Kerry is smeared by Israel and its friends as ‘pigheaded’ adversary of Jewish state

Israel/Palestine
on 37 Comments
 Description: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates welcomes Secretary of State John Kerry to a working dinner in Abu Dhabi on November 10, 2013. - State Dept Image

Kerry in the UAE, Nov. 10, greeted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

The State Department is now on the defensive over a To-whom-it-may-concern letter that then-Senator John Kerry wrote in 2009, in support of constituents visiting the Palestinian territories. The letter was later used by leaders of the Gaza Freedom March when they tried to gain entry into Gaza from Egypt (the letter didn’t work, we were largely turned away, I was there).

State is denying that the letter was written for the Gaza freedom marchers or participants in the flotilla a few months later. Ron Kampeas reports State’s response:

The Massachusetts Senate office receives hundreds of requests each year for letters like this for constituents traveling to other countries.

Sen. Kerry never saw it, nor did senior staff see it. It was put together by his Boston office and would also not have involved senior staff members on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Moreover, the text of the letter has nothing to do with the flotilla incident or even Gaza.

It focuses purely on a humanitarian mission in Israel and the Palestinian territories in support of the peace process. Kerry’s staff would have provided the letter so that Massachusetts residents could receive meetings while they were in Israel and the Palestinian territories. That is all. And if it was used for anything else it was under false pretenses.

The conclusion that Sen. Kerry was in any way affiliated with the Gaza activists or supportive of this effort is specious and unjustified.

Richard Silverstein says the production of this letter by the Israeli press and its friends here is evidence of how low the lobby will go to smear Kerry.

“This letter, one of hundreds Kerry has undoubtedly written over the years, is designed to ensure the safe passage of his constituents who travel into regions where such a letter might carry some weight.  Thus, a harmless pro-forma letter becomes an indictment of both the aid groups themselves and John Kerry for supporting them.”

Some of the smearing. Reports Kampeas:

[Maariv's Ben-Dror] Yemini likens this [letter] to Avigdor Liberman hypothetically handing a similar letter to the hilltop youth –  hardline West Bank settlers  — asking to tour the Temple Mount. Yemini suggests this letter tells us a lot about recent tensions between Kerry and the Israeli government. He promises more on Friday. Meanwhile, the Algemeiner has seized on the report and it is swirling around social media.

 

It’s becoming glaringly apparent how Kerry’s harsh lengthy interview on Israeli television last week aroused ire. The Israelis are savaging Kerry because he dared to criticize Israeli settlement expansion as illegitimate. A senior government minister tells Amos Harel of Haaretz that Kerry can no longer serve as an honest broker between Israel and the Palestinians.

Jerusalem, meanwhile, was irate over the warnings that Kerry issued in an interview with Channel 2 of a third intifada breaking out if there was no progress in the talks. In this case, Jerusalem points to the secretary of state, and not the president, as the source of the tension.

“This is a direct confrontation with Kerry, not Obama,” said the senior minister. “The diplomatic talks are the secretary of state’s baby. His ideas are simply not connected to reality. He preaches to us and threatens us with a combination of a third intifada, international isolation and legitimizing unilateral Palestinian applications to UN-related organizations. This man is providing legitimacy to Palestinian behavior that deviates from the framework of our agreements. He is not an honest broker.”

The honest broker attack is central to a smear from the Begin Sadat Center in Jerusalem: “Kerry’s Antagonism Unmasked,” by David M. Weinberg:

John Kerry has abandoned America’s honest broker stance in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. His warnings about the coming isolation of Israel and of a third Intifada – unless Israel quickly allows the emergence of a “whole Palestine” and ends its “perpetual military occupation” of Judea and Samaria – effectively tell the Palestinians that they should make sure the talks fail, and then Israel’s “gonna get it.” …

Kerry chose to launch a full-bore attack on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and on all Israelis who – in Kerry’s words–pig headedly “feel safe today” and “feel they’re doing pretty well economically.” He laid out the consequences for Israel of disobeying America–no safety and no prosperity. He laid out no similar consequences for the Palestinians if they remain intransigent.

MJ Rosenberg (who says that the lobby is killing the Iran negotiations to get a war) speculates that Joe Biden is behind the attacks on Kerry, that he’s “stabbing Kerry in the back”:

Biden wants the lobby’s money for his run against Hillary. He has been a total AIPAC tool his entire career. Although Hillary is too, she cannot do anything for Netanyahu now. She is out of office.

So Joe (“I Seen My Opportunities & I Took Em”) Biden plays the role Elliott Abrams played when George W. Bush was president. Inside man. Every time Secretary of State Colin Powell was in the Middle East trying to get a deal, Abrams was on the phone with Ariel Sharon conspiring.

That is what Biden is doing. He is on the phone with Netanyahu and his personal AIPAC “donor” (Michael Adler of Florida) promising that he will stop Kerry, don’t you worry about it.

 

37 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    November 15, 2013, 1:37 pm

    mj:

    That is what Biden is doing. He is on the phone with Netanyahu and his personal AIPAC “donor” (Michael Adler of Florida) promising that he will stop Kerry, don’t you worry about it.

    Poor Kerry. He wants to keep his job but fears Netanyahu could fire him.

    What to do?

    How do I know all of this? Simple. I don’t. But when you deal with hacks like Biden, and the lobby that finances him, assume the worst. You will never be wrong.

    Kerry is a gone goose.

    As for Biden, don’t write the geezer off. When it comes to kissing the lobby’s ass and being rewarded for it, Joe Biden ain’t 75. He’s 40.

    yesterday kathleen linked to sidney blumenthal’s excellent salon article about bolton stabbing colin powel in the back. i’m sure it was in sync w/elliot abrams, referenced earlier in the mj article phil links to here. that to me is very believable. but the charge that biden is stabbing kerry in the back ..well this is the first i have heard of it. and i’m not really getting much evidence here from mj.

    and biden promising alder he can stop kerry could be just an effort to stave him off. and is a vp necessarily more influential than a sec of state? cheney aside…does biden have this kind of influence inside the obama admin. and doesn’t kerry serve at the behest of the prez.

    i wish mj would provide a little more back ground here wrt biden and kerry. i just find this extremely inflammatory information w/extremely weak evidence.

    • just
      November 15, 2013, 1:58 pm

      “This is a direct confrontation with Kerry, not Obama,” said the senior minister. “The diplomatic talks are the secretary of state’s baby. His ideas are simply not connected to reality. He preaches to us and threatens us with a combination of a third intifada, international isolation and legitimizing unilateral Palestinian applications to UN-related organizations. This man is providing legitimacy to Palestinian behavior that deviates from the framework of our agreements. He is not an honest broker.”

      Perhaps Amos should have told the “senior minister” that Kerry serves at Obama’s pleasure, and that any foreign policy is steered by our President.

      “He preaches to us and threatens us with a combination of a third intifada, international isolation and legitimizing unilateral Palestinian applications to UN-related organizations.”

      Then Kerry speaks for me. Besides Israel does all of this to themselves– any blowback is a result of their own intransigence and more.

      wrt to Biden “stabbing Kerry in the back”– I believe that is stinky & steaming BS.

      Biden is an American first. So is Kerry.

      • just
        November 15, 2013, 2:14 pm

        One more thing– is this the way friends treat friends?

        I say slam the door NOW. End the charade and pull the $$$ out. Support the Palestinians at the UN and stop our eternal veto in support of this vicious ‘friend’.

        Justice must be done.

    • American
      November 15, 2013, 2:51 pm

      I dont think MJ is wrong about Biden……he might not be stabbing Kerry in the back for Israel ….but Biden is a Biden-Firster….and whether he is pacifying the Israelis during this on O’s say so or not I am sure he is happy to kiss their potooties if he has ideas about running for Prez because he will get zio reward money for it.
      Joe…”I am a zionist”..Biden is your ultimate glad handing, thinks he’s charming, political career self promoter.
      He’s a piece of furniture with cuff links imo.
      If he were to ever prove himself an actual America-Firster I would be happy to eat my words.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 15, 2013, 3:28 pm

        i don’t know whether he’s right or wrong american. and even he says How do I know all of this? Simple. I don’t.

        i’d just like more gossip if there is any. something more to substantiate the claims.

      • Rusty Pipes
        November 15, 2013, 8:16 pm

        Rosenberg is off on this point. Whatever his personal foibles or ambitions, Joe (“over my dead body”) Biden is a team player here. From the NYT:

        Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. pressed senators on Wednesday to give the Obama administration some breathing room to reach an accord with Iran to freeze its nuclear programs, warning that a new round of sanctions could mean war instead of diplomacy.

  2. James Canning
    November 15, 2013, 2:06 pm

    I think John Kerry serves Israel’s true best interests very well indeed, by trying to reach a deal with Iran and by trying to arrange for Israel to get out of the West Bank at some point.

  3. James Canning
    November 15, 2013, 2:07 pm

    I think John Kerry’s ability to foster a deal between Israel and Palestine is enhanced, when he makes clear the Green Line is basically the border.

  4. talknic
    November 15, 2013, 2:25 pm

    LOL.

    “He preaches to us and threatens us with a combination of a third intifada, international isolation and legitimizing unilateral Palestinian applications to UN-related organizations. ”

    Analogy : A weather forecaster by making a prediction threatens the weather

    “This man is providing legitimacy to Palestinian behavior that deviates from the framework of our agreements.”

    Analogy : A weather forecaster by making a prediction legitimizes the weather.

    Is their no end to their stupidity

    • Annie Robbins
      November 15, 2013, 2:36 pm

      last week when netanyahu freaked out, directly after the press was all over what was happening in iran but generally ignored the impact of that interview the night before, even tho it was alluded to. but this week it’s the fallout. that kerry would dare to do that! they want a denis ross in charge! they want an indyk!

      • Citizen
        November 16, 2013, 6:40 am

        @ Annie Robbins
        Yes, Kerry did dare–he surprised me. Wouldn’t it be nice to know just how much leeway Obama gives him? This will go back and forth now, remember Kerry changing his tune so many times recently on attacking Syria? And the interplay with Obama on that? Will Obama publicly back up what Kerry dared to say? So funny, an Israeli saying the American is not being an honest broker.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 16, 2013, 1:28 pm

        Will Obama publicly back up what Kerry dared to say?

        there’s no reason obama should be required to ‘publicly’ back up kerry. imho, the chances kerry going rouge is zilch. kerry serves at the interest of the prez, he’s not a lone agent.

      • just
        November 16, 2013, 1:37 pm

        Agreed, Annie.

        I’ll never forget this:

        “”I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar,” Sarkozy told Obama, unaware that the microphones in their meeting room had been switched on, enabling reporters in a separate location to listen in to a simultaneous translation.

        “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you,” Obama replied, according to the French interpreter.”

        link to reuters.com

        I wish that it was not so very rare to hear the plain truth– but Netanyahu is making it so obvious to the whole wide world that he is a liar and never, ever meant to make peace with anyone.

      • American
        November 16, 2013, 2:38 pm

        Am I not following the news close enough or is Obama not reacting as much as in the past to Netanyahu’s every outburst?
        Seems like less or fewer WH statements in response to all the Israeli eruptions.
        Maybe I just havent seen them.

      • James Canning
        November 16, 2013, 3:18 pm

        Great post.

  5. pabelmont
    November 15, 2013, 2:37 pm

    Gotta love the idea that Israel calls the USA NOT an honest broker, The BLACK kettle is calling the pot WHITE? wouldn’t Dennis Ross be surprised, after all he’s done (as a dishonest broker) for Israel? But Dennis Ross is a practitioner of NewSpeak and knows the Israeli blow-hards are also speaking NewSpeak.

  6. Ellen
    November 15, 2013, 2:49 pm

    Do you think that when Kerry meets his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman, he will have him sit in the corner in small chair for the cameras?

  7. Krauss
    November 15, 2013, 3:02 pm

    MJ Rosenberg (who says that the lobby is killing the Iran negotiations to get a war)

    I’m genuinely curious to see how the lobby can possibly pull this off. There was a bit of a debate on this topic a on a thread yesterday at this site.

    I argued – and continue to believe – that the lobby has a good chance of killing the negotiations. Obama is weak right now. Immigration’s dead, Obamacare’s launch has been a total disaster, his approval ratings mirror those of Bush in his 5th year, while Reagan/Clinton were both 20+ points higher at their respective terms.

    So it’s doable to kill them off. But I ask people on here, especially those who believe this theory or at least can think of themselves playing devil’s advocate; how exactly is the lobby going to get a war? I don’t doubt that they want it; they’ve wanted it for a long time. But we saw with Syria what happened when the public went nuts on Obama’s ass. Iran is 10x what Syria was as a military operation. Braindead columnists like Roger Cohen(slamming the WH as ‘cheese eaters’ because they refuse to bomb everything chicken hawks like him want to. Maybe it’s Cohen who has a brain made out of cheese) nonwithstanding, the vast majority of people have had enough.

    And, as we saw with Syria, the mainstream media is no longer as reluctant(although still quite a bit) to write about AIPAC and other Jewish organizations’ efforts to lead the country to war. So the ease of conducting your lobbying for a foreign nation is no longer as easy.

    So my takeaway is: blocking the negotiations, maybe, but getting a war? Not that I can see in any realistic manner. And furthermore, even if the negotiations get killed, I did argue previously that it’s far from clear how long China or India will co-operate with the sanction’s regime and just ignore it. Especially as they see an Israeli/American rift and does anyone think they bother with Israel’s getting stamped? They have an economy to feed with oil and Iran’s got a lot of it, but only if the sanctions are lifted.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 15, 2013, 3:19 pm

      But I ask people on here, especially those who believe this theory or at least can think of themselves playing devil’s advocate; how exactly is the lobby going to get a war?

      remember iraq was under sanctions for 10 years before they got war. the way they can get war is to fight tooth and nail to prevent any easing of the sanctions whatsoever and stave off til a new US administration will succumb. that’s one way. and the longer those sanctions continue, the weaker iran becomes, presumably. but i amnot so sure all the other countries will fall in line anymore. especially china who we need more than they need us. it’s a different world now than it was in the 90’s during the iraq sanctions. soeven if they can’t get their war on now they do not want any easing of those sanctions. they will go completely ballistic.

      israel is in this for the long haul. you don’t become a dominating force over a continent in a fortnight. if it takes them another decade to get a war so be it. they’ve been pounding the drums to take down iran for a long long time. so this is a showdown right now, but not the last showdown. it will however, severely cramp their momentum if sanctions are eased now. everyone knows this. which is why i predict they will be eased. i think the international community doesn’t want another iraq either in syria or iran. israel&cohorts would like nothing more.

    • American
      November 15, 2013, 3:58 pm

      ‘I’m genuinely curious to see how the lobby can possibly pull this off. There was a bit of a debate on this topic a on a thread yesterday at this site.”…Krauss

      The usual ways.
      Threatening, buying, bribing, blackmailing congressperps to block Obama on everything.
      Making sure the msm doesnt get the truth on Iran-Israel-USA out to the public.
      Trying to create hysterics on Iran’s threat to the USA and the world.

      Will it work as it has before? Maybe, maybe not. I think not.
      The US public does not want anything more to do with the ME, not a war to save Israel or the world or anything else.
      And the US Military command doesnt either.

      So you’ve got the US public and the US Military ‘against’ attacking Iran or doing anything to ignite a ME war and in the ‘for’ column you’ve got congressional I Firsters, AIPAC, the Zios and Israel.
      Who will win?
      I say we skip the Iran war and we ‘againsters declare war on the ‘for column instead.
      You bring the feathers, I’ll bring the tar.

    • stardust
      November 16, 2013, 3:33 am

      The Neocons/Zionists may get their war against Iran soon under Obama or in a few years’ time. Theirs is a decades, perhaps centuries-old plan to destroy Israel’s perceived historical foes.

      Remember Wesley Clark’s admission about the Bush admin plan to bring down the governments of perhaps a dozen Arab/Muslim nations in the aftermath of 9/11?

      The foundational stories and the history of Israel revolve around civilizational conflicts with the empires of Babylon, Sumer, Assyria, Egypt of the pharaos, Persia … i.e. present-day Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Iran. They all must be laid to waste to fulfill Zio/Neocon dreams of vengeance.

      Add to that the Christian Zionist wet dream of Armageddon and Israel shining upon the nations at the end of times and you can understand what drives these people.

      • American
        November 16, 2013, 10:21 am

        @ stardust

        maybe not……lots of splintering in GOP war party.

        link to dw.de

        Republicans re-think hawkish foreign policy
        Recent congressional debate over counterterrorism and Syria has revealed deep fault lines among Republicans on national security. The party that launched the Iraq war has taken a noticeably isolationist turn”

  8. Kathleen
    November 15, 2013, 3:19 pm

    So telling that Kerry’s honest assessment and truthful words about the continued expansion of illegal Israeli settlements are seen as “harsh” statements. Even as attacks, treachery, abandonment, etc. When will Israel and the I lobby get it right now Kerry is being a very good friend to Israel by being willing to speak part of the truth out loud. Israel is doing themselves great harm…burying the two state solution under illegal settlements. They encased their brains in the illegal wall.

  9. traintosiberia
    November 15, 2013, 3:27 pm

    Roger Cohen has a column today in NYT. He starts off with the past slanderous reference to France .Now he sees a reversal . France has muscle . It’s Fabius is ready to step in the vacuum left by Kerry He mentions the phrase of hatred -surrender monkey .
    He ends with -” When the cheese-eaters are in the White House it is time to worry.

    To me there is one conclusion that could be drawn and only one ,that is the person or the country -anywhere anytime anybody raises objections and works against the neocons ,would suffer ,whether it is independent France of 2003 or Independent US of 2013 does not count . The global reach , ambition and muscle power of the neoocns to safeguard the interest of Israel and hurt France or US ,whatever the case would be , are not addressed in this article. Kerry is under attack for his temerity of standing up for US.

    • Ellen
      November 15, 2013, 6:09 pm

      It is ironic as practically the entire French population thinks nothing of their current government. Francois Hollande is toast; he and his entire government are, as a french woman told me today, tout à fait hors de propos “utterly irrelevant.” He will never be back in power again.

      The French population disdains their own government, but war mongers love Hollande.

      • Walid
        November 15, 2013, 7:37 pm

        “The French population disdains their own government, but war mongers love Hollande” (Ellen)

        Sarko is back in full view this week. Looks like he’s preparing his comeback. Last week there was TV documentary of him and his wife about the simple life they are now leading with hints on they miss political life.

  10. Justpassingby
    November 15, 2013, 3:37 pm

    Israel with the lobby is the biggest threat to United States, there is no question about it. Crazy group of people.

  11. DICKERSON3870
    November 15, 2013, 4:46 pm

    RE: “Richard Silverstein says the production of this letter by the Israeli press and its friends here is evidence of how low the lobby will go to smear Kerry.” ~ Weiss

    SEE – “The AIPAC Politics of Smear: The Secret Section in Israel’s U.S. Lobby That Stifles American Debate”, By Gregory D. Slabodkin, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July 1992, pages 7-8, 89-91

    [EXCERPTS] During the reign of terror that Senator Joseph McCarthy unleashed in the 1950s, when the reputations and lives of many loyal Americans were ruined by false charges of “communism” and “treason,” American Jewry was overwhelmingly opposed to the Wisconsin senator and his blackmail by blacklists. According to the Gallup polls of the time, the percentage of U.S. Jews who opposed McCarthy’s smear tactics was twice that of the rest of the population. Many Jewish organizations passed resolutions condemning McCarthy’s ruthless character assassination.
    Today, however, such national Jewish organizations as the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith (ADL) and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) are using the same tactics to stifle open debate of U.S. policy in the Middle East.

    • Secretly Circulated Lists
    To conduct this “neo-McCarthyism,” AIPAC operates a covert section within its research department that monitors and keeps files on politicians, journalists, academics, Arab-American activists, Jewish liberals, and others it labels “anti-Israel.” AIPAC selects information from these files and secretly circulates lists of the “guilty,” together with their alleged political misdeeds, buttressed by their statements, often totally out of context.
    Just as McCarthy’s permanent investigations subcommittee labeled criticism of specific policies of the U.S. government as “anti-American,” or “pro-Soviet,” AIPAC labels criticism of Israeli government policies “anti-Israel,” “pro-Arab” or “pro-PLO.” Still worse is the pro-Israel lobby’s redefinition of “anti-Semitism” to include any such criticism of Israel or its actions. . .
    . . . AIPAC’s “opposition research” department traces its roots to I.L. (Sy) Kenen, who founded AIPAC in 1954. As editor of AIPAC’s weekly Near East Report, he often attacked critics of Israel in his aptly titled column, “The Monitor.” Besides monitoring, analyzing, and responding to “anti-Israel” comment and activities in the United States, Kenen also kept files on AIPAC’s “enemies.” In his final year AIPAC began to expand its intelligence-gathering operations.
    Kenen’s memoirs, “Israel’s Defense Line: Her Friends and Foes in Washington”, record how AIPAC pooled resources in 1974 with the American Jewish Committee and other national Jewish organizations to create a “truth squad.” Its purpose was to combat “pro-Arab propaganda” and the emerging “Arab lobby,” which Kenen believed to be a growing threat to the U.S.-Israel relationship.
    “While vigorously defending Israel’s perceived interests, the organizations that created the truth squad turned into a kind of Jewish thought police,” journalist Robert I. Friedman explains. “Investigators—sometimes overzealous Jewish college students, sometimes sources with access to U.S. intelligence agencies—were used to ferret out critics of Israel, Jew or gentile, wherever they might be. At ADL and AIPAC, files were opened on journalists, politicians, scholars and community activists. Their speeches and writings were monitored, as were, in some cases, their other professional activities. And they were often smeared with charges of anti-Semitism or with the pernicious label of self-hating Jew. The intention was to stifle debate on the Middle East within the Jewish community, the media and academia, for fear that criticism of any kind would weaken the Jewish state.”
    When Kenen stepped down as executive director of AIPAC in December 1974, the task of monitoring Israel’s “enemies” was left to the department of research and information at AIPAC, where it has remained ever since. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to wrmea.org

    • American
      November 15, 2013, 4:56 pm

      AIPAC and the Zios need to be McCarthy-ed.
      Given a dose of their own medicne.

      • Citizen
        November 16, 2013, 6:50 am

        @ American
        I think Pat Buchanan has been trying to it for a long time; I’m surprised he’s still allowed on mainstream tv news panels once in a while.

      • James Canning
        November 17, 2013, 6:04 pm

        Pat is a regular panelist on McLaughlin Group (PBS TV). He was in good form this past week, re: Israel’s effort to prevent deal with Iran.

      • Citizen
        November 19, 2013, 9:56 am

        @ James Canning
        Good to hear, even if whenever I mention Pat to anyone, if they recognize his name at all, they also castigate him as an anti-semite. The goys I know in Florida never heard of him, and the Jews I know here say he’s a jew-hater. Just the way it is, for me. I’m sure you’re not too surprised.

      • James Canning
        November 19, 2013, 5:47 pm

        @Citizen – – Amazing. Or should be. Mort Zuckerman can tell any Jew curious about Pat Buchanan, that Pat is not an “anti-Semite”. Absurd charge, in my view.

  12. biorabbi
    November 15, 2013, 9:56 pm

    MJ’s writing on Kerry/Biden brought genuine tears of joy to my eyes…. Meanwhile as progressives wither over Obamacare… link to ynetnews.com

  13. Kathleen
    November 16, 2013, 12:10 am

    Max Blumenthal spoke about his new book and his experiences on the ground in Israel and in the illegally occupied Palestinian territories in Boulder this evening. This young man can rattle off more facts about Palestinian oppression as a result of the illegal confiscation of Palestinian lands, creation of Israel, racist legislation, illegal settlements etc than anyone I have heard speak about this issue. Smooth delivery, calm demeanor, factual, humorous, humble and brilliant all rolled into one. He knocked it out of the park

    I believe he inspired many to take off their protective blinders about the facts on the ground.

  14. Citizen
    November 17, 2013, 6:50 am

    Is Obama ducking from Netanyahu’s phone incessant, arrogant phone calls? Netanyahu’s aides say that’s a lie: link to jpost.com

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