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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    

When Law Enforcement is a CrimeAmos Gvirtz - The very government that transferred Bedouin tribes from their lands into the Sayag zone refrained from legalizing and recognizing the villages it created. The Israeli government decided to declare most of the Sayag lands exclusively cultivable land, thus criminalizing any Bedouin seeking to realize his right to shelter in his village! [bz] 31/1/2017
When Trump falls, Israel will suffer tooAviad Kleinberg - Ynet - Trump gambled on the presidency and hit the jackpot. The Israeli ruling right-wing are celebrating: the dams have been removed; all the things that required caution and restraint in the past have disappeared. But experience shows that Trump has repeatedly gone bankrupt. And when you place all your money on the gambler, you fall along with him. [bz]31/1/2017
The Israeli Law to Legalize Land Theft Haaretz Editorial - The bill to legalize retroactively many settlement outposts built illegally on privately owned Palestinian land invites the world, in particular Europe, to conclude that Israel is a criminal state, and should therefore not be spared international sanctions. [bz]31/1/2017
Trump’s unquestioning support means trouble for IsraelIshaan Tharoor - Washington Post - The Israeli leadership may want "carte blanche," as it seems to get from Trump, but that puts it on a collision course with the rest of the international community - and with a growing part of the Democrats. [bz]28/1/2017
How we can stop the normalization of the occupationYuval Halperin - +972 - Peace will indeed be achieved via negotiations, but there is an important prerequisite to negotiations: they must be between two equal parties. Therefore, if one of the parties is a sovereign state, the other must be a sovereign state, too. For the negotiations to be meaningful and successful, their starting point must be an international ultimatum — one that demands that an independent and sovereign Palestinian state be accepted as a fundamental right of the Palestinian people, rather than an issue to be debated during negotiations. [bz] 28/1/2017
Bibi: Master of incitementYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "Netanyahu can continue to pat himself on the back. He may have ensured himself continuing rule, but his one-sided war against the Arab population has been lost in advance. They are here to stay." - id 25/1/2017
Red Rag column - Basel Ghattas - A Hanukkah miracle - Eran Torbiner`s new projectGideon Spiro - The Security Council Resolution declaring that the settlements are illegal, which passed without a US veto, is news to gladden the hearts of all who struggle against the Israeli government’s policy of Occupation and apartheid. Almost a Hannukah miracle. I lit a candle in honour of those responsible for the Resolution. Of course, one might also ask President Obama, who is now a month before the end of his term – where were you during the past 8 years of your presidency?24/1/2017
Why trade with Israeli settlements should not existTom Moerenhout - Middle East Eye - The real power of the UN resolution and Kerry’s speech lies in the effect it can have on third-party countries that are directly or indirectly supporting Israel’s violations of international law. Many European countries do so, particularly by providing an economic lifeline through trade with Israeli settlements. [bz]24/1/2017
Palestinians, it`s time to take our fight into the global arenaRami Younis - +972 - When Arabs’ houses are demolished — amid live fire against the homeowners — in order to make space for Jews, it’s clear that we need to find another way to resist. [bz]24/1/2017
I have been looking for a home since I came to this worldTamam Abusalama--Being born as a refugee is a destiny that has always been the main factor in shaping each step of my life. Since my first steps in this unjust world, my grandmother who fled her homeland Beith Jirja at the age of 18 holding two children in her lap, used to spend whole nights telling my siblings and I what it means to be displaced and forced to leave home. I was raised in Gaza Strip where my grandparents fled to as it was the closest and safest place to our origin village. However, I have never felt it was my home. I think we refugees are unable to find out what home is because we have an image of home related to our homelands. Till this day I have internal conflict towards “home”.dn22/1/2017
Umm Al-Hiran, Freud, and the Zionists’ Original Sin Mahmoud Zidan--Very few had seen the massacring of Palestinians, the destruction of Palestine, and the expulsion of Palestinians en masse in 1948. One may have seen a documentary on or read about the tragedy, but it is never the same as seeing and bearing witness to it firsthand.dn22/1/2017
Palestine in the Age of TrumpRashid Khalidi--The entire Palestinian political and economic structure set up since the 1993 Oslo Accords was predicated on the idea that it would evolve into a genuine, viable, and contiguous Palestinian state. That illusion, held by many Palestinians, has by now been dispelled. This flawed structure was also based on the premise, a naďve one at best, that the United States had a national interest in moderating Israeli behavior and achieving a modicum of justice in the Middle East. That premise, too, has been demolished.dn21/1/2017
What the world is telling Palestinians, Israelis and TrumpRina Bassist--European diplomats believe the international attendance at the second Paris conference reflects broad support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. dn21/1/2017
"The deeper the corruption investigation – the wider the inflammatory incitement" Gush Shalom - "Knesset Member Dov Khenin of Hadash charged Prime Minister Netanyahu with deliberately inciting against the country’s Arab citizens and setting the police to brutal raids – with the deliberate intention of distracting attention from the ongoing police investigation into charges of corruption against the PM. “The deeper the police investigation of Netanyahu, the wider the flames of his incitement”. ca20/1/2017
Active StillsYonatan Mendel- London Review of Books "The Israeli government says there is no occupation; the documentary group Activestills shoots back with images of Palestinians living under constant military threat. The Israeli army says Palestinians who protest against soldiers are terrorists; Activestills shoots back with photographs of Palestinian civilians standing in silent resistance." ca27/1/2017
Israeli police probe into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu corruption allegations widensLoulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith - Independent - AFP reports that police are addressing two other matters related to Mr Netanyahu, according to Israel`s Channel 10. One of the issues is understood to relate to a deal for Israel to purchase German submarines, while the other remains unclear. It is also not known whether the police’s interest in these issues are preliminary inquiries or official investigations.-rh 26/1/2017
Bennett: Watchdog`s 2014 Gaza War Report Is a Political Earthquake Barak Ravid - Haaretz - Over the next few days, a political battle is expected to be waged in the subcommittee over which portions of the report to make public. The Prime Minister’s Office will apparently seek to prevent publication of certain details. A draft of the report prepared about two months ago was highly critical of Netanyahu’s performance during the war, and also of the performances of then-Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and the diplomatic-security cabinet.-rh26/1/2017
We must know everything about Netanyahu-Mozes affairBen-Dror Yemini - YNet - There is no reason for the attorney general to keep the recordings between the prime minister and the Yedioth publisher confidential. It damages the public’s trust in the media and in the PM and allows countless manipulations. As long as the recordings are not exposed, we—Yedioth’s writers and editors—are suspects too through no fault of our own.-rh19/1/2017
Netanyahu`s media scandal: Who bribed whom?Jonathan Cook - Aljazeera - In 2007, as Netanyahu prepared for a return to power, his political patron Sheldon Adelson, a US casino billionaire, launched the Israel Hayom newspaper. Freely distributed, it soon had a circulation of up to 400,000 a day, making it more widely read than Yedioth Ahronoth. Israel Hayom`s barely disguised cheerleading for Netanyahu quickly earned it an unofficial title - the "Bibi-paper", after Netanyahu`s nickname-rh18/1/2017
Report: Mossad Chief Worked for Firm Linked to Netanyahu`s Billionaire Friend Haaretz - Cohen returned to the Mossad in 2002. Since then, Cohen reportedly met Arnon Milchan dozens of times, both in Israel and abroad. Milchan was granted a place in Cohen`s inner circle when he was still head of Israel`s National Security Council under Netanyahu, Walla said. In 2015, the prime minister appointed Cohen to head the Mossad. A number of the reported meetings between Cohen and Milchan occurred in Los Angeles, where Cohen was sent by then Mossad Chief Meir Dagan to discuss the production of a movie about the secretive Israeli agency.-rh 18/1/2017
How Netanyahu eroded public trust in free pressAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "It’s too early to assess whether the scandal dubbed “Noni-Gate” will result in an indictment of one of these two gentlemen, or both. One cannot rule out the possibility that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit will accept their version of events." - id 18/1/2017
Stuck with Bibi, stuck with OccupationYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "Bibi has a firewall not because he lacks opponents (actually there are many within and outside of his party, and the media are not letting him off the hook), but because his opponents see no credible alternative to his rule." - id 18/1/2017
Red Rag column - Elor Azaria - lament for the dead in JerusalemGideon Spiro - Elor Azaria is not my son, nor are any of those other armed "soldiers/children" who serve in the Occupied Territories, shooting at the civilian population and extra-judicially executing people, any children of mine. They are citizens who need to be persuaded to stop being members of the Israeli Occupation force. gm18/1/2017
Don’t Mess with JerusalemJames J. Zogby - LobeLog - Those who think that Arabs and Muslims will simply bow down before a Trumpian display of decisive strength are playing with fire. It is true that the region is divided and distracted by the unraveling consequences of the Arab Spring, but messing with Jerusalem would be the catalyst for a focused and unified Arab and Muslim response. [bz]17/1/2017
Opposition to a Jewish state is a legitimate positionJackie Walker--This still is taken from an undercover recording of an anti-Semitism training session at the September Labour Party conference where Walker was heckled after questioning Israeli policy [Al Jazeera] dn15/1/2017
This is the one good thing about Obama`s legacy in Israel – and John Kerry might be about to destroy it Nadia Hijab--Stating that Israel must be a `Jewish state` in which the 1.7m Palestinian citizens of Israel `live as equal citizens` is not grounded in reality: there are already over 50 laws that discriminate against them, and Kerry’s principles do nothing to address these dn15/1/2017
On eve of Paris talks PA support for two-state solution not shared among PalestiniansSheren Khalel--Issa Amro, head of Youth Against Settlements, a Palestinian-led organization in Hebron, told Mondoweiss that most Palestinians feel disenfranchised by the continuous cycle of negotiation attempts. “The majority of the Palestinians don’t have any faith in the Paris Peace conference because no matter what, the conference won’t force Israel to fulfill its obligations to international law or human rights treaties,” Amro said. dn 15/1/2017
When some are more equal than others before the lawOrly Noy--Law is a deceptive concept. We like to take pride in being “law-abiding citizens,” and so tend to reject and condemn members of our community who have broken the law. Joint List head Ayman Odeh, for example, was quick to voice his disapproval of the news concerning Basel Ghattas, a Knesset member in his party who is suspected of smuggling cellphones to Palestinian prisoners. Immediately after the reports regarding Ghattas surfaced in December, Odeh emphasized “the importance of respecting the law.” dn15/1/2017
Israel`s education minister takes on role of political censorAkiva Eldar--Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett is promoting a law barring representatives of any anti-occupation organizations from entering high schools, effectively censoring students from information that contradicts the state`s narrative. dn15/1/2017
Paris peace conference: A damp squibMouin Rabbani - Aljazeera - A half-century of Israeli occupation is not going to be meaningfully addressed by international meetings [ry]16/1/2017
The Two-State Solution’s Silver BulletSam Bahour - Huffington Post - If the international community, led by the U.S., is serious about preserving the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the upcoming French-hosted international peace conference is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reframe the way forward. Recognizing the State of Palestine would politically contribute to ending Israel’s nearly 50-year military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. This single act may be the silver bullet to save the two-state solution. [bz]14/1/2017
Why the Fear-mongering? Only One Democratic State is Possible in Palestine and IsraelRamzy Baroud--Long before December 28, when Secretary of State, John Kerry took the podium at the Dean Acheson Auditorium in Washington DC to pontificate on the uncertain future of the two-state solution and the need to save Israel from itself, the subject of a Palestinian state has been paramount. dn14/1/2017
Why FIFA paid close attention to UN anti-settlement resolutionDaoud Kuttab--When the global community was discussing an anti-settlement resolution in New York, officials at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich were watching the deliberation closely. When United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 was approved without a single opposition in the 15-member Security Council Dec. 23, the international governing body of soccer was provided a strong document to resolve the status of the areas in which six Israeli soccer clubs are playing. The clubs are located in West Bank settlements and FIFA bylaws clearly state that soccer associations need permission to play in the territories of another soccer association. dn14/1/2017
IDF Reservists` Letter: Too Little, Too Late Zvi Barel - Haaretz "He who appoints himself to defend Israeli society and bear the colors of the most moral army in the world cannot do so from the safe cage of some generals’ fellowship, as if they are some rare species loftily perched above those who populate the jungle. Generals who speak of morality and are worried about what’s happening to Israeli society can’t fulfill their obligation by defending “one of their own,” while closing their eyes to the snowballing hazard called the Israeli government." ca13/1/2017
Former U.S. Defense Official: Israel’s Security at Risk Due to Religious Intolerance Judy Maltz- Haaretz "Israel’s disregard and disrespect for the non-Orthodox Jewish movements could end up costing it the longstanding support of the United States government, a former senior defense department official with close ties to Israel warned on Wednesday." ca13/1/2017
Palestinian journalists frustrated with inability to cover PA corruption Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor "Palestinian journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are closely following the unfolding case of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allegedly receiving favors or gifts. Their interest is not prompted only by glee at the possible downfall of the Israeli leader they despise, but also by appreciation and envy of Israeli democracy and press freedom that enable the questioning of the prime minister under caution and the investigative reporting against him by the media." ca 13/1/2017
The truck attack that killed four Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem was not ‘terrorism’ Jonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss - In Netanyahu’s rendering, it is not even significant to mention that the four Israelis who died were soldiers (and not worth even mentioning that the attack also claimed a fifth life, that of the driver, but let’s not get over our heads here). He simply notes them as “four young Israelis”. This is a description that strips the context of its military aspect, and I think Netanyahu knows this very well, as I will elaborate later. By such rhetoric, Netanyahu blurs the distinction between military and civilian targets, a principle which is very important in the distinctions concerning terror.-rh11/1/2017
Israel is a Rogue StateJohn Wight - CounterPunch - That Israel is a rogue state has long been beyond dispute in discerning company. In light of the recent revelation that an Israeli official, working for the country’s embassy in London, was plotting ways to “take down” various British politicians over their opposition to Israeli settlements and support for a Palestinian state, it is now becoming increasingly apparent within the mainstream. Or at least it should be given that this latest scandal comes as only the latest exposure of such nefarious activity on the part of a state that has long operated with scant regard for international law at home and overseas.-rh11/1/2017
Israeli court’s conviction temporarily fends off ICCDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - "The manslaughter conviction of an Israeli soldier for killing a wounded Palestinian youth has fended off an investigation of that particular crime by the International Criminal Court, but it does not mean Israel is in the clear on allegations of war crimes for other deaths." - id 11/1/2017
Why Netanyahu rushed to link Jerusalem attack to ISAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to blame the Islamic State for the terror attack in Jerusalem, ignoring that Palestinian assailants are motivated first and foremost by the Israeli occupation." - id 11/1/2017
ISIS Attack Theory Suits Netanyahu Well, but Jerusalem Is Not Berlin Nir Hasson - Haaretz - As far as the prime minister is concerned, this force of absolute evil has no motive or rationale, and has nothing to do with the occupation or any other Israeli policy. (...) Even if Sunday`s attack was inspired by ISIS, it still originated in Jerusalem and is part of the unending series of attacks the city has suffered over the past two-and-a-half years. [bz]10/1/2017
Why the Latest Palestinian Attacker in Jerusalem Was Not Deterred Amira Hass - Haaretz - A group of soldiers in uniform is not a neutral sight to any Palestinian. That’s the look and dress of those who burst into dozens of Palestinian homes every night, those who shoot women and minors to death at checkpoints, those who are sent to attack in the Gaza Strip, and who accompany Civil Administration forces to destroy water cisterns, portable toilets, tin shacks and tents. That Israelis have erased these facts from their agenda doesn’t mean they don’t exist. [bz]10/1/2017
The real impact of UN Resolution 2334 has yet to comeShemuel Meir - +972 - There is no factual foundation for a U.S. policy that allows Israel to annex “settlement blocs” that would stay under Israeli control in a final status agreement. And there is no such promise in the Bush-Sharon letter. Presidents Obama and Bush held nearly identical positions on the territorial issues. It’s difficult to assume that President Trump will turn that stance on its head — it is a position that Washington has held consistently since Resolution 242 and the 1969 Rogers Plan that included minor territorial adjustments. [bz]10/1/2017
Israel’s global standing continues to sink, top strategists sayAli Abunimah - EI - “According to the report, Israel’s efforts to compensate for its deteriorating relations with its traditional supporters, by bolstering ties with ‘non- democratic countries, especially Russia and China, are looked down upon in the international arena’” [ry]9/1/2017
Azaria exposed the reality of Israel`s colonial projectNeve Gordon--Azaria was found guilty of manslaughter after he shot and killed Yusri al-Sharif as he lay wounded on the ground. This striking mobilisation to exonerate Azaria, which cuts across party lines and includes MKs from Labor, should actually come as no surprise, since the desired pardon is not really about absolving one lone murderer, but rather an effort to vindicate Israel`s 50-year occupation.dn8/1/2017
Top U.S. Academic Group Rejects Motion for Boycott of Israel [pity, dn]Taly Krupkin--The resolution was proposed by a group called MLA Members for Justice in Palestine. A decision on the initiative has been postponed for several years. The vote followed a dramatic discussion. Rebecca Comay, the author of the boycott proposal, told the audience that "Palestinians are stripped of the rights we ourselves take for granted." dn8/1/2017
Memo to Kerry: Support for one state is growing among Palestinians and IsraelisJonathan Ofir--In his recent speech ‘Remarks on Middle East Peace’ which I have already ‘interrupted’ and appraised the selective historical timeline of, John Kerry had also misrepresented a very central other issue, which I have not yet regarded in detail: The wish amongst Israelis and Palestinians for a one-state solution. dn8/1/2017
Despite BDS, West Bank industrial zones are boomingOfer Petersberg--Head of the Shomron Regional Council Yossi Dagan was one of the drivers behind the opening of the new industrial park. He said “on the one hand, international companies don’t really comply with EU decisions. On the other hand, Israeli companies aren’t ready to give up on the advantages (of operating in these areas), and are marketing their products to places other than Europe, such as Africa, India, and China.” dn7/1/2017
Being Jewish in the Age of Trump: Why We Must Honor Our History of Oppression by Resisting White SupremacyJulia Sharpe-Levine--I did not understand because I had grown up white in America. After millennia of genocide, displacement, persecution, and exclusion throughout the world, and decades of discrimination and rampant anti-Semitism in the United States, Jews had been accepted by White Christian America. By the time I was growing up in the 1990s, Jewish Americans had been thoroughly assimilated into dominant society and, as a result, had procured the myriad benefits that Whiteness carries with it. dn7/1/2017
Could an Embassy in Jerusalem Bring Us Closer to Peace?MARTIN INDYK - NYT "It might seem that these two desires — to cut the “ultimate deal” and to move the embassy — contradict each other. Indeed, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital could be disastrous. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, Mr. Trump could both fulfill his pledge and move the Israeli-Palestinian peace process forward if he plays his cards right." ca6/1/2017
Elor Azaria: the Israeli soldier who exposed the country`s faultlinesPeter Beaumont - The Guardian - The case of Elor Azaria – the “Hebron shooter” – has cast a long shadow over Israel over the past 10 months. The baby-faced, diminutive soldier who fatally shot a wounded Palestinian attacker in the head exposed multiple faultlines in a country that itself seemed at times to be on trial. For the military, whose senior officers pushed for a prosecution, the case and the international attention that it drew appeared clear cut from the beginning, not least with the threat of action against Israel in the international criminal court.-rh 5/1/2017
The soldier Azaria is a minor accomplice, main culprit is the occupationGush Shalom - Press release - And yet, what took place today at the military tribunal is very far from justice. The great miscarriage of justice is in the very fact that a single young soldier was placed alone in the dock, to be condemned for a crime in which very many others share guilt. Missing in the dock at Azaria’s side were dozens of other soldiers and officers who have done the same, who wantonly killed Palestinians who posed no threat – only, in the other cases there had been no photographer present to provide solid legal evidence. Missing in the dock at Azaria’s side were government ministers and Knesset Members, government supporters as well as those from the “opposition", who had outspokenly called upon soldiers to do precisely what Azaria did.-rh4/1/2017
Is Donald Trump the Friend Israel Needs?BERNARD AVISHAI - NYT - "... one cannot be a friend to Israel without actually being a friend to some Israelis over others, one conception of Israel, the region, and Jews, for that matter, over another." - id 4/1/2017
The fate of Syria will be decided in AstanaYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "This is where Netanyahu’s interests converge with those of his newfound friends, Putin and Erdogan. Israel’s prime interest is to keep Syria from falling into Iranian hands." - id 4/1/2017
Netanyahu’s holy war, and the coming Jewish schismYakov Hirsch - Mondoweiss - For many years Jeffrey Goldberg played a major role in the Hasbara world where Israel is the utter Good and everyone designated by Israel`s PM as "Anti-Semite/Anti-Israel" is Evil Incarnate. But now Jeffrey Goldberg, recently crowned Editor- in-Chief of "The Atlantic", plans to put his magazine at the forefront of militant opposition to the Trump Presidency. And with Netanyahu preparing for a love feast with Trump, Goldberg has no choice but to take a distance from Netanyhau - a choice which many other Liberal American Jews are bound to make in the near future. [ak] 3/1/2017
Annex, Bibi, annexHaim Ramon - Ynet - If Netanyahu and Bennett really want to continue the occupation and are unwilling to give up a single inch of land, they should go all way and start annexing immediately. Such a move will finally put their vision to the test and present the full picture to the public. [bz]3/1/2017
Kerry’s failure, Netanyahu’s liberation Nahum Barnea - Ynet - All the US administrations, since 1967, have seen the settlements as illegal. President George W. Bush was considered one of the greatest friends Israel ever had in the White House. Bush was particularly close to Ehud Olmert when he served as prime minister. “Just don’t ask me to help you fund the evacuation of settlers from the West Bank,” he told Olmert in one of their conversations. “The settlements are illegal. The United States will not compensate you for their establishment.” The six principles specified by Kerry are, more or less, what will stand at the basis of any agreement, if an agreement is ever reached. [bz]3/1/2017
Conforming to Israel`s Malignant Occupation Amira Hass - Haaretz - It’s hard to admit that the Zionist ideology and its creation – Israel – have created a thieving, racist, arrogant monster that robs water and land and history, which has blood on its hands using the excuse of security, which has been deliberately planning today’s dangerous Bantustan situation for decades, on both sides of the Green Line. All Yehoshua is doing is toeing the line and suggesting another sub-definition that helps Israeli bureaucracy to subdivide the Palestinian people and separate them from their spaces and their land. [bz]3/1/2017
Don’t Move the Embassy to Jerusalem; the Downsides Are Too Great Aaron David Miller--I have worked for half a dozen Republican and Democratic secretaries of state, and when it came to the issue of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, my advice was always the same: Don’t. dn1/1/2017
Inside Israel`s Christmas reprimands of foreign diplomatsItamar Eichner--An enraged Foreign Ministry disrupts the holiday for the representatives of those countries who voted against Israel in the UN Security Council; adding insult to injury, small talk is dispensed with, no national flags are displayed, and refreshments aren`t even offered; find herein a glimpse into the machinations of the biggest simultaneous scolding the MFA has ever had to administer. dn1/1/2017
What were the top 10 BDS victories of 2016?Nora Barrows-Friedman--Intensifying repression against BDS movement shows Israel is becoming “desperate and irrational,” Palestinians say. Ryan Rodrick BeilerActiveStills dn1/1/2017
Reflections on surviving the next four yearsTAREQ BACONI AND NADIA HIJAB--What chance does the Palestinian quest for rights and an independent state have under a Trump administration? To address this question one must look beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the way in which Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign trail and since has legitimated racism, xenophobia, and sexism. He has appointed figures who have nurtured white nationalism or who view the world through a clash-of-civilizations prism imbued with Islamophobia dn1/1/2017
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