The Emperor’s clothes are still on, for now (while his heckler is roughed up, hospitalized)

on 40 Comments

Gliding down the aisle of the House of Representatives like a popular president about to deliver the State of the Union address, escorted by a phalanx of dozens of ebullient Members of Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu entered a joint meeting of Congress today to a round of hearty handshakes and a thunderous standing ovation.

In a post-speech press conference, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gushed that Netanyahu delivered an “all-star” address, and Netanyahu proclaimed it a “great day” for Israel. And, in the self-contained world that is Capitol Hill, who could blame them for believing it to be so?

For in a world in which Israel finds itself as isolated as ever by a growing and successful Palestinian civil society-led international movement of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against its apartheid policies; in which Palestinians are taking matters into their own hands diplomatically and pushing to have the United Nations admit the State of Palestine as a full member of the organization this fall; and in which even the President of the United States appears disgruntled by Israel’s intransigent ongoing colonization of Palestinian land, at least on Capitol Hill, Netanyahu can still play the ace up his sleeve to aplomb and then chum around like the king of the castle.

There on Capitol Hill, Netanyahu still has friends like Senator Chuck Schumer, who told a Jewish radio program that “One of my roles, very important in the United States Senate, is to be a shomer [guard]—to be a or the shomer Yisrael [guard of Israel]. And I will continue to be that with every bone in my body.” With friends like these wrapped around his little finger, no wonder Netanyahu’s forcible denunciations of international law were met with such rapturous approbation by Members of Congress who applauded his rejectionism dozens of times.

This bonhomie was punctuated only once during Netanyahu’s hour-long speech, when a lone and courageous activist—Rae Abileah—from CODEPINK, disrupted it. CODEPINK organized a series of events and protests—“Move Over AIPAC”—to coincide with the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee last weekend. From the gallery, Abileah shouted “No more occupation, stop Israel[i] war crimes, equal rights for Palestinians, occupation is indefensible.”

Her protest was quickly shut down in a “hey rube” moment by AIPAC attendees in the gallery who assaulted and tackled her before she was hauled away by police, causing injuries to her neck and shoulders requiring hospitalization. At the same time, Members of Congress joined the AIPAC carnie thuggery by shouting down Abileah with boos before quickly resuming to feed out of Netanyahu’s hand.

Given both the intellectual mediocrity of the average Member of Congress and the Israel lobby’s deliberate strategy of electing and placing in key positions Members of Congress like Schumer, it is difficult to determine how much applause Netanyahu received due to ignorance of history and international law, and how much was due to their cheerleading for Israeli apartheid. Whatever the exact formulation, it amounts to a deadly combination that ensures Israel can continue to thumb its nose at the international community and oppress the Palestinian people while Congress keeps open the spigot of U.S. weapons to underwrite the job.

Only in an institution as self-delusional as Congress could Netanyahu pontificate with a straight face that the path of liberty “is not paved by elections alone. It is paved when governments permit protests in town squares, when limits are placed on the powers of rulers, when judges are beholden to laws and not men, and when human rights cannot be crushed by tribal loyalties or mob rule.”

Only before Congress would Netanyahu dare crow that there are now more than 650,000 Israeli settlers living in illegal colonies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, a full 30% more than the upper limits of previous estimates, making his offer to be “very generous on the size of a future Palestinian state,” and willing to make a “far reaching compromise” unadulterated hokum.

In the wake of 10,000 AIPAC lobbyists deluging Capitol Hill today, there is no doubt that Congress will overwhelmingly vote to pass AIPAC-written resolutions condemning the Fatah-Hamas unity agreement and Palestinian moves for UN membership, once again asserting that Israel is truly the best thing since sliced bread.

Netanyahu may well feel smug from his reception in the last bastion of such uncritical support for Israel’s apartheid policies toward Palestinians. While the rest of the world has long since discovered that the emperor has no clothes, his sycophants and enablers in Congress pretend that it is business as usual. They will then be surprised to wake up one day in the near future to see their beloved apartheid state sanctioned.

Josh Ruebner is the National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 350 organizations working to change U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law, and equality. He is a former Analyst in Middle East Affairs at Congressional Research Service.

40 Responses

  1. gazacalling
    May 24, 2011, 4:34 pm

    In Israel support of the powerful Israeli right-wing comes from deep inside the collective psyche. In America support for it stems to a great degree from simple ignorance. The answer is publicity, publicity, publicity. Everyone who is reading this should write a letter-to-the-editor to their local paper. People read those things. They consider them. They make a difference.

    National public opinion, Capitol Hill public opinion, is never going to be swayed, but neither does it really matter. All public opinion is local, and the pen really is mightier than the sword.

    Everyone reading this has a serious responsibility to inform others about the truth.

    • Jan
      May 25, 2011, 1:49 am

      Problem is that a lot of newspapers won’t print the letters that are written. I know that I am not the only one to write letters critical of Israel to the San Francisco Chronicle. In years past several were printed. But now it seems that if a letter that doesn’t praise Israel is printed it can’t be signed by someone with a name that might be Jewish – as is my name.

      Maybe if newspapers are flooded with letters they might just change their policies.

      • gazacalling
        May 25, 2011, 9:14 am

        Thanks for this insight, Jan. That’s really interesting. You’re fighting the good fight. The Chronicle is a top-25 national paper, so I guess I’m not too surprised. I think the focus should be on more local opinion. When things are big and national, then they are inevitably ideological, with money and power being more important than truth. We can flood the the big national papers or members of Congress with calls and letters — as we should, we shouldn’t cede this front — but ultimately it’s not going to be too meaningful. Everything inside the Beltway, for instance, is so ephemeral and superficial, short-term only. We want a long-term movement. Ultimately America runs on long-term public opinion — nothing can oppose that. That’s where we should primarily aim our sights. The people around us, who know us and respect us. On personal terms, things aren’t ideological (and those who insist on being ideological are shown to be jerks).

        Look, we can’t lose. The facts are on our side. All we have to do is point to the facts calmly and dispassionately. And even with love — I do love Israel and want it to flourish, but that can only be on a foundation of justice, and the situation now is clearly unsustainable.

  2. southernobserver
    May 24, 2011, 4:43 pm

    Thank you for this report about the support of apartheid in the USA.

    Actually the most disturbing aspect for me that hecklers in a public and ‘official’ venue can be abused to the point of being hospitalised. Were the thugs arrested? If not sure this gives the lie direct that free speech is a value of the USA in general or Israeli supporters in particular.

  3. lysias
    May 24, 2011, 4:52 pm

    If all that stops sanctions against Israel is the U.S. veto, and the U.S. persists in vetoing any such measure, that may in the end be the cause of the U.S. losing its veto.

  4. lysias
    May 24, 2011, 5:00 pm

    If the people who assaulted Abileah and sent her to the hospital are not police, did they not commit a crime, and a tort? Even if the authorities don’t prosecute, can’t Abileah sue? Can the assailants be identified?

  5. Chu
    May 24, 2011, 5:02 pm

    And after the speech, each and every member was provided with a Happy meal, compliments of Netanyahu. That’s about all it takes to satisfy them. They are the Netanyahu’s pet dogs.

    • Leper Colonialist
      May 24, 2011, 6:10 pm

      Yeah, and Kool Aid to wash down the Happy Meal.

      One of the saddest displys of ignorance and political cowardice I’ve seen in my lifetime.

  6. Les
    May 24, 2011, 5:03 pm

    Q: How prolonged a standing will Netanyahu get when he addresses Congress?

    “I think a better question is whether the ovation will be longer and more enthusiastic than those accorded American Presidents. It is ironic indeed that the same GOP members who will stand and cheer wildly for this foreign leader in conflict with their own country’s President are typically the first to scream “unpatriotic!” accusations at others.”

    Glenn Greenwald

    link to

    • Jim Haygood
      May 24, 2011, 7:34 pm

      Let’s take it a little farther. If not for the president’s State of the Union speech being constitutionally mandated, there is little doubt that the high honor of addressing Congress would be extended to Israel’s prime minister, and not to the U.S. president.

      Would that be enough for Americans to get how completely they’ve been sold out?

  7. annie
    May 24, 2011, 5:45 pm

    this is the first i’ve heard of abeliah landing in the hospital. i hope she recovers soon. bless her courageous soul.

    • Henry Norr
      May 24, 2011, 6:03 pm

      KPFA had an interview this morning with Rae Abileah from her hospital bed in DC. The archive is here – the interview begins about 8 minutes into the program.

      Rae, by the way, also took part in the heckling of Netanyahu in New Orleans last year, in disruption of Olmert’s speech in SF last year, and scores of other bold actions. She’s a real hero.

  8. Pixel
    May 24, 2011, 5:52 pm

    “… it is difficult to determine how much applause Netanyahu received due to ignorance of history and international law, and how much was due to their cheerleading for Israeli apartheid.”

    They were applauding to protect their own asses.

    • lysias
      May 24, 2011, 6:25 pm

      Anecdote from Solzhenitsyn:

      A district Party conference was under way in Moscow Province. It was presided over by a new secretary of the District Party Committee, replacing one recently arrested. At the conclusion of the conference, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for. Of course, everyone stood up (just as everyone had leaped to his feet during the conference at every mention of his name). The small hall echoed with “stormy applause, rising to an ovation.” For three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, the “stormy applause, rising to an ovation” continued. But palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching. And the older people were panting from exhaustion. It was becoming insufferably silly even to those who really adored Stalin. However, who would dare be the first to stop? The secretary of the District Party Committee could have done it. He was standing on the platform, and it was he who had just called for the ovation. But he was a newcomer. He had taken the place of a man who’d been arrested. He was afraid! After all, NKVD men were standing in the hall applauding and watching to see who quit first! And in that obscure, small hall, unknown to the Leader, the applause went on—six, seven, eight minutes! They were done for! Their goose was cooked! They couldn’t stop now till they collapsed with heart attacks! At the rear of the hall, which was crowded, they could of course cheat a bit, clap less frequently, less vigorously, not so eagerly—but up there with the presidium where everyone could see them? The director of the local paper factory, an independent and strong-minded man, stood with the presidium. Aware of all the falsity and all the impossibility of the situation, he still kept on applauding! Nine minutes! Ten! In anguish he watched the secretary of the District Party Committee, but the latter dared not stop. Insanity! To the last man! With make-believe enthusiasm on their faces, looking at each other with faint hope, the district leaders were just going to go on and on applauding till they fell where they stood, till they were carried out of the hall on stretchers! And even then those who were left would not falter. . . . Then after eleven minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat down in his seat. And, oh, a miracle took place! Where had the universal, uninhibited, indescribable enthusiasm gone? To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down. They had been saved! The squirrel had been smart enough to jump off his revolving wheel.

      That, however, was how they discovered who the independent people were. And that was how they went about eliminating them. That same night the factory director was arrested. They easily pasted ten years on him on the pretext of something quite different. But after he had signed Form 206, the final document of the interrogation, his interrogator reminded him: “Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding!”

      • pabelmont
        May 24, 2011, 7:29 pm

        Good point. If you’re even going to show up, I guess you should clap. Otherwise what’s the point? Also, is there a hint of criticizing other Congresspeople if one does not toe the line?

        And wasn’t it that waywith the Iraq War resolution, too.

        And don’t all the lemmings commit suicide every once in a while? (Sadly, the size of Congress is fixed, and lemmings suicide when things get overcrowded. Happy thought: could they die of a surfeit of hot air, or other effluents?)

      • ToivoS
        May 24, 2011, 9:06 pm

        Great story. And just like the NKVD agents in the hall watching the applause, we know AIPAC had their agents in Congress seeing who failed to stand those 30 times.

        BTW a very similar situation to that described in this Solzhenitzin story occurred after Stalin’s death. The entire politiburo was called into the room where the recently dead dictator lay in his bed. They stood around the bed paying their respects. They stood there for 5 hours. No one was willing to be the first to leave.

  9. Pixel
    May 24, 2011, 5:55 pm

    It’s all political theatre – serious, deadly political theatre.

  10. Avi
    May 24, 2011, 6:47 pm

    The United States Congress is an Israeli Occupied Hill.

    After the attacks of September 11, 2001, fences, barricades and barbed wire were erected around many government buildings in Washington, DC. From the outside, the White House now looks like a prison. Hardly an appropriate symbol for the leader of the free world.

    At a Congressional hearing, representatives from the FBI stated that one of the main reasons for the attack was US support for Israel against the occupied Palestinian people.


    • Jim Haygood
      May 24, 2011, 7:38 pm

      ‘fences, barricades and barbed wire were erected around many government buildings in Washington, DC’

      Sounds a lot like Israel and its security wall. Shared values, you know. Everybody happy.

  11. asherpat
    May 24, 2011, 7:45 pm

    “successful Palestinian civil society”

    especially in Gaza, innit?

    • Avi
      May 25, 2011, 12:19 am

      Agreed. Especially in Gaza where despite the five-year siege and the inhumane conditions imposed by Israel, Gazans have managed to maintain a modicum of civil society with welfare, education, and medical institutions and organizations.

    • Djinn
      June 7, 2011, 5:36 am

      When your society closes it’s eyes to the large mass of violent racist fascists in its midst (marching several thousand strong screaming “butcher the Arabs”) you have NO business sneering at anyone else’s.

  12. Donald
    May 24, 2011, 11:51 pm

    Off topic, but little Tommy Friedman has an opinion piece up at the NYT and miracle of miracles, the NYT is allowing comments. So go while the comments are still open and let Tommy know what you think.


    • Donald
      May 24, 2011, 11:54 pm

      The one good thing about Friedman’s piece is that he uses the phrase “Jewish apartheid state”. True, he puts it in the mouth of Israel’s enemies and he also says this about the future, but still, it’s an acknowledgment of the developing situation that even this pompous windbag is being forced to make.

    • matter
      May 25, 2011, 12:34 am

      If the Palestinians were to follow Tommy Boy’s suggestion about staging peaceful marches, they could always carry signs demanding a one-state solution. That would cause both Netanyahu and Tommy Boy to freak out in unison; although Netanyahu would predictably react with another slaughter.

    • annie
      May 25, 2011, 12:47 am

      tommy is suggesting palestinians march to jerusalem every friday offering peace. maybe he isn’t familiar w/the checkpoints. palestinians can’t march to jerusalem, it’s off limits to most palestinians.

  13. tinywriting
    May 25, 2011, 12:26 am

    Sorry to hijack the thread but has anyone heard or read about the Rachel Corrie (MV Finch) which tried to break the Gaza blockade but which was fired on by Israel. They’re now in Egypt where the Egyptian government has given them supplies. I ran onto this by accident and haven’t seen anything in MSM.
    You can Google “Perdana Peace Foundation Rachel Corrie News”. link to
    Does anyone else know more?

    • annie
      May 25, 2011, 12:50 am

      tiny, this is the second time someone has asked about the spirit of rachel corrie in the last few days. i wrote a post about her voyage and attack last week but it didn’t get published. i think all the hustle bustle w/obama/netanyahu put her on the back burner. i’ll see what i can do.

      • annie
        May 25, 2011, 12:54 am

        MORE food supplies were delivered to The Spirit of Rachel Corrie by a small boat at 5.30pm (Egyptian time) on Sunday.

        Like before, The Spirit of Rachel Corrie — MV Finch is its official name — was not allowed to enter port and had to come close to the port entrance to receive the goods.

        The food supplies are enough to last for two days.

        Also delivered were 75 containers of fresh water, just in time to replenish the ship’s water tank, which was at zero level early Sunday.

        The water is enough for only two days as it is used for washing, cooking and ship’s operations.

        It is essential for the people onboard to maintain hygiene as diseases can spread easily in cramped spaces like in the ship.

        The water in the tank ran out on Sunday and the people onboard had to use bottled water to flush toilets, bathe and wash hands.

        The first supply of food was delivered to the ship last Thursday.

        Yesterday was exactly a week since The Spirit of Rachel Corrie was turned into a “prison ship” by the Egyptian authorities, thus hampering its humanitarian mission to deliver aid to the needy Palestinians.


    • American
      May 25, 2011, 1:58 am

      Israel fired on it?

      • annie
        May 25, 2011, 5:43 am

        according to the crew yes they did.

  14. yourstruly
    May 25, 2011, 1:24 am

    pm netanyahu alludes to israel’s lettiing palestinians hold protest rallies?

    in what universe?

    oh, but the palestinians are evil subhumans?

    yet senator chuck (“i am a shomer israel”) schumer leads the charge?

    lousy traiter!

    what will his n. y. constituents say?

    off with his head?

    except today’s not 18th century france

    that he be tried in a criminal court?

    “members of the jury, in the case of senator chuck schumer, on the charge of heing a traitor, what is your verdict?”

    “Guilty as charged, your honor.”

  15. American
    May 25, 2011, 1:51 am

    Well, we’re there now aren’t we?
    The insanity and perfidy of congress has reached such a crescendo regarding the foreign country of Israel it now impossible to ignore unless you are truly deaf, dumb and blind.
    11 years ago when I started talking about how the Israel lobby and zionist influence had to be stopped or it would get even worse causing great damage to the US, I was called every name imaginable and told I was an alarmist and generally poo-pooed. I’ll say again right now it will get worse still after the performances we saw this weekend and today. I will also say the chances of stopping it are slim after 40 years of this influence in congress. Mainly because we have been acclimated to corruption in government in general, of all kinds, from many different sources, it’s the new normal for US government.
    And when I think about all this and how it has evolved over time I think about Milton Mayer’s book “They Thought They Were Free” which describes German society during the Hitler years and how the Germans slid and slumbered their way into Nazism. He described it thus:

    “You see,” my colleague went on, “one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow.

    They say, ‘It’s not so bad’ or ‘You’re seeing things’ or ‘You’re an alarmist.’
    “And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. This weakens your confidence still further and serves as a further deterrent to—to what? It is clearer all the time that, if you are going to do anything, you must make an occasion to do it, and then you are obviously a troublemaker. So you wait, and you wait.

    “But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D”.

    This actually is what has happened to us, this is what the Zionist and Israel and our politicians have done….they have calloused the US ‘step by little step’ to the immorality and injustice of Palestine, the crime against humanity really.
    And like the informed among the Germans we look at our congress and our leaders and we say this can’t be happening. We say the US leaders we elect can’t possibly be so craven and evil as to be abdicating all US interest and plain morality in the case of Palestine simply for 30 pieces of silver to their campaign chest. But they are. Then we see the Cantors and the Schumers and we think how the hell can this be?….how can a US politician or a presidential candidate stand there and say out loud in public with evidently no concern or fear of criticism, that their first loyalty is to another country? We ask ourselves are we crazy or are they? It’s all upside down. ..we say wait a minute, you are betraying this country’s people and interest in many of your actions for another country, they reply you are an anti semite using old canards in pointing that fact out.
    We are exactly where the German public was, we’ve gotten there the same way they did, only the regime and the victims are different.
    So I suppose it will play out to the bitter end.

    UNLESS…enough of us get deadly serious and add our individual efforts to the groups like Code Pink and others. And that still might not break thru our politicians fortress for Israel. But we have to try. Because Isr’merica is going to the mother of all ugly endings if we don’t.

  16. seafoid
    May 25, 2011, 3:49 am

    link to

    “Netanyahu must have known that the stern conditions for peace talks that he enunciated Tuesday were framed in such a way to leave little diplomatic space for the Palestinians. His narrative placed all the blame on them for the current impasse. He pledged that Jerusalem will remain entirely under Israeli sovereignty. He flat out denied that Palestinians have any claim on the land that is now Israel. He vowed to keep a military presence along the Jordan River. And while he promised he’d make “far reaching compromises” in the interests of peace, it’s unclear what that could mean when so much is off the table.
    And so, for those American Jews who were hoping that this week’s string of public pronouncements would lead to a breakthrough, Netanyahu’s defiant stance puts us in a heart-wrenching conundrum. We can choose to support his view of the world, in which an aggrieved Israel bears no responsibility for the occupation and for the impasse in negotiations – and many American Jews will. They will side with him and the Republicans in Congress who offered him this unusual platform without, of course, any reciprocal chance to hear another point of view.
    But I don’t believe that all or even most American Jews share that position. Most of us want don’t want further procrastination but an end to the conflict, which has stained Israel’s moral standing in the way that occupation and continued violence does to anyone. Most of us dread what will happen in September, if the UN vote is successful and Israel will become even more isolated and demonised. “

    • Avi
      May 25, 2011, 8:29 am

      That Zionist voice inside always manages to rear its ugly head with Jews who proclaim themselves to be critics of Israeli policies.

      Eisner starts off with a reasonable evaluation of what took place this week, only to end with,

      Most of us dread what will happen in September, if the UN vote is successful and Israel will become even more isolated and demonised. “


  17. Justice Please
    May 25, 2011, 5:26 am

    “Her protest was quickly shut down in a “hey rube” moment by AIPAC attendees in the gallery who assaulted and tackled her before she was hauled away by police, causing injuries to her neck and shoulders requiring hospitalization. At the same time, Members of Congress joined the AIPAC carnie thuggery by shouting down Abileah with boos before quickly resuming to feed out of Netanyahu’s hand.”

    God bless this courageous woman. For the rest of that cancer-ridden whorehouse on the hill: Americans need to put these traitors on trial ASAP. What more needs to happen that one can finally say, without being ridiculed, that this Congress is Zionist Occupied Territory?

  18. stevelaudig
    May 25, 2011, 5:37 am

    Congress was one of last bastions for apartheid’s support also; and slavery; and debt peonage

  19. kalithea
    May 25, 2011, 10:03 am

    I’ve noticed a bit of naivite with regards to Obama stemming from the fact that he alluded to the 67 borders in his Middle East speech. Let’s make a CORRECTION right here, right now. Obama is not, I repeat NOT on the side of a Palestinian state. First, at the Aipac speech he inserted “different” boreders into the context of his 67 borders comment which Netanyahu picked up on immediately and used in his speech before Congress to state that the borders will not be the 67 borders but something “different” as Obama stated in his Aipac speech, he said. Hello???

    Secondly, Obama is travelling across Europe using his “charisma” to do Israel’s bidding trying to convince various European countries to vote against a Palestinian state at the U.N.! He stated in a press conference with Cameron that the Palestinians are mistaken in seeking statehood through the U.N.

    Obama is not for Palestinian Statehood; he is for the peace process industry, the peace process sham that allows Israelis to steal every inch of Palestinian land while they pretend to “negotiate”.

    Okay, so can we agree that Obama is in the process of railroading the Palestinians?

    “Obama threw a bone to the Palestinians by saying that the borders between Israel and Palestine ‘”should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.” But when Netanyahu made furious objection, he snatched the bone back. Addressing AIPAC, the pro-Israeli lobby, last Sunday, Obama sought to correct what he complained was a wrong interpretation of his words….”

    link to

  20. kalithea
    May 25, 2011, 10:28 am

    Speaking of “gullible”:

    “Last night we saw that the Americans will buy anything, or at least their applauding legislators will.”

    link to

    The irony is that now Obama’s traveling and peddling Israel’s message around Europe to the “gullible” leaders there. Israelis could have no better messenger doing their bidding than the “sweet-talkin” Obama trying to railroad Palestinians effort to secure statehood through the U.N. Now, we know why yahu was “encouraged” after his discussions with Obama. Obama did sell his soul and he’s presently on a mission as the devil’s advocate.

    Hopefully Iceland’s ash will keep him grounded.

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