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Letter to the editor – “An Alarmed World” according to The Listener

29 September 2014 2 comments

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Frank Macskasy - letters to the editor - Frankly Speaking

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This recent editorial from”The Listener”  is not one I ever thought I’d see…

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The Listener - an alarmed world - war propaganda

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My response…

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from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>
to: Listener <letters@listener.co.nz>
date: Mon, Sep 29, 2014
subject: Letter to the Editor

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The editor
The Listener
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Regarding your editorial, “An Alarmed World”, on 27 September; since when did “The Listener” publish war propaganda from the US State Department?

In terms of alarmist jingoism, it ticked all the boxes.

 
The anonymous editorialist wrote,
“Perhaps it’s time to consider what the world’s fate might have been without the moral resolve exhibited by Churchill and Roosevelt in World War II.”

I would re-word that simplistic nonsense with this point,”Perhaps it’s time to consider what the world’s fate might have been without the dishonest ‘weapons of mass destruction’ propaganda exhibited by Bush and Blair prior to the Invasion of Iraq.”

Instead of “an alarmed world” – which no doubt your editorial  contributed it’s small part – we should be looking at an informed world.

War propaganda is anathema to an informed populace.

Shame on “The Listener” for publishing such jingoistic nonsense. The majority of your  readers are too intelligent to swallow that kind of flag-waving redneckery.
-Frank Macskasy

[address & phone number supplied]

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References

The Listener:  An alarmed World

Other blogs

Open Parachute: The information war – The NZ Listener takes up arms


 

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Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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Do our bit: boycott Israeli goods and commercial interests!

4 August 2014 1 comment

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Boycott Israel

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You can do you bit. Resistance starts at the individual level and acting collectively, an irresistable force begins to grow.

This is how  citizens around the world destroyed apartheid in South Africa.

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01/08/2014:  Note:  Israel Products have appeared on supermarket shelves (in the UK) with a bar code starting with 871 as well as 729.  Although the bar code is a good identifier I’d strongly suggest reading the label on the product to find country of origin if unsure. – Boycott Israel Today Blog

Acknowledgement and more information here: Boycott Israel Today

More here: Consumer Boycott

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References

BDS – Boycott Divestment Sanctions

 

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Letter to the Editor: War crimes in Gaza – we must take a stand!

4 August 2014 3 comments

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from:         Frank Macskasy
to:               NZ Herald <letters@herald.co.nz>
date:           Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 10:10 AM
subject:     Letter to the editor

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The editor
NZ Herald
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Israel’s continuing bombardment of Gaza have caused the injuries, maimings, and deaths of thousands of Palestinian men, women, and children. The Israeli military has bombed schools, hospitals, homes, and United Nations facilities.
In any other situation, this would be condemned as  war crimes and immediate Western retailiation would ensue.

Instead, the United States wrings it hands and continues to sell weapons of mass destruction to Israel.
Standing by and doing nothing makes us complicit in Israel’s crimes.
The Israeli ambassador should be sent home and the embassy closed down.

We must cease any and all sporting and commercial contacts with Israel until a lasting, just peace is established; the blockade of Gaza is lifted; and Israel ceases it’s land grabbing in the West Bank.
We did our bit to stop French atomic bomb testing in the South Pacific. We did our bit against the war in Vietnam. We did our bit against apartheid in South Africa.

New Zealand can and must do it’s bit for the besieged people of Gaza.

Mr Prime Minister: send the Israeli ambassador home!
-Frank Macskasy

[address and phone number supplied]

 

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Previous blogposts

Barbarians at the Gates

To any Israeli solidiers reading this

Letter to the Editor: What to do with the Israeli Ambassador?

 


 

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Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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Letter to the Editor: What to do with the Israeli Ambassador?

4 August 2014 1 comment

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from:         Frank Macskasy
to:              Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz>
date:          Sun, Aug 3, 2014 at 11:55 PM
subject:     Letter to the editor

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The editor

Dominion Post
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The time for talking is long past. The atrocities in Gaza; the bombing of schools and hospitals; the maiming and killing of innocent women and children  make Israel a pariah state and we should have no truck with that country’s ambassador.

Israel will not “listen” to international pressure until the are made to feel international pressure by increasing isolation.

When the Ambassador is sent home – then Israel will feel that pressure.

When we stop trading with them – then Israel will feel that pressure.

When we cease sporting contacts with them – then Israel will begin to understand.

That is how the white regime in South Africa was made to “listen” to international pressure. Apartheid was finally destroyed when it was no longer tenable for the South African government of the day to preserve it.

Send the Ambassador packing.
Any message we send to Israel can be done through the U.N.

-Frank Macskasy
[name & address supplied]

 

 

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Previous related blogposts

Barbarians at the Gates

To any Israeli solidiers reading this

Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression

 


 

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Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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Russell Brand nails a Fox News fascist’s arse to the wall

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Categories: Broadcast, Global Tags: , ,

Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression

2 August 2014 3 comments

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Free Palestine

 

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Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the time of writing – has resulted in the deaths of over 1,032 men, women, and children.

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Indiscriminate Israeli shelling of a hospital, and schools housing  families taking refuge, have added to the grisly toll of Palestianian citizens killed.  Fair minded New Zealanders  across the country are apalled by the barbarity of Israel’s bombardment of a densely inhabited urban area in Gaza City.

The placards and banners held aloft were clear in their expression of disgust at the deaths, injuries,  and suffering caused by the continuing violence;

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One of the organisers of the Peace Rally, Dougal [*], spoke to the growing crowd, as they filled the Mall;

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Shahd [*] of Students for Justice in Palestine: Victoria University of Wellington, from part of her speech, read a message from Gaza, describing a typical Israeli “warning” to evacuate a house before it was bombed;

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“How does it feel when you get an anonymous phone call which begins, ‘You have 58 seconds from the end of this call to leave your house’?

There is no right of appeal. No way to say the Israeli military has made a mistake. No time to collect your wedding album, or even your shoes. Just BOOM!

One could feel a sense of horror and revulsion at Shahd’s description of how the Israeli military were attacking the civilian population in Gaza. It was an affront to all fair-minded people.

New Zealanders of all ages; all  ethnicities; and varying religions and beliefs,  all share one common desire; to see peace and justice for the Palestinian people;

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From the young, to the old – the message was simple; peace.

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In the photo above, the young children holding the small placards would be in severe danger for their lives, if they were living in Gaza…

There is a striking similarity between the Nazi devastation in the ‘Warsaw Ghetto‘, during World War 2, and Israeli military devastation in Gaza, as this protester pointed out with his sign;

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From Wikipedia;

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising [...] was the 1943 act of Jewish resistance that arose within the Warsaw Ghetto in German-occupied Poland during World War II, and which opposed Nazi Germany’s final effort to transport the remaining Ghetto population to Treblinka extermination camp. The most significant portion of the rebellion took place from 19 April, and ended when the poorly armed and supplied resistance was crushed by the Germans, who officially finished their operation to liquidate the Ghetto on 16 May. It was the largest single revolt by Jews during World War II.

In 1940, German occupational authorities began to concentrate Poland’s population of over three million Jews into a number of extremely crowded ghettos located in large Polish cities. The largest of these, the Warsaw Ghetto, concentrated approximately 300,000–400,000 people into a densely packed, 3.3 km² central area of Warsaw. Thousands of Jews died due to rampant disease and starvation under SS-und-Polizeiführer Odilo Globocnik and SS-Standartenführer Ludwig Hahn, even before the mass deportations from the Ghetto to the Treblinka extermination camp began.

Sound familiar?

Replace ‘Warsaw ‘ with ‘Gaza”, and you begin to see the eerie, deadly similarities between the two.

The march took off, headed toward the Israeli Embassy in Brandon Street, in Wellington’s CBD;

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At the front of the Peace march;

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Another banner which made good use of the well-known infograph, depicting Israel’s illegal land seizures, and displacement of the Palestinian  people;

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For those who are unaware of Israel’s policy of land-grabbing to expand it’s territory, the original infograph is highly illuminating;

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Long-time musician,  and peace and social justice activist, Don Franks, adding his voice to a growing clamour demanding an end to Israeli military brutality in Gaza;

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As the march wound it’s way through Wellington’s streets, numbers swelled as more joined in;

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A long-view of the march, filling Manners Street from one side to the other;

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Many cars honked their horns in support, and others on foot signalled their support;

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More hand-made signs from marchers;

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It’s hard for critics of peace marches to claim that these are “professional protesters”, when New Zealanders are hand-drawing/painting their own signs, in the best “number 8 wire” tradition;

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A TV3 news-crew ( cameraperson plus ‘suit’) covering the march;

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As the Peace Rally made it’s way through Wellington’s streets, the marchers chanted,

“Free, free, Palestine!”

 

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And,

“Netanyahu you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide!”

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A banner demanding freedom and an end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza and occupation of the West Bank, was unfurled in front of the Israeli Embassy;

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By the way, note the surveillance camera in the top left of the above image. There was another camera adjacent to that one, with both covering the entranceway to the building housing the Israeli Embassy.

Just some of the peace rally marchers in front of the Embassy, listening to speakers;

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People of the Jewish faith standing up for their brothers and sisters in Gaza;

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This blogger can confirm that not word of anti-semitism was voiced by any of the speakers and not one anti-semitic sign was present. Don’t let anyone say that this peace march was “anti-jewish”. It was not. It was pro-peace, and supported the right of Palestinians to enjoy living in  their own land free from oppression by a neighbouring military force.

If history tells us anything, it is that justice is on the side of the Palestinian people, and like colonialism in Africa, and elsewhere in the world, they will inevitably be free.

The only questions that remain to be asked is; how long will the Israeli government stand stubbornly against the inevitable, and how high must the body-count rise, before they realise the futility of their repressive policies?

Don Carson from the Wellington Palestine Group addressed the crowd;

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“If we say according to the Israeli mythology that Israel is not targetting civilians and Hamas is, then they both have failed miserably. Both of them.

Two Israeli civilian casualties.

Two!

I don’t know the number of Palestinian civilian casualties because it’s growing too fast. That is the deliberate policy. And why is that?

Not just the bloodlust in the Israeli Knesset, where a MP, amember of the Knesset, Facebooked on Monday this week, demanding that the Israeli defense forces kill not  just the Palestinian  fighters, not just the civilians, but particularly target the Palestinian mothers. The Palestinian mothers, because “they will breed snakes”! That is the official rhetoric of the Israeli political party!

And we are told it is the Palestinian side that is the inciter!”

Don Carson then ridiculed the role of US Secretary of State John Kerry “seeking a negotiated settlement – again“. He said that any “negotiated settlement” would involve the disarming of the Palestinian side, in return for food, whilst the Israeli side would be permitted to retain it’s right to “self defence”.

Don Carson then heaped scorn on the role of our own government in the war on Gaza,

“And what about our own government?”

“Our own government! Our foreign [affairs] minister, Murray McCully, who very rapidly, within hours of the Ukrainian shooting down of the Malaysian aircraft, had the Russian ambassador in, to tell him off, for doing it! Now as far as I am aware, the jury is still out on responsibility of that. But within hours, Murray McCully has him in [to his office] to tell him off!

And what does Murray McCully say about the Israeli government? Murray McCully urges the Palestianians to stop fighting. But that the Israeli’s response… should be proportionate. He is actually encouraging the Israelis to continue, but just be more careful and be better with your public relations, he says!”

Don Carson said that a campaign is rising to make a real change. Israel is “militarily extraordinarily powerful but diplomatically extraordinarily weak“.

He advocated supporting  a campaign to boycott, dis-investment, and sanctions.

He said Murray McCully should call in the Israeli Ambassador and “tell him to piss off!” to rapturous applause and cheers from the crowd.

Interestingly, police presence was low-key, and focused more on traffic control rather than “crowd control”.

However, as with an incident in November 2012, it is sometimes the ‘other side’ that law enforcement officials need to be more focused on.

Case in point – the  character in the image below (on the right, pakeha, blondish hair, beard). There was a brief heated confrontation between this guy and a Palestinian   (forefront, dark hair, red-dotted scarf, black hoodie). The situation became very tense as the two faced off. It was the tall gentleman in the grey hoodie who intervened and separated the two men;

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Image Acknowledgement: ‘Diamond Daze

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Who was this guy and what was his ‘beef’? The Palestinian accused the bearded man of coming out from the building which housed the Israeli Embassy  (along with offices for other organisations and businesses). The bearded man denied that he was from the Embassy and insisted he had come out from the adjacent ground floor shop.

So who was he? An Israeli provocateur? Some misguided right wing sympathiser with the Israeli government?

I stuck a voice-recorder in his face and asked him (thereby also distracting him from pursuing his confrontation with the Palestinian  peace marcher);

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Image Acknowledgement: ‘Diamond Daze

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He hotly denied that he had come from the Embassy and said,

“I’m just a random street guy… I just come [out]  from Kirkcaldie and Stains… I’m from Palmerston North.”

This may have been possible, as the retailer had an exit/entry point adjacent to the building where the Israeli Embassy was located. So I asked him why he seemed antagonistic to the peace march. Part of his long rambling response,

“I’m just sort of so worried about the, the thousands of children dying in Syria. And I’ve been trying to organise some support for some of the people that’ve been attacked and killed in Syria, and all these children, and it seems that people don’t want to know about it. And that’s what really concerns me, it’s like I’ve been seeing a lot of reports coming out of both Iraq with the ISIS and I’m just trying to raise awareness in New Zealand and not a lot of people are interested in it.”

I then asked the person what his opinion was on people being concerned with other things happening in the world, “Does that mean they can’t take a concern on other issues?

He seemed to change his ‘tune’ at that point, and agreed that “everyone should be passionate about what they believed it. And what I really like is that people are out, you know, speaking out for what they believe in.”

He carried on with a  speech about “getting people together“…

Either he was incredibly naive in his worldview, or he was a master at disingenuityEither way, he won’t gain much support by needlessly antagonising people.

Don was followed by Ariana, from the Mana Movement;

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She said that the Mana Movement was calling for the expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador and closure of the Embassy. She called on other political parties to do likewise and added,

“We also call for the closure of the GCSB and end the spy agreement, to end our involvement with the military aggressors… We must stand and fight for tino rangatiratanga for all people, not just in Aotearoa, but abroad.

… They call it a war, but it’s not. It’s a massacre. It’s a war on those who have been colonised and displaced. This is an assault on those who have been colonised and displaced. We must end the apartheid that is happening in Israel. We stood up as a country against apartheid in South Africa, we must follow that and ensure we end apartheid in Israel and restore the rights of Palestinians to be free in their own land.”

She said that the Embassy must be shut down and supported the growing campaign to divestment, boycott, and sanctions on Israel.

“My heart goes out to you all, and the people who are hurting. Kia kaha!”

The next speaker was Munirah [*], from the Wellington Students for Justice in Palestine. She addressed the crowd, and spoke passionately, if briefly on behalf of  Palestinians in Gaza;

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“Salam! Peace be to everyone! I’m from Malaysia, and as a Malaysian I give my full support to Gaza. And I’m also a muslim, and what I want to say is that that we are not fighting for religion but on on behalf of humanity… [speech drowned out by cheering and clapping] Boycott Israel!”

Possibly one of the briefest protest speeches in recent history – but no less warmly received by the crowd.

The last speaker was Kat [*] from BDS – Boycott Divestment Sanctions Movement;

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Kat [*]  told the crowd about the BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) Movement to end Israeli apartheid policies against the Palestinian people. She reminded people that New Zealand had been instrumental in ending apartheid in South Africa, and that the same movement was building against Israel. New Zealand would be part of that movement, Kat said.

“This is not just about boycotting products, it’s about building a mass movement! To build a mass movement to end apartheid!”

As with the anti-apartheid protests of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, the organisor told the crowd that more protest rallies were already being planned, and this was just the beginning.

The protest dispersed shortly thereafter, peacefully, and without incident. March organisers remained to take names and details of those people keep to participate in future actions.

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[*] Surname with-held for safety reasons.

 


 

References

Al Jazeera: Gazans survey devastation as truce broken

Wikipedia:  Wardaw Ghetto Uprising

Facebook: Students for Justice in Palestine: Victoria University of Wellington

Facebook: BDS Wellington – Boycott Divestment Sanctions

Wellington Palestine Group

BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) Movement

BDS NZ: vicpalestine@gmail.com

Previous related blogposts

Exclusive: Provocateurs attempt to disrupt March for Palestine, in Wellington!

New Zealand’s OTHER secret shame

Barbarians at the Gates

To any Israeli solidiers reading this

Copyright (c) Notice

All images stamped ‘fmacskasy.wordpress.com’ are freely available to be used, with following provisos,

» Use must be for non-commercial purposes.
» Where purpose of use is commercial, a donation to Palestine Emergency Appeal is requested.
» At all times, images must be used only in context, and not to denigrate individuals or groups.
» Acknowledgement of source is requested.
» Several images have been superimposed. Original, individual versions of images are available upon request.

 

 


 

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This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 28 July 2014
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To any Israeli solidiers reading this…

13 July 2014 5 comments

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… when you are fighting women and children, you have lost.

It is not women and children who threaten you, it is your own recourse to violence and oppression.

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Israeli soldier threatening women

 

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Israeli soldier threatening women (3)

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It’s time to put down your guns and clubs and behave like civilised human beings. Hopefully you still understand what it means to be civilised? And human?

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Categories: Global Tags: ,
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