for parliament in Gaza under the Hamas party, billed as the "mother of the struggle." Three of Mariam Farahat's sons died in the so-called Second Intifada against Israel.

How pained is she over the loss of her sons? A Hamas recruitment video features Ms. Farahat showing her 17-year-old son how to kill Israelis and telling him not to come back. Mission accomplished.

In 2002, that son murdered five Jewish students. Another son was killed when the Israeli air force blew up his vehicle, which was carrying Qassam rockets. Ms. Farahat celebrated his death: "I am so proud. I wish I had more sons to offer."

The late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir famously said, "Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us." How deep is the hate?

Ms. Meir also said this: "When peace comes we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons."

Benedict Frederick Jr., Pasadena

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