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Total number of comments: 341 (since 2013-03-31 07:18:54)

Zionist, observant Jew, Israeli since 1977, married + 4, author/translator/editor

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  • The Gaza blockade is illegal-- and so is the use of force to maintain it
    • International law in the form of a UN resolution gives no one anything it is incorporated into national law. This is aside from the toxic background and contents of the resolution in question.

    • Let's stop lots of incessant omissions. Like the terror organizations that run things in the Strip. Like the planting of their members in the crowd of unarmed civilians in order to draw fire. Like the violent incursions that were in fact made. Like the involvement of the scapegoating and scapegoated Palestinian Authority. Like the bizarre phenomenon of torching landscapes to which the torchers claim ownership and propose to "return." Then let's move onto the very non-parallel cases of Razan al-Najar and Ahed Tamimi. Or are we living in a trope?

  • Hitchhiking to Treblinka
    • So a Jew need only affirm h/her Jewishness to make it "difficult to blame anti-Semites for anything".... Is it only Jewishness that, when affirmed, justifies "anything"? Did Poles' affirmation of Polishness make "anything" done to them by the Germans and the Soviets "difficult to blame"? American affirmation of American-ness? If Anderson's claim that everyone today professes nationhood is true, is anyone doing "anything" to anyone "difficult to blame"? Or again, is it just the Jews?

    • I find it odd after 41 years in Israel to read that the place is an "experiment." Only in the Diaspora does one encounter that term. It evokes the notion of pulling the plug on the whole place, which is something a desiderata on this site. How bafflingly incongruous it is for the rest of us. It's almost as bad as hearing denominationally divided American Jews refer to nationally united Israeliness as a form of "tribalism".

    • So a Jew need only affirm h/her Jewishness to make it "difficult to blame anti-Semites for anything".... Is it only Jewishness that, when affirmed, justifies "anything"? Did Poles' affirmation of Polishness make "anything" done to them by the Germans and the Soviets "difficult to blame"? American affirmation of American-ness? If Anderson's claim that everyone today professes nationhood is true, is anyone doing "anything" to anyone "difficult to blame"? Or again, is it just the Jews?

  • Silencing pro-Palestinian professors – Israel’s academic army
    • An academic using university letterhead to ban "Zionists" from campus and then whining when called to account for it -- no dirty trick there, just "criticism of Israel," eh?

  • Literary hero Yossi Klein Halevi says anti-Zionist Jews aren't Jewish
    • Applying the term "tribalism" to Zionism is a bi-level failure and a shallow innuendo -- insinuating that Israel is less than a nation. In Israel, a person or group that's accused of tribalism is charged with subordinating the national cause to narrower interests. Where the idea of Jewishness as tribalism does strike a positive chord in the U.S., as in congratulating a convert by saying "Welcome to the tribe!"

    • You speak of May 14. How about May 15? Foreign expeditionary forces sweeping in to obliterate the one-day-old country render yesterday's reality caduc.

    • If the mouse then leaps into the ocean and breathes for decades through a blowhole off the California coast, then it is a whale and has been one all along. The Jews don't have to define themselves as a national community. They have sufficient attributes of one and have had them for centuries. That most American Jews repudiate most of these attributes and swap them for American ones is sort of like a whale insisting that it's a mouse.

    • Keith and (mainly) other readers, premodern Jewish communities weren't run by chief rabbis. Chief rabbis were appointed by lay public bodies (kahals). And neither they nor the kahal nor anyone else administered anything approaching capital punishment. If your source is Shahak, then join the many who repudiate him from A to Z, which are largely anyone to the right of Gilad Atzmon.

  • 'Disappearing Palestine' maps must spotlight Jaffa
    • If Palestinians "being there" proves your point, then apply it to places where Jews were once "being there." That would cover all of Cisjordan, parts of Transjordan, the Golan Heights, and slivers of southern Lebanon. You don't buy it, of course: for you, the Jews' expulsion from those territories stopped their "being there" and invalidates their claims. To go along with that, one must have a severe case of double standards or, better still, no standards at all.

    • The Mandate-era map attributes possession of all non-privately-owned land to "the Palestinians" and assigns to the Jews only such land as they purchased privately. Never mind that the Arab entity that could have taken possession of land under the partition plan rejected the option and did not call itself Palestinian. Further, the 1950-1967 map ignores the Jordanian and Egyptian occupations totally. So: factually wrong and misleading indeed. It isn't about a double standard; it's about no standard at all.

  • Tom Friedman has advice for Palestinians: Embrace Zionism
    • Unpack the components of nationhood and you find all but one of them for centuries in the Jewish case. The cruciality of the missing one, control of territory, blinds people's eyes to the lastingness and strength of the others. Dubnow in particular lauded Jewish nationhood as the most exalted type because it sustained itself without territorial sovereignty. I haven't read up on the possibility that he changed his mind (1) when his "autonomism" model collapsed under antisemitic tsunamis and (2) Nazis or Lithuanians (it's disputed) shot him to death during a murder-Aktion.

    • And the animosity towards Israel originates in Diasporic fear and outrage over Jews' asserting their nationhood. The folks here would oppose even a decision by Israel to liquidate itself because such a decision would be an Israeli one. It's got to be the product of Palestinian "resistance" and/or action by other countries and the "real," not-my-Judaism Jews of the chattering class and the neo-Stalinist claque.

    • Rose puts the discrediting of Friedman as a "liberal Zionist" over the possibility of validity in any part of what he's written. In fact, true to the MW narrative, she legitimizes only one solution: eradicating Jewish nationhood. That this offers her beloved Palestinians nothing but further fatalities does not appear to bother her; perhaps that's the whole point.

  • For we are God's special victims (an ode to the state of Israel)
    • Context: 50 Hamas operatives ("our people") and 3 Islamic Jihad. Credible reports that Hamas falsely told demonstrators that the border had been breached, prompting people to rush into the critical zone. As for Jewish casualties, unanswered is how many there should have been to make the fight "fair."

    • I visited Resolution 242 to look for "mention of such compensation." There is none. Then I visited Resolution 181, which speaks of "such compensation" only in the event of land expropriation for public purposes. I haven't the time to look into the others.

    • How about context? Najd: a likely advance base for the Egyptian forces that invaded two days later. Lawful defense begins before you're invaded. See Morris, pp. 254ff. Resolution 194 speaks of "refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours." The enflamed mobs witnessed this past week did not seem inclined that way. The clause in the Declaration on Human Rights says nothing about property. Did you infer it from somewhere else, or did you just make it up? The clause does speak of a country, but Mandate Palestine ceased to exist and the territory earmarked for Arab statehood was rejected in contempt, not by the Jews. So what we've got here is a tendentious selective citation of documents. It makes one wonder whether Golda wasn't right after all

    • How about context? Najd: a likely advance base for the Egyptian forces that invaded two days later. Lawful defense begins before you're invaded. See Morris, pp. 254ff. Resolution 194 speaks of "refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours." The enflamed mobs witnessed this past week did not seem inclined that way. The clause in the Declaration on Human Rights says nothing about property. Did you infer it from somewhere else, or did you just make it up? The clause does speak of a country, but Mandate Palestine ceased to exist and the territory earmarked for Arab statehood was rejected in contempt, not by the Jews.

  • 'It's our country, and we'll return one day': 70 years later the wound is still painful
    • Yet the Gaza leadership yearns to run that "very difficult" equation again and again, and is celebrated for doing so by readers of this site.

  • Live Blog: Massacre in Gaza as US and Israel celebrate embassy move to Jerusalem
    • The coverage and comments reenact the grotesque theatre that's been performed here before. You armchair warriors got your wish: real violence resulting in real corpses, who are already serving as grist for the next round of rhetoric that will produce the next round of dead bodies, the next round of predictable indictments with inevitable references to, surprise-surprise, the Nazis, and the next round of crowing about Israel's imminent demise.

  • Israel repurposes Nakba myths to justify massacre in Gaza
    • The strategy never changes: one more entertainer who refuses to visit, one more firebomb-kite, one more JVP demonstration, one more shouting-down of an Israeli speaker on an American campus, and the Zios will sink to the bottom of the Mediterranean. Admiration of deaths in vain and urging more of the same. Insanity a la Einstein. All a sane person can adduce from it is the goal.

  • Kovel's 'Overcoming Zionism' was ahead of its time
  • Adi Shosberger called Israeli soldiers ‘terrorists’ -- and Israel has turned on her
    • It's cherry season again! Here's what Morgenthau said a few paragraphs later:
      "Just why Palestine was separated from Syria is a secret for the politicians of the "closed door" school, for there is absolutely no rational reason why it should be. No historic, geographic, geo-
      logic or ethnologic proof could be furnished to justify such an action. All Biblical scholars worthy of the name are agreed on the fact that Palestine and Syria are one country." Quoted from "The Case against Zionism," H.I. Katibah, ed., https://archive.org/stream/caseagainstzioni00kati/caseagainstzioni00kati_djvu.txt Morgenthau did see Zionism as theft by the Jews of a land belonging to another people: the Syrian people.

  • Reclaiming Judaism from mystical nationalism
    • Rabbi Davis, what's the point? Did you approach Rabbi Sadan about his remarks or at least bring your concerns to his knowledge? If not, is this anything but a phishin' expedition or a dog-whistle for Israel-haters?

  • The 'Jewish nation' is the central myth of Zionism. It needs to be dismantled.
    • I can see wanting to suppress a nationalism. But if you buy Anderson's view of nationhood as something that all humans share today, the idea of suppressing "all nations" sounds worse than intolerant; it sounds nihilistic.

    • The statement closest to factuality in Ofir's piece is its headline. For Ofir and the MW chorus, the target for destruction is indeed Jewish nationhood and not borders, policies, Netanyahu, or anything else. Nor does the betterment of anything Palestinian matter much. The thing is, national vs. non-national Jews have been carrying out a natural experiment for a century or more. The results are in: national Jewishness wins big. From the inception of Zionism, its viability in all measures of nationhood -- linguistic, social, economic, cultural, judicial, territorial, political, etc. -- was proved with such celerity that one should conclude that Jewishness qualified as nationhood long before. Ofir proves it backhandedly by resorting to de-nationalized Diaspora Jews to prove his point.

  • 1948 and the Anglo–Saxim: on Western involvement in expulsion of the Palestinians
    • Tantura? You cannot convict a jaywalker on the strength of the "evidence" given about Tantura decades after whatever fact had been there. Nor can you legitimately assess Deir Yassin and really all the rest if you've airbrushed out the reality of total war at the time, as seems to be de rigueur here.

    • That must be the same Ilan Pappe who endorses massacre accounts on the "evidence" that those giving the accounts feel as though they were massacred (see under: Tantura). And who airbrushes out the reality of total war in 1947-1948 in order to leave ethnic cleansing as the default explanation for what happened.

  • 'NY Times' covers up Israel's killing of nonviolent protesters along the Gaza border
    • The real bias is in the fixation on the bodycount in NYT and a fortiori in the piece above. It overlooks -- blinds the reader to -- the purpose of the exercise: to establish the "right of return" via mass theatre and plenty of martyrdom. From this perspective, the loss of five lives and not hundreds, among an estimated 17,000 who marched on a fortified and hostile border, amounts to an Israel victory and a sad sacrifice of Palestinian lives.

  • Clashing with the Jewish state: ultra-Orthodox Israelis who reject Zionism
    • Thank you for your reasoned response.

    • If MW and/or the Palestinians are seeking true allies in the Eida Haredis, forget it. It is a purely intra-Jewish dispute. What's more, the Eida clashes with Zionism only on grounds of motive (establishing and sustaining a secular state) and timing (before the advent of the Messiah). Once those matters are resolved from on high, as normative Jewish theology believes they will, the Eida will become the most fervent Zionists of all.

  • Struggle for equal rights for Palestinians is 'right choice,' and will lead to 'significant exodus of Jews' -- Henry Siegman
    • Siegman's biggest slip, maybe the source of the smaller ones, is the bit about defining Israel’s national identity and territorial claims in religious terms. He proves it by citing the religious element of the conversion process as practiced in Israel. He has little choice, whether he thought about it or not, because Israel defines no other element in its civic life that way. Even the Law of Return, which he probably reviles, applies a religious criterion only by negation. He is speaking from his American Jewish perspective of seeing Jewishness as religion-only and therefore Israel as a religious project. How dissonant that is to the ears of any Israeli, Jewish or not, religious or not.

  • New Orleans City Council rescinds human rights resolution, igniting the movement for Palestinian rights
    • Abuse, eh? That's the repeated use of end-arounds, manipulations, false intersectionality, and sleight-of-mouth in getting BDS resolutions passed. One almost understands it because resolutions promoted in a straightforward manner nearly always fail. Some abusers don't get away with their vileness, as New Orleans just proved.

  • Israel as a perversion of Judaism and the modern nation-state
    • Y'know what? Spot on. A Jewish national characteristic I hadn't thought of: conjugal relations. Strengthens my argument.

    • Violent national successions are as old as Genesis. So as not to whine, I'll put it straight: I suspect the author of creating a set of perversions that's got one member only, Israel. Once you bring the US into it, you broaden the set to two. Well, I also suspect those whose sets accommodate only Israel and the U.S. Colonialist assaults on native peoples, verging or attaining genocide, were rife in South America, Africa, and Southern Asia. Jewish nationhood allows for one and only one homeland. Territorialism and Autonomism were tried and failed. Renunciation of Jewish nationhood, as in the Reform, succeeded in dividing Jewry but has not shown its ability to assure Jewish survival in the long term. I return to the point of departure: Israel is no settler-colonialist venture but a classic state construct that's meant to protect a national population.

    • Responses to John O and Talkback: No, Jews cannot obtain Israeli citizenship without immigrating, and those with Israeli citizenship forfeit the right to vote if they leave the country for a certain length of time. Talkback: that's toxic waste in verbal form. Jews carried their nationhood from country to country for centuries until repatriation became possible. Nothing but nothing like Germany, let alone Nazi Germany.

    • It's nationhood vs. citizenship. Universal Jewish nationhood that confers the right to citizenship if the individual takes it up, Israeli citizenship that confers citizen rights including suffrage.

    • Mr. Nikles slipped off the rails after several promising introductory paragraphs. Jewish nationhood in Israel traces directly to national elements of Jewish nationhood pre-Enlightenment. Other than territory, it's all there: language, dress, even cuisine, *and* religion. To equate Israeli Jews with American Jews, the author cherry-picks the criteria and overlooks the one that matters: nationhood. Perhaps he's blinded by the Western perception of Judaism as religion-only or ethnicity-only, but my conjecture is that he must see things this way to obtain his definition of Israel as, guess what, a perversion of the nation-state. Israel is instead the embodiment of the purpose of a nation-state: a protective structure for the nation, that is, an existent nation. So says Dubnow, bringing plenty of sociological (not "religious") evidence. It would be edifying to know what other nation-states the author faults as perversions. It wouldn't be another one of those faux Israel-only arguments, would it?

  • UNRWA 'aid' is aid only in the lexicon of Orwellian newspeak
    • Seeing the expression "relations with Zionism," I tried to find Zionism on the map and failed. Then I searched the Web for the capital of Zionism and came away empty-handed again. But the same with Palestine. And Palestinian society? No such expression in Washington's time, Lincoln's time, etc. Maybe Truman's time? For that period, I found an Arab society, a Higher Arab Committee, an Arab negotiating delegation. But where the citrus industry is concerned, there's plenty of literature. It concerns the industry built by the pre-Israel Jewish entity, its invitation to the Arab growers to come aboard, and the latter's refusal.

  • Once again, 'NYT' says Judaism = Zionism
    • What an efficient post: everything from "millions of Rabbis against Zionism" to a cute Zionism=Nazism allusion in fewer than 12 lines! Zionism correctly addresses the one characteristic of nationhood that was torn centuries ago from the Jewish people, which maintained its other aspects of nationhood including uninterrupted consciousness of its homeland. It is about sustained indigeneity, not about my intellectuals versus yours.

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  • Privileged American Jews are safe thanks to 'Israel's might'-- Roger Cohen
    • Roger Cohen disserves history by predicating Israel's right to exist on "need" for a homeland. On grounds of need, many surrogate homelands were potentially offered to Jews at precisely the time of the rise of Zionism. The Jewish masses rejected them all, including America as a Jewish homeland. Only Eretz Israel resonated among Jews as a homeland. So it isn't about "need" for a homeland. The homeland existed; what was needed was a practical repatriation program. This was found. It was much later that the non-Jewish population began to find, or be equipped with, a national voice of its own.

  • What Palestinians can learn from South African anti-apartheid struggle
    • Ah, Israel as rapist and the Palestinians as its female victims. The wonders of intersectionality! I'll explain myself better. Palestinian civil society and Palestinian leadership hold themselves together only by negation, i.e., fixating on Israel. Their amen chorus chooses the same direction by bringing in the South African analogy, never mind that it fits only when it's twisted to death. Haidar Eid proposes that they cure these ailments by doubling down on them. I trace the whole thing to a deficiency in Palestinian nationhood. The rhetoric exists, not so the substance.

    • So it's the same old thing. The Palestinian leadership is divided so, first, let's rev the engines against Israel. But that leadership isn't divided. It accurately mirrors the Palestinian national deficiency. Apart from embracing the Palestinian brand name and reviling Israel, there's little to find. And second, let's weep for the Gaza Strip. It is indeed a distressing place but what, the most densely populated place on earth? Say again? Any built up area of its size is equally or more densely populated. Tel Aviv is more densely populated. The "dawn" that the author seeks will start to break when Palestinian civil society faces up to what it is, what it isn't, and what Israel is and isn't, irrespective of "lessons" from South Africa.

  • Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as capital of 'Jewish people' is assault on my religion -- Queens rabbi
    • Again this bewildering fixation on NK. Its kampf with Zionism concerns only timing and motive. NK fully expects a Higher Authority to sort those matters out in His good time. Then NK will be the most fervent Zionists of all. Until then, leave them alone.

    • Zionism has everything to do with Jewish religious beliefs because these beliefs are national at their root. This is where Zionism gets its strength and success.

    • Anti-Zionists should find little comfort in Rabbi Shapiro's views. Consider Dubnow:
      "Since religion completely dominated all spheres of Jewish life for two thousand years, the mass of orthodox Jews accepted the idea that Judaism is not a nationality in the accepted sense but a religious community living according to sacred traditions, laws and commandments that encompass the life of the individual and the community. The mass of the people who do not understand the interdependence of historic events failed to see that all the ancient national values of the Jewish nation the historical festivals, customs and usages, laws, social institutions, the whole system of self-administration retained in the Diaspora all had been incorporated gradually and artificially into the sphere of religion. The national body became wrapped in the garb of religion so that ... its true form was unrecognizable.
      In essence the views of the orthodox may be formulated as follows: "Judaism is a religious nation, its members are held together by religious ordinances and practical commandments; whoever violates this religion removes himself from the national community.” This view is not opposed to the concept of a spiritual or cultural nation. It is mistaken only in the sense that it confuses the concepts of "spiritual" and "cultural" with "religious." It is the result of a limited perspective characteristic of men who do not distinguish between fossilized tradition and living, creative development. Let the mass of the orthodox consider nationality and religion as one, for the time being; ... let them be satisfied with this partial understanding as long as they cannot arrive at a full and complete understanding based on theoretical analysis and research. In the end they too will see the light.

  • Gaza’s airport, once a symbol of statehood, is now a wasteland
    • NBC news, May 19, 2005: [...] Israel was always supposed to be in charge of the facility, as stipulated by the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip from 1995. [...] The Israelis say the Palestinians failed to honor that agreement. “ Said [Shlomo] Dror, [spokesman for COGAT,] “[The airport] was a way to bypass the Interim Agreement, that the Palestinians can take out people without our notice and without our security checks, and bring in weapons or things like that.”

      n the Gaza-Jericho and other interim agreements, pages of carefully negotiated text were devoted to a detailed specification of the size of the Palestinian police force created to prevent terror, as well as the number and type of weapons that they were to be allowed to carry (with serial numbers recorded by the Israeli government to trace any abuse of these weapons). Other sections dealt with the detailed inspection procedures for land crossings and for the airport in Gaza, to ensure that no weapons or explosives were being smuggled in.

      "Lessons Unlearned," By Gerald M. Steinberg, The Jerusalem Post, October 16, 2003
      "In reality, all of these paper provisions were violated from the beginning. When Arafat made his grand return from Tunis to Gaza in 1994, his profile was higher than usual, and not because of his greatly increased stature. He was sitting on the lap of a wanted Palestinian terrorist whose entry to Israel was prohibited, under the terms negotiated in the agreements. And in this and thousands of other motorcades, as well as in the aircraft flying into the Gaza airport (funded generously by the Europeans), and through the tunnels from Egypt, the PLO, Hamas, and the other factions assembled an arsenal of illegal weapons and explosives. Three years ago, Israel finally shut down the airport and closed the overland arms links [...].

    • Stop weeping. It's the only airport in the world that was named for an airplane hijacker. Israel decommissioned it after it caught the airport's founder and namesake smuggling weapons and wanted persons in his personal aircraft.

  • Jewish activist who counseled Lorde on BDS gets the full 'kapo' treatment in the Israeli press
    • Stipulated that Wohl's piece is a brutal polemic that dog-whistles commenters whose veins run with bile instead of blood. Now re-visit any number of MW pieces and their comments. See under: world Zionist conspiracy themes, the Zionist takeover of America, the insidious intentionality of everything bad occurring or existing in Israel, morbid intersectionality that holds "Zionists" culpable for just about anything anywhere and calls for "justice," etc., etc. A deafening pot-meet-kettle moment, this.

  • New Israeli train line with station named after Trump was built on stolen Palestinian land
    • The purported "Trump station" isn't part of the existing route; it belongs to an envisaged extension on which no construction has taken place. It has nothing to do with Beit Iksa. As for participation in projects in "occupied territory" being a violation of international law, such participants would easily be brought before the auspice that has jurisdiction in the matter. There is no such auspice, no such jurisdiction, and by all appearances no such violation.

  • Pop star 'Lorde' honors BDS call, cancels Tel Aviv concert
  • Ibrahim 'the half bodied,' an icon of Gaza skirmishes, loses his other half for Jerusalem
    • Pathetic is as pathetic does. Palestinian flags were hoisted all over the territories long before Oslo and a fortiori after. The author claims that this man lost both legs for doing this and that he had been targeted. Possible but unlikely, like the rest of the article too "good" to be true. If you had been the contributor, I bet you'd have identified the shooter as a medic just for the pathos value of it.

    • Several times I've called out MW contributors for editing reportage or interviews to conform to scripts. One contributor more-or-less acknowledged it and none to date has answered the charge topically. As for serving a racist cause, your strategy of dehumanizing the questioner does it rather well.

    • The story has the smell of being too good. It's got everything -- malevolent Je.. er, Zionists who've murdered someone whom they'd already crippled, a selfless victim whose soul yearned only for his lost homeland and capital, even a swipe at mendacious America. Its weakness is that there is no IDF policy of shooting people dead for raising Palestinian flags. Even before Oslo such flags flew under soldiers' noses without response. One expects additional details to smother this account in further contradictions. But never mind, if it encourages responses such as Maghwalatan's -- wishing mass murder of "all non Palestinians" -- it serves the cause, eh?

  • Balfour Declaration, now 100, was 'gun pointed at heads' of Palestinians -- Khalidi
    • Prof. Khalidi laments the gun, represented by the Balfour declaration, that was pointed at the heads of the Palestinians; the lack of pre-Israel sympathy for the Palestinians, the uprising engineered in the 1930s by the Palestinians, etc. One thing, however, is missing in all of them: the Palestinians. In those years and later as well, the collectivity that *today* self-identifies as nationally Palestinian was seen, and saw itself, as an Arab population of vague identity: maybe Syrian, maybe local. And when it opted for total war against the Zionists, its ambiguity took a lethal toll on its cause, whereas its adversary had no such issue. Much the same is happening today.

    • So it's once again about the Je... er, the "Israeli elites" and their world-destroying tentacles? And yeah, the ever-reliable Israel Shahak as support. It's all over, Israel, you've been found out... (not).

  • Between our life and our mother Algeria, we chose our mother: Excerpt from 'Inside the Battle of Algiers: Memoir of a Woman Freedom Fighter'
    • No significant difference? Try m-e-t-r-o-p-o-l-e. One party had one; the other didn't. That's why the Algerian Jews received French citizenship -- to furnish them with an a posteriori metropole, and this, to spare them from farhud-style massacre. If you consider that an unwarranted "special privilege," it follows that you find the prospect of their annihilation palatable if not favored. I, for one, would the reconstitution of the real Jewish metropole, guess where.

    • How did a piece on Algeria's convulsions trigger this boilerplate rant about Zionism and, guess who, the Nazis? Or is it so self-evident that only a Zio-dolt can't figure it out?

    • Well, it reflects Ecclesiastes, who is heard (or who speaks, in any event) on the Sabbath between Succot and Simhat Torah.

    • Of course Zionists take warning by that. It explains why they stress Jewish nationhood, Jewish indigeneity, and yeah, Jewish majority hegemony. I'm for it.

  • Ten days of awe: standing with whom?
    • Wow. "Generally believed" trumping "never happened." Think of the potential. As for Buber and Magnes, many others tried, sometimes for decades. They were answered with plenty of "depths of brutality and facism" (sic). See Yosef Gorny, "From Binational Society to Jewish State: Federal Concepts in Zionist Political Thought, 1920-1990." Or go ahead, don't see it. Keep up the resistance; there's nothing like ideological cashing-in on real Palestinians' wretchedness.

  • Is Yiddish the language of the Jewish soul?
    • Re Hebrew, I'd go several steps farther. Throughout the dispersion, Hebrew was (and is) in use for all purposes other than conversational vernacular. Those who see it as limited to prayer and religious study ignore or belittle the vast breadth and national contents of those activities. The revival of vernacular Hebrew in Eretz Israel occurred with such speed that one should jettison the idea of Hebrew ever having been dead. It was and remains the Jewish national superglue.

    • How precious to drag-and-drop the American-Ashkenazi narrative into Israel's intra-Jewish tussles. As for the author's claim, “…the extent of Israel’s intra-Jewish racial divide is unfamiliar," maybe that's because inter-group exogamy has made it statistically insignificant since the late 1980s.

  • Lindsey Graham asks whether AIPAC, which comes to Capitol Hill in 'droves,' is a foreign agent
    • Yeah, the "droves" thing again. What Netanyahu said in Hebrew was this:
      המצביעים הערבים נעים בכמויות אדירות לקלפי"
      "The Arab voters are moving to the polling places in huge numbers."
      A translator colloquialized Bibi's statement and the MW crowd is still trying to hypermile the result....

  • 'The metal detectors are just the first step': Palestinians say Israeli takeover of Al Aqsa is red line that can't be crossed
    • Um, quoting Maimonides and then terming the Jewish people a "fake concept" in the same post? Breathtaking.

  • Israel charges UNESCO with 'Fake history'
    • "A site can easily be Jewish and Palestinian," Diaspora says. Well, it was tried under Oslo: at Joseph's Tomb and the synagogue in Jericho. Both went up in flames.

  • Church leaders must be willing to pay a price for Palestinian solidarity
    • To raise a complaint of “apartheid” and “occupation” in one breath means, in the intellectually more honest case, that one envisions the demise of Jewish statehood one way or the other, never mind which, and in the less honest case, that one tosses these words around interchangeably and meaninglessly in the hope that they will somehow cause the Jewish side harm.

  • Pro-Israel 'gatekeepers' at California university shut down search for Edward Said scholar, a candidate says
    • So.... Passing Solaita's obscene rants as "criticism" of the Gaza operation. Paragraph after paragraph of rhetoric about a Zionist conspiracy to stifle the Said candidates and all criticism of Israel without anything approaching evidence of it. Dark allusions to Canary Mission, "the Israeli lobby’s effective but untraceable blacklist," and anonymous insinuations about an unnamed Jewish community in lieu of evidence. Classic MW.

  • 'To live or to perish' -- Norman Finkelstein on the Six-Day-War and its mythology
    • No one has investigated those archives because, insofar as they exist, their owners have blocked all access to them. Morris rues this in his studies of 1948, basically admitting that in their absence his research (and by extension that of others) is flawed. As for Finkelstein's take on 1967, substitute a few phrases and you've got a Trump-worthy denial of climate change.

  • Oren sees 'radical implosion' of US Jewish support for Israel -- then calls Palestinian polygamy 'existential threat'
    • A-J support for Israel is falling because A-J support for anything Jewish is falling, a fortiori for the largest Jewish project since Moses. Before one explores any characteristic of Israel that A-Js might object to, start with its being a state (and a nation-state at that). Israel's existence defies the A-J majority's repudiation of Jewish nationhood (cf. the Pittsburgh Platform) and evokes hostility on these grounds alone. That's before, and irrespective of, any decision that an Israeli government makes.

  • The centrist US political system will defeat Trump
    • Thank you JWalters for the refresher course in logical fallacy. From "These facts are plainly proven by the absolute absence of any discussion ..." to the clincher: "What other plausible explanation is there?" As for the alleged takeover, Israel's annual GDP adds up to about a week of turnover on the NYSE, three weeks of the US federal budget, perhaps a few months of media industry revenue. Financial control strings my potato, unless you're including in Israel's resources the Rothchilds, Adelson, and the dispossession of Egypt in the Book of Exodus. Why not? You said it yourself: "The ommission [sic] of such centrally relevant information [...] cannot possibly be due to a freak of chance."

  • Resolution for 2017: Stop substituting 'the occupation' for 'Zionism'
    • Yonah, staple CitizenC's post to the article and see where the writer is coming from and hopes to head. CitizenC elaborates on the thing the writer wishes to obliterate: Zionism as Jew vs. gentile everywhere. Jewish identity in scare quotes. Lobotomizing American Jews of wrong (according to Shlomo Sand) in order to dezionize the U.S. The writer alone would settle for our expulsion. Adding CitizenC, we should brace for filleting. Here's the point MW has reached: no more "war of ideas" but "reporting" and spreading "resistance."

  • The frozen Chosen: In Chabon's 'Yiddish Policemen's Union' a Jewish state in Alaska (still) results in the burning of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem
    • Enjoy. It's one of the strongest affirmations of Zionism that I've ever read. Better than Exodus, and in a way that the author never intended and may not even realize.

  • 'Atlantic' editor says that Israel's 1948 expulsion of Palestinians was not 'a tragedy'
    • By deleting his comments, you make it impossible for readers to judge his Nakba denial or otherwise. But you seem to imply that hypothetical, counterfactual advocacy of Jewish statehood in 1938 is in itself Nakba denial. Does this add up?

    • It matters because it goes to an implausibility. Palestinianism posits a Palestinian Arab national entity rooted in its soil for x millennia (fill in your propagandist's choice). It demands not statehood but its statehood "back." Were this factual, a "bunch of Europeans" with nothing stronger than an ethnic identity could not simply sweep in and do what you say they did, particularly since they also repelled regular armies repeatedly. Ayn Rand advised that one check one's premises and find one of them wrong. Or perhaps all of them, as in your post.

  • Many leftwing Israelis are leaving the country -- 'Forward' breaks an important story
    • "Fantastic -- a word originally meaning 'existing only in the imagination, unreal' (Oxford English Dictionary). Indeed. For decades disaffected Israelis across the whole spectrum have been threatening to emigrate and the media honor them with sympathetic coverage each time. When demographers look at actual, not imagined, emigration, they find much lower numbers than the media "report" and give little credit to despair as the reason for it.

  • ADL took US cops to Israeli prison, occupied Hebron and settler winery during counter-terror seminar
    • It's hard to be aware of the IDF's role when the IDF, according to the itinerary, played no role in the mission and entered the scene only in these commenters' imaginations.

  • 'Democracy' and 'terrorism' and the parameters of thinkable thought
    • Kudos to Prof. Harrington for labeling his construct a “name game”. Condemnation for calling it a two-way street. A dead end is more like it. Shredding human beings on public buses and in supermarkets and the like doesn't square with the pursuit of peace and dignity, and documenting the Holocaust in a museum sponsored by the state of the Holocausted nation doesn't square with "dialectical hardball" and the nefarious doings of "paid and unpaid hasbarists."

  • Druze Arabs in the occupied Golan Heights discuss borders, identity, colonialism and war
    • Especially interesting are Aaron's tireless attempts to create intersectionality and Abu Saleh's calm but useless attempts to get back on topic. Did Abu Saleh know he was being manipulated?

  • Why Trump's revolution succeeded, and Bernie's fizzled
    • "Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong." - Ayn Rand. Your wrong premises are two: that I/P is everyone's hottest-button issue and that there's a non-supremacism test that states must pass to justify their existence. As for Sanders and Trump, the former doomed himself by hurling the "s"-word (socialism) at the Democratic electorate, and the latter did so, although the count isn't in yet, by virtually promising to eviscerate the presidency.

  • BDS and Normalization: A Palestinian perspective
    • Shlomo Aaronson's opus on Ben-Gurion belies the sequence and much of the substance of what you say. I don't have it in front of me but I paid close attention to it as I translated it from the Hebrew a few years ago. Either way, for Israel there was never a place called "Lebanon's" Shebaa Farms. And "no peace, no recognition, no negotiations" is no way to "pursue Israel's withdrawal through diplomatic means."

    • What a piece of theatre this thread is. The ersatz Greek chorus of delegitimizers cacaphonies over my name (a dimunitive of Naftali) and normalizes (i.e. engages with) me to stress the imperative of anti-normalization. If it were funny, it would be funny. In the meantime, it's been another sixteen months of growth and consolidation in Israel. Good enough for me.

    • So what have we here? An indictment on the charge of being "hasbara central" and a sneering rhetorical question about my reading ability. Gosh, the three noes of Khartoum were equally useless but made for better theatre.

    • Professor Eid, your prescription omits two things that come to mind on cursory reading. First, your definition of Israelis who are fit for dialogue appears to leave out the likes of Dr. Gershon Baskin, as Baskin attested in today's Jerusalem Post. If he's out, it's hard to see who's in. Second is the undercurrent of Palestinian-on-Palestinian violence that underlies the anti-normalization campaign. It mirrors the conduct of anti-"assimilation" radicals in Israel who, when they can't or don't dare assault Arabs, assail Jews who don't clear their bar. There is neither peace nor justice in either.

  • Money talks as Trump does u-turn on Israel
  • With no evidence except ethnicity, media declared Nice attack terrorism
    • Yonah, it's rarely a problem to find fallacies in MW pieces; the challenge is to find them fast. Here I think the challenge is met as follows: Supposing the, um, incident in Nice traced solely to the factors that the author states. Even so, the media that allegedly leaped before they looked did it under the inspiration of scads of earlier attacks that had proven Islamism-related motives, and the need to confront these motives retains its validity even if the Nice atrocity was motivated differently. I do wonder why you referred to attacks in the US and France but not to those elsewhere, e.g., the airport in Istanbul and (shh....) Israel.

  • Jordan slams door on Gazans
    • With interference in freedom of travel routinely cited as justification for BDS against Israel, it would only be consistent for the BDS movement to turn its attention to Jordan and, a fortiori, Turkey with its indiscriminate, disproportionate, etc. lockdown of academia. Waiting, waiting, wai...

  • 'Most-read' article at Washington Post calls Israel 'savage, unrepairable society'
  • Fact Check: MSNBC’s Palestinian loss of land map
    • Thank you for referring me to the policy. I don't think it was my remark about Mandate Palestine's non-state status that motivated the comment. Mandate Palestine did not have statehood status; Resolution 181 proposed to change that. Of course there were Palestinian people but I contend that the non-Jewish population and its leaders left that adjective to the Jews. Nakba denial? The Arabs of Mandate Palestine definitely experienced a Nakba: social devastation, mass casualties, and the creation of many real refugees. [...] the Jewish side sustained 2400 civilian fatalities.

    • Zionism already suffered the same fate. Today, the State of Israel exists. Only in Arab venues and fellow-traveling Western ones like this site is it de rigueur to turn the clock back and debate "Zionism."

    • Cartography, meet catechism. The starting year, 1946, is chosen mendaciously because the UN allows any Arab in Mandate Palestine from that time on to claim Palestinian refugee status. The 1946 map is festooned with the word "Palestine" as if there were a state that went by that name -- there wasn't -- and as if there were an Arab people that went by that name -- there wasn't. An Ottoman map labeling the place as "Southern Syria" or the southern part of the Jerusalem district would be more valid in the eyes of most of the country's Arab population, which still resented having been cut off by Sykes-Picot from its capital, Damascus, and left the term "Palestinian" to the Jews. [...]

  • Chaos in Jerusalem is a warning of things to come
    • Thank you indeed. Marnie's cherry-picking prompted me to read through to the end of Jeremiah's prophecy, where I was reminded again of the impending proud, divinely led return of the Jews to their unpartitioned land and the devastation that will visit the surrounding nations. Keep it up, Marnie. It works even better with Isaiah.

  • Palestinian viewpoints on the intifada from the West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon
    • Supposing HarryLaw gets his way and BDS obliterates the Jewish presence apart from a freakish rump. Say this happens next Sunday. By next Wednesday, "the likes of Hamas or Hezbollah" along with Fatah and ISIS elements will be re-enacting Syria up and down the country. Palestinian Arab blood will flow like a skilled imam's Friday sermon. What stand, what action, will the "non AIPACed West" take then? Or will it already have disbanded, now that "justice in Palestine" has been achieved?

    • So another commenter heads to the Warsaw ghetto for his analogies. Cheap, banal, and above all false.

    • Even more typical is the unmasked cheering-on of bloodshed in pursuit of a "justice" that rules out durable conflict resolution that will satisfy enough of each side's aspirations.

  • If Americans support Iran deal, 56-37, what gives Israel the power to 'croak' it?
    • Lacking in this thread is commentary on the scurrilous license that some of its participants are asserting. Start with the headline, whether Weiss wrote it or not: that the results of a U.S. opinion poll negate other stakeholders' right to object to ("croak") a given U.S. policy that affects them. Follow with Weiss' insinuation that a moneyed Jewish cabal really does control America. But in the main, the core idea expressed in several of these comments: that other countries' expulsions of Jews were justified and that American Jews should face the same at the hands of an enraged racial coalition unless they shut up fast, those on Mondoweiss excluded. Wha' happened? Is BDS meeting too much blowback?

  • Interview with Rela Mazali: The Israeli left, BDS, and the 'habit of hope'
    • The author protests the "scripting" of her appeals yet scripts herself into a telling contradiction. The "open season" on Palestinians and leftists ("murderous," "ruthless"), she writes, coincided with "a local protest, initiated by two neighboring towns [one Palestinian-Israeli and one Jewish-Israeli]. Together, we protested against both Israel’s military violence against Palestinians under occupation and Jewish Israeli civilian violence against Palestinian citizens of Israel." The contradiction is easily resolved: the "open season" remark is wildly and tendentiously overstated. As for the rest, the incredible notion that the violence emanating from Gaza cannot be checked until it crosses an undefined damage threshold. Etc., but my lunch break is over.

  • In effort to thwart BDS, some Israel supporters urge partial settlement freeze
    • Balanced of course by Palo-supremacists who have absolutely no interest in peace until their version of j-a-&-e is satisfied, let Palestinian and Israeli blood flow where it may.

  • In Gaza, the ultimate humiliation
  • 'NYT' perpetuates myth Israel was 'fighting for its very survival' during 1967 war
    • The author labored to prove that Israel attacked without being under existential threat. What a waste of effort, what a major-league fallacy this is. States do not and need not wait for existential peril before using armed force. See under "Pearl Harbor," for an example.

  • The moral hysteria of Je suis charlie
    • Theo, even Zionists know how to use Google. Sinet didn't pen a satire; he spewed a blatant antisemitic innuendo on the basis of a falsehood. And Dieudonne? Apart from being "known for his anti-semitic jokes," he has the courage of his many convictions in court on the topic.

    • This trialogue is mostly a closed loop -- Zionists professing Zionism, diasporists professing diasporism, and French officialdom professing French republicanism. But in fact Israeli leaders did take a concrete step: relaxing occupational recertification rules specifically for French Jews.

    • So, MW moderators? The jeeeeews did it after all?

    • Netanyahu does not "lead the Knesset," and Zoabi didn't "speak out of turn." Mind your own political fodder.

    • On what grounds do you equate "approached" and "arrested" with murdered?

  • When does 'Unsustainable' become 'Unconscionable'?
    • These Palestinians inhabited a sinkhole excavated by a leadership that's hell-bent for digging it even deeper. It belongs to a band of sinkholes from Afghanistan to Libya and southward. Of course Israel wasn't mentioned. It's the only piece of solid soil around.

    • Good grief, Dr. Ellis: you lay this tragedy at the feet of "the creation of Israel"? The humanity flowing toward Europe from that quaking band of sinkhole states -- Afghanistan to Libya and southward, tearing their hands on the barbed wire separating them from Ceuta, an estimated half-million in Athens alone -- can be traced to "the creation of Israel" only by the truly obsessed. I shudder to contemplate the reversal of global "inaction" that you counsel but fail to spell out.

  • Israel carries out extrajudicial killing of two Palestinians suspected in Israeli youths kidnapping
    • It isn't about reportage. What counts here is the narrative.

    • The code is composed of survival, stability, and continuity. Branches of the Qawasmeh family object to all of these on principle. If they try to put their principles into practice, many of them will literally take it lying down.

    • Read: "Cross fire ensued. Abu Aisha and Qawasmeh were armed with military grade automatic weapons, a M16 and an AK47." This was no extrajudicial killing. No murder. No assassination.

  • Israeli Supreme Court upholds law allowing housing discrimination against Palestinians
    • The article warps the issue to the breaking point. These "43% of Israeli towns" are largely kibbutzim. The entire kibbutz population adds up to no more than 2% of Israel's population. The admission committees are vigilant mainly about an influx of Jewish Israelis who reject kibbutz ideology but are attracted by the rural surroundings and cheap housing. Such an influx can destroy a kibbutz by mere majority vote. Unlike MW and Adalah, the kibbutzim do not obsess about Arabs any more than Arab villagers obsess about an influx of Jews.

    • A freakin' falsehood is what it is. Israeli ID cards haven't mentioned nationality since 2005.

  • 'Absolutely not!' -- Young Colorado Jews meet hostility when they try to talk to organizational leaders
    • On first thought (reaction): what of it? On second thought, it's telling that this troll cut such a broad swath without running into a moderation firewall or arousing the suspicions and wrath of legitimate commenters.

  • Renouncing my Israeli citizenship
  • Israel destroys el-Wafa hospital as staff evacuates all patients
    • Israel reportage last night (Thursday) had it that rockets under the hospital were "bombarded" (הופצצו) . If this is so, Hamas had made the hospital into a military target. Israel gave warning to evacuate the patients, and the evacuation was completed in good time.

    • As to Hamas, indeed so. Each rocket they fire adds another line to their indictment:
      Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977. Article 51 -- Protection of the civilian population
      [...]
      2. The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.

  • Legitimacy crisis: Netanyahu acknowledges Israeli assault lacked legitimacy
    • Article 4 of the Convention protects "Persons taking no active part in the hostilities." Hamas operatives cannot possibly fit this definition, no matter how hard the author tries to dodge the problem by terming them "civilians."

  • Hamas has agreed to a ceasefire, says senior Palestinian official (Updated)
    • It isn't open to interpretation and it isn't about bodycount:

      http://www.icrc.org/ihl/WebART/470-750065
      Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977.
      [...]
      Article 51 -- Protection of the civilian population
      [...]
      2. [...] Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.

  • 'We’re Like Toys for Them': Young Gazans speak about Operation Protective Edge
    • The authors claim that Israel targets civilian homes "due to Hamas’ alleged practice of launching its homemade rockets from civilian areas." False. Israel targets specific homes because active belligerents operate from them, making them no longer civilian.

  • Understanding Hamas
    • They're up to 400 now? What, their arsenal is indexed to the Zimbabwean CPI?

    • Except that Israel has a spectrum of parties and platforms and an electorate that chooses among them -- with no need for international observers -- as circumstances warrant.

  • How many people have died from Gaza rockets into Israel?
    • There will be more and more such voices as Westerners embrace the Niemöller principle ("First they came for..."). The tragedy is the fact of its necessity.

    • It isn't about effect; it's about intended effect:
      http://www.icrc.org/ihl/WebART/470-750065

      Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977. (http://www.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Treaty.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=D9E6B6264D7723C3C12563CD002D6CE4)
      Article 51 -- Protection of the civilian population
      [...]
      2. [...] Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.

    • More on "targeting civilians":
      http://www.icrc.org/ihl/WebART/470-750065
      Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977.
      Article 51 -- Protection of the civilian population
      [...]
      3. Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this Section, *unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities*.

    • So Wikipedia can't be trusted but "I read ... can't remember where" can?

    • Quotation concerning proportionality:
      "5. Among others, the following types of attacks are to be considered as indiscriminate:
      [...]
      (b) an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, *which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated*" (asterisks added for emphasis).

    • Paragraph 1: hospitals, family homes and centres for the disabled" cease to be such when a belligerent takes them over and uses them for belligerency. Paragraph 2: Hamas et al. never fully maintained ceasefires for meaningful periods of time, continually trickling rockets into Israel in the correct belief that MSM won't notice. Paragraph 3: mass slaughter makes only your simulacrum Israelis feel proud, and the "police force" wiped out 1/3 of that "real army" despite being hobbled by, among other things, orders to minimize harm to civilians.

    • Fallacy breaks new ground here time and again. One almost swallows the big one, i.e., that Israel targets civilians. 1200 sorties in seven days with advanced ordnance and less than one casualty per; that ain't targeting civilians. Then comes the second: that proportionality is determined by bodycount. Proportionality is of course determined by the extent of force needed to eliminate the threat. By this measure, Israel is indeed responding disproportionately, on the low end, that is, because the rocket fire is continuing apace. And the third: that rocket attacks that fail to attain an unspecified standard of lethality "don't count," making any response, proportional or not, "aggression," "massacre," etc.

  • Gaza war spreads as rockets are launched into Israel from southern Lebanon
    • There's a simpler explanation about where the explosives went. Your darlings are grandstanding: to maximize flight distance, they minimize weight by cutting back on explosives or omitting them altogether. And they trust you to fall for it, as you do.

    • What Arab regimes? The ones that crave survival and stability are correctly making common cause with Israel. The others are too busy exterminating each other to ally with anyone.

  • Israel viciously bombs Gaza, that's the only truth
    • The bodycount fallacy is reminiscent of a rule sometimes used in children's baseball: if one side truly eviscerates the other, the game is called after seven innings. But the author and the commenters want to go one step farther: grant victory to the losing side, the greater the loss, the greater the victory. Yet MW insists that it opposes violence....

  • Gaza under attack again
  • The players may change, but the game remains the same: The use of racism to justify the massacre of innocent civilians in Gaza
    • To get it, take a look at real international law. When belligerents fire at civilians from "densely packed residential areas" even once, a fortiori thousands of times over, the affected population's lawful armed forces may respond proportionately to the effort needed to terminate the unlawful hostile activity.

  • State Dep't says Israel has a right to defend itself, but can't say the same of Palestinians
    • hophmi, it isn't a military principle but one of those only-for-Israel axioms: that Israel's missile defense and superior armed forces confer unfair advantages that entitle its enemies to moral and, they hope, political victory. Folks who feel this way have already reinterpreted the 1948 and 1967 wars accordingly and celebrate Hizballah's "victory" in 2006, so why shouldn't they do so now?

    • Inexcusable:
      Allocating moral high ground to whomever has the higher bodycount.
      Crediting deliberate targeting of civilians to the wrong side.
      Mistaking missile defense for aggression.
      Dismissing evidence in favor of axiom, fact in favor of narrative.

  • How long can Israel depend on Mizrahi docile loyalty? Smadar Lavie asks in new book

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