Every people has a right to defend itself. This applies equally to the Israeli as well as the Palestinian people. But when self defense is used as a justification for bringing about long-planned political goals, and when its ostensible exercise causes death and injury to innocent civilians, it is time to consider whether the principle of self defense is being abused. How is killing a family of 8 inside their home an exercise of Israeli self defense? The White House has correctly called on Hamas to cease firing rockets into Israel because these rockets have killed and injured innocent Israelis and risk continuing to do so as their firing continues. President Obama needs to also call on Israel to stop bombing Gaza and killing innocent civilians. He needs to make this call firmly and clearly. As Americans we value every Palestinian life as equal to every Israeli life. There are no peoples, races, nations the lives of whose members are more valuable than any others. In light of the extreme disproportion between Palestinian and Israeli casualties in the ongoing conflict (approximately 30:1 at this time), it is urgent that President Obama direct his attention to stopping those who are doing the bulk of the killing: the Israeli military at this time.