Israeli’s Against Apartheid

Jews Rejecting Justifications for Genocide

As a student of history, I find myself astonished by the month of March in the year 2015 as it was rich with synchronic significance and important interrelation based primarily upon four historically noteworthy events.

First, as mentioned by Truth Dig columnist Bill Blum, on 4 March 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt “delivered a message of hope to a troubled, disillusioned and divided nation” in his very first inaugural address.

Blum writes:

“Standing stoically behind a lectern on the East Portico of the Capitol… the new president urged his listeners not to “shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today” that had been wrought by the “outworn” traditions of a “false leadership” but to look forward to bold new initiatives that promised revival and shared prosperity. Above all, he urged them not to despair, famously declaring that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

The second event was more recent. On Tuesday, 3 March 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an unprecedented address in the U.S. Congress urging lawmakers to reject diplomatic Iranian negotiations. Two weeks prior, 82 years from FDR’s oration, Netanyahu delivered a message quite the opposite of FDR’s as he “urged his audience not to let down their military guard but to remain afraid—very, very afraid of the potential for annihilation at the hands of a nuclear Iran.”

As a throwback to his address of the U.N. General Assembly where he held up a poster of a cartoon bomb resembling the bowling-ball-candle so indicative of the Looney Tunes, Netanyahu insisted that the threat of Iranian nuclear arms was imminent. Netanyahu conveniently failed to mention that his own intelligence service, Mossad, rejected his public outcry that Iran poses any significant threat whatsoever. The Guardian reported:

Binyamin Netanyahu’s dramatic declaration to world leaders in 2012 that Iran was about a year away from making a nuclear bomb was contradicted by his own secret service, according to a top-secret Mossad document.”

And this document was not unknown to him – Mossad had actually briefed him on the fact that Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce [nuclear] weapons.” He also failed to mention his own massive nuclear arsenal.

Third, March of 2015 ushered in the 12th anniversary of peace activist Rachel Corrie’s untimely death in Gaza. On 16 March 2003, Corrie was crushed beneath the Israeli Defense Forces’ armored bulldozers during the height of the second Palestinian intifada in the disputed zone of Rafah.

Finally, the fourth historic event pertains to Palestine’s recent admittance into the International Criminal Court thus allowing Palestine a much overdue opportunity to air humanitarian grievances on an international platform. This was finally granted on the eve of the new year when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed the ICC’s guiding treaty on 31 December 2014. In retaliation for Palestine’s new status with The Hague-based legal organization that prosecutes crimes against humanity, Israel responded by cutting what little funding they have going into Gaza by freezing tax revenue collected on Gaza’s behalf.

Since March, the violence in Gaza has escalated and the sanctions imposed by Israel have become increasingly draconian, even for Israel’s already totalitarian normal. The temperature continues to rise, and the noise is becoming so loud that soon, even those without the ears to hear it will no longer be able to ignore it. More and more, the situation in Gaza is coaxing those with a conscience to open the can of worms and ask ourselves where the line between self-defense and imperial domination lies. We’re forced to ask whether this is really a religious conflict, or a land disputation carried out in the name of God, as so many other financially motivated military conflicts have been throughout human history.

Before I continue, let no one confuse this inquiry any kind of anti-Semitism. Every one of the individuals who has helped us pool our information is a proponent of peace, human rights, and social justice. If we were taking some kind of anti-Semitic stance, we wouldn’t have opened up our broadcast to Jewish soldiers like Eran Efrati, Avichai Sharon, or Noam Chayut [Kyute]; If we were taking some kind of anti-Semitic stance, we would not have given airtime to Jewish celebrities like Jon Stewart, Jewish intellectuals like Noam Chomsky, Jewish holy men like Rabbi Weiss, or Jewish musicians like Matisyahu and Mirah Yom Tov Zeityln. And we certainly wouldn’t have listened to Miko Peled, the grandson of one of the original founders of Israel, if we solely interested in taking some kind of bigoted, racist position.

Our investigation to understand the circumstances of this conflict was meant to be as much a celebration of true Judaism, as a thorough examination of what the tenants of Zionism are actually composed of and where its roots lie. Contrary to popular belief, the two are not synonymous terms. The path toward justifying the genocide of the Palestinians is paved with accusations of anti-Semitism against anyone who dares question Israel’s believed infallibility with regards to their treatment of Palestine. It’s a similar dualistic delusion that leads many Americans to believe that if you’re not a democrat, then you’re automatically assumed to be a Republican. If it’s not black, then it must be white. If it’s not up, it must be down. And if you in any way have a problem with Israel’s continuous mass murder of innocent civilians and ongoing Apartheid of the native Palestinians, you’re automatically labeled a De Facto Nazi.

This is certainly not a simple issue, but if Americans had any idea what is really happening in Palestine, tyrants like Netanyahu would never be applauded by our Congress ever again. All of the worst aspects of totalitarianism culminate together in modern Palestine: checkpoints, a 25-foot tall concrete wall, extreme censorship, rabid nationalism, military supremacy, national security obsessions, a disdain of the most basic human rights, the intentional and repeated carpet bombing of civilian populations, and blockades preventing humanitarian aid from entering the region.

Food is rationed into Palestine through Israeli checkpoints managing the lives of Palestinians in microscopic detail, as health officials calculate the minimum number of calories to keep Palestinians from starving from malnutrition before military officials found a variety of excuses to whittle down the rations to a fraction of the original figure.

The situation in Palestine is a staggering combination of the Berlin Wall, the Gulag Archipelago, Apartheid, Jim Crow segregation, and the fire-bombing of Cologne City. If this sounds like an exaggeration, you haven’t done your homework.

This situation is justified by our corporate media who reinforce ardently anti-Arabic perspectives in the region which amass together from the likes of Benjamin Netanyahu, Bernard Lewis, David Frum and Richard Perle who all conclude that the Middle East is a, “fetid swamp that must be drained and reconfigured in a western image of democracy.”

The situation is further denied by ardent Zionists such as Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America, who actually refers to Hamas as a “Nazi organization.” White supremacy aside for a moment, this accusation is especially preposterous when we consider the fact that Palestine has no Army, no Air Force, no Navy, no artillery, and are not allowed defensive arms of any kind – they are the oppressed. Israel comparing this oppressed population to a totalitarian regime is simply the pot calling the kettle black. The only thing more astounding than Israel projecting onto Palestine accusations of the very crimes, of which they are themselves guilty of committing, is that well-meaning people in the west actually accept such blatantly false propaganda as truth.

In the words of Australian comedian Steve Hughes:

“It’s hardly terror dropping the most high-tech military equipment in the world on people who live with goats? – that’s terror. Do you understand? It’s fucking terror. They’re creating terror, and then they’re calling these people extremists. Using the most high-tech military equipment in the universe, and they drop it on people in huts, and they go, ‘They’re extreme! These people are extremists, so we’ve got 500-pound depleted uranium shells to drop on their goats because they’re extreme. They’re extremists and it’s good to be up here on the moderate side.’ Palestinians are also extremists – I know – I read about it in the paper, because they defend themselves against the fourth largest army in the world with rocks. You must understand, that’s not an extremist; that’s an optimist. You understand? That’s an optimist of the highest fucking caliber.”

If terrorism was so great a threat to Israel, why is it five times more likely for an Israeli soldier to commit suicide than to be killed in a terrorist attack? If the threat of terrorism is so pronounced in the west, why is it eight times more likely for an American to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist?

Three things cannot be long hidden; the sun, the moon, and the truth. This is why Zionist propagandists like Morton Klein stutter and stammer whenever they’re confronted with evidence that so much as suggests that Palestine might represent the most depraved human rights crisis on Earth. Klein is himself the poster child for pro-Zionist responses, resorting like a child to ad homonym attacks against whomever he’s debating, because propagandists play on public ignorance and rely on sensationalism to solidify the corporate narrative. And though the truth might be difficult, a thing does not therefore cease to be true simply because it is not accepted by the many. Widespread belief does not make an error true, but it’s hard to accept the truth if lies are exactly what we want to hear. Thus, the truth tends to lay in the depths where few are willing to search for it.

It is becoming increasingly hard to ignore the truth that this is not a religious conflict, because it has absolutely nothing to do with Religion, and everything to do with territorial disputes. According to many Orthodox Jewish Rabbis, Zionism is a transformation of Judaism to a base nationalism that has no space or place in the holy Torah of the Jewish religion. The state of Israel is not only a violation of international law; it’s a direct violation of Jewish law.

Edward Said identifies that one of the chief problems is the global invisibility of the slaughter of the Palestinian population. This invisibility is supplemented by a western assumption that Arabs are inferior people who must be “modernized” if there is to be hope for them, identifying this stigma as orientalism, an ideology which associates Arab peoples with severe prejudice coupled with reducing the wide variety of Islamic sectarianism to a one-dimensional cartoon of xenophobic negativity. Orientalism allows westerners the luxury of hiding behind the false reasoning that those darn, dirty Palestinians just aren’t willing to compromise. This argument loses most of what little validity it has, however, when we stop to consider that 60% of Palestinians have already lost everything, and are refugees already – there is no longer any basis upon which compromise is even a remote possibility.

Since all of Israel’s support comes from billions of dollars in U.S. financing and billions more in military equipment all of which is supplied by American corporations, maintaining a narrative of orientalism in the western world is essential for Zionists. The Apartheid, colonialism and genocide of Palestine would not be possible if dollars and bullets stopped rolling in, and any mention of the truth within the country providing the sustenance, threatens that flow. Without America, the unconscionable human suffering of the open-air concentration camp that is Palestine would simply not be possible. America provides more than $10 Million per day to the state of Israel and in turn, has become the protector of Palestine’s tormentor. Americans, in turn, sponsor the deliberate killing of innocent Palestinian children while FOX assures them that Israel’s violence is simply a matter of self-defense. How can we lament the Holocaust while taking steps to perpetuate and ignore the exact same thing happening right now? How can we hold up Adolf Hitler as the supreme symbol of evil while a crime much longer that has gone on for far longer transpires at the hands of the very people oppressed by Hitler?

Norman Finkelstein asks this same question in his book The Holocaust Industry, declaring that the Holocaust is today, used for political leverage which is both disreputable and disgraceful to the memory of those who perished in Poland.

It might come as a surprise to Americans that the majority of Israelis are opposed to the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory. It may come as a surprise to Americans that 20% of Israel’s inhabitants are themselves Palestinian – that Israel intentionally targets schools, hospitals and mosques – that 40% of all Palestinian casualties are children – that millions of Jews do not support this bloodbath in the name of Zionism. And while I’m quite sure we in America would like to think that if Nazi concentration camps were operating somewhere in the world, we would heroically do something about it immediately, we are all the while spoon-fed a steady diet of justification for the systematic annihilation of another indigenous population.

Palestinians live with only what they are allowed, and live under constant fear of missile attacks and political kidnappings. We live in constant fear that we won’t be able to afford the newest iPhone.

CIA officer Michael Sheuer sees American foreign policy as a criminally insane venture that is dragging us off of a cliff by policies that we desperately need to expose to the American people, recognizing as many others do, that American foreign policy is not only aggravating the problem of radical terrorism, it’s creating it, and selling weapons to sectarian radicals like ISIS isn’t helping either. It is, however, maintaining a narrative that requires military domination as prescribed by the ownership-class who daily pull the world’s financial strings in order to gain a leg up on both sides.

How have we Americans allowed this to happen? As Dr. Doug Rokke put it, “People won’t acknowledge what the US has really done because the foundation for everything they’ve believed and what they’ve trusted literally collapses.”

But what about those beheadings repeatedly beamed into our consciousness by the mainstream press? Isn’t that the justification for all of this? Doesn’t that excuse our grotesque mass murder? –this idea that if we don’t kill them all they’re going to come over here and do the same to us? We’re forced to internalize the schizophrenia that our violence is not only acceptable, it is glorious. But non-imperial rebels who, in their utter desperation, resort to violence without the military might of the US or its client state Israel, are labeled despicable terrorists. Our media play on the ignorance of Americans who will believe them when they say that “terrorism” is an ideology inherent within Islam because most Americans have not and will never read the Qur’an. And while they might celebrate George Washington, most Americans have been so thoroughly brainwashed they cannot connect the dots to understand that terrorism is not an ideology, but a political technique used to motivate revolution – it certainly worked for the Minutemen. Such nuance is not allowed in our public discourse, however, because of the extreme fear of being viewed as unpatriotic. And while we hear about Muslim terrorism constantly, only 6% of all terrorist attacks in the US are carried out by Muslims, according to the FBI (compare that that to the 7% carried out by Jewish extremists).

In his book Inside Terrorism, Bruce Hoffman revealed the fact that Israelis were as guilty of terrorism as Hamas; from the July 1946 King David Hotel Bombing killing 91 and injuring 45, to the lynching of 150 British Soldiers. This viewpoint comes, of course, as news to Americans who are comfortably shielded from the subject of history by our corporate media.

What is more, Hamas is not only a democratically elected government that was instituted after the west imposed our image of democracy on the Muslim world, but Hamas was actually sponsored by Israel as a means of ousting Yasir Arafat.

But strangely, for some reason, we don’t hear about any of this in the Anglo-American mainstream media machine.

Much of the west’s racist bigotry is fueled by a false belief that American lives are worth more than any other demographic of human on the planet, and the supreme arrogance to carry out our apocalyptic continuum of monstrous horrors in the name of Jesus Christ, for the honor of the red white and blue, for the sake of the children. We’re willing to tear entire regions apart if a single U.S. soldier is killed, but Americans tend to lose very little sleep if ten innocent Pakistani children are murdered by one of our drones. And yet our society holds perpetually steadfast to the conviction that mass murder is only terrorism if Muslims do it; if we do it, its counter-terrorism, and God-ordained counter-terrorism at that. But murder is murder, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. As this perpetual conflict paves a road to hell for all of humanity, perhaps we would be wise to ask ourselves how long we need to go down this road before we see where it leads.


Our corporate news would have us believe that the situation in Gaza is all rooted in ancient religious conflicts. We’ve all heard the repeated assertion that, “They’ve been fighting religious wars over there for thousands of years.” But given that 20% of Palestine’s population is composed of Christians, we know this is not simply a religious conflict. Given that Israel wasn’t officially established until 1948, and the Prophet Mohammed only appeared a little over fourteen-hundred years ago, we know the origins are anything but ancient. A thorough analysis of the available historical record will reveal to anyone who endeavors to check that Jews lived for centuries alongside Muslims in peace, not only in Gaza but in most of the Middle East. The notion that Jews and Muslims coexisted for centuries may be a difficult pill to swallow for westerners who’ve been brought up on a steady diet of CBS, FOX and CNN, but it is nevertheless true.

So if the region was peaceful until the 20th Century, what exactly changed?

While much of the tragedy for the Muslim people began with the crusades, wherein Europeans violently occupied the Holy land for 250 years, the ideological seeds of Zionism did not appear until the aftermath of the First World War.

Just decades prior to WWI, Theodore Herzel had concluded by the late 1800’s that the Jewish people were not safe in Europe, that the majority of Europe identified as anti-Semitic, that the Judaic people could no longer reside in Europe as a minority, and that the formation of a Jewish nation was the only option.

Johnathan Steinberg and Abraham Beomberg have repeatedly challenged Hertzel’s notion that Europe was hostile toward the Jewish population, citing that it was easier for the Jewish peoples to become professors at German universities than in Britain or in the US. They also point out that the Holocaust was not as unique as is often portrayed due to the sectors of the society who were not Jewish who were likewise exterminated, such as Gypsies, homosexuals, &c.

Nevertheless, by 1917 Britain formally adopted public policy in favor of a Jewish homeland with the Balfour Declaration. At the end of World War One, Britain’s foreign secretary Lord Kurzan, was one of the few public figures who urged the people to carefully consider the proposed creation of a Jewish state in that part of the world. He begged the question, what would be the consequences of a Jewish homeland in the middle of an Arab region? Of course the outraged rebuttal claimed that the Jewish people deserved Palestine and the Palestinian land mass was practically empty. In fact a common slogan at the time was “the people without a land deserve a land without a people,” as though Palestine were empty despite the fact that 700,000 Arabs were dwelling there in one of the most densely populated regions in the world.

Following the aftermath of the First World War, territories were divvied up in the Versailles treaty negotiations. The section of the Versailles treaty that dealt with Middle Eastern issues was known as the Treaty of Séveres, and ultimately disposed of the Ottoman Empire’s foreign territories we know today as Palestine and Iraq, which were turned over to British management.

US President Woodrow Wilson, one of the chief negotiators at the Versailles treaty, didn’t know how to respond to queries concerning whether his humanitarian views applied to the Arab world. So he contacted two of his closest colleagues; philanthropist Charles Richard Crane, and President of Overland College Henry Churchill King. Wilson asked King and Crane to visit the Arab world, meet with as many experts and leaders as humanly possible, and provide him a comprehensive report of unvarnished truth upon which he could base his foreign policy decisions at the Versailles negotiations.

Crane and King spent 40 continuous days and nights interviewing as many people as they could, ultimately culminating with the 40,000 word-long Crane – King Report in 1919. The report concluded that if a Zionist community were to be created, Palestine was the last place on Earth that it should be established, as the hatred and resentment on the part of the Arabs in that region was so overwhelming that to do so would create a splitting headache for the entire world for the next hundred years. Here we are a century later and violence in the region continues to boil over into a typhoon of blood and guts culminating in a nightmare even darker than either Crane or King could have imagined possible.

Unfortunately, Wilson’s report came too late to influence the decisions at the Versailles negotiations, and wasn’t even made public until a year later in 1920. It is nevertheless an uncannily prophetic document, warning that the project would create such a force of arms in the area that the end of such a conflict was impossible to foresee.


One of the most well-known and often attributed quotes to describe the intentions of the early Zionist movement is “A land without people for a people without a land”. Actually a quote originating in the mid nineteenth century and used by Christian writers who promoted Jewish restoration, the line and sentiment became popular among Jewish Zionists around the late 1800s. But was the area that would later become Israel really “A land without people”? Actually, in 1919 when the post-World War One European Zionist movement began to rise in popularity, Palestine was already home to over 700,000 people, occupying the vast majority of the arable land. Of this population less than 10% were Jewish (twenty years earlier before the migration of Jewish peoples to Palestine began in earnest, the population was even lower, with the estimated 10,000 Jewish occupants making up less than 2% of the population).1 The next popular conceit of the intended Jewish resettlement of Palestine linked modern Jews with a right of return based on the 414 year rule established by kings David and Solomon around 1000 B.C. and running until the fall of Judah in 586 B.C. However, archeological digs have found that Jerusalem was already a large and heavily fortified city long before the rule of king David, possibly as early as 1800 B.C.2 So early Jews were not the first inhabitants or first rulers of the area that would later become Israel, nor were they the longest inhabitants, with Arab rule of the region beginning at the end of the seventh century, and extending over 1200 years until the establishment of the State of Israel in the mid-twentieth century.

Throughout its history, the popularity of Zionism as a movement has been extremely varied among Jews in different parts of the world. While the rise of Zionism in Europe was met with large support by European Jews and Christians, indigenous Jews of Palestine often reacted negatively to Zionism. The late nineteenth century formation of the Jewish Land Fund heralded the beginning of a system of shifting land ownership, the purpose of which was ultimately to dispossess non-Jewish farmers of the right to own or even work the land, and the long-term detriment to peace in the region was seen by many indigenous Jews to be unnecessarily and unwisely provocative to the majority Arab population.3

The Jewish Land Fund was incorporated with the specific purpose of buying up large tracts of land in Palestine, which was more often than not worked by Arab share-croppers or tenant-farmers, who would make their living from the land and pay some stipend to the land owner for the right to work the land. However, the constitution of the Jewish Land Fund provided that “Land is to be acquired as Jewish property and… the title to the lands acquired is to be taken in the name of the Jewish National Fund, to the end that the same shall be held as the inalienable property of the Jewish people”, further stipulating that “The Agency shall promote agricultural colonization based on Jewish labor.”4 The effect of the Jewish Land Fund was to concentrate ownership of arable land in Palestine in Jewish hands and to remove Arab occupants from that land, to make way for an influx of Jewish population.

The promotion of this policy led to a 1936-1939 nationalist revolt. David Ben-Gurion, the Jewish Leader who would in 1948 become the first Prime-Minister of Israel, stated to his supporters that “politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country.”5 This Arab uprising was quickly and brutally crushed by the British military who administered the region under what is known as the British Mandate, the period the fall of the Ottoman Empire around 1920, until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. The function of the British Mandate, and the Balfour Declaration which established it was to explicitly promise a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The end of the British Mandate period saw a dramatic upswing of violent massacres against Arab Palestinians. Israeli Military forces committed as many as 33 recorded massacres in 1948 alone, more than half of them committed while the area as still under the presumed protection of the British Mandate. The most infamous of these massacres was the attack on the village of Deir Yassin, an Arab Village near Jerusalem. Future Israeli Prime Minister Menahem Begin said of the massacre “The legend of Deir Yassin helped us in particular in the saving of Tiberia and the conquest of Haifa… All the Jewish forces proceeded to advance through Haifa like a knife through butter. The Arabs began fleeing in panic, shouting Deir Yassin… Arabs throughout the country were seized by limitless panic and started to flee for their lives.”6 One month after the Deir Yassin massacre, on May 14th, 1948, with the end of the British Mandate, David Ben-Gurion declared the independence of the state of Israel, stating in the Declaration of Independence that the nation would “uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of religion or race”.

The next years saw a continuation of the Jewish Land Fund policy of Arab land dispossession, as well as the forcible removal of Arabs from villages by the Israeli military, the people who fled their homes in fear of Massacres like Deir Yassin often having their land and property seized and themselves labeled as “absentee landlords”, allowing the Israeli government to redistribute their farms, homes and businesses to Jewish settlers who flooded into the now unoccupied areas. A common defense of this policy stated that Arabs had left the areas of their own free will, or under orders from Arab leaders, and that the population of what was formerly Palestine would be re-settled in the neighboring Arab states (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt), but recently declassified Israeli government archives detail the removal of many Palestinian villages and the reasons the population departed. The most common reason cited by Israeli historians for the vacating of these lands was military assault by Zionist/Jewish forces, which drove the residents out of 270 localities. The next most common was legal, but non-forceful expulsion by Zionist/Jewish Forces in 122 localities. In fact, according to these same sources the number of localities where the population abandoned the area based on Arab orders was only 6.7

The expulsion of 85% of the native population, far from resulting in the resettling of these people in the neighboring states, instead caused a huge economic and humanitarian backlash in the region, resulting quickly in the 1948 war, where he neighboring Arab states invaded the territory of the new state of Israel with the stated goal of protecting the dispossessed Arab population. The attitude toward the history of this war tends to depict Israel as a long democracy in the region, innocent and outnumbered against a multitude of aggressors. However, records show that Jordanian forces were under specific orders not to enter areas awarded to the State of Israel by the United Nations, and that Jordan and the other Arab states were only trying to protect the remaining Palestinians against expulsion from the lands similarly awarded to them by the partition plan.8 Echoes of the 1948 war are present in Israel’s 1967 war with Egypt. In considering the lead-up to the territorial conflict with Egypt that left Israel administrating the now-infamous Gaza Strip, it is extremely illuminating to consider the words of former Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharatt. Of all the ideological justification for Israel’s crimes against humanity, perhaps the most chilling comes from an entry in Sharatt’s personal diary written in May of 1955:

“[Israel] must see the sword as the main, if not the only, instrument with which to keep its morale high and to retain its moral tension. Toward this end it may, no – it must – invent dangers, and to do this it must adopt the method of provocation-and-revenge… And above all – let us hope for a new war with the Arab countries, so that we may finally get rid of our troubles and acquire our space.”9

The 1967 War with Egypt left Israel in control of the Gaza Strip, territory within Israel previously occupied by Egypt, which since the 1967 war is still considered “Occupied Territory” by the United Nations, along with the West Bank, both of which were seized by Israel in the 1967 war. These two areas are now home to four million Palestinians, many of them refugees from lands seized by Israel in previous decades. Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms the right of every individual to leave and return to his country. The Fourth Geneva convention also explicitly defines any forced migration as a violation of basic rights. Assumedly, these Palestinian refugees would be considered for repatriation under the Geneva Convention, however, complex and convoluted bureaucratic limitations have prevented international action on this matter. The UN High Commission on Refugees whose purview would ordinarily be to oversee such repatriation efforts is required to exclude its efforts from refugees who receive protection under another UN agency. Great Britain and the United States interpreted this to exclude relief to Palestinian Refugees because they were receiving aid from UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees). But UNRWA is specifically excluded from providing protection, and only provides humanitarian relief. Palestinian Refugees were thus bureaucratically excluded from resettlement and other guarantees provided by the UN High Council on Refugees in areas such as Afghanistan and Bosnia. The UN Commission on Human Rights stated in a report:

“Such a result is particularly disturbing as article 1D [of the UN 1951 Convention on Refugees] explicitly recognizes the possibility that alternate forms of protection may fail for one reason or another. The language of article 1D is clear beyond reasonable dispute on the matter: ‘when such protection or assistance has ceased for any reason, without the persons being definitively settled in accordance with relevant resolutions adopted by the general Assembly of the United Nations, these persons shall ipso facto be entitled to the benefit of this Convention’. There is no discernible reason to refrain from implementing this inclusionary provision, which should have been done decades ago.”10

The UN Commission on Human Rights appointed Special Rapporteur reported finding Israel in violation of the principles and bases of international law in the occupied Palestinian territories. Speaking of the situation of the refugees, the report stated:

“The plight of Palestinian refugees in these territories has remained a concern throughout the period of occupation. Most of these refugees were made homeless as a consequence of the war of 1948, as well as the simultaneous and subsequent confiscation of their land, properties and homes, and large-scale demolition of their villages by Israel. Currently, at least 1,353,547 Palestinian registered refugees and other holders of the right of return (as well as to compensation and/or restitution) reside in the territories subject to this mandate [West Bank and Gaza Strip]. The Special Rapporteur notes that the duty holder, in the case of this right, is also the Occupying Power and bears the main responsibility for the return of persons residing in the occupied Palestinian territories, displaced as a result of the 1948 war, those from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem displaced in the war of 1967, and refugees from Gaza and elsewhere during and after the hostilities of October 1973. The majority of these refugees still live in 30 camps created after the 1948 war (8 in Gaza and 22 in the West Bank, including Jerusalem).”11

Such dissonance between rhetoric and action has been typical of Israel’s standing with the United Nations, ever since their induction in 1949. Indeed, their inclusion in the UN was incumbent upon their promise to fulfill UN General Assembly resolution #194, passed six months earlier in December 1948. UN General Assembly resolution affirmed the right of Palestinians to return to their homes and property, and to receive restitution for property seized or destroyed. The resolution has since been re-passed by the General Assembly twenty-eight times, and Israel has yet to abide by its terms, either in allowing repatriation or providing restitution. In fact, all practical attempts by the UN to curb Israel’s settlement activities in the Occupied Territories, or to provide for permanent and stable settlement for the Palestinian people, have been blocked from action, thanks in large part to the United States’ veto power. A number of resolutions have been passed calling for halts to settlement or Palestinian repatriation to which the only dissenting votes were by the United States and Israel, sometimes with the support of a few minor figures such as Micronesia or Caribbean states, but sometimes without even that token support. One such resolution is U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 which sets up a two part ‘land for peace’ solution. Part one states that Israel must withdraw from the territories occupied in 1967. Part two calls for all states in the region to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries. Resolution 242 is the basic framework on which every ensuing peace negotiation has been built, from the Madrid Summit to the final Camp David communique. The Palestinian Authority has since recognized Israel in its 1967 borders and its right to live in peace and security within those borders. Israel has yet to do so for the Palestinian Authority, and protected by the United States’ Security Council veto, Israel is unlikely to be compelled to do so.

The wielding of Security Council clout is far from the only action taken by the United States on behalf of their ally since the 1967 war, and the ensuing loss of credibility as a fair actor in the international community is far from the only cost paid by the United States. Retired Foreign Service officer Richard Curtiss analyzed the Cost of Israel to American taxpayer and laid out his findings in a 1998 report. He found that beyond receiving more foreign aid than any other country, Israel has received more US aid than all the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean combined, this despite the fact that these countries have a combined population of more than one billion people (more than 125 times that of Israel).12 The official amount of US aid to Israel since its founding in 1948 is over $115 billion13, but the actual cost to the United States in delivering that aid is substantially higher, and the unofficial costs in lost wages, increased security and humanitarian aid in the region is higher still. If one counts the costs of foreign wars, at least partially provoked by US support of Israel, the cost becomes even more staggering. Official foreign aid to Israel currently weighs in at over $3 billion per year, but the US also gives more than $1.6 billion per year to Egypt and Jordan, largely in exchange for peace treaties with Israel14. An additional $400 million goes each year to the Palestinian Authority15, largely to rebuild infrastructure damaged or destroyed by Israel, and to maintain a subsistence-level economy in the otherwise economically isolated occupied territories16. Other costs hidden in the budgets of US agencies (like the Department of Defense) include up to $235 million per year for missile defense programs in Israel. 17 All official US foreign aid to Israel, in addition to payments to Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, along with Defense Spending on Israel’s behalf totals up to at least $5 billion per year, which means Israelis on average receive 7,000 times more foreign aid per capita than other people throughout the world.18

Harvard Economist Thomas Stauffer wrote in his 2003 report on Middle East affairs:

“Another element is ad hoc support for Israel, which is not part of the formal foreign aid programs. No comprehensive compilation of US support for Israel has been publicly released. Additional known items include loan guarantees… special contracts for Israeli firms, legal and illegal transfers of marketable US military technology, de facto exemption from US trade protection provisions and discounted sales or free transfers of ‘surplus’ US military equipment. An unquantifiable element is the trade and other aid given to Romania and Russia to facilitate Jewish migration to Israel. This has accumulated to many billions of dollars.”19

Additionally, the thriving Israeli arms manufacturing industry, under support of considerable US subsidies, has been seen to edge out US firms, resulting in a situation where “tens of billions of US tax dollars and transfers of American military technology helped create and nurture Israel’s industry, in effect subsidizing a foreign competitor”.20 Additional, Israeli influence has prevented the sale of US arms to other countries, such as Saudi Arabia in the mid-1980s. More troublingly, Israeli weapons (and US weapons by way of Israel) are often sold to foreign governments without notice to or consent from the United States, including a situation reported on by the Associated Press where “[in 2001]US surveillance planes flying along China’s coast were threatened by Chinese fighter jets armed with Israeli missiles… Had Chinese fighter pilots been given the order to fire, they could have brought down the US planes with Israeli Python III missiles… US defense chiefs say Israel sold China the missiles without informing the United States.”21

In the realm of lost jobs, estimated reduction of Middle East trade due to sanctions comes in at about $5 billion per year, costing about 70,000 American Jobs. “Not Requiring Israel to use its US aid to buy American, as is usual in foreign aid, costs another 125,000 jobs.”22 The 1973 Arab oil boycott produced another staggering indirect cost. The boycott was imposed in protest of US support of Israel during the 1973 war. “Washington’s intervention triggered the Arab oil embargo which cost the US doubly: first due to the oil shortfall, the US lost about $300 billion to $600 billion in GDP; and second, the US was saddled with another $450 billion in higher oil import costs.”23 These and other hidden costs tally up to the point where the minimum of $115 billion in direct foreign aid is dwarfed by up to $1.6 trillion in indirect costs. If the Iraq war and the increased risk of a war with Iran are factored in, the cost skyrockets even higher. But still more disturbing is the non-monetary cost to the US, in the form of diminished international standing and credibility, danger of attack by radicals who object to US support of Israel, increased potential for war and conflict in the Middle East and the incalculable moral cost of hundreds of thousands of oppressed Palestinian Refugees.


Jewish philosopher and Princeton professor Hannah Arendt who fled from Germany in 1933 later published the extremely controversial book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil wherein she reveals that the accepted historiography of the Holocaust is a gross misrepresentation of the truth. The heated reaction to her revelations are illustrative of Dresden James’ famous words, that “When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.”

But having herself lived through the terror of 1933 Germany she adamantly maintains, having seen it with her own eyes, that Zionists in Germany actually welcomed Hitler’s rise to power. Because Nazism removed any possibility of coexistence, Zionists demanded the creation of their own nation. While this is understandable, it does not justify a throwback to colonization so reminiscent of manifest destiny’s appeal to cleanse the “New World” of the Native Americans as westward expansion marched ever onward toward the Pacific Ocean.

Among Arendt’s observations, perhaps the most explosive pertains to the Haavara Agreement between the Third Reich and Zionist leadership. Between 1933 and 1941, the Gestapo and SS facilitated the illegal immigration of more than 60,000 Jewish settlers into Palestine. Zionists and the Nazis shared the desire for an expulsion of Jewish populations from Germany for different reasons. On the one hand, Nazis favored the move in terms of their blind lust for racial homogenization of Europe, while Zionists envisioned the creation of their own state to escape European persecution. Therefore, the creation of Israel was a common destiny for both Zionists and the Third Reich.

But by 1941 the situation changed dramatically. Germans established Jewish councils while Jewish police took part in the round up of Jewish prisoners. Most German Jews who chose to reject Zionism and instead remain in Germany did not live to tell the tale. We will never hear the perspectives from the millions of Jews who did not identify with or agree to the doctrines set forth by Zionism, which is partially why there aren’t more challenges against Zionism from the Jewish community.

Arendt concludes her book by saying, “For this planet to remain a place fit for human inhabitation the difference between good an evil has to be understood. The failure to recognize it results in Auschwitz.”

Amos Elon stressed that the present state of Palestine illustrates that despite the countless horrors his Jewish brothers and sisters have suffered, they haven’t learned anything from it. The oppressed have reshaped themselves in the image of their former oppressors. And now that the opportunity to visit supreme injustice upon the minority of the Palestinians present itself, the west exhibits an arrogance so audacious that it actually pretends to swoon with surprise when Palestinians react violently to the unilateral murder of their children.


David Grossman explains that all we will ever accomplish with our current policies is making absolutely certain that there will be terrorism in the Middle East for the next 200 years, which is, of course, a good thing for war profiteers at the top who benefit from perpetual carnage. And though we often refer to what is happening as a “war” we would do well to remember that a war is when two armies are fighting, that is, when two countries engage in organized, armed conflict.

We’re murdering civilian populations and sponsoring the mass murder of countless other civilians in the bombing of hospitals, schools, Mosques, and news stations while pretending that we’re hitting military targets because a percentage of that population might do us harm, or because we believe that Hamas have installed military equipment in said facilities – a claim which, similar to the “human shields” justification, never stands up to scrutiny for a complete lack of evidence.

Our bombers, however, devastate cities and we act surprised when a Palestinian finally loses his temper and picks up a stone from the ground to throw it at troops. And the troops in turn, “defend” themselves from the stone with the most sophisticated weapons in the world. Engaging in genocide because of the possibility of a potential threat is not only an absurdist speculation of thought crime straight out of the pages of George Orwell, it is a phenomenon that is guaranteed to radicalize previously peaceful peoples who lose everything in a single instant, while we laugh, clink our beers together and share memes on facebook with our iPhones.

But if the state’s response to the occupy movement and the rapid militarization of our police forces is an indication of anything, it clearly suggests that anyone who questions mass murder is next on the list. Totalitarian regimes always exact external horrors internally eventually.

Perhaps most alarming of all, Israel is selling weapons around the world to police and military forces touting the efficiency of their products as “field tested.”As former Israeli soldier Eran Efrati reveals, Palestine has become a weapons laboratory and the Palestinians are the lab rats. Meanwhile US Police are regularly training with Israeli army and Israeli police forces in tactics to learn the art of organized oppression, which is why the NYPD has offices in Tel Aviv, unbeknownst to most Americans.


Nothing is more telling of America’s true interest and investment in the Palestine-Israel conflict than the wild unbalance in media coverage of the ongoing struggle. Putting aside the general tone of reporting, which often has a distinctly pro-Israeli slant but can be difficult to quantify, a basic statistical analysis of coverage of the conflict reveals a vast disparity in the reporting of Israeli Deaths in contrast with the reporting of Palestinian deaths.

For Example, a 2005 study of the San Francisco Chronicle’s coverage showed that the Chronicle had covered 150 percent of Israeli children’s deaths (meaning that many of the deaths were the subject of more than one headline), while they had similarly covered only five percent of Palestinian children’s deaths. This means that 19 out of 20 Palestinian children killed did not receive headline coverage at all in publication of the San Francisco Chronicle.

In the first three and a half months of 2005, Israeli forces killed 84 Palestinian children for which the leading cause of death was gunshots to the head. During this period, not a single Israeli child was killed and not one suicide bombing against Israelis occurred. However, of these 54 Palestinian children, only one received headline coverage in the Chronicle, and likely only due to the brutal nature of the death which was actually caught on camera by a French film crew which was subsequently reported around the world.

The San Francisco Chronicle, far from being an outlier, is highly representative of the level of American media coverage of Palestinian death and suffering. The 30 to 1 over-reporting of deaths of Israeli children vs Palestinian children is typical of most media outlets. Notably conservative media outlets like FOX News and AM radio news programs report deaths at a much higher pro-Israeli ratio. When considering all Israeli deaths against all Palestinian deaths (instead of just the deaths of children on both sides of the conflict), the ratio becomes even more pro-Israeli.

But what about liberal media outlets? Surely National Public Radio, which has often been accused of a pro-Palestinian bias, must report Palestinian deaths at a higher rate, or at the very least, report deaths at roughly equal rates. But in fact, NPR has reported on 20 percent of Palestinian children’s deaths while reporting 89 percent of Israeli children’s deaths. In other words, NPR’s reporting of Israeli and Palestinian deaths at a 4.5 to 1 ratio instead of the median 30 to 1 ratio expressed by the mainstream press, has earned NPR the distinction of being a media outlet biased toward Palestinian coverage.

The result of this unbalanced coverage is an American public that is disturbingly misinformed about the realities of the conflict. During the second intifada, Palestinian children were being killed day after day for months before one Israeli child lost their life, yet a survey taken later that same year showed that 93 percent of the respondents either had no idea which children had died first, or believed that Israeli children had died first.

Perhaps more troubling than the disparities of what is reported are the baffling examples of violations that go unreported. Notable among these is the story of the USS Liberty. The USS liberty was a virtually unarmed US Navy intelligence ship posted in the Eastern Mediterranean during Israel’s 1967 war with Egypt. Israeli forces inexplicably fired on the vessel, killing 34 American servicemen and injuring 172. Among the dead and wounded were stretcher-bearers who were machine-gunned, and lifeboats which were shot out of the water. Israel claimed it was an accidental case of friendly-fire, but the attack went virtually unreported at the time. While media investigation of the incident has been extremely sparse, official government investigation of the attack is non-existent. To this day, the incident has never been the subject of a formal investigation by congress or the US Navy, and very few Americans are aware that it even happened. Compare this to the reporting and cultural awareness of the USS Cole.

One final example is the case of Project Censored.

Project Censored is a highly respected media-monitoring institution intent on bringing attention to critical information not covered by the corporate media. Each year it screens thousands of articles in hundreds of journals. It has helped publicize profoundly valuable information on a wide variety of topics, with particular sensitivity to injustice, racism, and the plight of oppressed populations. One would think that such an organization would be directly concerned with encouraging fair coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is notably rife with examples of injustice, racism and the plight of perhaps the most oppressed population on the globe. However, in its 40 year history, Project Censored has almost completely avoided covering the conflict. The longest-standing military occupation in modern times has gone unmentioned. The largest refugee population in today’s world (an estimated 8 million) remains unmentioned. And while Project Censored carried one story on Israel during its first 20 years, that story had nothing to do with Palestine, but was an exposé of Israel’s support of oppression in Central America.

Astoundingly, the first time that a topic pertaining to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians made it onto the Project Censored list was in 2004. After including a story about US tax money to Columbia in the previous volume (the #3 choice of that year), Project Censored decided to also cover US tax money to Israel, which just happens to be a quantity several orders of magnitude larger. However, this story came in at #24, and since many media reports about Project Censored list only the top ten stories, this low rating meant that the story went widely unmentioned. Such long neglect of this issue is startling, particularly given the subject matter that Project Censored regularly addressed, and the numerous powerful exposés on Israel related to these subjects that were ignored by the mainstream press – stories that seemed right up the Project Censored Alley.


Of all the humanitarian crises in the world today, Palestine is by far the central issue from which all other global injustices are tolerated, normalized and allowed to flourish. If an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, then surely the situation in Gaza represents a cancer that if not addressed and healed, can metastasize around the world.

Ramzy Baroud of asks how Palestinians can be viewed as terrorists when their homes, orchards and children are consistently destroyed so indiscriminately.

Why is it that American’s think that one pile of corpses is more valuable than another?

How can we say that killing civilians for political aims is terrorism, and simultaneously carry out such crimes with astonishing regularity?

Why do we fail to understand that Palestinians are our fellow human beings with unalienable rights?

Why is it so popular to reject Palestine’s claims of self-defense against foreign occupation, while at the same time defending Israel’s apartheid of Gaza?

Why is it widely considered anti-Semitic to question the persecution of Palestinians?

How is it anti-Semitic to criticize genocide?

Was it not the lesson of the Holocaust to never allow such a humanitarian crisis to transpire ever again?

Why are the Palestinians treated by the Israelis as though they were somehow directly responsible for Hitler’s Holocaust?

At what point does national defense transform into imperialistic domination?

How is colonization in any way an act of self defense?

Is murder ever really justified, and if it is, how does mass murder fit into this logic?

Where in the Torah are military occupation and racist oppression acceptable Judaic values?

And why are Jewish peoples who condemn the slaughter of Palestinians in the name of Judaism colloquially referred to as “Self-Hating Jews?”

I understand that these questions automatically carry with them the assumption of anti-Semitism, but if we are to make any progress with what is undoubtedly the number one priority in humanitarian crises in the world today, it is absolutely imperative that we recognize first and foremost that Zionism and Judaism are not synonymous terms, but are in fact mutually exclusive – even diametrically opposed. One is religious. The other is political. Period.

These questions are not driven by the urge to demonize aggressions, justify acts of terror, or attempt to simplify this extraordinarily complex situation. These questions simply seek to begin a desperately needed process of healing, to alleviate hatred with love, to address puerility with maturity, to meet fear with forgiveness. If a path to the better there be, it begins with a full look at the worst.

Hate only begets more hate. As Martin Luther King warned, Love is the only force that can extinguish hatred. Avishai Margalit echoed this sentiment when he asked how we can ever possibly hope to experience any outcome other than war as long as our collective will is obsessed with systematic extermination instead of peaceful coexistence?

Our society’s childish mentality defaults automatically into the Yabuts – “Yeah, but…”

“Yeah, but they started it!”

“Yeah, but I saw a video of this one guy who was beheaded.”

And my personal favorite: “Yeah, but 9_11!”

Isn’t it the duty of an elder to lead by example? Does a truly mature elder get excited or lose his or her temper with a child throwing a temper tantrum? If not for our sophisticated drone program guided by soldiers in Connex boxes with Playstation controllers, we wouldn’t be able to so easily dismiss our criminally insane butchery as “God’s Will” in the name of freedom and democracy.

“Fear, as FDR told us so many years ago, is paralyzing,” concludes Blum. “It forces us to look backward for solutions rather than ahead. It leads not only to wars abroad but also to warlike practices at home, to the erosion of civil liberties and the exponential growth of unchecked government surveillance.”

For those whose souls are entwined in the barbed wire of fear and habit, may they see the err of their ways. Let the war criminals understand that however far they have traveled down the wrong path, they can still turn around. Let Netanyahu realize that his applause echoed within Congressional chambers could be multiplied a million fold if he were to return to humanity and help end this madness. And may we be ready to accept and forgive such figures so they don’t cling to their imperial domination even harder for fear of the backlash, which grows more certain with every passing day that these injustices are allowed to run amok.

It’s childish to resort to name calling and violence in the pursuit for domination. The forgiveness so necessary to this entire story has to start somewhere, and it’s up to the adults to cultivate that maturity and implement that wisdom. The healing begins with those willing to forgive – willing to break the cycle of blame and perpetual violence. If those who recognize these crimes for what they are can be willing to lead by example and forgive Netanyahu by recognizing that he too is a human being, isolating himself on a shrinking island alongside those who identify with racist justifications for genocide, we may begin the difficult process of eradicating the fear and hatred that might stem within ourselves as a result of observing these crimes. We may begin the process of extinguishing fear with love, just as Martin Luther King advocated, but the process begins not out there somewhere, but within ourselves. In the name of reinvigorating the peace of the past – the peace that once existed between the different faiths that called Palestine home – may we begin our march toward redemption with the truth. Though we may not hear it over the drone of American Sniper, Call of Duty and all of the other various forms of media entertainment that reinforce a narrative of hedonism and fear, history is knocking very loudly right now, begging us not to repeat the atrocities of yesteryear. Though it may be difficult at first, it is undoubtedly preferable to be temporarily acquainted with the ugly truth, than to be bamboozled forever by a convenient lie.

dove-of-peace1Gabrielle Lafayette is a journalist, writer, and executive producer for the Outer Limits Radio Show.
This post was also written by Brainstew the gumshoe.
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  1. Mazin Qumsiyeh, “Palestinian Refugees Right to Return and Repatriation”, If Americans Knew, P.25 Table 3
  2. Jews for Justice in the Middle East, “The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict” If Americans Knew, P.3
  3. Jews for Justice in the Middle East, “The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict” If Americans Knew, P.4
  4. Jews for Justice in the Middle East, “The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict” If Americans Knew, P.7
  5. Noam Chomsky, “The Fateful Triangle”
  6. Begin, The Revolt: Story of the Irgun, (New York: Henry Shuman Inc., 1951)
  7. Mazin Qumsiyeh, “Palestinian Refugees Right to Return and Repatriation”, If Americans Knew, P.6
  8. Richard H. Curtiss, “The Cost of Israel to the American Public”, (Speech at the Al Hewar Center for Arab Culture and Dialogue, May 20, 1998)
  9. Jews for Justice in the Middle East, “The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict” If Americans Knew, P.15
  10. United Nations Economic and Social Council “Report of the human Rights Inquiry Commission established pursuant to commission resolution s-5/1 of 19 October 2000” E/CN.4/2001 / 12 published March 2001. Available at
  11. Question of the Violation of Human Rightes in the Occupied Arab Territories, Including Palestine: Report on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, submitted by Mr. Giorgio Giacomelli, Special Rapporteur, pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 1993/2A. See full report at
  12. Pamela Olson, “The Staggering Cost of Israel to Americans”, If Americans Knew, P.1
  13. Jeremy Sharp, “US foreign aid to Israel”, Congressional Research Service, March 12, 2012.
  14. US Department of State, “State and USAID – FY 2013 Budget”, February 13, 2012.
  15. Jim Zanotti, “US foreign aid to the Palestinians”, Congressional Research Service, January 18, 2013.
  16. “Sustaining Achievements in Palestinian Institution-building and Economic Growth”, World Bank, Spetember 18, 2011.
  17. Jeremy Sharp, “US foreign aid to Israel”, Congressional Research Service, March 12, 2012.
  18. Pamela Olson, “The Staggering Cost of Israel to Americans”, If Americans Knew, P.2
  19. Thomas Stauffer, “The costs to American Taxpayers of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: $3 Trillion”, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, June 2003.
  20. Pamela Olson, “The Staggering Cost of Israel to Americans”, If Americans Knew, P.3
  21. Jim Krane, “US Aid to Israel Subsidizes a Potent Weapons Exporter”, Associated Press June 20, 2002.
  22. David Francis, “Economist tallies selling cost of Israel to US”, Christian Science Monitor, December 9, 2002.
  23. Thomas Stauffer, “The costs to American Taxpayers of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: $3 Trillion”, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, June 2003.

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