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The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,    but because of the people who don't do anything about it    
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Why I am not voting when Israel goes to the pollsYair Katan - Ynet - "I am not willing to cast a ballot for this current crop of scandal-mongers, gossips and PR-obsessed dilettantes who are tearing the country apart - don`t we deserve better?" - id21/3/2019
Trump: Time for US to recognise Israeli sovereignty over GolanAljazeera - "Trump makes announcement about the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Twitter as Mike Pompeo visits Jerusalem." - id21/3/2019
Understanding Israel’s deception regarding citizenship vs. Jewish nationalityJonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss - People are often confused by the difference between citizenship and nationality when it comes to Israel. This issue most recently came up in the spat between Israeli celebrity Rotem Sela who asked, “when will anyone in this government tell the public that this is a state of all its citizens,” to which Prime Minister Netanyahu replied it wasn’t, and said that it was a nation state of Jews alone.-rh19/3/2019
Netanyahu quotes radical rabbi`s racist invectiveShlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - On March 9, television presenter and model Rotem Sela, angered by a minister who warned that the government’s political rivals would join forces with the Arab parties, wrote a post demanding to know when “will someone in this government convey to the public that Israel is a state of all its citizens.” Netanyahu responded: “Israel is not a state of all its citizens. According to the nation-state law we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people — and not anyone else.” Two days later, during a live event on his Likud party’s propaganda webcast, Netanyahu took it up a notch. “The Arab citizens have 22 nation- states around us, they do not need another one,” he said. Netanyahu was responding to Facebook viewer Ajed Kamal Abu-Assi, a member of the Druze minority who had served in the Israeli military, who asked how the prime minister could consider him a citizen with equal rights in light of the nationality law.-rh 19/3/2019
`Refuse Whitewash of Israel`s Crimes`: Roger Waters Calls for Eurovision Boycott Aya Chajut - Haaretz - (...) "an opportunity to speak up for life over death and also for human rights over human wrongs," and called on him to "refuse to join the cultural whitewash of what a recent UN report calls Israel’s war crimes and possible crimes against humanity (...) and show solidarity with the 189 un-armed protestors shot to death by Israel’s snipers in Gaza last year alone, including at least 35 children," according to data in the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry`s report on the 2018 Gaza border protests, published in February." [bz]19/3/2019
B’Tselem to UN Commission of Inquiry: Israeli “investigations” a mere whitewashing Amit Gilutz - B’Tselem - "The Israeli authorities` promise to “investigate” eleven incidents in which protesters were killed on the Gaza border is mere propaganda" says B’Tselem’s director Hagai El-Ad. He called called upon Santiago Canton, head of the UN Commission of Inquiry into 2018 Gaza protests, to reject the tapestry of lies woven while Israeli soldiers killed even more unarmed protesters: “A real change in Israeli policy will only take place if the international community demands it clearly and unequivocally, and if it stops allowing Israel to do no more than offer hollow promises of ‘investigation’.” [ak]19/3/2019
UN experts urge Israel to rein in security forces on Gaza borderReuters, AP and Ynet - The Commission of Inquiry said Israel should review the rules of engagement immediately and investigate the shooting of more than 6,000 people in past year. [bz]19/3/2019
Pittsburgh Jews raise £150K for Christchurch Muslim communities after massacreJewish News reporter - Times of Israel - Jewish residents of Pittsburgh have raised £150,000 ($200,000) for New Zealand’s Muslim community. A bid to repay the kindness shown by Muslims in the aftermath of the synagogue shooting in October. The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh was quick to organise the fundraising this week after a man wrote a far-right manifesto before entering two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, killing 50 worshippers and wounding another 50. [bz]19/3/2019
German Jews for Palestinian rights receive a peace prize– and are dismissed as ‘the wrong kind of Jews’Jonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss - "Nonetheless the jury stuck to its decision, and crowdfunded a prize of 28,000 Euros, which the organization will donate to human rights organizations in Palestine as well as to the liberal Israeli +972 Magazine" [ry] 18/3/2019
Israeli arms industry’s “great leap” in Central AmericaGabriel Schivone - EI - "Halfway through Donald Trump’s presidency, Israel’s decades-long role in Central America is scaling new heights of military and political influence. Israel has wasted no time securing valuable arms deals in this part of the world, deals that now account for nearly 20 percent of its arms exports" [ry] 18/3/2019
Likud MK: Netanyahu ready to conquer Gaza before elections ‘if need be’The Times of Israel - Opposition accuses PM of having lost Israel’s deterrence, but Labor MK says it’s ‘absurd’ her colleagues are going after PM for showing restraint [ry] 18/3/2019
Israel: Top court bans Jewish Power`s Michael Ben-Ari from pollsAl Jazeera - Supreme Court bans far-right candidate Michael Ben-Ari from April elections, citing his display of anti-Arab racism [ry] 18/3/2019
Racism on the railsRod Such - Electronic Intifada "Many people outside of Canada are unfamiliar with Bombardier, but the Montreal-based aerospace and rail transportation behemoth is a global corporation with more than 65,000 employees in 28 countries.It is also a violator of international law participating in settler-colony projects that dispossess indigenous people, according to David P. Thomas, an associate professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada." ca16/3/2019
Shaked Sprays Herself With ‘Fascism’ Perfume in Campaign AdIMEMC - A new election ad for the far-right Hayamin Hehadash party, featuring Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked in sultry poses, spraying herself with a perfume labeled “Fascism,” has the look and feel of a satiric sketch, echoing a 2017 “Saturday Night Live” send-up of Ivanka Trump in a mock commercial for the scent “Complicit.” But, the Shaked ad was no send-up: The images are accompanied by the seductively whispered phrases (in Hebrew) “Judicial reform,” “Separation of powers” and “Restraining the Supreme Court”... [bz]13/3/2019
Defending nation-state law, PM says Israeli Arabs have 22 other countriesRAOUL WOOTLIFF - The Times of Israel - The claim that there are 22 other Arab states is often used by right-wing Israelis as an argument against Palestinian statehood, but is not generally used as an argument regarding the country’s Arab citizens, who make up almost a quarter of the population.-rh12/3/2019
Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot wades into Netanyahu row over Israeli ArabsBBC News - "This isn`t a matter of right or left. Jew or Arab. Secular or religious," she told her 28.3m followers on Instagram. "It`s a matter of dialogue, of dialogue for peace and equality and of our tolerance of one towards the other." President Reuven Rivlin also appeared to get involved in the debate on Monday. Without mentioning any names, Mr Rivlin condemned what he said were recent "entirely unacceptable remarks about the Arab citizens of Israel". [bz]12/3/2019
Israel’s Central Election Committee, at the service of the right? Danny Zaken - Al-Monitor - Attorney Aner Helman, representing Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, presented the panel, comprised of lawmakers from the outgoing Knesset, with examples of Otzma Yehudit’s statements. These included a particularly egregious one from August 2018 by Otzma Yehudit Chair Michael Ben Ari, No. 5 on the United Right-Wing Parties’ Knesset slate. “We have to change the equation regarding anyone who dares to speak against a Jew. [Such a person] is a dead man. He must not come out alive. No expelling him, no stripping him of his citizenship. He does not live! A firing squad takes him out as the Arabs understand [best],” Ben Ari said.-rh 12/3/2019
Lebanese architect blazes new pathJoseph Hammond - Al-Monitor " The selection of a design for the new Beirut Museum of Art building marks an important step forward for women in the Middle East and in the Lebanese cultural scene. In December 2018, the museum announced that the winning design was from WORKac, a New York-based firm co-founded by Beirut-born architect Amale Andraos. Andraos, currently the dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, co-founded WORKac with her partner, Dan Wood." ca 9/3/2019
Israel is Playing a Big Role in India’s Escalating Conflict with PakistanRobert Fisk - Counter Punch - "Two thousand five hundred miles separate the Israeli ministry of defence in Tel Aviv from the Indian ministry of defence in New Delhi, but there’s a reason why the usual cliche-stricken agency dispatches sound so similar." - id7/3/2019
EU court upholds freeze on Hamas fundsAl-Jazeera - "The organisation describes itself as "a lawful political movement that won the Palestinian elections and forms the core of the Palestinian government," which should therefore prevent it "from being characterised as a terrorist group"." - id7/3/2019
I’m Jewish, and I’m ashamed of how we’re treating Ilhan OmarScott Brown - +972 - "Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is being accused of anti-Semitism not because criticizing Israel is anti-Semitic, but because the pro-Israel lobby has done a great job of making the American public and Congress believe that story." - id7/3/2019
Israeli Political Decisions Could Spark West Bank Violence, Defense Officials Warn Yaniv Kubovich - Haaretz - A series of what defense officials term election-driven decisions against the Palestinians could spark violence in the West Bank, especially when combined with the territory’s poor economy, these officials warned the government recently. Among the most important of these was the decision to deduct all the money the Palestinian Authority pays jailed terrorists from the tax revenue Israel collects on the PA’s behalf. Defense officials attribute this decision to rightist parties’ need to woo their bases ahead of April’s election. [bz]5/3/2019
Palestinian peace activist denied entry to U.S. for speaking tourEdo Konrad - +972 - During his interrogation, Iliwat was repeatedly asked about Combatants for Peace and about his political affiliations. Interrogators asked repeatedly about the beliefs, the political affiliations of the founders of the organization, and how often Iliwat speaks to them on a daily basis, and whether they have spent time in Israeli prisons. The interrogators also asked Iliwat about the West Bank tours Combatants for Peace organizes, and which Palestinian political movement he supports. [bz]5/3/2019
Palestinian families left homeless after Israeli demolition near Haifa Ma`an - Israeli Palestinian rights group Adalah says that only 4.6% of new homes built in Israel are in Palestinian towns and villages, even though Palestinians make up over 20% of the population. This in spite of their recognized Israeli citizenship. The difficulty for Palestinians in Israel to obtain building permits forces them to expand or build homes and structures without permits, which are liable to later be torn down. [bz]5/3/2019
Supreme Court: Scientist`s Appointment Can`t Be Blocked Over Signing 13 years ago a petition in support of refusers.Asaf Ronel and Revital Hovel - Haaretz - Hendel and Stein agreed in their ruling that a call for refusing orders could be a moral consideration for blocking an appointment, but were not convinced that the present case, as Minister Akunis presented it, justifies banning Amitai form serving on the scientific commission. In spite of the leniency in this specific case the Association for Civil Rights in Israel said the ruling was a serious blow to the freedom of political expression in Israel and the court in practice allowed a minister to examine the worldview of a candidate for the position and reject her if she does not toe the line with the minister’s position. ACRI called this unprecedented. [bz]5/3/2019
A relationship in need of ReformItamar Eichner - Ynet - Slowly but surely, Israel`s relationship with liberal American Jewry is deteriorating; now, the Foreign Ministry has accused the Reform Movement of neglecting Israel at an upcoming conference — and outraged the largest Jewish denomination in the US [ry] 4/3/2019
Corbyn calls for UK to condemn Israel’s targeting of PalestiniansMEMO - “On Twitter, Corbyn wrote: ‘The UN says Israel’s killings of demonstrators in Gaza – including children, paramedics and journalists – may constitute ‘war crimes or crimes against humanity. The UK government must unequivocally condemn the killings and freeze arms sales to Israel’” [ry] 4/3/2019
Report: Downgrade of Palestinian Mission to ‘Take Effect on Monday’IMEMC News & Agencies - "The United States is scheduled to move ahead with a downgrade of its mission to the Palestinians, on Monday, by merging its Jerusalem consulate with the embassy to Israel, a US official said" [ry] 4/3/2019
When Saudi Arabia Gets the BombCharles Pierson - Counterpunch "After Venezuela, Saudi Arabia sits on the largest oil reserves on the planet. Why does it need nuclear power? The Saudis give several reasons. Under his ambitious “Vision 2030” plan, MBS, as the crown prince is known, is out to diversify the Saudi economy and make the kingdom less dependent on February 2018, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, who is heading up the negotiations with the Saudis because Trump has been unable to find anyone less qualified to do so, was considering a deal which would allow the Saudis to enrich uranium after 10 to 15 years." ca2/3/2019
Pompeo: If Bibi Wants a Fascist Government, Fine by UsRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "Mike Pompeo told Jake Tapper that it was none of our business what Bibi Netanyahu did regarding internal Israeli politics. Israel’s a democracy, and if it’s voters want outright fascists in government, it’s OK by him:" ca2/3/2019
A Wider Bridge: the “gay rights” group funded by homophobesStephanie Skora - Electronic Intifada "If you’ve encountered LGBTQ Jewish life in the United States, odds are you’ve heard of A Wider Bridge. The LGBTQ-specific Israel advocacy organization, whose mission in its own words is “Equality IN Israel and Equality FOR Israel,” has tried hard to portray itself as progressive and to create a pro-Israel bent in LGBTQ life in the United States...A Wider Bridge receives funding directly from organizations with a long and troubling pattern of giving to groups that could be classified as right-wing, anti-gay, anti-Muslim, pro- settlement; campus-specific organizations dedicated to those causes; or agents and politicians in the Republican Party. All eight of their publicly available institutional funders have repeatedly given to organizations that fit these categories." ca2/3/2019
UN: Possible Israel crimes against humanity in GazaAl-Jazeera - "UN inquiry finds `reasonable grounds to believe` snipers shot at children, other civilians during 2018 Gaza protests." - id28/2/2019
Bedouin Families, Human Rights Groups Demand End to Construction of Dangerous Phosphate Mine in NegevIMEMC News - "A petition has been filed against an Israeli mine that poses health dangers to Al-Fura’a residents and will lead to immediate transfer of thousands; the mine is part of an Israeli plan to force 36,000 Bedouins from their homes." - id28/2/2019
Netanyahu Sparks Outrage Over Pact With Racist PartyDavid M. Halbfinger - NYT - The outrage was not limited to the left. On Friday, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the American lobbying group known as Aipac, and the American Jewish Committee, both of which rarely weigh in publicly on Israeli politics, declared Otzma Yehudit’s ideas “reprehensible.” They vowed not to have any contact with its leaders even if they become part of the next government. In an equally extraordinary step, Rabbi Benny Lau of Jerusalem, a pillar of religious Zionism, repeatedly assailed the merger over the weekend, and lamented that the prime minister seemed concerned only with winning re-election. From his pulpit at the Ramban Synagogue, likened Kahanism to Nazism and its ideas to the Nuremberg Laws. “The entry of the racist doctrine into the Knesset is the destruction of the Temple,” he wrote on Facebook on Sunday. [bz]26/2/2019
Kushner comments on borders heat up the Israeli elections campaign Stanley Carvalho, Ghaida Ghantous and Jeffrey Heller - Reuters - White House adviser Jared Kushner said that Donald Trump`s long- touted Middle East plan would address final-status issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including the establishing of borders. Kushner is on a tour of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, aimed at making these countries endorse the Trump plan and themselves pressure the Palestinians to accept it. After being delayed over more than two years, which made observers increasingly skeptical, doubtful, the Trump Plan now seems set to be published immediately after the Israeli general elections, due on April 9. In Israel, Education Minister Naftali Bennet - leader of the extreme "New Right Party" - expressed suspicions that Netanyahu, should he win the ballot, would work with Trump "to allow the establishment of a Palestinian state”. A spokesperson for Netanyahu`s Likud Party emphasized that the PM, had "defended The Land of Israel" against "the Hostile Obama" and would do the same also against "the frienly Trump". For their part, the Palestinians remain highly suspicious. Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator in talks that collapsed in 2014, said that “Trump’s map” envisaged “isolated territories for the Palestinians”.[ak] 26/2/2019
Dutch Green party endorses a boycott of IsraelCnaan Liphshiz - JTA - “BDS is a legitimate means to help Palestinians in their fight for justice,” the passed motion said. And it states that Green Left “will be alert and resist forcefully attempts in any country to criminalize BDS.” [bz]26/2/2019
France to criminalize anti-ZionismAli Abunimah - EI - “Macron’s move fits in directly with Israel’s agenda. While ignoring the resurgence of real and virulent anti-Semitism from right-wing European governments and political movements with which Israel is closely allied, Israel is instead claiming that `anti-Zionism is now the most popular form of anti-Semitism`” [ry] 25/2/2019
After AIPAC rebuke, Netanyahu defends aiding Kahanists: ‘Hypocrisy by the left’The Times of Israel - PM says ‘left acted to bring extreme Islamists into Knesset’ while now damning ‘union with right-wing parties’; Otzma Yehudit: AIPAC want left in power, government that cedes land [ry] 25/2/2019
The last eyewitnesses: a new film on the NakbaStephen Shenfield - Mondoweiss "Today marks the release of a new film on the Nakba, entitled “1948: Creation & Catastrophe.” Stephen Shenfield interviews co-directors and executive producers professor Ahlam Muhtaseb, head of the Center for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at California State University at San Bernardino, and Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Andy Trimlett." ca23/2/2019
Yair Netanyahu to Rabin`s grandson: Your grandfather murdered Holocaust survivors Itamar Eichner - YnetNews "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s son, Yair, on Wednesday sparked outcry on social media, clashing with slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin`s grandson, Yonatan Ben-Artzi, calling Rabin "a murderer of Holocaust survivors." ca23/2/2019
TV presenter comes under fire for dubbing IDF soldiers `beasts`Jerusalem Post - After airing story about Netzah Yehuda soldiers charged with abusing Palestinian detainees, veteran TV anchor journalist Oshrat Kotler remarked "We send kids to the army, to the territories, and we get them back as beasts. This is the result of the occupation". The comments aroused an angry storm of right-wing reactions, mostly concentrated on accusing Kotler of "insulting our soldiers" - starting with PM Netanyahu saying he was "proud of IDF soldiers and loves them very much" and that "Oshrat Kotler`s comments should be condemned" and going on to Netanyahu`s tame newspaper "Israel Today" publishing a commentary comparing Kotler with the WWII pro-Nazi propagandist "Lord Haw Haw" who was hanged for treason in 1945. Altogether, some 2000 complaints were made to the Channel 13 TV network, demanding that Kotler be fired and some adding that she should be prosecuted for "defaming the soldiers". However, Channel 13 responded that Kotler has clear opinions which she is free to occasionally voice on the air, and that since numerous threats were made on her life the Channel will provide her with bodyguards. ""You don`t want a reality of occupation and violence? Then it is this reality which needs to be changed" said Tamar Zandberg, leader of the left-wing Meretz Party. A surprising expression of support came from Er`el Segal, a radio and TV commentator known for his radical nationalist views, who declared both his "complete opposition to Kotler`s views" and his "full, unreserved support for her right to express these views". [ak] 19/2/2019
Israel wants to deport 300 refugees to one of the world`s most dangerous countriesBen Toren - +972 - Israel’s 300 Congolese asylum seekers have been living in the country for well over a decade. Now the Israeli government is trying to deport them back to their home country, considered one of the most dangerous in the world [ry] 18/2/2019
Up in Arms About Israeli Arms ExportsAdi Pick - Calcalist - A small but vocal group of Israelis is calling into question long-established taboos in Israeli society, protesting arms exports to countries violating human rights [ry] 18/2/2019
Netanyahu Calls on Arab States to Join War Against IranRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "What is most striking about this statement is that it’s the first time Israel or any world leader has called for a first-strike against Iran. Note that there is no conditions laid. He doesn’t say if Iran attacks, we will respond, the usual polite formulations of past U.S. and Israeli governments. This is Bibi thundering on the world stage for these 60 nations to wage war against a common enemy and destroy him." - id 17/2/2019
Veteran peace hands see growing Israeli-Arab alignment in Warsaw Laura Rozen - Al-Monitor " Ross described his role at the US-Polish co-hosted conference to Al-Monitor after tweeting observations that warned the Palestinian Authority (PA), which skipped the Warsaw meeting, could find itself left behind." ca 16/2/2019
The Quiet Revolution Happening in LakiaDaniel Sokatch - NIF "What is happening in Lakia is nothing short of quiet revolution, putting Lakia’s residents squarely in the center of the planning process. Civic engagement, exemplified by this new initiative, has been shown to improve public health outcomes, reduce violence in localities that struggle with crime, and help citizens access funding that may be available but inaccessible. And this collaboration puts marginalized groups at the center of the planning process, from which they have historically been excluded, training local actors to envision and implement a development plan with the participation of residents, especially women and youth." ca16/2/2019
Ramallah exhibition honors 15 assassinated intellectualsThis Week in Palestine - Entitled "The Intellectual Martyrs of the Palestinian Revolution", a new exhibition opened at the Yasser Arafat Museum in Ramallah honors fifteen Palestinian intellectuals and academics whose lived were ended by an assassin`s bullet of bomb. The earliest are Ghassan Kanafani and Wael Zuaiter, assasinated in 1972 at Beirut and Rome respectively. The latest is Naji Al-Ali, killed in London at 1987. Responsibility for some of the assassinations was officially claimed by the Israeli army and security services, who invariably dubbed the victims "terrorists" though none of them was involved in any armed action. For the assassination of some others of these fifteen, no one ever claimed the responsibility and they remain shrouded in mystery and controversy. For the present exhibition, due to run until June 2019, new portraits of all fifteen were commissioned from Palestinian painters. [ak] 12/2/2019
Wiped Off the Map: Railway Plan Skips Arab Towns, Leaves 180,000 Without Transport SolutionOsnat Nir - Haaretz - The plan to run a railway line through Wadi Ara, linking communities along that valley to the national railway system, has been shelved, with an alternative plan being presented by the Transportation Ministry leaving out the mainly Arab communities along the valley. The new proposed route will lie further north, going through a tunnel before joining the Jezreel Valley line between Kfar Yehoshua and Kfar Baruch. [bz] 12/2/2019
New US lawmakers’ criticism of Israel pressures DemocratsAFP - Arab News - Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib made their debut last month as US representatives by openly declaring support for the Palestinian-led BDS * The movement calls for sanctions against Israel over its apartheid policies [ry] 11/2/2019
Smeared Labour candidate fights backAsa Winstanley - EI - "Local members in April had voted to endorse Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt as their candidate in the next general election. But Gordon- Nesbitt was soon smeared by Guido Fawkes, a hard-right website" [ry] 11/2/2019
Netherlands to recognise Gaza Strip and West Bank as birthplacesAl Jazeera - Netherlands will allow those born after May 15, 1948 to use occupied Palestinian territories as official place of birth [ry] 11/2/2019
“Largest Land Grab Since 1948” — Israel to Expel 36,000 Palestinians From NegevWhitney Webb - Mintpressnews - According to an Israeli media report, the Israeli government has completed work on a massive, far-reaching plan that would expel an estimated 36,000 Palestinians from “unrecognized” villages in the Negev Desert. If the plan is approved by the Knesset, Israel’s legislative body, its implementation could begin as soon as this year and would take four years to complete. News of the plan was first published by Israel Hayom – Israel’s largest Hebrew-language newspaper, funded by Sheldon Adelson, the top donor to both U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The plan — compiled by Uri Ariel, Israel’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, and his staff — features the seizure of an estimated 260,00 dunams (64,247 acres) from Palestine’s Bedouins. The size of the territory in question and the high number of Palestinians set to be affected has led some to call the plan the largest “land grab” of Palestinian-inhabited land since 1948, when the state of Israel was founded.-rh5/2/2019
Gaza gets new center for treating children with cancer Rami Almeghari - The Electronic Intifada "Costing $3.5 million, the new department has been built on the initiative of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF), a US- based charity.It has been named after Musa and Suhaila Nasir, co- founders of the PCRF...A key objective of the new hospital department is to provide vital care within Gaza. “We are going to start providing all medical care needed for those children, as best as we can,” said Steve Sosebee, the PCRF’s president." ca 4/2/2019
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