It was reported in the press on August 23, 2005, that Palestinian Authority said: "We Won't Disarm Terror Groups, We Will Continue Armed Struggle, Martyrs Deserve Credit".
Musa abu-Marzouk, a senior Hamas leader, said, "We stressed during the meeting with Qurei that the Palestinians have the right to continue the resistance against Israel and that there would be no attempt to collect weapons from the resistance groups. The weapons of resistance were founded to defend the Palestinian people and resist the occupation. The Gaza victory was achieved with the weapons of resistance, which is the only strategy to drive Israel out of the rest of our lands."
Hamas also vowed to bring terror to "Haifa, Tel Aviv, Safed, Acre and Ashkelon" and pledged that soon "Israel will no longer exist." Mahmoud Zahar, another Hamas leader, condemned "useless negotiations."
Qurei agreed saying, "there will be no calm until the establishment of a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capitol." Mahmoud Abbas, Holocaust Denier and President of the PA added that the "Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip was not enough and that Israel should withdraw to the pre-1967 borders." Abbas also called for "international pressure on Israel to implement the Road Map and withdraw from the entire West Bank and east Jerusalem and to stop construction of the security fence."
Abbas also addressed a gathering of injured and disabled Arabs and asserted that "the credit of the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza Strip and Northern West Bank goes to the Palestinians who were killed, wounded and imprisoned during the decades of struggle...the injuries and disabilities they carried were medals of honor that are paid today with the exit of the last Israeli settler from Gaza."
The ethnic cleansing of Jews from Gaza has so far energized terrorist groups who seem now more than ever to be disposed toward violence against Israel.
For those who say Israel isn't doing enough they are simply ignorant of the facts on the ground. Israel has made more than its share of concessions. Israel has tried it all and nothing worked because it is simply a bad neighborhood and the Palestinian Arabs are simply unwilling to live with Jews peacefully.
You cannot make peace when there are conflicting visions of what that means. For Arabs that conflicting vision means no Israel. It does not mean Jews with their own country. But the state of Israel is a fact and nothing is going to change that and unless the Arabs can get over their intense hatred of the Jews there will be no reconciliation, no peace, and no state for Palestinians.
The solution is as Ariel Sharon saw it, and for those who take his place - to have a complete separation from the Arabs. The Sharon strategy is about erecting a separation wall, to be a security fence, the purpose of which is to keep the terrorists out of Israel and the only way to do that is to disengage. The settlements in Gaza were a security problem. There was no inexpensive way to guard the Jewish villages from the Arab villages; to separate them without abandoning them so that is what had to be done.
Someone has suggested the Palestinians should build a statue to Ariel Sharon for handing them a Palestinian State in Gaza and they should call him the "Father of Palestine."
The Jews loved the land. Most of the land was not cultivatable but they paid exorbitant prices for it anyway. Most of the cultivatable land was filled with rocks and interspersed with intermittent mountain ranges or sand dunes. It was a bleak terrain; soils were alkaline and semi-arable; there were obstructed water courses, and marshlands. This was a land most Arabs did not want and many who owned land sold the land to Jews at inflated prices.
For those who say Israel isn't doing enough for peace are uninformed. Israel has made more than its share of concessions. Israel has tried it all and nothing worked because it is simply a bad neighborhood and Palestinian Aras are simply unwilling to live with Jews peacefully.
The Palestinian Authority did not disarm HAMAS or Islamic Jihad, who attack Israeli civilians, it coalesced with them. The PA leadership met with Hamas and the Islamic Jihad to negotiate a cooperation pack to continue their belligerence and non-cooperation with the Israelis. And these are the folks Israel turned Gaza over to:
Senior HAMAS leader, Musa abu-Marzouk said at this meeting: "The Gaza victory was achieved with the weapons of resistance, which is the only strategy to drive Israel out of the rest of our lands."
The pullout from Gaza was considered a retreat not only by the Palestinians but also by those settlers who were expelled from their homes.
The Bush administration was making noise about Israel also abandoning the West Bank but they have since stopped. Gaza should teach us that it does not pay to capitulate to those who want to kill you.
Now the west wants to capitulate to the Iranians who are determined to have their nuclear weapons program. Who will stop them?
"Within a few short years of the founding of Israel, the Arab world emptied itself of its Jews. In some countries the process took a year or two, elsewhere it took a decade. The Jewish community of Yemen had been in place since the days of King Solomon, some 2,950 years ago, and may have had the longest unbroken history of any Jewish community. The next oldest, in Iraq, was at least 2,700 years old and had been the undisputed center of the Jewish world for perhaps 1,000 years. In the whole history of humanity, there are only a few communities that can boast of 2,700 years of creative existence, through war, conquest, destruction, famine and pestilence. And then it was suddenly gone."
The world generally ignores the real catastrophes, the Brutal expulsion of almost a million Jews from Arab countries, not to forget also the other extermination of six million Jews from Europe which just preceded it. In Europe Jews also lost billions of dollars in property never to be returned to them, except for reparations which Germany pays to survivors but there are no reparations or payback for the $11 billion worth of Jewish property and assets stolen from the Jews in Arab countries.
The vast majority of Jews who survived went to Israel and many of their persecutors are still trying to kill them. If noticed at all this "awesome convulsion" as Lozowick calls it, has all but "disappeared from the world's consciousness."
Half the Jews in Israel are not from Europe, they are from Arab countries from whence they were expelled and cannot go back. These refugees are never mentioned by human rights organizations or by a left which consistently sides with Arabs who want to obliterate the Jews and Israel.
Israel gave them a home, whereas the Arabs gave Palestinians who left Israel nothing but refugee camps, the intention being to make this an issue the world obsesses and focuses on to the exclusion of the grave injustices done to the Jews.
"The resurrection of the dead will not come until the Muslims will war with the Jews and the Muslims will kill them;...the trees and rocks will say, `O Muslim, O Abdullah, here is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."
Jews can make a home almost anywhere but Jews are never completely at home anywhere except in Israel.
That is not because they don't want to be at home elsewhere, nor because they don't try, but, because antisemitic myths never seem to die and the hatred which fuels antisemitism has been promulgated for thousands of years. Having a strong Israel insures that Jews can live more comfortably elsewhere. A strong Israel is more than pride; it is Jewish centrality and does more to confront the Jewish victimization complex than anything else could do so.
"Despite the claims of liberal democratic theory and the Utopian promises of Socialists and Communists, the nationalisms of the nineteenth century, both West and East, infiltrated all competing political movements and exacerbated and radicalized European anti-Semitism. Zionism gave to many Jews a way of thinking that enabled them to confront the anti-Semite on the street with renewed pride. In their everyday existence, Jews could engage the hostile world harboring the hope that they were citizens of a modern nation in the process of being realized. They would not be condemned forever to being powerless and exceptional."
Antisemitism as a universal pathology did not disappear with the re-establishment of Israel which is why Israel is even more important today as a refuge. Some non-Jews, to their credit have vigorously, and sometimes heroically, countered antisemitism but all too often they are the exception.
Bernard Lewis says, "Zionism is not always easy to determine with any precision or certainty. Even the terms are difficult to define, and are used with multiple and changing meanings. What is Israel, what is Zionism, and who, for that matter, are the Jews?"
"Of the three, Israel is the easiest. It is the name of a state which was established on May 14, 1948, and since then has conducted itself as do other states, in the pursuit of its own interests and the application of policies designed to serve those interests. These policies may be good or bad, effective or ineffective, compatible or incompatible with the interest of other states, and opposition to them is not in itself a sign of prejudice any more than is opposition to the activities of other states in the world that are involved in conflicts. A clash of national or state interests may generate prejudice or be affected by it. It is not in itself evidence of prejudice." (Lewis)
"To define Zionism is altogether a more difficult task. Originally, the term denoted a certain analysis of the Jewish predicament and a prescription for its cure. This was, briefly, that Jews were persecuted because they were strangers everywhere and had no home of their own. The answer was to create a Jewish national home which would eventually develop into a Jewish state. This would provide shelter for those Jews who needed it, encouragement and if need be help for those who continued to live elsewhere. It would also create a center where Jews, without fear of either persecution or suspicion, could develop their own Jewish culture and way of life. Above all, it would be one place in the world where Jews could live as Jews, not dependent on the sufferance or tolerance or goodwill of others, but as masters in their own home. Some argued that this Jewish national home might be built anywhere in the world, where there was empty land and a willing government, and attempts were made in Uganda, Australia, Sinai, South America, and, under Soviet auspices, in the remote Siberian province of Birobidzhan, on the border of Mongolia. Most of these never got beyond the stage of discussion; none of them achieved any results. There was only one place to which Jews felt they had an historic claim, and which had an emotional appeal powerful enough to evoke the necessary effort an endurance. That was the ancient land of Israel."
The Holocaust didn't just happen; it was totally premeditated by `enlightened' people from various backgrounds, including intellectuals.
A Christian writer, Professor Claude R. Foster, a professor of history at West Chester State College wrote that, "Throughout the nineteenth century, the Jew sought desperately to identify himself with the European Christian Community without converting. Many Jews accepted assimilation and some also did convert in order to gain admission into European society."
In the latter part of the nineteenth century however, a violent racial antisemitism appeared that rejected assimilation as a solution to the "Jewish Problem."
The tensions among the Jews themselves: liberals versus orthodox and Zionists versus assimilationist's, the economic crises, the need to find a scapegoat for national humiliation, the identification of Jews with Marxists, and the swing to the political right, all of which, helped to prepare for the outbreak of violent racial-type Antisemitism, which led to the Holocaust. Professor Foster, said, "The Holocaust in hindsight seemed inevitable," and indeed it did given the need to find fault for a failed economy, losing the war, and the Christian ideology of the day which found the Jews to be easy to hate and to blame and it was not yet the 60s when the Catholic Church finally repudiated the calumny against the Jews, of decide, the charge that they killed Christ.
Non-Jews resented the Jewish uniqueness and the overall resistance to conversion by most Jews and even while Jews would abandon the religion of Judaism, they still retained a distinct Jewish ethnic identity. Jews were more liberal, more secular, and more modern that the Christians and most other people and for this they were also hated.
Jews have been called "Internationalists" and a "disintegrating influence." Heinrich Tritschke, a professor in Berlin in the late 1800s, in Documents of German History, edited by Louis Snyder, wrote:
"The Jews at one time played a necessary role in German history, because of their ability in the management of money. But now that the Aryans have become accustomed to the idiosyncrasies of finance, the Jews are no longer necessary. The international Jew, hidden in the mask of different nationalities, is a disintegrating influence; he can be of no further use to the world. It is necessary to speak openly about the Jews, undisturbed in the fact that the Jewish press befouls what is purely historical truth."
The Jews were blamed for the existence and ideas of Karl Marx, who if not for his father's Baptism into the Prussian state church in 1817, might have been a rabbi instead of the father of communism. It is not unusual in those times to be baptized or like the Marranos to be "secret Jews" while publicly accepting the Christian religion in order to obtain civil rights or escape persecution. Karl's father, Heschel Marx (1782-1838) was the grandson of a rabbi, the son of a rabbi, the brother of a rabbi, and the son-in-law of a rabbi.
Jews in every country were victims of political and social crisis, subjected to pogroms under every regime, and every political adventure, whether it was some aristocracy or the Russian Revolution. It didn't matter who was doing the persecuting, the Czars, the Whites, the Poles, the Ukrainians, Lithuanians, or the Germans.
And, Zionism was, at first, largely an expression by Jews who wanted to participate in the world proletarian struggle to realize the socialist ideal. Quite at odds with Marxism over Marx's rigorously internationalist conclusions, it was a theory which never-the-less combined socialism and Jewish nationalistic aspirations from which developed the idea of "Borochovism," from its author, Ber Borochov, which became the official theory of Jewish revolutionists for decades.
(* More about Ber Borochov: (1881-1917) He was a scholar, an author, a theoretician, and the foremost Socialist Zionist of his time. He influenced the merging Jewish labor movement and developed the concept of a unity between socialism and Jewish nationalism. He synthesized class struggle and nationalism when current Marxist theory rejected all nationalism. Borochov advocated a pioneering effort in Israel, and these pioneering settlements in Israel were Kibbutzim and Moshavim.)
"They roped children together and forced them to stumble en mass across Iraqi minefields to clear the way for advancing Iranian infantry. Each boy was issued a plastic key that he was told would open the gates of paradise." (I.Brown, Khomeini's Forgotten Sons: The Story of Iran's Boy Soldiers (London, Grey Seal, 1990)
"We are not against the American people," said a young member of the Shi'ite "Party of God" as quoted in Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam, by Robin Wright [1985, and revised in subsequent printings - 2001] "We are against oppression and injustice. The fire of Islam will burn those who are responsible for these practices [against Islam]. We have been dominated by the U.S. government and others for too long." A leading Shi'ite academic put it another way: "The extreme expressions of fundamentalism are expressions of despair." [Wright]
All religions are subject to extremist elements. Religion is inherently extremist because it is philosophy and behavior based on faith for which there is no concrete supportive evidence.
"The more people who die for our cause, the stronger we shall become." --Ayatollah Khomeini
During the Iran-Iraq war in a speech the Ayatollah Khomeini gave to honor Muhammad's birthday, he said:
"If one permits an infidel to continue in his role as a corrupter of the earth, his moral suffering will be all the worse. If one kills the infidel...his death will be a blessing to him. For if he remains alive, he will become more and more corrupt." Those infidels he was referring to in this speech were Iraqis, but all infidels are considered corrupters and deserve death according to Islamists like the Ayatollah. As for war; war with Iraq or war with Israel - or war with the United States, it is all the same. And he says:
"War is a blessing to the world and for all nations. It is God who incites men to fight and to kill. The Koran says, `Fight till all corruption and all rebellion have ceased.' The wars that the Prophet led against the infidels were a blessing for all humanity... A religion without war is an incomplete religion...A prophet is all-powerful. Through war he purifies the earth. The Mullahs with corrupt hearts who say that this is contrary to the teachings of the Koran are unworthy of Islam. Thanks to God, our young people are now, to the limits of their means, putting God's commandments into action. They know that to kill the unbelievers is one of man's greatest missions." (cited by David Livingston Smith in The Most Dangerous Animal: Human Nature and the Origins of War, 2007, St Martins Press)
"We shall export our revolution to the whole world. Until the cry `There is no God but God' resounds over the whole world, there will be struggle." (cited in Sacred Rage Ayatollah Khomeini)
There has been a gradual and foolish erosion of resistance among Left wing liberals to Jihadism. The threat is real. These are Israel's hostile neighbors and since September 11th, it has been demonstrated that Jihadism can reach even the United States. We all live within the context of jihad.
ALL kinds of excuses blaming Israel can be made for the terrorism and the Intifada but the crux of the problem is the real goal of Palestinians, which is to achieve by violence what cannot be achieved by negotiations, and these acts of violence, which has resulted in killing and the maiming Jews, and some Arabs, are a deliberate Palestinian decision they made as their preference for force over negotiations. The response by Israel is also deliberate and expected, which has been to use force to discourage continued violence by the Palestinians. Israel gets blamed for something they didn't start. Israel is always blamed, just as some otherwise well-meaning "liberals" call themselves anti-Zionists without a true understanding what that really means. Israelis want peace but even their "get tough" hawkish positions have now been hardened even more because of Palestinian violence.
In the real world you can't simply throw a switch and turn off a war. You can't throw a switch and turn off irrational hatred which radical Islamists hold for Jews, just as you can't convince people they are wrong if they have it in their mind they are right, in spite of facts which prove them wrong. To go from the real world to one that is the way you would like it to be It isn't that simple. One side wants war, the Arabs, and only one side wants peace, the Israelis. And in the Arab war against the Jews innocent people are hurt and killed - on both sides. Sometimes those innocent people are other Arabs who had nothing to do with the violence. It is an inevitable outcome of their Arab violence.
The Peace Summit at Camp David presented a unique opportunity to make concessions by both parties to the conflict. That opportunity was lost by the Palestinians. They walked. Someone once said the "Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity".
Israel knows about concessions, having made many, first to reach an accord with Egypt, and it has not been an easy peace, but Israel was willing to make sacrifices and it was necessary for both sides to constantly work at improving relationships. Peace is possible. There is also peace with Jordan and one of Israel's best friends in the region is Turkey, another Muslim (not Arab) country.
There are always other standards for Israel. When Israel fights terrorism the U.S. contrary to what many think does not automatically come down on the side of Israel. There is tremendous pressure on Israel to capitulate to terrorism, which is not what the U.S. says it does itself but where Israel is concerned it is expected that Israel will show restraint. An example of this was the firefight the Israeli IDF had with terrorists at the refugee camp of Tulkarm. The IDF confronted a number of armed wanted terrorists, who belong to the Islamic Jihad terror infrastructure in Tulkarm, responsible for the suicide bombing at the "Stage" Club in Tel Aviv, and for the one in Netanya on July 2005. The terrorists in Tulkarm opened fire at the IDF from two directions, in addition to throwing an explosive charge at them from one of the houses. The response from the U.S. by Trent Duffy of the Press Secretary's Office was to tell Israel to exercise restraint. That is just what the U.S. would NOT do. And neither should Israel be expected to show restraint in the face of terror. It should not be expected to do what we would not do.
Arafat was an obstacle to peace and now he is gone. His replacement has been another obstacle to peace. And HAMAS makes it impossible. A two state solution should now be off the table. Any state solution should be off the table because you cannot negotiate with those who are sworn by their very charter to destroy you and bombard you with rockets. There is no good will, only the declared and demonstrated intent to destroy Israel.
"He (Arafat) allowed his territory to be a place where bomb factories could exist with impunity; where suicide bombers could be recruited with impunity; where there was no cost to Hamas or Islamic Jihad for carrying out murderous attacks. To be sure, the situation given the anger among Palestinians made it increasingly costly for him to look like Israel's policemen, but he had to know that if he did not take decisive steps, that things were going to explode in a way that they are now." [Dennis Ross, former Special Envoy to the Middle East]
But the mistake many make is to assume that because Arafat is now gone that will be the end to hostility. The tension remains. And this is not the kind of hatred one can simply turn off by giving in to terrorist demands. The hatred is deep and religious. It is irrational hatred.
It is about their religion - and claiming to be superior to others. And religion is why antisemitism has endured in Christian countries for two thousand years and it is why hatred of the Jew endured so long in Muslim countries. Christianity and Islam have their roots in Judaism and the Jews would not convert to either of these newer religions. 1
The conflict really isn't just about the land. It is about existing in the very same world with their Islamic religious fundamentalism. It is Israel's very existence that Muslims object to no less so than the Nazis who wanted to eliminate all the Jews on the planet. It wasn't just their presence in Germany, it was their presence on the planet that Nazis objected to.
A Princeton University historian, and renowned Middle-Eastern scholar Bernard Lewis wrote: "The Golden Age of equal rights was a myth, and belief in it was a result, more than a cause, of Jewish sympathy for Islam." (Bernard Lewis, "The Pro-Islamic Jews," Judaism, (Fall 1968), p.401.)
"Muhammad, the founder of Islam, traveled to Medina in 622 A.D. to attract followers to his new faith. When the Jews of Medina refused to convert and rejected Muhammad, two of the major Jewish tribes were expelled; in 627, Muhammad's followers killed between 600 and 900 of the men, and divided the surviving Jewish women and children amongst themselves." (Bat Ye'or, The Dhimmi, (NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1985)
The Muslim attitude toward Jews is reflected in various verses throughout the Koran, the holy book of the Islamic faith. "They (the Children of Israel) were consigned to humiliation and wretchedness. They brought the wrath of God upon themselves, and this because they used to deny God's signs and kill His Prophets unjustly and because they disobeyed and were transgressors" (Sura 2:61). According to the Koran, "the Jews try to introduce corruption (5:64), have always been disobedient (5:78), and are enemies of Allah, the Prophet and the angels (2:9798)." (Michell Bard wrote in "The Treatment of Jews in Arab/Islamic Countries")
"More than a thousand Jews were killed in anti-Jewish rioting during the 1940's in Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Syria and Yemen. This helped trigger the mass exodus of Jews from Arab countries." (Bard)
The European Union, which often criticizes Israel often taking the Arab side which is the side their oil is on; criticized Arafat's inaction against suicide bombers and his total lack of resolve to stop the violence. But the EU blamed Israel. The EU stated: "The following commitments must be taken ... the dismantlement of the terrorist networks Hamas and Islamic Jihad, including the arrest and prosecution of all suspects; a public appeal in Arabic proclaiming the end to the armed intifada" but also included a demand for Israel's withdrawal, as if that would end the cycle of violence, "The Israeli government (must) withdraw its military forces and stop extra-judicial executions; lift the (economic) blockade and all restrictions inflicted on the Palestinian territories; freeze settlements." It is the old blame the Jews game all over again to say Arafat didn't do enough but it is really the fault of the Jews. It was the old double standard: The violence must stop but Israel can't go after those who perpetrate the violence.
The Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath issued a reply stating that the Palestinians had a "sacred right to self defense against occupation," which is like pouring their oil into an open wound and winding the Palestinians up for more violence. No wonder Israel responded with a full scale assault.
Former Israeli Defense Minister, Peres said military action was needed to prevent further terrorism and "it's very easy for countries that don't have the same problems to give advice" (he told a news conference). "We are a government that must look after the lives of our citizens." The Palestinians are calling it "Sharon's War" which is Israel's response to the uprising and terrorist attacks on Israel. Arafat did nothing to stop the terrorist organizations and there was no other choice but for Sharon to respond the way he did - and I might add because he did respond by striking back at these perpetrators of violence he is compared to Hitler and called a Nazi.
Not to have done what Sharon did, to use force against force, would have brought down the democratic government of Israel.
Arab propagandists use the lie that Jews drove out Palestinians and therefore the world should not look with much sympathy when Jews are compelled to leave their homes of 36 years in the Gaza. This is what Abunimah of Electronic Intifada said on national television when the Israelis gave up their homes in Gaza, where some of them had always lived.
"Many Arabs claim that 800,000 to 1,000,000 Palestinians became refugees in 1947-49. The last census was taken by the British in 1945. It found approximately 1.2 million permanent Arab residents in all of Palestine. On November 30, 1947, the date the UN voted for partition, the total within the boundaries of the State of Israel (as fixed by the Armistice Agreements of 1949) was 809,100. A 1949 Government of Israel census counted 160,000 Arabs living in the country after the war." (Arieh Avneri, The Claim of Dispossession, (NJ: Transaction Books, 1984), p. 272; Kedar, Benjamin. The Changing Land Between the Jordan and the Sea. (Israel: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi Press, 1999), p. 206.) (Bard)
"This meant no more than 650,000 Palestinian Arabs could have become refugees. A report by the UN Mediator on Palestine arrived at an even lower figure 472,000." [Progress Report of the United Nations Mediator on Palestine, Submitted to the Secretary-General for Transmission to the Members of the United Nations, General Assembly Official Records: Third Session, Supplement No.11 (A\648), Paris, 1948, p. 47 and Supplement No. 11A (A\689, and A\689\Add.1, p. 5.] (Bard)
The debate is almost always over how many Arabs ("Palestinians") were forced out by Jews, but very little is ever stated about equivalence; that is, the numbers of Jews who were forced to flee Arab countries with barely the cloths on their backs - except for an occasional specious argument, like the one advanced by someone on the InterNUT that Zionist collusion led to a false departure of Jews (from Iraq), whereas, they claim it was never the intent of the Arab countries to rid themselves of their Jews. This argument has been amply refuted and that is simply not the case. Anecdotal cases exist where some Jews experienced difficulties in their countries of origin because of the existence of Israel, but that is not the cause of their second class status in Arab countries which was always the case and it was so long before a return to Israel was ever imagined. Jews were "dhimmis" a condition dating back to the Umayyads. Jews when they refused to be converted to Islam were treated with an aversion which sometimes was worse and sometimes better, but were always second class.
"The United Nations resolved that Jerusalem would be an international city apart from the Arab and Jewish states demarcated in the partition resolution. The 150,000 Jewish inhabitants were under constant military pressure; the 2,500 Jews living in the Old City were victims of an Arab blockade that lasted five months before they were forced to surrender on May 29, 1948. Prior to the surrender, and throughout the siege on Jerusalem, Jewish convoys tried to reach the city to alleviate the food shortage, which, by April, had become critical." (Bard)
Side Note* Today Judaism is much more about culture (and enlightened modernization) than it is about religion and per capita Jews are less religious than any other religion. Many Jews are atheists but observe Jewish tradition in order to preserve the specialities of Jewish culture, which for many is predominantly secular and humanist.
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