Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Who's Dying for Whom

CBS News has a heart wrenching report on families that are destroyed by each death in Iraq.

A roadside bomb in Iraq killed Frank's husband, Capt. Stephen Frank. Now, alone with their 2-year-old son, she is broken-hearted beyond words.


The bomb that killed Stephen Frank also took the life of Capt. Jay Harting, whose family lives just around the corner and down the street from Laurel Frank.

Jennifer Harting is left with three small children. The baby, Warren, was born two weeks premature.

These soldiers did their job. The took Iraq in a matter of days. Only the deception and incompetence of the neocon scum and their keyboard lackies like Glenn Reynolds keeps these solders in Iraq. That is the only reason these kids will never know their fathers.

We should have never gone into Iraq in the first place, but when we knew the truth about WMD we should have left immediately. There is no need for even one more US death.

It is particularly sad that they are dying for zelots like this:

New Israeli families take root in doomed West Bank settlement

Just horrible.

Link to CBS News


Anonymous r said...

I once asked a holy roller rapture type Israel supporter what he thought would have happened if the Jewish bible deed had been to North Carolina or Georgia instead of Palestine. The best he could come up with was a sputtering.."that's different."

I had forgotten I had this in my files:...and the Arab position seems very reasonable to me.

"As the Arabs see the Jews"

His Majesty King Abdullah,

The American Magazine

November, 1947

I am especially delighted to address an American audience, for the tragic problem of Palestine will never be solved without American understanding, American sympathy, American support.

So many billions of words have been written about Palestine perhaps more than on any other subject in history that I hesitate to add to them. Yet I am compelled to do so, for I am reluctantly convinced that the world in general, and America in particular, knows almost nothing of the true case for the Arabs.

We Arabs follow, perhaps far more than you think, the press of America. We are frankly disturbed to find that for every word printed on the Arab side, a thousand are printed on the Zionist side.

There are many reasons for this. You have many millions of Jewish citizens interested in this question. They are highly vocal and wise in the ways of publicity.
There are few Arab citizens in America, and we are as yet unskilled in the technique of modern propaganda. The results have been alarming for us. In your press we see a horrible caricature and are told it is our true portrait. In all justice, we cannot let this pass by default.

Our case is quite simple: For nearly 2,000 years Palestine has been almost 100 per cent Arab. It is still preponderantly Arab today, in spite of enormous Jewish immigration. But if this immigration continues we shall soon be outnumbered minority in our home. Palestine is a small and very poor country, about the size of your state of Vermont. Its Arab population is only about 1,200,000. Already we have had forced on us, against our will, some 600,000 Zionist Jews. We are threatened with many hundreds of thousands more.

Our position is so simple and natural that we are amazed it should even be questioned. It is exactly the same position you in America take in regard to the unhappy European Jews. You are sorry for them, but you do not want them in your country.

We do not want them in ours, either. Not because they are Jews, but because they are foreigners. We would not want hundreds of thousands of foreigners in our country, be they Englishmen or Norwegians or Brazilians or whatever. Think for a moment: In the last 25 years we have had one third of our entire population forced upon us. In America that would be the equivalent of 45,000,000 complete strangers admitted to your country, over your violent protest, since 1921. How would you have reacted to that?

Because of our perfectly natural dislike of being overwhelmed in our own homeland, we are called blind nationalists and heartless anti-Semites. This charge would be ludicrous were it not so dangerous. No people on earth have been less "anti-Semitic" than the Arabs. The persecution of the Jews has been confined almost entirely to the Christian nations of the West. Jews, themselves, will admit that never since the Great Dispersion did Jews develop so freely and reach such importance as in Spain when it was an Arab possession. With very minor exceptions, Jews have lived for many centuries in the Middle East, in complete peace and friendliness with their Arab neighbours.

Damascus, Baghdad, Beirut and other Arab centres have always contained large and prosperous Jewish colonies. Until the Zionist invasion of Palestine began, these Jews received the most generous treatment, far better than in Christian Europe. Now, unhappily, for the first time in history, these Jews are beginning to feel the effects of Arab resistance to the Zionist assault. Most of them are as anxious as Arabs to stop it. Most of these Jews who have found happy homes among us present, as we do, the coming of these strangers.

I was puzzled for a long time about the odd belief which apparently persists in America that Palestine has somehow "always been a Jewish land."
Recently an American I talked to cleared up this mystery. He pointed out that the only things most Americans know about Palestine are what they read in the Bible. It was a Jewish land in those days, they reason, and they assume it has always remained so. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is absurd to reach so far back into the mists of history to argue about who should have Palestine today, and I apologise for it. Yet the Jews do this, and I must reply to their "historic claim." I wonder if the world has ever seen a stranger sight than a group of people seriously pretending to claim a land because their ancestors lived there some 2,000 years ago! If you suggest that I am biased, I invite you to read any sound history of the period and verify the facts.

Such fragmentary records as we have indicate that the Jews were wandering nomads from Iraq who moved to southern Turkey, came south to Palestine, stayed there a short time, and then passed to Egypt, where they remained about 400 years. About 1300 BC (according to your calendar) they left Egypt and gradually conquered most "but not all"of the inhabitants of Palestine.

It is significant that the Philistines "not the Jews"gave their name to the country: "Palestine" is merely the Greek form of "Philistia." Only once, during the empire of David and Solomon, did the Jews ever control nearly "but not all "the land which is today Palestine. This empire lasted only 70 years, ending in 926 BC. Only 250 years later the Kingdom of Judah had shrunk to a small province around Jerusalem, barely a quarter of modern Palestine.

In 63 BC the Jews were conquered by Roman Pompey, and never again had even the vestige of independence. The Roman Emperor Hadrian finally wiped them out about 135 AD. He utterly destroyed Jerusalem, rebuilt under another name, and for hundreds of years no Jew was permitted to enter it. A handful of Jews remained in Palestine but the vast majority were killed or scattered to other countries, in the Diaspora, or the Great Dispersion. From that time Palestine ceased to be a Jewish country, in any conceivable sense. This was 1,815 years ago, and yet the Jews solemnly pretend they still own Palestine! If such fantasy were allowed, how the map of the world would dance about!

Italians might claim England, which the Romans held so long. England might claim France, "homeland" of the conquering Normans. And the French Normans might claim Norway, where their ancestors originated. And incidentally, we Arabs might claim Spain, which we held for 700 years.

Many Mexicans might claim Spain, "homeland" of their forefathers. They might even laim Texas, which was Mexican until 100 years ago. And uppose the American Indians claimed the "homeland" of which they were the sole, native, and ancient occupants until only some 450 years ago!

I am not being facetious. All these claims are just as "or just as fantastic"as the Jewish "historic connection" with Palestine. Most are more valid. In any event, the great Moslem expansion about 650 AD finally settled things. It dominated Palestine completely. From that day on, Palestine was solidly Arabic in population, language, and religion. When British armies entered the country during the last war, they found 500,000 Arabs and only 65,000 Jews.

If solid, uninterrupted Arab occupation for nearly 1,300 years does not make a country "Arab", what does?

The Jews say, and rightly, that Palestine is the home of their religion. It is likewise the birthplace of Christianity, but would any Christian nation claim it on that account? In passing, let me say that the Christian Arabs "and there are many hundreds of thousands of them in the Arab World "are in absolute agreement with all other Arabs in opposing the Zionist invasion of Palestine. May I also point out that Jerusalem is, after Mecca and Medina, the holiest place in Islam. In fact, in the early days of our religion, Moslems prayed toward Jerusalem instead of Mecca.

The Jewish "religious claim" to Palestine is as absurd as the "historic claim." The Holy Places, sacred to three great religions, must be open to all, the monopoly of none. Let us not confuse religion and politics.

We are told that we are inhumane and heartless because do not accept with open arms the perhaps 200,000 Jews in Europe who suffered so frightfully under Nazi cruelty, and who even now "almost three years after wars end" still languish in cold, depressing camps. Let me underline several facts. The unimaginable persecution of the Jews was not done by the Arabs: it was done by a Christian nation in the West. The war which ruined Europe and made it almost impossible for these Jews to rehabilitate themselves was fought by the Christian nations of the West. The rich and empty portions of the earth belong, not to the Arabs, but to the Christian nations of the West. And yet, to ease their consciences, these Christian nations of the West are asking Palestine "a poor and tiny Moslem country of the East" to accept the entire burden.

"We have hurt these people terribly," cries the West to the East. "Why you please take care of them for us?"

We find neither logic nor justice in this. Are we therefore "cruel and heartless nationalists"? We are a generous people: we are proud that "Arab hospitality" is a phrase famous throughout the world. We are a humane people: no one was shocked more than we by the Hitlerite terror. No one pities the present plight of the desperate European Jews more than we. But we say that Palestine has already sheltered 600,000 refugees. We believe that is enough to expect of us "even too much. We believe it is now the turn of the rest of the world to accept some of them.

I will be entirely frank with you. There is one thing the Arab world simply cannot understand. Of all the nations of the earth, America is most insistent that something be done for these suffering Jews of Europe. This feeling does credit to the humanity for which America is famous, and to that glorious inscription on your Statue of Liberty.

And yet this same America "the richest, greatest, most powerful nation the world has ever known "refuses to accept more than a token handful of these same Jews herself!

I hope you will not think I am being bitter about this. I have tried hard to understand that mysterious paradox, and I confess I cannot. Nor can any other Arab.
Perhaps you have been informed that "the Jews in Europe want to go to no other place except Palestine."

This myth is one of the greatest propaganda triumphs of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the organisation which promotes with fanatic zeal the emigration to Palestine. It is a subtle half-truth, thus doubly dangerous.

The astounding truth is that nobody on earth really knows where these unfortunate Jews really want to go! You would think that in so grave a problem, the American, British, and other authorities responsible for the European Jews would have made a very careful survey, probably by vote, to find out where each Jew actually wants to go. Amazingly enough this has never been done! The Jewish Agency has prevented it.

Some time ago the American Military Governor in Germany was asked at a press conference how he was so certain that all Jews there wanted to go to Palestine. His answer was simple: "My Jewish advisors tell me so." He admitted no poll had ever been made. Preparations were indeed begun for one, but the Jewish Agency stepped in to stop it.

The truth is that the Jews in German camps are now subjected to a Zionist pressure campaign which learned much from the Nazi terror. It is dangerous for a Jew to say that he would rather go to some other country, not Palestine. Such dissenters have been severely beaten, and worse. Not long ago, in Palestine, nearly 1,000 Austrian Jews informed the international refugee organisation that they would like to go back to Austria, and plans were made to repatriate them. The Jewish Agency heard of this, and exerted enough political pressure to stop it. It would be bad propaganda for Zionism if Jews began leaving Palestine. The nearly 1,000 Austrian are still there, against their will.

The fact is that most of the European Jews are Western in culture and outlook, entirely urban in experience and habits. They cannot really have their hearts set on becoming pioneers in the barren, arid, cramped land which is Palestine.

One thing, however, is undoubtedly true. As matters stand now, most refugee Jews in Europe would, indeed, vote for Palestine, simply because they know no other country will have them. If you or I were given a choice between a near-prison camp for the rest of our lives "or Palestine" we would both choose Palestine, too. But open up any other alternative to them "give them any other choice, and see what happens!

No poll, however, will be worth anything unless the nations of the earth are willing to open their doors "just a little"to the Jews. In other words, if in such a poll a Jew says he wants to go to Sweden, Sweden must be willing to accept him. If he votes for America, you must let him come in.

Any other kind of poll would be a farce. For the desperate Jew, this is no idle testing of opinion: this is a grave matter of life or death. Unless he is absolutely sure that his vote means something, he will always vote for Palestine, so as not to risk his bird in the hand for one in the bush.

In any event, Palestine can accept no more. The 65,000 Jews in Palestine in 1918 have jumped to 600,000 today. We Arabs have increased, too, but not by immigration. The Jews were then a mere 11 per cent of our population. Today they are one third of it.

The rate of increase has been terrifying. In a few more years "unless stopped now" it will overwhelm us, and we shall be an important minority in our own home. Surely the rest of the wide world is rich enough and generous enough to find a place or 200,000 Jews "about one third the number that tiny, poor Palestine has already sheltered. For the rest of the world, it is hardly a drop in the bucket. For us it means national suicide. We are sometimes told that since the Jews came to Palestine, the Arab standard of living has improved. This is a most complicated question. But let us even assume, for the argument, that it is true. We would rather be a bit poorer, and masters of our own home. Is this unnatural?

The sorry story of the so-called "Balfour Declaration," which started Zionist immigration into Palestine, is too complicated to repeat here in detail. It is grounded in broken promises to the Arabs "promises made in cold print which admit no denying. We utterly deny its validity. We utterly deny the right of Great Britain to give away Arab land for a "national home" for an entirely foreign people.

Even the League of Nations sanction does not alter this. At the time, not a single Arab state was a member of the League. We were not allowed to say a word in our own defense.

I must point out, again in friendly frankness, that America was nearly as responsible as Britain for this Balfour Declaration. President Wilson approved it before it was issued, and the American Congress adopted it word for word in a joint resolution on 30th June, 1922.

In the 1920s, Arabs were annoyed and insulted by Zionist immigration, but not alarmed by it. It was steady, but fairly small, as even the Zionist founders thought it would remain. Indeed for some years, more Jews left Palestine than entered it, in 1927 almost twice as many.

But two new factors, entirely unforeseen by Britain or the League or America or the most fervent Zionist, arose in the early thirties to raise the immigration to undreamed heights. One was the World Depression; the second the rise of Hitler.

In 1932, the year before Hitler came to power, only 9,500 Jews came to Palestine. We did not welcome them, but we were not afraid that, at that rate, our solid Arab majority would ever be in danger. But the next year "the year of Hitler" it jumped to 30,000!

In 1934 it was 42,000! In 1935 it reached 61,000! It was no longer the orderly arrival of idealist Zionists. Rather, all Europe was pouring its frightened Jews upon us. Then, at last, we, too, became frightened. We knew that unless this enormous influx stopped, we were, as Arabs, doomed in our Palestine homeland. And we have not changed our minds.

I have the impression that many Americans believe the trouble in Palestine is very remote from them, that America had little to do with it, and that your only interest now is that of a humane bystander.

I believe that you do not realise how directly you are, as a nation, responsible in general for the whole Zionist move and specifically for the present terrorism. I call this to your attention because I am certain that if you realise your responsibility you will act fairly to admit it and assume it. Quite aside from official American support for the "National Home" of the Balfour Declaration, the Zionist settlements in Palestine would have been almost impossible, on anything like the current scale, without American money. This was contributed by American Jewry in an idealistic effort to help their fellows. The motive was worthy: the result were disastrous. The contributions were by private individuals, but they were almost entirely Americans, and, as a nation, only America can answer for it.

The present catastrophe may be laid almost entirely at your door. Your government, almost alone in the world, is insisting on the immediate admission of 100,000 more Jews into Palestine "to be followed by countless additional ones. This will have the most frightful consequences in bloody chaos beyond anything ever hinted at in Palestine before. It is your press and political leadership, almost alone in the world, who press this demand. It is almost entirely American money which hires or buys the "refugee ships" that steam illegally toward Palestine: American money which pays their crews. The illegal immigration from Europe is arranged by the Jewish Agency, supported almost entirely by American funds. It is American dollars which support the terrorists, which buy the bullets and pistols that kill British soldiers "your allies" and Arab citizens "your friends".

We in the Arab world were stunned to hear that you permit open advertisements in newspapers asking for money to finance these terrorists, to arm them openly and deliberately for murder. We could not believe this could really happen in the modern world. Now we must believe it: we have seen the advertisements with our own eyes.

I point out these things because nothing less than complete frankness will be of use. The crisis is too stark for mere polite vagueness which means nothing. I have the most complete confidence in the fair-mindedness and generosity of the American public. We Arabs ask no favours. We ask only that ou know the full truth, not half of it. We ask only that when you judge the Palestine question, you put yourselves in our place. What would your answer be if some outside agency told you that you must accept in America many millions of utter strangers in your midst "enough to dominate your country "merely because they insisted on going to America, and because their forefathers had once lived there some 2,000 years ago?

Our answer is the same.

And what would be your action if, in spite of your refusal, this outside agency began forcing them on you?

Ours will be the same.

6/15/2005 10:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Arminius said...

An even better analogy: what if a bunch of, say, Mongolians converted to a native-American religion and on that basis claimed Manhattan island and, worse, were actually allowed to seize Manhattan as the result of big-power wheeling-dealing?
Something like this happened in Palestine were the "Thirteenth Tribe" seized land to which it has no right whatsoever.

6/16/2005 12:17:00 AM  
Anonymous David said...


Fascinating historical artifact. Thanks.

6/16/2005 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fascinating indeed. If King Abdullah was a legitimate voice of the Palestinians, then why is the "Likudnik" position of Jordan = Palestine considered to be absurd?

The funnt thing is, Brian originally tried to pass himself off as someone who was a supporter of Israel, but just upset at the tactics of AIPAC. Good to see how he has exposed his true colors.

6/16/2005 11:41:00 AM  
Anonymous r said...

Anonymous ..can we stick to facts here?

Palestine = Jordon has no logical comparison to the issue of the immigration of Jews into Palestine.

The one thing I have noticed about many people like yourself is that they have no education in the actual historical facts concerning Palestine and the creation of Israel. You need to find a non partisan, non religious source of history..I would suggest the British National archives, it's on line and can be used for a fee. It has a wealth of offical documents, letters and reports dealing with every aspect of the Israel issue from the start of jewish immigration,late 1800's and early 1900's, into Palestine.

And you still keep missing the point of this blog. Neither Brian nor any other citizen is required to support Israel. Israel is not part of the US. It is a foreign country with it's own agenda and interest. This discussion is about the influence this foreign country is having on our own government and it's policies that we think are dangerous to the US.

6/16/2005 04:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

Well put "r"! Thanks for the interesting post from King Abdullah.

6/16/2005 09:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Palestine = Jordon has no logical comparison to the issue of the immigration of Jews into Palestine."

If an unelected monarch of Jordan was claiming the right to say that Jews can't move back to their ancestral homeland in Palestine, and speaking on behalf of the indigenous Arabs, it most definitely does.

None of my sources for the history of the conflict are "religious." I've read the same things most other people have, and come to my conclusions. I was actually a lot less pro-Israel in the mid 1990s, since I figured it was time for the Israelis to forgive and forget. I still feel Oslo was the right thing to do, although there is always a part of me that feels nagging guilt for saying "Sure! Arming, training, funding, and granting irreversable recognition to the PLO can work!" Because hey, who cares about past massacres like Munich, 1972 (more Zionist propaganda, right?)

As for support for Israel, that's a policy question. If you lived in, say, Europe, you would be faced with the unpleasant fact that your tax dollars were supporting Palestinians, who receive more international aid per capital than any other group of people.

In supporting Israel, the U.S. has chosen to defend a democratic country of a historically oppressed people against repeated attempts at genocide by its racist neighbors, all of which just happen to be some of the most brutal dictatorships on the planet.

I'm an American, and I like that, even if I have never been a big fan of Sharon. Most americans, Democratic or Republican, tend to agree. And we've never even given a dime to AIPAC!

That's not because of any underhanded "foreign influence," or undue influence from groups like AIPAC (although they are very good at marshalling their facts and exercising political clout). That's because it's the right thing to do.

Again, it doesn't mean everything Israel does is right. It means that, on balance, we should continue to demonstrate our firm commitment to an ally. France has been acting in ways a lot more inimical to U.S. interests recently, but I would never dream of pulling out of NATO, and if they were attacked, I would be one of the first to agree that we were treaty bound to protect them. That's a lot more support than we give Israel. And we give such support to less admirable allies as well, such as the Saudi Royals (the war in Iraq was a lot more to protect our interests there than it was Israel).

6/17/2005 07:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you would be faced with the unpleasant fact that your tax dollars were supporting Palestinians, who receive more international aid per capital than any other group of people.

No, that would be a pleasant fact. Oppressed, ethnically cleansed, people whose land has been stolen, and continues to be stolen by religious nutjobs from Brookly, need all the help they can get.

6/17/2005 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kurt Nimmo

has an excellent post up regarding the invasion of Iraq and the shills at the Washington Post. He reminds us of this little slip of the tongue...

“Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990—it’s the threat against Israel,” admitted Philip Zelikow, who was the executive director of the “investigative body” set up to whitewash nine eleven. “And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don’t care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell.

Lest we forget who Americans are dying for. I'll say, not a popular sell.

6/17/2005 11:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Protocols of the Elders Of London

6/17/2005 01:55:00 PM  
Anonymous r said...


I appreciate your imput but still can't agree with your logic.

# Of all the tribes in Arabia, the Jews occupied Palestine for only 70 years of rule and and at most 250 years of a presence in Palestine. Through out the history of the mid east, thru the Romans, the Turks and even the modern invaders such as the British the Arab/Muslims were the bulk of the population. The Jewish claim to their ancestral homeland is not based on a legimate ownership claim but on a "bible deed". So far as I know no other group in modern history has been given a parcel of land based on a bible claim. If you are willing to admit the historical facts then you have to also admit that you are indeed basing your belief of Jewish rights to Palestine on "religion" because the actual historical facts of continous ownership do not support their ancestral claim.

# It is illogical or dishonest to claim that the jews have the right to return to their homeland after 3000 years and at the same time call Israel a democracy when it denies a right of return to Palestines who were forced from their land in the 20 century.
Surely you can see the contridiction in this?

# As for supporting Israel being the "right thing to do" cannot be so naive as to think that the US has acted out of humanitarian reasons in all it's policies. If doing the right thing were the US motivation we would be in Africa and a few other places right now. Support of Israel has come from only two things..political pressure from US jewish groups and Israel as a mid east chess piece in the cold war game with Russia. After the cold war Israel lost a lot of it's support among the American adm's who saw it as no longer very useful. The "new" war on terror has been seized as a "new" reason for continued aid and support to Israel.

# Your heart may be in the right place in wanting to defend against racism, as you say the Arabs are, but once again, get yourself a good history reference. You will learn that the very concept of political zionism is racism. The radical Muslims and the radical zionist are absolutely no different.

# I admit to having been ignorant and misled as most Americans have been for decades concerning the 'democratic" elements of Israel. Again I urge you to study up on the facts. I don't think as an American you would call a country that discriminates on who can and can't do simple things like purchase land a democracy. Arab israeli citizens in Israel are forbidden to purchase land in most of Israel. You might be interested in learning about how the bulk of land in Israel is owned and parceled out and administered by a Jewish land trust. Likewise, I have jewish friends who are married to gentiles, were they to move to Israel they could have immediate citizenship, their wives, not being jewish as in having a jewish mother, could not have the same citizenship status as their husband. There are extreme major differences between the US democracy and what is called democracy in Israel.

# As for France all I can say is "viva la France". My ancestors fought in the American Revolution which France played a part in by furnishing us with money and arms.
Of course King George called us rag tag rebels "terrorist" at the time. As far as I am concerned the Palestines and the Arabs have every right to fight for their land. Fair is fair.

6/17/2005 04:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

small addition to R's post--

On the subject of Israeli democracy: I believe Israeli citizens of Arab blood are not permitted to marry an Arab, at least not if they wish to continue to reside in Israel.

Can someone confirm or deny this for me?

6/17/2005 07:14:00 PM  
Anonymous David said...

anonymous wrote--
"If King Abdullah was a legitimate voice of the Palestinians, ... "

Maybe you already know this, in which case I apologize, but I sense you might not have noted the date of the article. It was written in November, 1947--before the U.N. voted to partition Palestine.

Another point which I fear Americans sometimes misunderstand is the notion of Arab brotherhood. The Arab world is fragmented and quarrelsome, but they share a common religion, a common language, a common culture, and a thousand years of common history. This runs deep. The inhabitants of Cairo, for example, follow closely what is going on in Palestine and know and feel all the pains of the Palestinians, even though they live in different countries.

Ironically, the closest thing we have here in America to this kind of sympathetic relationship, is the relationship of our Jewish population to the Jews of Israel.

6/17/2005 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Noel said...

Israel Changed its National Anthem to Onward Christian Soldiers

6/18/2005 09:13:00 AM  

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