Wednesday, December 13, 2017

  • Wednesday, December 13, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

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From Ian:

Europe would not last a week if it had to face what Israel does
I was watching the videos from Ramallah and elsewhere of the Palestinian riots against the blessed American decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. All those Israeli policemen and soldiers engaged in dispelling the riots and violence without inflicting losses but managing to contain the damage.

These young Israelis doing such a tragic job are the same age as I am, at night they return to their wives and children, mothers and fathers. They are not shaheeds, they care about human life, their own and the ones of the people they must confront in the streets. They are the face of a state dealing with this drama for the last 70 years.

Then I thought of all the blackmail, the attacks, the wars, the threats, the tension and the death drawings that the world prepares for the small Jewish state with whose disappearance it is obsessed. And I thought, looking and looking at those images, that no European country, not one, would survive a week of this instead of Israel.

Most of commentators today worry about the “consequences” of the just and historical American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But if the fear of violence had dictated its actions, Israel would not have been born in 1948 and the Jews after Auschwitz would have been found in a deli of Brooklyn rather than on the beaches of Tel Aviv.

In its 70 years of existence, Israel has lost 23,447 soldiers and 2,495 civilians, it survived 12 wars and thousands of missiles, while coexisting with the specter of a chemical and nuclear war.
Phyllis Chesler: Are New Yorkers becoming like Israelis?
On 9/11, I typed, “Now, we are all Israelis.”

At the time, what I meant was that Muslim terrorists had come after us in New York CIty in a rather big way, just as they’d been attacking Israelis decade after decade, even as the world yawned indifferently or cheered the terrorists on.

Now, what I mean is that terrorist attacks have been normalized in the West, even in New York City, which has seen one attack after the other, beginning with the political assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane in 1990 by El Sayyid Nosair, an Egyptian-born American citizen radicalized in Pakistan, who was later involved in the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.

Let’s not forget that in 1994, Lebanese-born, Rashid Baz, shot at a van filled with Orthodox Jewish students, killing Ari Halberstam and wounding three children.

Who can forget the 1997 Brooklyn-based Palestinian bomb plot to blow up the New York subway trains—or the lone, Palestinian shooting attack on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.

One can write that Palestinian Arabs export terrorists—not just terrorist ideology.
History repeats itself as Lord Allenby captures Jerusalem’s Old City, again
For a couple of hours on Monday afternoon in Jerusalem’s Old City, there was partying like it was 1917.

World War I Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) soldiers, Turkish pashas, local religious leaders, ladies in long skirts and bonnets — and the legendary T.E. Lawrence — celebrated as they awaited the arrival of Field Marshall Edmund Allenby, commander of the British Army’s Egyptian Expeditionary Force, to officially liberate Jerusalem from Ottoman rule.

A century after the Great War, these actors played the long-dead Allenby and other historical figures to the delight of the many hundreds gathered from around Israel and the world who were genuinely excited to join in the festive reenactment.

Exactly 100 years ago on December 11, 1917, General Allenby delivered the British Army’s Proclamation of Martial Law in Jerusalem in seven languages from the steps of the Tower of David.

For some, like eighth-generation Jerusalemite Shalom Bagad, showing up on Monday was coming full circle.

“My mother Shulamit was here exactly on this very date in 1917 to watch Allenby enter Jerusalem and give his proclamation,” Bagad said.

  • Wednesday, December 13, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

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(The following is a rebuttal to Diana Buttu's piece in the Washington Post, The world should respond to Trump’s Jerusalem declaration with sanctions on Israel, which I submitted to the Washington Post
on Dec. 10. I was tentatively hopeful they would print this, but as time dragged on and I received no response, I realized there was no interest in printing this opinion. I offer it here, instead, in a slightly modified version.)

After President Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Diana Buttu in her piece, The world should respond to Trump’s Jerusalem declaration with sanctions on Israel, asserted that his actions were somehow an “aggression” that broke the law. Which is funny, because growing up, my mother taught me that sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me. This is completely analogous here, as Israeli cars are stoned daily with the (too often successful) intention of killing as many Jews as possible, for no other reason than that the drivers and their passengers are Jewish and driving on land Arabs covet.
Recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, on the other hand, is semantics, words that cannot hurt anyone, and certainly abrogate no law.
Buttu writes: “Under the United Nations’ 1947 Partition Plan for Palestine, Jerusalem was never intended to be the capital of any country, but rather a shared city under an international regime with sovereignty resting with neither Israel nor Palestinians.”
That’s correct. Buttu, however, seems to have forgotten that the Arabs rejected Partition, opting instead to attack the fledgling State of Israel. Let’s get specific here and mention that this was some five Arab states attacking the new state of just 600,000 Jews. Who was the aggressor here? Who the bully and who the victim? If the Arabs wanted Jerusalem to retain its international status, as set forth by Partition, why then did they attack?
And the fact is, attack they did. To their detriment: they lost the war they initiated.
Buttu likes to cite rule of law, being a lawyer by trade, but seems to have forgotten that since five Arab armies launched a war against a tiny group of people on a small sliver of land, instead of accepting the Partition Plan, the Arabs, for all intents and purposes, took Partition off the table. The Arabs did that, not Israel, and not President Trump.
Israel had accepted Partition, though it would have meant a much reduced land mass, difficult to defend.
It was the Arabs who said no to Partition, and instead launched a war.
This is why Jerusalem is not today, the international city that Buttu mourns, the one called for by Partition, which the Arabs scorned, preferring to take their chances, attacking one small nation.
And losing.
Buttu speaks of Israel taking 78% of the land for themselves in 1948. What she does not say is that Transjordan (today, Jordan) was created on 78% of the Mandate for Palestine, which had been promised to the Jews by Balfour in 1917. What happened here, is that after Balfour viewed “with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,” the Arabs complained: they wanted their national home in Palestine, too.
So in fact Israel did not “take control of 78% of Palestine in 1948,” rather, Jordan, by its very creation, took 78% of Israel. And Israel meekly accepted this situation. Any national home in Jewish indigenous territory was better than none. We were used to being meek, saying yes sir. Centuries of being occupied, expelled, forced to wander, and persecuted, will do that to you. We would take any crumbs.
And with the UN Partition Plan, Israel accepted yet a further reduction of its land mass, gave away more bits and pieces, more crumbs.
But the Arabs were not going to settle for less than the entire land mass, all for itself, free of Jews. Which is why five Arab armies invaded Israel in 1948. And lost.
That should have been the end of the story.
But Diana Buttu gives the reader an “alternative ending,” in which she says that in 1948, Israel “occupied a large part of Jerusalem’s western half,” while in 1967, Israel occupied the “West Bank and the Gaza Strip,” and that “the eastern part of Jerusalem also came under Israel’s military rule.”
What actually happened is that in its defensive war of 1948, in which Israel was attacked by five Arab armies, the Jews succeeded in taking back part of their longed for holy city. Had the Arabs not attacked, Partition would have been fully embraced and adhered to by Israel, and Jerusalem would have remained an international city. But the Arabs did not accept Partition, and went to war.
It was Jordan, by the way, that occupied the eastern part of Jerusalem in 1948. As Jordan was the aggressor, this was considered an illegal occupation by every single UN member state, with the exceptions of Great Britain and Pakistan, two states that had/have no love for the Jews.
Arab Legion soldier in the ruins of the Hurva Synagogue, Jerusalem

In 1967, the Jews were once again forced to fight when the Straits of Tiran were closed, a casus belli. When this time, against all odds, the Jews recaptured their holy city, they were not in contravention of international law, because they were fighting a defensive war.
Occupation is defined by Article 42 of the 1907 Hague Convention on Land Warfare, which states that “territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army." That would be Jordan, which attacked Israel in 1948, and took over part of Jerusalem, thus abrogating the terms of Partition. That would not be Israel in 1967, when, in the course of defending itself against hostile armies, the Jews managed to retake that same territory.
There is a vast difference between land taken in an offensive versus land taken during defensive maneuvers. A legal difference. In no way, can Israel be said to be an occupying force, when it is and was the entity attacked. To say otherwise is contrary to international law.
It is also important to note here the 49th article of the 4th Geneva Convention:
“Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.”
This completely busts the myth of settlement of Judea and Samaria as somehow being in contravention of international law. Israel did not fight an offensive, therefore cannot be called an occupier. Settlers, furthermore, are not foreign to Judea and Samaria, (how could a Jew be foreign to Judea?), nor were they forcibly transferred. The settlers came willingly to the area. Joyfully even, eager to build homes in their native land.
No one forced these settlers to settle where they did.
The term “West Bank” is, in fact, a propaganda term. It refers to Judea and Samaria as if they were the West Bank of the Jordan river, looking out from Jordan. This is supposed to lend legitimacy to Jordan’s illegal occupation of the area between 1948 and 1967. The territory comprises far too much land, however, to be called a riverbank. This author lives in Efrat, located in the Judean Wilderness. Efrat is nowhere near the Jordan River. It is, on the other hand, not so far from the Dead Sea, though this body of water, too, cannot be seen from my apartment.
Buttu says that “despite numerous Israeli attempts since 1948 to have its declaration of Jerusalem as its capital recognized internationally, not a single country around the world has accepted its claims, for one simple reason: Acquiring territory by force goes against international law.”
Except that Israel did not acquire the land by force, but in pure existential defense. Israel did not abrogate international law in defending itself against five Arab armies in 1948. It did not abrogate international law in 1967, when an act of war forced Israel to defend itself against several Arab nations once more. This is not only not the legal definition of acquiring territory by force, it is also a lie to say otherwise.
Thus, Ms. Buttu is dishonest in the thrust of her piece, which states that recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is by way of acknowledging that “might is right.”
It is the Arabs who were and are the aggressors when it comes to Israel. Israel has only defended itself. It reacquired its centuries’ old, biblical capital Jerusalem, only while fighting for its very existence, attacked by the might of five invading armies.
God wrought a miracle and the Jews won. And of course the Jews were going to declare Jerusalem their capital. The Jewish liturgy, canon, and customs are littered with references to Jerusalem, though the city’s name does not once appear in the Quran. Yet Buttu speaks of the “theft of Palestinian land” as if the Muslim Conquest never happened, nor all the other conquests that robbed the Jews of their land; land that belonged to them before there was an Arab people; land that belonged to the Jews before Mohammed was born.
President Trump said some words. No more, no less. He acknowledged a reality: The Arabs lost, the Jews won—they get to call Jerusalem their capital if they so choose.
And they do.
Why does anyone get to question that right?
Buttu goes on to talk about Israel’s security fence, which has saved thousands of lives, saying it has worsened the lives of local Arabs. Is that because it prevents them from killing Jews? Because that is the precise purpose of that ugly, expensive fence, that obscures the beautiful view. And it works. Proven. Is it inconvenient to the Arabs? Let them not resort to violence then. Let them live productive peaceful lives and see how quickly that ugly, expensive fence comes down.
Buttu speaks of “the destruction of thousands of Palestinian homes for spurious bureaucratic reasons.” Here too, Buttu is disingenuous. Rooms of terrorists in their family homes are destroyed. Had they not murdered Jews, their family homes would remain intact. It’s a deterrent measure. Stop killing Jews and POOF, the demolitions stop, too.
It’s a choice.
Buttu speaks of expulsions (from homes built without permits), construction of “illegal” settlements, which are not illegal at all (Hague Convention, Geneva Convention, lather, rinse, repeat), which “scar the land,” which actually had lain rocky and barren, between 1948 and 1967, when Jordan illegally occupied the territory. Even now, Arabs like the fertile valleys. Jews have settled on the hilltops and made them bloom. No one has been dispossessed. It’s a lie.
Buttu speaks of checkpoints (made necessary by constant Arab terror), and about all the Arabs “squeezed—indeed suffocating—under Israeli military rule.” But why don’t the 22 land-rich Arab nations surrounding the tiny sliver that is Israel, absorb and settle their squeezed and suffocating brethren? After all, Israel absorbed the 850,000 Jews expelled from Arab countries since 1948!
In short, Buttu’s rant about President Trump’s statement of the obvious, is a lot of sound and fury signifying worse than nothing, because it signifies a big, giant, antisemitic lie.
That the world buys that lie is a choice. It’s a choice to honor aggression. Not Israel’s aggression, but Arab aggression, what Professor Ruth Wisse says is not an Arab Israeli conflict, but the Arab War against the Jews.
They Arabs were given Jordan: Palestinian State #1. Then they were given autonomy in their villages throughout Judea and Samaria: Palestinian State #2. Next, the Jews expelled 11,000 of their own people to give them a third state, Gaza: Palestinian State #3.
These are salami tactics parading as Arab nationalism. Cutting off bits and pieces of Israel, negotiating for a bit here, a bit there, under the guise of creating a Two-State Solution, when there are now de facto, fully three Palestinian states.
In addition to these three Palestinian states, there are 22 other states in the region where Arabic is the predominant language and Islam is the predominant culture and religion.
Israel, on the other hand, has just one tiny sliver of land where Jews can speak Hebrew in the streets and shops, with Judaism the predominant religion and culture. It is not right to take away any more of it for the people who have so much land already. And of course Jerusalem is central to the Jews and has been for thousands of years.
President Trump said nothing more than the truth: Jerusalem is historically Jewish. Everyone knows this to be true.
To say otherwise is a lie.
To actually believe the lie is evil.

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Ramallah, December 13 - Youths in the Palestinian-administered territories admitted uncertainty today regarding the specific offense they are meant to be resisting via violent protest, given the plethora of triggers under discussion in Arab media of late.

While international media have reported the latest Days of Rage as outgrowths of US President Donald Trump's announcement that the country now recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital, local protesters appear less confident in the precision that description, as in recent months and years the list of developments used as pretexts for Palestinian outpourings of murderous riots has grown beyond the simple invocation of "Occupation" that once served the uncomplicated purpose.

Would-be rioters milled about the de facto Palestinian capital this morning attempting to arrive at a coherent, unified conception of the motive for going on a hoped-for deadly rampage against Jewish targets, meeting only mixed success. Several hundred did manage to perform their routine rock-, brick-, and firebomb-throwing at Israeli troops stationed just outside the city, but without the enthusiasm and single-minded purpose characteristic of a single-issue Day of Rage.

"I need to know what I'm trying to kill people for," complained Ali Latdam, 20. "We always have the Occupation, but that's kind of a general thing. Usually, when our leaders close schools, order merchants to close and go on strike, and foment unrest at a specific time and place, there's a narrow focus for the rage. Is it still the Donald Trump thing? Did Israel put metal detectors back near Al Aqsa? Did they destroy another Hamas tunnel? Did a Palestinian get killed trying to stab somebody? Is some imprisoned terrorist in the midst of a declared hunger strike? Or is this just one of those we-need-to-get-our-people-out-into-the-street-and-distracted-by-Israel-so-they-don't-notice-we're-oppressing-them-and-robbing-them-blind riots? I'd like to know."

"It's hard to get behind a generic 'I don't like this' orgy of violence," explained Mustafa Massikr, 19. "Purpose is important here. I'm not about to risk my life handling a Molotov cocktail if this isn't about what I think this is about. There has to to be clarity on this."

In the absence of that clarity, report participants, unsubstantiated rumors regarding the true spark for the most recent Day of Rage have run rampant. "We had some guys claiming there was another round of cartoons mocking the Prophet," warned Mr. Latdam. "Spreading reports like that is just plain irresponsible. It's like no one cares about getting it right. Who's in charge of these things, anyway?"

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From Ian:

Israel foils Hamas kidnapping plot planned for Hanukkah
Israeli security services arrested three members of an alleged Hamas terrorist cell in the northern West Bank suspected of planning to kidnap an Israeli citizen during the Hanukkah festival, the Shin Bet security service announced Wednesday.

The three Palestinian suspects were arrested in late October, following a weeks-long investigation during which the Shin Bet, Israel Defense Forces and Israel Police uncovered the kidnapping plot. Details of the case were kept secret under a gag order, which was removed on Wednesday as the findings were handed over to state prosecutors to begin preparing indictments.

The Shin Bet said the alleged ringleader of the terror cell was Mu’ad Ashtiyah, a 26-year-old Palestinian from the village of Tell, near Nablus in the northern West Bank.

He recruited cousins Mahmoud and Ahmad Ramadan, both 19 and also of Tell, to assist him in the plot, the security service said.

According to the Shin Bet, the three men planned to “kidnap a soldier or settler from one of the bus stations at a central junction in Samaria” — the biblical term for the northern West Bank.
When lifesavers opt for death
On Monday, two days of ongoing violent riots erupted near Ramallah in which rioters threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at IDF forces. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit published footage of a Red Crescent ambulance helping transport rioters, disguised as wounded, to the demonstration. The ambulances unloaded the masked, fake wounded at the heart of the riots. Wrapped in Palestinian flags, the passengers joined their brothers in hurling rocks at our soldiers. All this took place under the auspices of an organization that is supposed to save human lives and help the wounded and injured, not give rides to terrorists who are looking to vent their spleen at IDF troops.

This wasn't the first time that the Red Crescent has lent its hand to violence and terrorism. Two years ago, Yaakov and Netanel Litman were shot to death in a terrorist attack near Otniel. Dvir Litman, 16, was sitting in the front seat and watched helplessly as his father and brother bled out. A passing Red Crescent ambulance completely ignored their calls for help. The ambulance driver approached the site of the attack, told the Litmans to "call 101 [the number for Magen David Adom]," and drove off.

Immediately after the incident, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked the Foreign Ministry to demand that the Red Crescent explain why it abandoned wounded Jews, in violation of all humane and cultural norms, and threatened that Israel would take appropriate action against the Red Crescent. Not much has happened.

The Red Crescent is known for its willingness to volunteer its ambulances to hide and transport terrorists and weapons to be used in terrorist acts. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad has reported how it used an ambulance packed with explosives to carry out a terrorist bombing; in March 2002, an ambulance was stopped at an IDF checkpoint south of Ramallah. Underneath a stretcher carrying a sick child, soldiers found an explosives belt and bombs. The driver was Islam Jibril, a Tanzim fugitive who had joined the Red Crescent as a driver. In June of that same year, a doctor at a Jenin hospital was arrested after he was enlisted by Hamas to smuggle suicide bombers into Israel. When interrogated, he admitted that he had also smuggled weapons using ambulances.
So you think anti-Zionism is different than anti-Semitism?

The flourishing 'Hebrew Spring'
The Arab Spring, which erupted seven years ago in a wave of region-altering revolutions, was unlike the Prague Spring in the 1960s that injected Czechoslovakia with a spirit of political liberalization. The Arab Spring essentially failed to bring democracy and liberty to the Arab world, despite the masses in the streets demanding change in the hope of ending the decadeslong iron-fisted rule of tyrannical regimes.

In most of these countries, the situation today is worse than it was before the outbreak of demonstrations. The Arab Spring deepened the rifts within Arab society, widened the chasm between religious and secular, and certainly between Shiites and Sunnis. Many in the Arab world, including senior journalists and pundits, accuse Israel of purposefully derailing the Arab Spring, in order to forge alliances with Arab leaders against the will of the people.

Instead of Arab Spring, a different term has made the rounds in recent months in the Arab media: The "Hebrew Spring," referring to Israel's warming ties with Arab countries and the marginalization of the Palestinian issue.

To be sure, a plethora of signs is pointing to the existence of this Hebrew Spring. In August, Sudanese Investment Minister Mubarak al-Fadil al-Mahdi voiced his support for normalization with Israel. King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain condemned the Arab boycott against Israel and said citizens of his country were permitted to visit the Jewish state (indeed, a delegation of 24 clerics is currently on a historic visit). There have been public reports that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has met openly with the Israeli prime minister and the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia issued a religious decree forbidding the murder of Israelis. IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot was even interviewed by a Saudi news site.

  • Wednesday, December 13, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

I was interviewed on the Australian "Nothing Left" Jewish radio show by co-host Alan Freedman. My segment begins at around 51 minutes in.

Most of the conversation was about this article of mine, the biggest Israel-related story of the decade that no one wants you to know.

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  • Wednesday, December 13, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Mahmoud Abbas' speech at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation extraordinary conference in Istanbul included the usual bluster and threats that the world accepts as normal discourse from Palestinians.

But one part that he said proves yet again, as if it needed proving, that Palestinian leaders were never interested in peace.

Abbas called upon the countries of the world to re-assess their recognition of the State of Israel "as long as it insists on violating the rules of international law and breaches all international resolutions since its establishment in 1948."

Yes, he is insisting that the world community gives recognition to the fake state of "Palestine." But he is simultaneously calling on the world to withdraw recognition of Israel!

And Abbas is pointedly not only talking about "occupation." He is saying that Israel is illegitimate to begin with, violating international law since it was reborn.

If he wanted peace with Israel he could have it. If he wanted two states side by side, it could have been done at least four times since 2000. 

But Palestinians don't want two states. They are still going by Arafat's playbook of taking what they can get and then using that to gain the rest of what they teach their children is "Palestine." (Of course, not the parts of Palestine that lie outside the boundaries of the British Mandate in today's Jordan and Lebanon and Syria...)

By insisting that Israel itself is illegitimate and always has been, Abbas is saying to his fellow Muslims exactly what he means by "peace." His insistence on "return" shows that he wants the "two states" to both be Arab, and eventually one Arab state with at best a despised Jewish minority without any rights. He wants to wrench the heart of the Jewish people from them. And he wants the world to make Israel into a pariah nation until it no longer exists. 

Yet again, the Palestinian leaders have proven that they are not interested in any real peace with Israel. and yet again, the world community chooses to ignore it, whether out of fear of Muslim violence or out of latent antisemitism or whatever. The truth is too ugly to contemplate so the world insists on accepting with the lies and fictions and fantasies of the Arabs. 

As this conference shows, Jerusalem is only an excuse for pushing the world towards the real goal - not to take Jerusalem away from Israel but to take Israel away, period.

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  • Wednesday, December 13, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
At the moment, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is holding an extraordinary session to respond to the US decision to recognize the fact that Jerusalem is Israel's capital.

Palestinian and Arab speeches and articles stress, over and over again, that Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital is non-negotiable. “Jerusalem is and will forever be the capital of the Palestinian state… There will be no peace, no stability without that,” Abbas threatened.

All of this points to the supreme folly of Israel accepting the concept of dividing Jerusalem at Camp David.

In many ways, this is a war of public relations. And only Israel has accepted any real compromise on Jerusalem, while not one of the Muslim leaders at this conference are saying that Jerusalem can even be a shared capital between Israel and "Palestine."

The Arabs can say, flatly, that there will never be peace without Jerusalem as the capital of an artificial Palestinian state. And the only reason that the world accepts that completely arbitrary demand as sacred is because there hasn't been a similarly flat rejection of sharing and dividing Jerusalem by Israel. O the contrary, Israel is on the record of wanting to share Jerusalem for an illusory "peace"  - and that decision is haunting us to this very day.

It is only because of that folly by Ehud Barak that we now see the world supporting Jerusalem - and especially the Old City - as "Palestinian," today.

If Israel would have been as adamant in refusing the idea of a shared, divided Jerusalem as the Arabs are at regaining it, then things would be different. If Israel had treated Jerusalem as non-negotiable as even Yitzhak Rabin had, then these absurd threats of ISIS terrorism unless Jerusalem is Arab would be muted.

The formula is simple, and it is a mirror of the formula that Abbas has used successfully for so many years:

Jerusalem is a red line. It will never be divided. There will be no peace unless Israel, the only entity that can guarantee free access to adherents of all religions, controls the city. Dividing or sharing Jerusalem is impossible, it is absurd, and it is antithetical to peace. If the Palestinians insist that for some reason Jerusalem is a prerequisite for them to have a state, then they will never have a state.

If Israel had been as adamant on Jerusalem as the Palestinians are, then the world would pressure the Palestinians to compromise. By stupidly saying that Israel is willing to cede any part of Jerusalem for "peace,"  Ehud Barak (and Olmert and the rest) ensured perpetual war and terror.

It would be nearly impossible to reverse this historic mistake today, but Israel should at least adopt the uncompromising rhetoric of "no peace without Jerusalem" that the Arabs have successfully used.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

From Ian:

The Arch of Titus and Saeb Erekat
Recently, my wife and I visited Yeshiva University's museum on 16th St in NYC to see the Arch of Titus exhibit. We saw the museum's full-size 3-D computer recreation of the famous scene of the Jewish prisoners of war carrying the Temple relics (menorah, shulchan [table], trumpets) to Rome. We also saw the displayed collection of 20-30 coins of the Second Temple period, minted in Palestine, some by the Jews and some by the Romans.

In one small corner of a display case, I saw the "complete collection" of coins minted by non-Jewish Palestinian governments from 1917 back through the Byzantine period, the Arab (invaders from the Arabian Peninsula and the east) Period, the Roman period, the Greek period, the Persian period, the Jewish monarchy and before that.

The complete set of these coins minted by non-Jewish Palestinian authorities fits comfortably in one small corner of a display case because these coins do not exist and have never existed. There are no such coins. Zilch, zippo, nada, cero, efes, null, gornicht, nuttin. The empty set. There was never an identifiable, Arab Palestinian people, or a Palestinian ethnic identity until the mid-20th century when some Arab hate merchants realized that such a peoplehood and ethnic identity would be useful in opposing the national aspirations of the Jews.

Until the 20th century, "Palestine" was understood by Arabs to be a province in Greater Syria. From 1948 until 1967, Arabs in the part of Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) living under Jordanian control were comfortable with Jordanian nationality and ethnicity. There was no problem in the Arab mind with Jordanian sovereignty on the West Bank of the Jordan River because everyone, Arab and non-Arab, knows that Jordan is Arab Palestine. The post World War I formation by the British of the country of Transjordan resulted in the first example of Palestinian Arabs holding sovereignty in any part of Palestine. During the previous several centuries, the Turks held sovereignty in Palestine.
Advocates Call for Action Against UN Official Who Headlined Anti-Israel Event at University of Toronto
Advocacy groups are urging action against a United Nations official who headlined an event organized by an anti-Israel group at the University of Toronto (UT) last month.

Michael Lynk — special rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory — was the featured lecturer at a November 29th event cosponsored by Canadian Friends of Sabeel and Emmanuel College, UT’s theological school.

According to the Jewish human rights group B’nai Brith Canada, “attendees at the event were required to pay for tickets, with the proceeds earmarked for Sabeel’s operations.”

Sabeel is a leading proponent of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, with its work largely focused on Christian congregations in North America and Europe. The group peddles a Palestinian variation of “liberation theology,” which rejects a Zionist interpretation of the Christian Bible, and has accused Israel of operating a “crucifixion system” against Palestinians.

Lynk in turn is charged by the UN with investigating “Israel’s violations of the principles and bases of international law” — a mandate criticized for both presupposing Israeli guilt and failing to address potential abuses committed by Palestinian factions. A law professor at Western University in London, Lynk has previously endorsed boycotts of Israel and was described before his appointment as “an ardent anti-Israeli activist” who “plays a leadership role in groups that advocate against Israel” by the monitoring group UN Watch.

“By headlining a fundraiser for an extremist group that seeks to boycott Israel, Rapporteur Lynk breached the UN Code of Conduct,” charged UN Watch chief Hillel Neuer. “He promoted a group that targets the same state he is investigating, thereby violating his duty of impartiality, as well as the prohibition against using his office for third party gain.”
The Palestinian 'pay-to-slay' budget continues
In the UK the Daily Express has been running a vigorous campaign exposing the lunacy of the country's £13billion annual overseas aid budget. Every day they publicise a new example of some inappropriate spending. Yet, by far and away the worse example of all - the 'Palestinian' pay-to-slay budget - is never mentioned. This should be an open goal for the Board of Deputies. The British public is sick of the overseas aid budget. If the Board - instead of spending its money fighting 'Islamophobia' - paid for a few ads to expose the pay-to-slay scandal - the Government would come under real pressure to stop these payments once and for all. And that would be a real contribution to the fight against terrorism.

  • Tuesday, December 12, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Nice production and (seemingly) original music.

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Hanukah is not a holiday of the Jewish religion, it is a holiday of the Jewish people. Although not really considered a religious holiday, it is a holiday of miracles.

We’re complicated that way.

The Hanukah miracle most people focus on is that of the oil that lasted eight days when it should only have lasted one. This is the reason we light the Hanukiah for eight days, each day lighting an additional candle or oil lamp so that, as time goes by, the light grows stronger rather than diminishing as it would normally do when the oil runs low.

The larger miracle is actually that of the victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks, the few against the many that ultimately led to the re-establishment of a Jewish kingdom with Jerusalem it’s capital. Hanukah is about freedom from an occupying foreign power and Jewish sovereignty in Zion.

Although a symbol for the miracle of light, the tradition of lighting the Hanukiah is also a direct reminder of the miracle of victory and sovereignty.

Hanukah candles are supposed to be lit in a place that can be seen by the public, to remind all who see the lights of the miracle of Hanukah.

The question is, what is public?

In the diaspora, candles are normally lit in a public place within the home so that all members of the family can see the Hanukiah. Some light candles close to a window, so that they can also be seen from outside.

In Israel many religious families use a Hanukkiah that burns oil, placing it in a special glass box outside their home. Weather cannot disturb the lights and everyone passing by can see them.

It seems that the differences in tradition are a function of Jews living in places where it was unsafe and thus unfeasible for a Jewish family to declare to their non-Jewish neighbors: “Look at the miracle that God created for my people!”

The Hanukiah in this image was photographed outside an apartment building in Haifa. It looks lovely but it also declares a message of sovereignty and defiance no Jew can truly express in any other land:

“A great miracle happened HERE, in THIS land, for MY people and I am free to declare it proudly for all to see!”

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From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Europe’s war against the Jewish state
Europe is the epicenter of the political war against Israel. Europe fights Israel on the streets of Europe. Europe fights Israel in the corridors of power in Brussels, other Western European capitals and the UN. Europe fights Israel in Israel itself.

Europe’s war against Israel is a passive-aggressive campaign fought and denied simultaneously. But in recent years, the mask has fallen over and over again.

In the days that have passed since US President Donald Trump’s dramatic announcement that the US recognizes that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and is beginning to take concrete steps to move its embassy to the city, Europe’s war against Israel has again become impossible to deny or ignore. Europe’s response to Trump’s announcement has been extreme, violent and more outspoken than the response of the Arab world.

The EU-funded Palestinian Authority reacted to Trump’s move by exhorting its subjects to riot and attack Israelis.

Sunday, Yassin Abu el-Qura heeded his call. Qura stabbed Asher Elmalich in the heart and critically wounded him. Elmalich was a security guard at Jerusalem’s central bus station.

According to Channel 2, Qura is a member of a prominent family of Fatah members with close ties to the PA and its EU- and US-funded and trained security forces. His father is the commander of one of the security forces in Salfit, in Samaria. Two of his brothers are also PA security officers.

Around the same time Qura was stabbing Elmalich, the British government announced it was providing the PA with 20 million pounds in supplemental budgetary funding.

Qura’s attack was notable because it took place against the backdrop of lackluster attendance at PA-organized protests. As former US Middle East mediator Aaron David Miller tweeted on Sunday, the low attendance at these demonstrations, like the low attendance at anti-US and anti-Israel demonstrations in the Arab world is an “indication of how much the region has changed [in recent years] and the loss of centrality of [the] Palestinian issue. [The] Palestinian street is exhausted; the Arab street has disappeared.”

But while the Arab street was indifferent to Trump’s declaration, the European street went berserk. Thousands of protesters assembled in London and Paris, in Berlin and Stockholm. They burned Israeli flags and called for the annihilation of Israel and the murder of Jews.
Ben Shapiro: No, Protests And Violence Against Israel Aren’t Trump’s Fault. They’re Just Anti-Semitism.
On Monday, a would-be suicide bomber failed at killing Americans in the same way he failed at life: self-implosion followed by utter shame and humiliation. But Ayaked Ullah, 27, still garnered a hint of media sympathy by stating that Israel’s recent bombings of the Gaza Strip had driven him to action. According to CNN:
Recent Israeli actions in Gaza compelled Ullah to carry out the attack, a law enforcement source said. The suspect was upset, in his words, with the "incursion into Gaza," the source said, but did not elaborate on what incursion he may have been alluding to. Israel launched airstrikes this weekend against what it said were Hamas targets in Gaza after several rockets were fired out of Gaza towards Israel. This came amid widespread protests over President Trump's move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

This is asinine. The attack was planned for a certain amount of time; the only incursions into Gaza happened this weekend. But this is the constant lie from Islamist sympathizers: that it’s Israel that lies beneath their evil. That’s not true. It’s hatred of Jews.

In Malmo, Sweden, a synagogue was firebombed, supposedly in retaliation for President Trump’s announcement that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem. What does the synagogue have to do with Trump’s announcement? Nothing. But Jews are Jews, and must be attacked. Protesters in Malmo chanted, “We want our freedom back, and we will shoot the Jews.” A second synagogue was firebombed in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Meanwhile, in London, protesters chanted, “Khybar, khybar,” a Koranic call to violence against Jews. And in New York, Imam Mohammad Qatanani of Passaic, New Jersey chanted, “With our souls and our blood, we will redeem you, oh Aqsa!” Nerdeen Kiswani, representing the New York City Students for Justice in Palestine, shouted that all of “Palestine” should be liberated, including Tel Aviv. Demonstrators chanted “Khybar” as well.

Does any of that have to do with Jerusalem? Does any of it have to do with Israel? Or does all of it have to do with religious hatred of Jews?

Trump Did Not Bring Jerusalem Crashing Down
On Friday, it seemed that every journalist in Jerusalem was waiting for something to happen at the Damascus Gate in the Old City—one of the most popular entrances Muslims use to reach the famous Al-Aqsa mosque for Friday afternoon prayers, and a common site for big protests. Yet the resulting melee was not the massive demonstration everyone seemed to be waiting for.

Israeli soldiers stood in dozen-person groups at the entrances Muslims use to reach Al-Aqsa, and in frequent smaller clumps all along the way. I asked one soldier stationed at the corner of Al-Wad, the street leading to the mosque, whether this Friday was any different from others, and whether he expected any problems. He smiled, and said it was the same as any other day. A few feet away, a man selling bread concurred. “Every day is a day of rage,” he told me in Arabic.

The divided city is one claimed by both Israelis (in West Jerusalem) and Palestinians (in East Jerusalem) as their capital, and American presidents have typically treated its status as an issue to be resolved through negotiations. In the wake of Trump’s announcement, people in the Palestinian half of the city are angry, but few seemed eager for the new intifada, or uprising, that some Muslim leaders are calling for.

Crowds of men began streaming into the city for midday prayers. A few older women obligingly shouted things like “Trump is bad!” when they saw the waiting crowd of foreign journalists. All was quiet for about an hour, and then the same giant crowd streamed back out, many people stopping to shop on their way back to the Damascus Gate, where the cameras were conveniently waiting.

The area outside Damascus Gate is literally set up like a stage: Big steps lead down on three sides to the lowered platform where people emerge from the Old City. A few dozen people stood on the steps and chanted in Arabic, holding a sign featuring a truck that called on America to “dump Trump” and another sign showing Trump’s lips as urinals. A throng of journalists surrounded this group, outnumbering them roughly three-to-one. As protesters moved, the cameras shifted around them, moving like a flock of birds near a power line. Most Palestinians, however, went home.

  • Tuesday, December 12, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

It has been a week now since Trump's announcement last Wednesday that the US recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

You might have expected the media to present a biased, distorted view both of what Trump was actually doing and of what followed, considering how highly charged the issue of Jerusalem is.

If so, you were not disappointed.

Here, in no particular order, are some of the examples of what the media reported.

At The Algemeiner, Ira Stoll regularly writes about media bias at The New York Times. This time was no exception when Stoll pointed out Four Ways The New York Times Botches Coverage of Jerusalem. One of the examples is a New York Times self-contradiction, reporting on the one hand that “Israel stopped short of annexing East Jerusalem, a move that would most likely have drawn international outrage,” while The New York Times reported earlier this year that “Israel later annexed East Jerusalem and Golan in moves that were not internationally recognized.”

UK Media Watch noted that The Economist falsely claimed
Ever since his election in 2005, Mr Abbas has rejected violence and called upon his people to pursue statehood through diplomacy. Now the calls from within the Palestinian national movement for a return to intifada, ie, a violent uprising, are growing.
Does The Economist really have that short a memory?

UK Media Watch also points to an article in The Telegraph, which pulls out all the stops:
For more than 20 years, Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian’s chief peace negotiator, has chased the dream of a two-state solution and the hope of an independent Palestinian state.

He followed it to the White House under four different US presidents, haggled over it in secret and public negotiations with hard faced Israeli negotiators, and defended it against sceptical Palestinians on the streets of Jericho.

But in the minutes after Donald Trump’s announcement that the US was recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Mr Erekat stood in front of the television cameras and concluded that his dream of two decades was finally dead.

“Unfortunately, President Trump just destroyed any possibility of two states,” he said in a quivering voice.
Left out is that Erekat was the chief negotiator in both 2001 and 2008 when the Palestinian Arabs rejected Israeli peace offers.

The other point, of course, is that Trump deliberately made a point of not taking a position on “specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.” He left that open to negotiations, no doubt as soon as Erekat regains his composure.

Honest Reporting came up with a number of "Media Muckups." The Daily Mail scored a hat trick, incorrectly describing Judaism, Islam and Christianity, before making the necessary corrections.

Here is the Honest Reporting snapshot of the original reporting before it was corrected:

And here are the errors HonestReporting pointed out:
  1. It’s the Western Wall, not “West Wall.”
  2. The Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site, not the Western Wall.
  3. The Al-Aqsa mosque, not the Dome of the Rock, is Islam’s holiest site in Jerusalem (its third holiest site in the world).
  4. The holy sites mentioned are not all on the Temple Mount as written in the first paragraph. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is in another part of Jerusalem’s Old City.

A followup article of "More Media Muckups", included a novel interpretation of the status of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv by The History Channel that has since been fixed:

CAMERA notes that New York Times Downplays Judaism's Ties to Jerusalem, when it claims Jerusalem is not so important to Israel after all:
"It was for the British that Jerusalem was so important – they are the ones who established Jerusalem as a capital," said Prof. Yehoshua Ben-Arieh, a historical geographer at Hebrew University. "Before, it was not anyone's capital since the times of the First and Second Temples."

Of course, a capital would only be important to a country -- a fact that puts the quote in context, while raising the question that since Jerusalem has never been the capital of a Muslim country, why do Palestinian Arabs suddenly want Jerusalem now. The article leaves out the close ties Jews in the Diaspora have had with Jerusalem and the fact they became a majority in Jerusalem towards the latter part of the 1800's.

Another CAMERA article points to an error by The New York Times' Max Fisher. In his article, Fisher gets the history wrong:
Both Israelis and Palestinians claim the city as their political capital and as a sacred religious site. Israel controls the entirety of the city. Any peace deal would need to resolve that.

The city's status has been disputed, at least officially, since the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Before that, the United Nations had designated Jerusalem as a special international zone. During the war, Israel seized the city's western half. It seized the eastern half during the next Arab-Israeli war, in 1967.
Actually, when the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 181 in 1947 in favor of the partition of the land between a Jewish and Arab state, the resolution would make Jerusalem into a "corpus separatum" under UN trusteeship for up to 10 years. But as a General Assembly resolution, it was only a suggestion, not binding and definitely not an official designation of any kind. The Jews accepted it but the Arabs rejected it and attacked after the British left. And that was the end of that.

Social media also pointed out examples of when the media messed up:

Of course, we have seen another error made by the media across the board, namely predicting major violence as predicted (threatened) by the Palestinian Arabs.

On that issue, Mitchell Bard writes:

After decades of threats intimidated Trump’s predecessors and other world leaders to pretend Jerusalem is not Israel’s capital or face violent consequences, it turned out the blackmailers were bluffing. Even the Palestinians couldn’t manage much fury during the three days of rage declared by Mahmoud Abbas. Sure, there were a few demonstrations, but most seemed to be orchestrated for the benefit of journalists who flocked to the area in hope of a conflagration. The demonstrations in Jerusalem were more severe after Israel installed metal detectors at the entrance of the Temple Mount than they were after the U.S. announcement.

The press has already moved on to other issues after the disappointing lack of bloodshed, but there should be a reckoning for all the supposed experts and officials who predicted an apocalypse.
When all is said and done, what happened?
Why the vast range of media mistakes on the facts surrounding Trump's announcement, the history of Jerusalem and the predictions about the fallout?

Matti Friedman has written extensively on media bias, as an insider in the media. He has written about What the Media Gets Wrong About Israel, about an alliance of forces that focus on Israel:
This alliance consists of activists and international staffers from the UN and the NGOs; the Western diplomatic corps, particularly in East Jerusalem; and foreign reporters. (There is also a local component, consisting of a small number of Israeli human-rights activists who are themselves largely funded by European governments, and Palestinian staffers from the Palestinian Authority, the NGOs, and the UN.)
That bias accounts for some of the media misrepresentation of events.
There may be another.

Last year, Khaled Abu Toameh wrote that in addition to bias, there is an issue of Western media ignorance as well.

He relates stories about
  • The eager young journalist who tried to arrange an interview with Arafat -- years after the terrorist had died.
  • Two western journalists who wanted to go to Gaza -- to interview Jewish settlers
  • A British reporter who reported on the assassination of Ahmed Yassin from a bar, though his byline claimed that he was in the Gaza Strip and had interviewed relatives of the slain leader of Hamas.
  • Newly arrived journalists who believed that before 1948, there was a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
  • A journalist who wanted to visit Jenin where "thousands of Palestinians had been massacred by Israel in 2002."
Toameh explains:
But when it comes to covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ignorance apparently is bliss. Misconceptions about what goes on here plague the international media. The binary good guy/bad guy designation tops the list. Someone has to be the good guy (the Palestinians are assigned that job) and someone has to be the bad guy (the Israelis get that one). And everything gets refracted through that prism.
Apparently, the media bias against Trump, the already existing anti-Israel bias and the ignorance of some in the media has resulted in a perfect storm of horrendously inaccurate stories.

And it has only been one week.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Tuesday, December 12, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Before you even bother to read this review, just order the book, now. Do not waste a second.

In fact, order more than one. If you have any liberal friends who are not so far gone as to have closed their minds off about Israel, send them a copy of this book.

Industry of Lies: Media, Academia, and the Israeli-Arab Conflict, by Ben-Dror Yemini, is the best book to debunk anti-Israel lies bar none.

For one thing, it is a well-researched piece of scholarship that methodically dismantles the claims of the anti-Israel crowd. Yemini not only goes after the lies but also the decontextualization of things that Israel is involved with.

For example, in chapter 3, Yemini shows that mass population exchanges have happened many times in the 20th century, and that it was universally regarded as a humane way to end conflict at that time, to keep warring groups separated and to minimize slaughter of the minority population. The population exchange between Jews in Arab countries and Arabs under Israeli rule followed the pattern of India/Pakistan, for example.

But moreover in the specific context of Palestine, the people advocating transfer of populations in the 1920s and 1930s were Arab leaders themselves! And other proponents of transfer of Arabs out of a potential Jewish state include not one but two Nobel Peace Prize winners, Norman Angell and Christian Lange. The Zionists were hesitant about transfer, the rest of the world thought it was a great idea.

This is but one small example of how Ben Dror Yemini takes the major anti-Israel talking points - in this case, the lie that Zionism was based on the idea of ethnic cleansing - and reveals the true context for what happened behind the Arab flight from Israel-controlled areas.

The book is literally filled with incredible nuggets of historical as well as current information. The idea of returning refugees to Israel was opposed by Palestinian leaders like Haj Amin Husseini and Emil Ghouri in 19498 and only a fraction of the 25,000 refugees Israel offered to allow to return actually took advantage of the offer in 1949 and 1950. He shows how the "right of return" was always meant to destroy Israel, using quotes from Arab leaders - and how the Arabs refused to integrate Palestinian refugees in their own countries in defiance of UN resolutions. Even though the ideas that Israel engages in "genocide" or "apartheid" are absurd on the face of it, Yemini actually crunches the numbers and shows how such charges cannot possibly come from any honest researcher.

Yemini takes on the charlatan historians, academic frauds, glory-seeking washed up rock stars. He shows dispassionately how small the Israel-Arab conflict is in comparison with other conflicts around the globe - and how those other conflicts, and their victims, are ignored while Palestinian victims are given financial and moral support far out of proportion both to their suffering and to their actual actions.

But the book is more than just a list of facts. Yemini is throwing the gauntlet to the leftists and liberals who think that their anti-Israel obsession is based on justice and not hate.

Yemini is no right-winger. He supports a two-state solution, he is against settlements and at one point he shows that he favored an Ehud Olmert peace plan that would have gone beyond any other with the holy places of Jerusalem under international control. But he is under no illusions about the peacefulness of the Arabs nor about the crazed accusations by Israel's enemies to Israel. He shows that the Palestinians have been the ones to reject peace, over and over again, and that their goals appear to be against any real peace.

Yemini is happy to criticize Israel. He will insult the far right in Israel. But he will not stand still while Haaretz makes up complete lies about Israel and offers them to the world as evidence of how reprehensible Israel supposedly is.

While most other books that make the case for Israel appeal only to committed Zionists, Ben Dror Yemini's Industry of Lies is meant to be read by Israel's critics. Its blurbs are written by Ari Shavit (who is the target of some of Yemini's criticism) and Ehud Barak.

Critics of Israel who are willing to have an open mind should be encouraged to read this. Accomplished liars like Roger Waters or Ilan Pappe or Judith Butler will never deign to allow any of his arguments to go past their armor of hate, but college students who only hear a fourth-hand regurgitation of lies about Israel should read this book.

But beyond that, the book is still a goldmine for the pro-Israel crowd. Yemini's arguments are often novel and different. The book has thousands of footnotes, of which many can become expanded into full articles. (Disclaimer: I am referenced several times.)

In short, this book is a must read for people who love Israel, people who think they love Israel but who have been convinced that it has become evil incarnate, and people who still can think for themselves about Israel and the Middle East.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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