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Review Category : Israel

EMET Sends Letter to Senator Mitch McConnell Urging him to Bring the Taylor Force Act to the Floor for a Full Vote

On Thursday, February 15, 2018, EMET send a letter to Senator Mitch McConnell urging him to bring the Taylor Force Act to the floor for a full vote.

The letter was signed by 13 organizations, representing at least 4.1 million of Americans.

Click Here to Read EMET's Letter to Senator Mitch McConnell

 

 

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The Latest Situation in Israel’s Northern Border

Over the weekend, a series of extremely significant events happened in the skies over northern Israel and Syria.  An Iranian drone, dispatched from Syria, flew over the Golan Heights, violating Israeli sovereignty and Israeli airspace. Within one minute, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) downed the drone, and immediately embarked on a military campaign that struck at Iranian military sites inside Syria.

The Israeli military’s response was excellent. It was immediate. It was direct. And it was harsh. It struck down 12 military targets within Syria, which included four Syrian defense missile batteries, and four Iranian sites. Unfortunately, one IAF jet was downed and its pilot remains in serious condition.

On Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said at a Cabinet meeting, “I have been warning for some time about the dangers of Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria. Iran seeks to use Syrian territory to attack Israel for its professed goal of destroying Israel. This morning, Iran brazenly violated Israel’s sovereignty. They dispatched an Iranian drone from Syrian territory into Israel. This demonstrates that our warnings were 100% correct. Israel holds Iran and its Syrian hosts responsible for today’s aggression. We will continue to do whatever is necessary to protect our sovereignty and our security.”

According to Amos Yadlin, the Executive Director of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, who spoke on a conference call for The Israel Project, this recent military action “is perhaps the most serious event since the second Lebanese war or the alleged Israeli attack on the Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007.  It is serious because for the first time we have targeted Iranian sites in Syria, and a lot [of] Iranian bases, which leads Damascus exposed. The rules of the game are not changing. There is a determination by Iran to build a serious military force inside Syria and Lebanon, and we have a serious determination not to allow this to happen.”

Thanks to the disastrous Iranian nuclear deal, the Iranians are using much of their recently acquired wealth to build factories inside Syria and Lebanon.  The Iranian mullahs, Turkey’s Erdogan, and Russia’s Putin are all using what is left of the decimated country of Syria, after its protracted seven year civil war, to flex their muscles.

This is a very dangerous situation.

The Iranians are turning Syria into a Shiite military base and weapons factory. Many of these weapons are being transferred directly into the hands of Hezbollah.

According to MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, the Lebanese, pro-Hezbollah website Dahiya boasted that Hezbollah has 70,000 missiles ready to launch at Israel, and by the end of the year, they will have 500,000.

Unfortunately, much of the Sunni world, who is just as fearful of an Iranian crescent as Israel is, is sitting back and letting Israel do its job (although I am certain they are applauding).

But Israel knows what it has to do to survive in the Middle East. And it has never been easy. Now, thanks to the newly enriched and emboldened Iran, the Levant might become the theater in which the attempt for Shiite hegemony will have to be confronted.

Watch this space.

Originally posted at https://voiceoftruth.fireside.fm/articles/watch-this-space

Photo: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

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The Reasons Why America Needs to Stop Supporting UNRWA

Photo Credit: U.N. Photo/Shareef Sarhan.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley made headlines on Jan. 2 by saying that President Donald Trump has decided to stop funding UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Work Agency, until the Palestinians agree to come to the negotiating table. On Jan. 16, the president—on the advice of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson—agreed to transfer $60 million for now, as opposed to slashing all of the funding overnight. But the other $65 million of this usual installment has been held in reserve. The total amount of money paid to UNRWA by American taxpayers is approximately $370 million per year.

UNRWA was established in the wake of the Arab-Israeli war of 1948 to handle the Palestinian refugee problem, set up to deal with the immediate crisis resulting from the Israeli War of Independence. It has camps in Judea and Samaria, Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

The other refugees from World War II were taken under the U.N. High Commission of Refugees, whose mandate calls for immediate resettlement in their host nations. The Arab League, however, rejected that for the Palestinian refugees because they wanted them to be a constant thorn in the side of the newly established Jewish state.

This is the only refugee agency in the world whose mission is not for refugees to be resettled, integrated and re-entered into the workforce of their host countries, but whose mission is to instill in the minds of their population that they will one day return to their grandfathers’—or rather, great-grandfathers’—orchards and vineyards in Haifa and elsewhere.

In the absence of a solution to the refugee problem, UNRWA continues to redefine the word “refugee” to mean anyone who is a descendant of the 1948 war. Thus, from the original 700,000 refugees, UNRWA now claims to service approximately 5 million Palestinian refugees.

This agency’s conduct, although dressed in the benevolent clothing of a welfare agency, borders on the immoral because it implants within this population an unrealistic expectation that only serves to keeps the conflict alive. Not only does it perpetuate a psychology of victimhood, it entraps those being served into a perpetual state of poverty. Rather than getting on with their lives, they are trapped into perpetually reliving a conflict that happened 70 years ago.

A study of the new UNRWA textbooks, recently published by the Center for Near East Policy Research, found that for decades now, UNRWA has used textbooks that delegitimize and demonize the state of Israel and the presence of Jews there, and advocate for violent struggle as opposed to peaceful coexistence with the Jewish state.

In fact, inside UNRWA schools are pictures of Israel depicted as “Palestine,” posters praising the “brave shahids” (martyrs) who have killed civilians and an educational curriculum consisting of constant brainwashing for a violent jihad to despise and even murder Jews, and to liberate all of “Palestine.”

Pageants involve children as young as 4 years old, dressed in military garb, with rifles in hand. These children are being systematically programed to die for “Al Quds” (Arabic for Jerusalem) or any other part of “Palestine.” They are brainwashing an army of jihadists who keenly await the first opportunity to kill innocent civilians.

This is the worst sort of child abuse and exploitation imaginable. They are condemning these children—and any unfortunate civilian who might cross their paths—an early grave.

This comes in total conflict with the U.N. General Assembly Resolution 54/263’s own “Convention on the Rights of the Child: Optional Protocol on the Prohibition of Children in Armed Conflict,” barring the use of children under the age of 15 in combat.

Yet when it comes to this egregious practice, the United Nations chooses to look the other way.

This directly conflicts with an institution whose very charter speaks about practicing tolerance and living together with one another as good neighbors; reaffirming faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of every human person, and of all nations, great and small; establishing conditions for justice and respect for international treaties; and employing international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples.

How these UNRWA camps and their hate-infested educational system can be an agency of the United Nations, with its lofty founding principles, continues to baffle me.

Given the deeply entrenched institutional biases of the United Nations against Israel, we can expect that UNRWA will soon find other donors. But that doesn’t mean that the United States, which had by far been the largest donor nation, has to continuously foot the bill.

The American taxpayer has other priorities than continuing to fund this corrupt and hypocritical agency.

Originally published at: https://www.jns.org/opinion/the-reasons-why-america-needs-to-stop-supporting-unrwa/

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Remembering Who Our Friends Are

In what has ironically been designated “Operation Olive Branch,” Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been trying to put the northwestern Syrian region of Afrin into a stranglehold. Turkey is now in its second week of bombardment over Afrin from the air and heavy tanks are now carrying out a ground offensive into the Kurdish region.

Erdogan is a brute and a thug, who has made a habit of trampling on the human rights of his own people. He used the failed military coup of July, 2016 to arbitrarily arrest and imprison anyone whom he considers to be his opposition, including dissidents, parliamentarians, journalists, and academicians. Many have been languishing in prison since the failed military coup, without right of habeas corpus, and in 2017, Erdogan further strengthened his ironclad grip on the country of Turkey by winning a referendum, so there is no longer a free and independent judiciary or a free and independent legislative branch. A former member of the opposition party in the Turkish Parliament recently told me, “Every Saturday night, my friends and colleagues gather to read the newspaper to see if they are on the list of people to be purged in the coming week.”

The late Soviet dissident, Andre Sakharov, once said, “One can always tell a nation’s foreign policy by the way they treat their internal dissident population.”

Erdogan is sensing that America is in a period of withdrawal and isolation, and his eyes are set in taking over the Afrin region of Syria. But it will not end there.

Erdogan has threatened to go into Manbij, which is an American outpost, and he is just reckless enough to try to take out American lives.

Bullies like Erdogan carefully take America’s temperature, and measure whether or not we have an appetite for further engagement. In periods such as now, when America is exhausted and war weary after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, all the world’s bullies and moral cockroaches come out of the woodwork.

Syria is the perfect battleground for many of those moral cockroaches. The Iranians want to create an uninterrupted land-bridge from Tehran through Bagdad stretching through to Beirut, and a Kurdish region would be an obstruction the road. Erdogan is pounding his chest with war chants, of course Putin, seeing a wide-open playing field, is trying to flex his muscles there, as well.

Syrian Kurds fought valiantly for us against ISIS, and they have never asked anyone to shed a drop of blood for them.

In Iraq, Kurdish forces fought alongside U.S. forces in Kirkuk, and then when America withdrew, where they allowed the Shiite Militia to control the area, and Kurdish flags are being torn down. They have been subjugated to Dhimmi laws and treated like second-class citizens there.

The Syrian Kurds therefore do have every right to remain skeptical of America’s friendship.

Russia controlled the airspace over Afrin, and Putin has given the green light to Erdogan to control the skies there. As I write this, Erdogan is battling to take over a strategic hill, and the Kurdish forces are courageously holding their own, but their losses are great.

How much longer can the Afrini Kurds hold out before being overrun when they are being attacked by tanks on the ground and bombarded from the skies? Some policy experts have told me that they might be able to hold out for only a week to 10 days.

If Afrin falls to Erdogan it would be tragic. This Kurdish region has offered a safe have to over 400,000 internally displaced persons from the brutal Syrian civil war that has been raging since 2011. These include Sunni Arabs, Assyrian Christians, Yazidis, Armenians, and Kurds from Iblib, and Aleppo and other parts of Syria who have fled to the north.

Earlier this week, all five members of one Sunni Arab family were killed. They now estimate the fatality rate to be around 100 civilians.

What is so refreshing about the Kurds is, with the sole exception of the state of Israel, this is the only region of the Middle East that offers a democratic, pluralistic paradigm for the troubled Middle East. People have actually converted to Christianity there. (Could you imagine what would happen to these people if ISIS were able to get a hold of them?)

Turkey, being a member of NATO, has a powerful military is presenting a formidable force for the Afrini Kurds. However, NATO was created to protect small countries against Russia in the days of the former Soviet Union.

Iran sees theses valiant Kurdish enclaves as obstacles to their hegemonic designs.

It is critically important that we develop some mechanism to dismiss countries from NATO when they have crossed red lines, and Turkey is the paramount example.

In the meantime, we need to send critically needed support to our friends in Afrin, or we will be empowering Erdogan and his Muslim Brotherhood friends, Russia’s Putin, and the mullahs of Iran.

I would like to believe that America is the moral compass of the world. That America is, in the words of John Winthrop “That shining city on the Hill.”

But it begins by remembering who our friends are.

Originally published at: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/02/remembering_who_our_friends_are.html

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EMET President Sarah Stern Debates with Frmr. NATO Ambassador Nick Burns

Nick Burns, Harvard Kennedy School professor & former under secretary of State for political affairs, and Sarah Stern, Endowment for Middle East Truth president, discuss President Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital.

This is a deeply unwise decision: Frmr. NATO ambassador on Jerusalem recognition from CNBC.

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EMET Commends the House Committee for Curbing anti-American, anti-Israel biases on College Campuses:

Education & Workforce Committee Reformed the Title VI International Education Programs 

(Washington, DC, January 2, 2017) Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) commends the House Committee on Education and the Workforce for including new language into Title VI of the ‘‘Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity 6 through Education Reform Act,’’ also known the ‘‘PROSPER Act,’’ H.R 4508.  The PROSPER Act, which passed the House Education & Workforce Committee December 13, 2017, is the new name for the Higher Education Act (HEA), last reauthorized in 2008.  EMET has long been working on the issue of International and Foreign Language Studies grants in Title VI of HEA, in an effort to reform this law that helps support many professors and programs on university campuses that espouse anti-American, anti-Israel, and at times, anti-Semitic viewpoints, in violation of federal law.

The Higher Education Act was originally signed into law on November 8th, 1965, to strengthen the educational resources of American universities and colleges and to provide financial assistance to students in postsecondary and Higher Education.  HEA was a later version of the National Defense Education Act (NDEA), signed into law in 1958 by President Eisenhower.  The original intent of Title VI of the NDEA was to prepare our students to serve the national security needs of the United States by funding foreign language and area studies programs at universities, particularly with respect to combatting the Soviet threat at the time.  The area studies programs are known as National Resource Centers (NRCs).  In 1965, Title VI legislation was included into HEA, most recently reauthorized as the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) in 2008.

In October 2014, more than $3.3 million of federal grant money was awarded to Middle East NRCs under Title VI of HEA.  More than $13.4 million will be awarded to 19 Middle East NRCs for the entire 2014-2018 cycle.

Unfortunately, the original legislative intent of Title VI of HEA had been turned on its head.  Research shows that many Title VI-funded NRCs – currently at 100 institutions of higher education across the U.S. – are replete with an anti-American and anti-Israel biases.  Specifically, many Middle East NRCs, including at such prestigious institutions as Columbia University, Georgetown University, Princeton University, and Yale University, among others, are replete with Title VI-supported faculty and programs that advance the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement; whitewash terrorism and radical Islam; and create a false narrative of U.S. foreign policy towards the Middle East.

For example, Hatem Bazian, a champion of BDS and anti-Israel causes, is a senior lecturer at Title VI-funded Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.  Bazian co-founded the oftentimes anti-Semitic and pro-BDS student organization, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and is the chairman of the radical organization, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP).  AMP was the topic of a Congressional hearing on BDS in April, 2016, which exposed the organization as one of the main funders of the BDS movement, as well as having ties to the terrorist organization Hamas.  AMP called the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration as a “sad date” in history, with Bazian stating, “Everything thing that has befallen Palestine – It’s partition, the settlements, random arrests and detentions, the Apartheid Wall, the siege on Gaza, and the millions of Palestinians living in exile and Diaspora – was made possible because of the Balfour Declaration.”

Also, problematic, under Title VI, NRCs are required to extend their activities by creating programs of “public outreach,” including workshops where K-12 teachers are trained.  Many of the workshops, and their lesson plans on the Middle East, are heavily influenced by Saudi money, reports show.  Some of the training materials include essays of Islamist radicals who advocate for terrorism; textbooks painting Israel and the West as colonial powers; and lesson plans that promote Islam and criticize the Jewish State.  As a result, Title VI-funded Middle East studies biases are trickling down to our most vulnerable youth.

In 2008, EMET was instrumental in amending Title VI of HEA to require the need for “diverse perspectives and a wide range of views,” within the U.S. taxpayer-funded Title VI programs.  Despite EMET’s exhaustive efforts in 2008, the U.S. Department of Education, which provides these grants to the universities, as well as the recipients of the grants themselves, have ignored their statutory requirements to provide “diverse perspectives.”  Since 2008, EMET has been the only organization on Capitol Hill regularly raising awareness about the abuses of, and calling for legislative changes to, Title VI, through one-on-one meetings with Congressional staffers and Members of Congress.

Thanks to EMET’s hard work educating congressional staff and Members of Congress on the House Education and Workforce Committee for several years on Title VI, these changes were finally made.  EMET was also instrumental in helping to draft and include amendments within the new PROSPER Act to strengthen the “diverse perspectives” requirement, and to create accountability for universities and Title VI-funded programs – including the NRCs – that fail to comply with the diverse perspectives requirement, among other amendments.  Specifically, the new bill states that the “Secretary shall use [the diverse perspectives] requirement…as part of the application evaluation, review, and approval process when determining grant recipients for initial funding and continuation of awards.”  And the bill further mandates that the Secretary annually “submit to the authorizing committees a report that identifies the efforts taken to ensure recipients’ compliance with the requirements under this title relating to the ‘diverse perspectives and a wide range of views’ requirement…”

Perhaps most notably, EMET’s work and diligence on Title VI biases prompted Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) to include an amendment to HEA which states: “Sec. 629 Compliance with Diverse Perspectives and a Wide Range of Views – When complying with the requirement of this title to offer a diverse perspective and a wide range of views, a recipient of a grant under this title shall not promote any biased views that are discriminatory toward any group, religion, or population of people.”

Sarah Stern, founder and president of EMET said, “I am thrilled by the new language included within Title VI of the PROSPER Act.  Congressman Wilson’s amendment is nothing short of historic; students previously discriminated under Title VI of HEA programming for their religious and political beliefs – including politically divergent views, Jewish student groups, and pro-Israel groups – will now be guaranteed protections under Title VI.  Furthermore, EMET has been calling for reforms to Title VI of HEA for years – and we are pleased that many of our recommendations have been included in the PROSPER Act, including an annual report by the Secretary of Education on ‘Compliance with Diverse Perspectives and a Wide Range of Views Requirement.’”

Ms. Stern added, “I applaud the entire House Education and Workforce Committee for taking the matter of Title VI of HEA seriously, and for taking the long overdue step to include language that will work to remedy the terrible anti-American and anti-Israel biases within the program.  EMET was also pleased to collaborate with other civil rights and pro-Israel organizations on the issue, and looks forward to working with the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) to help ensure the legislation passes and is subsequently signed into law.”

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About The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam. For more information, please visit, http://www.emetonline.org. Follow EMET on Twitter and Facebook.

Media Contact: Jennifer Dekel
Endowment for Middle East Truth
202.601.7422
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Thank You, Nikki Haley

The United Nations was founded on lofty principles in the wake of the atrocities of World War II. Sadly, with two votes last week – the first in the Security Council on Monday and the second in an emergency session of the General Assembly – we witnessed just how far the institution has fallen.

The U.S. is a sovereign, democratic nation that lives by the rule of law. One of those laws, the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act, was passed in 1995, by a solid, bipartisan majority of 93 to 5 in the Senate and 374 to 37 in the House. A sovereign nation has the right to choose where to place its embassies. And yet, on Dec. 6, when U.S. President Donald Trump called for the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the call was met with such hysteria in this venerable institution that one might think he had called for genocide.

These two U.N. votes, condemning Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, contradict the very foundations on which the U.N. was established. Article 2 (7) of the United Nations Charter specifically states that “nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state.” This, however, did not prevent the frenzy against the U.S. for supporting its one democratic ally in the Middle East.

Before Thursday’s vote in the General Assembly, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley valiantly said: “The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in this assembly. We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the U.N., and when other member nations ask Washington to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.”

There is nothing in the U.N. Charter that obligates the U.S. to be so generous with its taxpayer dollars. Nothing obligates one country out of 193 member nations to pay 22% of the U.N. budget – billions of dollars more than any other nation.

Judging from the reaction of the international community, one could mistake the world’s nations for a bunch of babies. The largest tantrum came from the paragon of democracy, Turkey, whose president, Recep Tayipp Erdogan, expressed hope that “the United States will be taught a lesson.”

“Mr. Trump, You cannot buy Turkey’s democratic will with dollars. Our decision is clear. I call upon the whole world: Don’t you dare sell your democratic struggle and your will for petty dollars,” Erdogan added.

Erdogan has a very loose definition of the word “democracy.” The Turkish president is a thug, who arbitrarily arrests opposition politicians, journalists, academics and anyone perceived as a threat to his iron rule. He has displaced approximately 400,000 Kurds from their homes. He has accepted billions of euros from the European Union to house Syrian refugees, but none of that money has reached actual refugees. Instead, it is lining his pockets and those of his cronies as he threatens to unleash these refugees and flood the EU with them.

Seeing as 20 of the 26 General Assembly votes in 2016 were directed against Israel – a full 77% – with only three on Syria, and one each on Iran, North Korea and Crimea, it came as no surprise that on Thursday, the General Assembly rejected Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by an overwhelming majority of 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions and 21 no-shows.

The reason for this is the presence within the U.N. of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation – the largest body inside the U.N. and a powerful force against Israel. It is beyond ironic that nations with the glorious human rights records of Syria, Yemen, Iran and Saudi Arabia are lecturing the United States on democracy.

Thank you, Nikki Haley for finally putting an end to the notion that nations can continue to insult the U.S. and its single democratic ally in the Middle East and then expect a free ride at the American taxpayers’ expense.

Sarah N. Stern is founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, a pro-Israel American think tank and policy institute in Washington, D.C.‎

Originally Published at: http://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/thank-you-nikki-haley/

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Trump delivers a sorely needed dose of reality therapy

Dec. 6, 2017, will be forever remembered as a day when a historic wrong had been righted. When President Donald Trump made his long-anticipated announcement that the U.S. not only recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but that he will take steps towards moving the American embassy there, he accomplished something remarkable—he brought some sorely needed reality therapy to the Palestinians.

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Action Alert: Call the White House to Reinforce President Trump’s Wish to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Undivided Capital & Move the Embassy to Jerusalem

Action Alert: Call the White House to Reinforce President Trump’s Wish to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Undivided Capital & Move the Embassy to Jerusalem
President Trump plans to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided Capital of Israel and possibly establish a process for moving the U.S Embassy to Jerusalem as soon as tomorrow, reports suggest.

However, there is a very intense lobbying campaign by Islamist and European countries and groups to try to convince the President not to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital or move the embassy.  Pro-Israel activists need to counter this campaign.

Please call the White House today to reinforce President Trump’s wish to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital and move the U.S. Embassy.  

The White House switchboard number is: 202-456-1414. 

In 1995 Congress passed a law titled The Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act, which passed with great bipartisan support. The law called for Jerusalem to remain a united city and for the US embassy to be moved by 1999, a date long past due. Previous presidents have signed a waiver to the law every 6 months to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv.  We now have the opportunity to change the status quo, but we need your help. Call the White House today.

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