Friday, February 24, 2017

The “Soldier who Shot in Hevron” is sentenced - by Vic Rosenthal

...I would like to see Azaria pardoned. He’s been punished adequately since the incident. I would like to see our soldiers and police continue to act aggressively to stop terrorists, and know that their superiors will go to bat for them. And let’s think seriously about the death penalty for terrorist murder.


Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
24 February '17..
Link: http://abuyehuda.com/2017/02/the-soldier-who-shot-is-sentenced/

On Tuesday, a military court pronounced sentence on Sgt. Elor Azaria, called in Israel’s media “the soldier who shot in Hevron.”

Azaria was convicted of manslaughter after he put a bullet into the head of an Arab terrorist who had been wounded after he stabbed and injured an IDF soldier in March of last year. The incident was filmed by a Palestinian working for the left-wing NGO B’tselem. The video was shown on Israeli television and a massive media/political circus ensued. Even before the IDF investigation was finished, the army Chief of Staff and the Defense Minister made public statements accusing Azaria of misconduct in the harshest terms.

The rules of engagement forbid harming a terrorist who has been “neutralized,” and unless it could be shown that Azaria could have reasonably believed that the terrorist sprawled on the ground was still a threat, shooting him would be a serious violation of protocol. Depending on his intention, it could also be manslaughter or even murder.

During the trial, Azaria’s defense team tried to establish that the shooting was justified. He testified that he feared that the terrorist might be wearing an explosive belt, or that he might reach for a knife nearby. His lawyers even called a witness to argue that it was not Azaria’s bullet that killed the terrorist.

The defense’s arguments were unconvincing, and Azaria’s testimony was at times contradictory. There was testimony from another soldier in his unit that after the shooting Azaria said “He tried to stab a friend of mine and he deserves to die.” The trial continued for several months and numerous witnesses and experts were heard. It was accompanied by heavy media attention and public demonstrations for and against the accused.

The court – three military judges – rejected all of the defense contentions in a very unsympathetic decision that took more than an hour to read, and rendered a verdict of manslaughter. The judges then took up the question of punishment. Azaria could have received as many as 20 years imprisonment, but the prosecution asked for a sentence of three to five years. Tuesday, he was sentenced to 18 months in military prison, 12 months probation, and reduction in rank to private. The contrast between the court’s harsh decision and the very lenient sentence was striking.

Reactions to the sentence illuminated the chasms that exist in Israeli society. Azaria’s family and supporters joined arms and sang “Hatikva” in the courtroom after the sentence was pronounced, and called for him to be pardoned. His father hugged him and said “Elor, you are a hero!” His lawyers promised to appeal the verdict. There were demonstrations in the street outside in his favor, as there were during the trial itself.

But some thought that the verdict was far too lenient. Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg wrote on her Facebook page that “They sentenced [Azaria] to just a year and a half in prison. Azaria needed to be punished, and seriously.” Most public officials have been very uncomfortable with everything having to do with the incident and want to put it behind them.

Not so fast.

Convicted murderer of Israelis finds friends at the far-left Jewish Voice for Peace - by Stephen Flatow

...It’s ironic that an organization founded by college students should be embracing someone who murdered two college students. I suppose as long as she didn’t murder any members of JVP, they don’t consider her to be the enemy.

Stephen M. Flatow..
JNS.org..
22 February '17..

A Palestinian terrorist who murdered two Hebrew University of Jerusalem students has found a new ally, the far-left Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) group. How mainstream Jewish liberal groups respond will be telling.

The killer, Rasmea Odeh, is locked in a battle, initiated by the Obama administration, to deport her for lying about her terrorist past. It all began in February 1969, when the 20-year-old Odeh, together with a fellow member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), set off a bomb in a Jerusalem supermarket. Two Hebrew University students who were shopping in the store, Edward Jaffe and Leon Kanner, were killed.

Odeh and her accomplice were soon arrested. It didn’t take long for the authorities to build an airtight case. Bomb-making materials, including explosives, had been found in Odeh’s home. She confessed to the bombing within a day of her arrest, provided details of the operation and even made a videotaped reconstruction of how she planted the bombs. Her co-conspirators also confessed, and they all implicated each other. (Later, in a documentary film, one of her comrades named Odeh as the mastermind of the attack.)

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Stephen M. Flatow, a vice president of the Religious Zionists of America, is an attorney in New Jersey and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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The fate of another Shalit Deal murderer and what this means for peace - by Arnold Roth

...The world would not be a better place - not our world, not the Palestinian Arab world - if men like these were handed back their freedom. Basic notions of justice dictate that not one of them ought to have gotten free via the kidnapping and ransom demands that were integral to the Shalit Deal. The deaths and destruction that have followed have demonstrated via blood and tears how well-founded the outrage and anger at the catastrophic Shalit Deal were and are.

New Yorkers standing up for the rights of
another unrepentant, convicted 

Islamist murderer/"political prisoner"
January 2017 [
Image Source}
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
23 February '17..

A Ma'an News Agency report ["Longest-serving Palestinian prisoner resentenced to life in prison plus 18 years", February 23, 2017] throws some light on how the catastrophic Shalit Deal is viewed in Palestinian Arab circles.

It starts by focusing on Nael Barghouthi, 59, whom it terms "the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner". It says he was sentenced yesterday by an Israeli court to life in prison with an additional 18-year sentence, and quotes the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society as its source.

PPS said in a statement that the court had ruled that Barghouthi, 59, was to serve the remainder of his previous sentence received prior to his short-lived release in 2011 as part of a prisoner swap deal between Israel and the Hamas movement. Israeli forces first detained Barghouthi, who is from the village of Kobar in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, in 1978 when he was 20 years old for alleged membership in an armed resistance group. After being released as part of a prisoner swap exchanging Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit with more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, he was redetained in June 2014 when Israeli authorities claimed that he had broken the terms of his release, and was sentenced to 30 months in prison... However, he remained in Israeli custody after a military court rejected an appeal to release him in January... [Ma'an]

It then offers this piece of unsubstantiated analysis:

Since the Shalit deal, Israel has initiated mass detention campaigns to bring hundreds of former prisoners released in the exchange back into Israeli custody, in violation of the agreement.

Violation? Here's what really happened.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Propaganda Tours and Flood Libels In Hebron - by Sheri Oz

Can Ashkelon and the Krayot Blame the Occupation for Their Floods Too?

Sheri Oz..
Israel Diaries..
23 February '17..

Flooding causes hardship. In this day and age, there is no reason that a shop owner should lose his or her products because of winter rains that can come down suddenly and hard. But Hebron’s Arab residents say that the evil Israeli occupation causes the floods because Israel delights in making their lives so difficult that they would up and move, leaving the place for the Jews alone. And deliberately causing floods would certainly qualify as being evil.

Screenshot from Youtube video
Uploaded in October 2015, the description of the video from which the screenshot above was taken claims that the shop owner is:

saving her goods from a swirling flood directed deliberately through the market in Al Khalil, Old City by the occupying zionist forces who have blocked the proper direction of the water by building a wall next to the souk.

That is not exactly accurate because it was not a wall that was built but a plate metal gate that was put up to prevent the movement of people and vehicles through an ancient passageway leading out of the Casbah. But the word “wall” certainly has a good ring to it in today’s world of security walls, aka “apartheid walls”.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Both BBC and Sky News promote different headlines to English and Arabic speakers - by Hadar Sela

Where BBC and Sky News headlines for same story differ according to target audiences

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
23 February '17..

Last October we documented a case in which the same story was presented with differing headlines on the BBC’s English language and Arabic language websites.

The practice reappeared on February 21st in reports concerning the sentencing of the Israeli soldier Elor Azaria.

Visitors to the BBC’s English language website found an article titled “Israeli soldier gets 18 months for killing wounded Palestinian attacker” and while the word terrorism was absent from the report, the opening paragraph also used the term “attacker”.

“An Israeli soldier who killed a wounded Palestinian attacker in a high-profile case that split opinion across the country has been jailed for 18 months.”

In contrast, the word “attacker” did not appear in the headline of the Arabic language version of same story which was published on the BBC Arabic website under the title “Israeli soldier sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for killing wounded Palestinian”.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Does the BDS movement owes its origins to a poorly conceived CIA program? by Michael Rubin

...The more things change, the more they stay the same. Has BDS directly evolved from the CIA’s work with AFME? Perhaps not, although the same themes replicate absent the Cold War context. In effect, while BDS activists might rail against the CIA’s activities throughout the years, they fail to recognize that they are replicating the work of some of its most dishonest and prejudiced employees.

Image by © Bárbara Boyero/Demotix/Corbis
Michael Rubin..
Commentary Magazine..
21 February '17..
Link: https://www.commentarymagazine.com/anti-semitism/the-cia-roots-of-bds/

The Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) movement is the most prominent effort today to single out and delegitimize the State of Israel. In recent months, BDS has lost some steam both because it ties itself to extreme and often anti-Semitic partners and also because some academic and church groups recognize that such political boycotts are anathema to scholarly discourse and peace-making.

The BDS today is nevertheless driven by the hatreds and obsessions which the post-Edward Said Middle Eastern studies community world promotes. At Columbia University, Brandeis, and many other elite universities, Zionism is considered original sin and students who support Israel as a Jewish state increasingly face ostracism. Whereas once African Americans and Jews found common cause and maintained a de facto alliance in Congress, progressive activists now cite the idea of intersectionality to demand blind loyalty to a collection of movements no matter how illiberal some causes like rejectionist Palestinian nationalism can be.

Because colleges and university classes too often de-emphasize fact in favor of political frameworks when tackling history, too many progressive activists imagine that when they support BDS and agitate against Israel, they are waging an anti-colonialist battle against the forces of imperialism. In effect, they see strength and power as sin, and cannot fathom that they have reversed David and Goliath; that Palestinian nationalists have prostituted themselves to become proxies of Iran, Turkey, and various Arab regimes. Israel, the United States, the CIA are by definition bad, whereas the Palestine Liberation Organization and like-minded or even more radical groups are good.

How ironic it is that so few BDS proponents recognize that they may very well be repeating if not cultivating the seeds planted by CIA Arabists half a century ago. From the Jewish Telegraph Agency on February 20, 1967:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

(Spot-on) Win wars, not trials by Boaz Bismuth

Regarding the parallel drawn between Eleazar Maccabeus and Sharif: Eleazar fought for freedom and to defend his people. Sharif and those like him fight for the destruction of another people. Not even B'Tselem's cameras can change the truth.

Boaz Bismuth..
Israel Hayom..
22 February '17..
Link: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=18457

The lenient sentence handed down by the military court in Tel Aviv Tuesday did not sign and seal the case of the "Hebron shooter." Only a pardon for IDF soldier Elor Azaria -- if and when it is given -- will bring about an end to this dramatic tragedy before us.

Still, we can sum this up and say that the "Hebron shooter" case is far from being the watershed case of the IDF's morality, as they tried to convince us. Rather, it was an unfortunate incident in a hostile setting, after a terrorist attack (with warnings of additional attacks), wherein an IDF soldier shot an injured terrorist who was lying on the ground, and was filmed doing so -- making all the difference -- by a camera belonging to the left-wing B'Tselem organization.

Were it not for the age of the importance of public mindset in which we live -- the same mindset to which the judges refer in the 56th paragraph of the sentencing -- it is very possible that we would've been spared from all of this. Azaria would have stood trial for what he did, not in court but in an internal IDF disciplinary hearing. But it seems that the chain of events was blown well out of proportion. The choice to move forward with legal proceedings rather than disciplinary proceedings did damage in the "battle for the public mindset," and, as was written in the judgement, "a failure in this field does great damage."

In the name of that very "mindset" that we must save, we ended up with an unnecessary trial that led to a loss of control, interference from politicians and interested parties, and an online frenzy. They sought to make an example of Azaria's trial. Instead of this, we received a confusing trial wherein values got mixed up inside citizens' heads, as though we tried to win over the minds of the world but lost in the battle for the mindset of the Israeli public.

Welcome to the PSC. Hugging antisemitism and holocaust denial. by David Collier

...The argument that antisemitism is about legitimate criticism of Israel simply has no weight against this research. The bar for antisemitism that was used is unnaturally high. As an example, if the worst I found was an activist suggesting Israel should be destroyed, is committing genocide and Zionists are all Nazis, that activist *would not* have made the grade for this research. Let that fact sink in.

David Collier..
Across the Great Divide..
22 February '17..

I have just concluded an in-depth investigation into antisemitism inside The Palestine Solidarity Campaign that has spanned months but drew on several years of underlying research. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) claims to be “the biggest organisation in the UK dedicated to securing Palestinian human rights.” The PSC patrons include: Jeremy Corbyn MP, Pat Gaffney, Rev Garth, Ken Loach, Dr Ilan Pappe, Hilary & Steven Rose, Alexi Sayle, Baroness Tonge of Kew, and Betty Hunter. It partners with many of the largest unions in the UK.

The result of this research is an eighty-page report, that focuses on seventeen separate PSC branches across England and Wales, and culminated with an in-depth case study of a mass demonstration in London. The full report can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

In truth, I stopped the detailed analysis at seventeen branches simply because I was inundated with material. Although not mentioned in the report, I also found ‘qualifying material’ at the PSC branches in Brighton, Faversham, Camden, Haringey, Lambeth, Waltham Forest, Liverpool, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth & Portsmouth. As the researched progressed, finding more of the antisemitism at every branch became an exercise in pointing out the obvious. The question became to how to find a way to measure and quantify it.

When I refer to antisemitism within this study, I avoided *all references to the conflict*. We all know the trick is to deflect accusations of antisemitism with a false cry about criticism of Israeli policy. I set out to avoid this. I was only interested in those pushing conspiracy theory, holocaust denial or classic antisemitic tropes. The argument that antisemitism is about legitimate criticism of Israel simply has no weight against this research. The bar for antisemitism that was used is unnaturally high. As an example, if the worst I found was an activist suggesting Israel should be destroyed, is committing genocide and Zionists are all Nazis, that activist *would not* have made the grade for this research. Let that fact sink in.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Surprise? NY Times Hypes Australia Opposition to Netanyahu Visit - by Ira Stoll

...One could get 60 genuinely notable Americans to write a letter criticizing the New York Times’ coverage of Israel, and it almost certainly wouldn’t generate a full New York Times article with two photographs under a headline asserting “Times Coverage of Israel Is Met With Opposition.” It’s only certain sorts of opposition where even “small” groups of protesters are met with favorable and extensive Times coverage — a clue, as if any more where needed, to where the newspaper stands when it comes to Israel’s prime minister and the country he was elected to lead.

Ira Stoll..
Algemeiner.com..
21 February '17..

Before Prime Minister Netanyahu even begins his visit to Australia, the New York Times is out with an article amplifying the voices of his critics in that country while minimizing his supporters.

I can understand the impulse to preview the trip, though it’s hard to think of a world leader other than President Trump or Pope Francis whose international travels are subject to such extensive scrutiny by the Times.

What’s strange is the way the Times goes out of its way to more or less declare the trip a failure before it even happens. What was “intended to be a warm meeting,” the Times claims, “is generating a bit of pushback. Sixty notable Australians, including political, religious, cultural and business figures, have signed a letter opposing Mr. Netanyahu’s visit because of his government’s policies toward the Palestinians. And small groups of protesters have demonstrated in Melbourne and Canberra against the visit.”

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Hamas deserves credit for one thing: Its honesty concerning its intentions - by Bassam Tawil

...Indeed, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority share a deadly determination to sacrifice as many Palestinians as possible in their war to destroy Israel.

Bassam Tawil..
Gatestone Institute..
21 February '17..

The Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas has once again demonstrated its priorities: killing Jews. That clearly takes precedence over easing the plight of the two million Palestinians living under its rule in the Gaza Strip.

Since Hamas violently seized control of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007, the conditions of the Palestinians living there have gone from bad to worse. Crisis after crisis has hit those under the Hamas rule; electricity and water as well as lack of medicine and proper medical care are in dangerously short supply.

Disputes between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have left the Gaza Strip dangerously short of fuel, resulting in massive power outages. Palestinians there consequently have had to resort to using wood for cooking and heating. Hamas, which has brought about three wars that wreaked havoc on its people, is unable to provide them with basic needs.

Last week, Hamas received an offer that no sane entity would turn down. It is to be noted that the offer did not come from Hamas's friends and allies in Iran and the Arab and Islamic world. Rather, the offer, which promises to turn the Gaza Strip, where most residents live in the poverty of "refugee camps," into "the Singapore of the Middle East," came from Israel.

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Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East.

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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BBC’s sketchy reporting on Gaza power crisis highlighted - by Hadar Sela

...once again highlights the fact that BBC audiences are being serially denied the full range of information necessary for understanding of this topic.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
20 February '17..

BBC reporting on the topic of the perennial electricity shortage in the Gaza Strip has long been noteworthy for its failure to inform audiences of the full background to that crisis.

The latest example of that style of reporting was seen at the beginning of this month in Tim Franks’ radio report from Gaza for the BBC World Service and it was also evident in two BBC News website reports published a couple of weeks earlier.

The Times of Israel recently published an interview with the Qatari envoy to the Gaza Strip which once again highlights the fact that BBC audiences are being serially denied the full range of information necessary for understanding of this topic.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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An Example of a Journalist’s Blind Hatred of Israel - by Simon Plosker

...glaring error in his first paragraph is not an auspicious start and in this case, presenting Israel as somehow violating a world heritage site is a portent of the anti-Israel agit-prop to come.

Simon Plosker..
Honest Reporting..
20 February '17..

Fairfax Media’s Chief Political Correspondent Mark Kenny’s opinion piece “The West’s blind support for Israel has done it no favours” appears in both the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. The word “blind” in the headline is an apt description of Kenny’s views when it comes to Israel.

He begins:

Descending east from Jerusalem into the Rift Valley, the landscape turns decidedly hostile, and that’s just the start of it.

The Number 1 freeway first arcs up from the Holy City’s eastern flank towards the Mount of Olives before cutting underneath the world heritage site to emerge in what quickly becomes another country, a different land.

Except that the Number 1 freeway doesn’t cut “underneath the world heritage site” that is the Mount of Olives. Any look at a map will show that the road tunnels underneath Mount Scopus. There simply is no tunnel underneath the Mount of Olives. A glaring error in his first paragraph is not an auspicious start and in this case, presenting Israel as somehow violating a world heritage site is a portent of the anti-Israel agit-prop to come.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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