Netanyahu at the General Assembly: False Hope
Netanyahu at the General Assembly: False Hope
Israel’s Prime Minister addressed the General Assembly
in ample form, clearly expressing what he felt a need to say.
Netanyahu’s address is lengthy; I intended to post excerpts with
commentary, but it is too target rich and interconnected. I
will therefore reproduce the entire transcript, highlighting the most
important paragraphs and inserting superscripts linked to my comments,
which follow the transcript in an enumerated list. Click the
superscripts to read the related comments, then press your Backspace
key to return to your place in the transcript.
and gentlemen, Israel has
extended its hand in peace from the moment it was established 63 years
ago. On behalf of Israel and the Jewish people, I extend that hand
again today. I extend it to the people of Egypt and Jordan, with
renewed friendship for neighbors with whom we have made peace. I extend
it to the people of Turkey, with respect and good will. I extend it to
the people of Libya and Tunisia, with admiration for those trying to
build a democratic future. I extend it to the other peoples of North
Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, with whom we want to forge a new
beginning. I extend it to the people of Syria, Lebanon and Iran, with
awe at the courage of those fighting brutal repression.
But most especially, I extend
my hand to the Palestinian
people1, with whom we seek a just
and lasting peace.
Ladies and gentlemen, in Israel our hope for peace never wanes. Our
scientists, doctors, innovator apply their genius to improve the world
of tomorrow. Our artists, our writers, enrich the heritage of humanity.
Now, I know that this is not exactly the image of Israel that is often
portrayed in this hall. After all, it was here in 1975 that the age-old
yearning of my people to restore our national life in our ancient
biblical homeland – it was then that this was branded shamefully, as
racism. And it was here in 1980, right here, that the historic peace
agreement between Israel and Egypt wasn’t praised; it was denounced!
And it’s here, year after year that Israel is unjustly singled out for
condemnation. It’s singled out for condemnation more often than all the
nations of the world combined. Twenty-one out of the 27 General
Assembly resolutions condemn Israel – the one true democracy in the
Well, this is an unfortunate part of the U.N. institution. It’s the
theater of the absurd. It doesn’t only cast Israel as the villain; it
often casts real villains in leading roles: Gadhafi’s Libya
the U.N. Commission on Human Rights; Saddam’s Iraq headed the U.N.
Committee on Disarmament. You might say: That’s the past. Well,
what’s happening now – right now, today, Hizbullah-controlled
now presides over the U.N. Security Council. This means, in effect,
that a terror organization presides over the body entrusted with
guaranteeing the world’s security.2
You couldn’t make this thing up.
So here in the U.N., automatic majorities can decide anything.3
decide that the sun sets in the west or rises in the west. I think the
first has already been pre-ordained. But they can also decide – they
have decided – that the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest
place, is occupied Palestinian territory.
And yet even here in the General Assembly, the truth can sometimes
through. In 1984 when I was appointed Israel’s ambassador to the United
Nations, I visited the great rabbi of Lubavich. He said to me – and
ladies and gentlemen, I don’t want any of you to be offended because
from personal experience of serving here, I know there are many
honorable men and women, many capable and decent people, serving their
nations here. But here’s what the rebbe said to me. He said to me,
you’ll be serving in a house of many lies. And then he said, remember
that even in the darkest place, the light of a single candle can be
seen far and wide.
Today I hope that the light of truth will shine, if only for a few
minutes, in a hall that for too long has been a place of darkness for
my country. So as Israel’s prime minister, I didn’t come here to win
applause. I came here to speak the truth. The truth is that
wants peace. The truth is that I want peace. The truth is that in the
Middle East at all times, but especially during these turbulent days,
peace must be anchored in security4. The truth is that we cannot achieve
through U.N. resolutions, but only through direct negotiations
between the parties. The
truth is that so far the Palestinians have refused to negotiate. The
truth is that Israel wants peace with a Palestinian state, but the
Palestinians want a state without peace6. And
the truth is you shouldn’t
let that happen.
Ladies and gentlemen, when I first came here 27 years ago, the world
was divided between East and West. Since then the Cold War ended, great
civilizations have risen from centuries of slumber, hundreds of
millions have been lifted out of poverty, countless more are poised to
follow, and the remarkable thing is that so far this monumental
historic shift has largely occurred peacefully. Yet
a malignancy is now growing between East and West that threatens the
peace of all. It seeks not to liberate, but to enslave, not to build,
but to destroy.
That malignancy is militant
It cloaks itself in the mantle of a great faith8, yet
Jews, Christians and Muslims alike with unforgiving impartiality.
On September 11th it killed thousands of Americans, and it left the
twin towers in smoldering ruins. Last night I laid a wreath on the 9/11
memorial. It was deeply moving. But as I was going there, one thing
echoed in my mind: the outrageous words of the president of Iran on
this podium yesterday. He implied that 9/11 was an American conspiracy.
Some of you left this hall. All of you should have.
Since 9/11, militant Islamists9 slaughtered countless
other innocents –
in London and Madrid, in Baghdad and Mumbai, in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem,
in every part of Israel. I believe that the greatest danger facing our
world is that this fanaticism will arm itself with nuclear weapons. And
this is precisely what Iran is trying to do.
Can you imagine that man who ranted here yesterday – can you imagine
him armed with nuclear weapons? The international community must stop
Iran before it’s too late. If Iran is not stopped, we will all face the
specter of nuclear terrorism, and the Arab Spring could soon become an
That would be a tragedy.
Millions of Arabs have taken to the streets to replace tyranny with
liberty10, and no one
would benefit more than Israel if those committed
to freedom and peace would prevail.
This is my fervent hope. But as
the prime minister of Israel, I cannot risk the future of the Jewish
state on wishful thinking11. Leaders
must see reality as it is, not as it
ought to be. We must do our best to shape the future, but we cannot
wish away the dangers of the present.
And the world around Israelis
definitely becoming more dangerous. Militant Islam has already taken
over Lebanon and Gaza. It’s determined to tear apart the peace treaties
between Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Jordan. It’s poisoned
many Arab minds against Jews and Israel, against America and the West.
It opposes not the policies of Israel but the existence of Israel12.
Now, some argue that the spread
of militant Islam, especially in these turbulent times – if you want to
slow it down, they argue, Israel must hurry to make concessions, to
make territorial compromises. And this theory sounds simple. Basically
it goes like this: Leave the territory, and peace will be advanced. The
moderates will best rengthened, the radicals will be kept at bay. And
don’t worry about the pesky details of how Israel will actually defend
itself; international troops will do the job.13
These people say to me
constantly: Just make a sweeping offer, and everything will work out.
You know, there’s only one problem with that theory. We’ve tried it and
it hasn’t worked. In 2000 Israel made a sweeping peace offer that met
virtually all of the Palestinian demands. Arafat rejected it. The
Palestinians then launched a terror attack that claimed a thousand
Prime Minister Olmert
afterwards made an even more sweeping offer, in 2008. President Abbas
didn’t even respond to it.
But Israel did more than just
make sweeping offers. We actually left territory. We withdrew from
Lebanon in2000 and from every square inch of Gaza in 2005. That didn’t
calm the Islamic storm, the militant Islamic storm that threatens us.
It only brought the storm closer and made it stronger.
Hizbullah and Hamas fired
thousands of rockets against our cities from the very territories we
vacated. See, when Israel left Lebanon and Gaza, the moderates didn’t
defeat the radicals, the moderates were devoured by the radicals. And I
regret to say that international troops like UNIFIL in Lebanon and
EUBAM in Gaza didn’t stopthe radicals from attacking Israel.
We left Gaza hoping for peace.
We didn’t freeze the
settlements in Gaza, we uprooted them. We did exactly what the theory
says: Get out, go back to the 1967 borders, dismantle the settlements.
And I don’t think people
remember how far we went to achieve this. We uprooted thousands of
people from their homes. We pulled children out of their schools and
their kindergartens. We bulldozed synagogues. We even moved loved ones
from their graves. And then, having done all that, we gave the keys of
Gaza to President Abbas.
Now the theory says it should
all work out, and President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority now
could build a peaceful state in Gaza. You can remember that the entire
world applauded. They applauded our withdrawal as an act of great
statesmanship. It was a bold act of peace.
But ladies and gentlemen, we
didn’t get peace. We got war. We got Iran, which through its proxy
Hamas promptly kicked out the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian
Authority collapsed in a day – in one day.
President Abbas just said on
this podium that the Palestinians are armed only with their hopes and
dreams. Yeah, hopes, dreams and 10,000 missiles and Grad rockets
supplied by Iran, not to mention the river of lethal weapons now
flowing into Gaza from the Sinai, from Libya, and from elsewhere.
Thousands of missiles have
already rained down on our cities. So you might understand that, given
all this, Israelis rightly ask: What’s to prevent this from happening
again in the West Bank? See, most of our major cities in the south of
the country are within a few dozen kilometers from Gaza. But in the
center of the country, opposite the West Bank, our cities are a few
hundred meters or at most a few kilometers away from the edge of the
So I want to ask you. Would any
of you bring danger so close to your cities, to your families? Would
you act so recklessly with the lives of your citizens? Israelis
prepared to have a Palestinian state in the West Bank, but we’re not
prepared to have another Gaza there. And that’s why we need to have
real security arrangements, which the Palestinians simply refuse to
negotiate with us.
Israelis remember the bitter
lessons of Gaza. Many of Israel’s critics ignore them. They14
irresponsibly advise Israel to go down this same perilous path again.
Your read what these people say and it’s as if nothing happened – just
repeating the same advice, the same formulas as though none of this
And these critics continue to
press Israel to make far-reaching concessions without first assuring
Israel’s security. They praise those who unwittingly feed the
insatiable crocodile of militant Islam as bold statesmen. They cast as
enemies of peace those of us who insist that we must first erect a
sturdy barrier to keep the crocodile out, or at the very least jam an
iron bar between its gaping jaws.
So in the face of the labels
and the libels, Israel must heed better advice. Better a bad press than
a good eulogy, and better still would be a fair press whose sense of
history extends beyond breakfast, and which recognizes Israel’s
legitimate security concerns.15
I believe that in serious peace
negotiations, these needs and concerns can be properly addressed16,
they will not be addressed without negotiations. And the needs are
many, because Israel is such a tiny country. Without Judea and Samaria,
the West Bank, Israel is all of 9 miles wide.
I want to put it for you in
perspective, because you’re all in the city. That’s about two-thirds
the length of Manhattan. It’s the distance between Battery Park and
Columbia University. And don’t forget that the people who live in
Brooklyn and New Jersey are considerably nicer than some of Israel’s
So how do you protect such a
tiny country, surrounded by people sworn to its destruction and armed
to the teeth by Iran? Obviously you can’t defend it from within that
narrow space alone. Israel needs greater strategic depth, and that’s
exactly why Security Council Resolution 242 didn’t require Israel to
leave all the territories it captured in the Six-Day War. It talked
about withdrawal from territories, to secure and defensible boundaries.
And to defend itself, Israel must therefore maintain a long-term
Israeli military presence in critical strategic areas in the West Bank.
I explained this to President
Abbas. He answered that if a Palestinian state was to be a sovereign
country, it could never accept such arrangements. Why not? America has
had troops in Japan, Germany and South Korea for more than a half a
century. Britain has had an an air base in Cyprus. France has forces in
three independent African nations. None of these states claim that
they’re not sovereign countries.
And there are many other vital
security issues that also must be addressed. Take the issue of
airspace. Again, Israel’s small dimensions create huge security
problems. America can be crossed by jet airplane in six hours. To fly
across Israel, it takes three minutes. So is Israel’s tiny airspace to
be chopped in half and given to a Palestinian state not at peace with
Our major international airport
is a few kilometers away from the West Bank. Without peace, will our
planes become targets for antiaircraft missiles placed in the adjacent
Palestinian state? And how will we stop the smuggling into the West
Bank? It’s not merely the West Bank, it’s the West Bank mountains. It
just dominates the coastal plain where most of Israel’s population sits
below. How could we prevent the smuggling into these mountains of those
missiles that could be fired on our cities?17
I bring up these problems
because they’re not theoretical problems. They’re very real. And for
Israelis, they’re life-and-death matters. All these potential cracks in
Israel’s security have to be sealed in a peace agreement before a
Palestinian state is declared, not afterwards, because if you leave it
afterwards, they won’t be sealed. And these problems will explode in
our face and explode the peace.18
The Palestinians should first make peace with Israel and then get their
state. But I also want to tell you this. After such a peace agreement
is signed, Israel will not be the last country to welcome a Palestinian
state as a new member of the United Nations. We will be the first19.
And there’s one more thing.
Hamas has been violating international law20 by holding our
Shalit captive for five years.
They haven’t given even one Red
Cross visit. He’s held in a dungeon, in darkness, against all
international norms. Gilad Shalit is the son of Aviva and Noam Shalit.
He is the grandson of Zvi Shalit, who escaped the Holocaust by coming
in the 1930s as a boy to the land of Israel. Gilad Shalit is the son of
every Israeli family. Every nation represented here should demand his
immediate release. If you want to pass a resolution about the Middle
East today, that’s the resolution you should pass21.
Ladies and gentlemen, last year
in Israel in Bar-Ilan University, this year in the Knesset and in the
U.S. Congress, I laid out my vision for peace in which a demilitarized
Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state. Yes, the Jewish state.
After all, this is the body that recognized the Jewish state 64 years
ago. Now, don’t you think it’s about time that Palestinians did the
The Jewish state of Israel will
always protect the rights of all its minorities, including the more
than onw million Arab citizens of Israel. I wish I could say the same
thing about a future Palestinian state, for as Palestinian officials
made clear the other day – in fact, I think they made it right here in
New York – they said the Palestinian state won’t allow any Jews in it.
They’ll be Jew-free – Judenrein. That’s ethnic cleansing. There are
laws today in Ramallah that make the selling of land to Jews punishable
by death. That’s racism. And you know which laws this evokes.23
Israel has no intention
whatsoever to change the democratic character of our state. We just
don’t want the Palestinians to try to change the Jewish character of
our state. We want to give up the fantasy of flooding Israel with
millions of Palestinians.
President Abbas just stood
here, and he said that the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is
the settlements. Well, that’s odd. Our conflict was raging for nearly
half a century before there was a single Israeli settlement in the West
Bank. So if what President Abbas is saying was true, then the – I guess
that the settlements he’s talking about are Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa,
Be’er Sheva. Maybe24 that’s what he
meant the other day when he said that
Israel has been occupying Palestinian land for 63 years. He didn’t say
from 1967; he said from1948. I hope somebody will bother to ask him
this question because it illustrates a simple truth: The core of the
conflict is not the settlements. The settlements are a result of the
The settlements have to be –
it’s an issue that has to be addressed and resolved in the course of
negotiations. But the core of the conflict25 has always been and
unfortunately remains the refusal of the Palestinians to recognize a
Jewish state in any border.
I think it’s time that the
Palestinian leadership recognizes what every serious international
leader has recognized, from Lord Balfour and Lloyd George in 1917, to
President Truman in1948, to President Obama26 just two days ago right
here: Israel is the Jewish state.
President Abbas, stop walking
around this issue. Recognize the Jewish state, and make peace with us.
In such a genuine peace, Israel is prepared to make painful
compromises. We believe that the Palestinians should be neither the
citizens of Israel nor its subjects. They should live in a free state
of their own27.
But they should be ready, like us, for compromise. And we
will know that they’re ready for compromise and for peace when they
start taking Israel’s security requirements seriously and when they
stop denying our historical connection to our ancient homeland.
I often hear them accuse Israel of Judaizing Jerusalem. That’s like
accusing America of Americanizing Washington, or the British of
Anglicizing London. You know why we’re called “Jews”? Because we come
In my office in Jerusalem, there’s an ancient seal. It’s a signet ring
of a Jewish official from the time of the Bible. The seal was found
right next to the Western Wall, and it dates back 2,700 years, to the
time of King Hezekiah. Now, there’s a name of the Jewish official
inscribed on the ring in Hebrew. His name was Netanyahu. That’s my last
name. My first name, Benjamin, dates back a thousand years earlier to
Benjamin – Binyamin – the son of Jacob, who was also known as Israel.
Jacob and his 12 sons roamed these same hills of Judea and Samaria
4,000 years ago, and there’s been a continuous Jewish presence in the
land ever since.
And for those Jews who were exiled from our land, they never stopped
dreaming of coming back: Jews in Spain, on the eve of their expulsion;
Jews in the Ukraine, fleeing the pogroms; Jews fighting the Warsaw
Ghetto, as the Nazis were circling around it. They never stopped
praying, they never stopped yearning. They whispered: Next year in
Jerusalem. Next year in the promised land.
As the prime minister of Israel, I speak for a hundred generations of
Jews who were dispersed throughout the lands, who suffered every evil
under the Sun, but who never gave up hope of restoring their national
life in the one and only Jewish state.
Ladies and gentlemen, I
continue to hope that President Abbas will be my partner in peace. I’ve
worked hard to advance that peace. The day I came into office, I called
for direct negotiations without preconditions. President Abbas didn’t
respond. I outlined a vision of peace of two states for two peoples. He
still didn’t respond. I removed hundreds of roadblocks and checkpoints,
to ease freedom of movement in the Palestinian areas; this facilitated
a fantastic growth in the Palestinian economy. But again – no response.
I took the unprecedented step of freezing new buildings in the
settlements for 10 months. No prime minister did that before, ever.
Once again – you applaud, but there was no response. No response.
In the last few weeks, American officials have put forward ideas to
restart peace talks. There were things in those ideas about borders
that I didn’t like. There were things thereabout the Jewish state that
I’m sure the Palestinians didn’t like.
But with all my reservations, I was willing to move forward on these
President Abbas, why don’t you join me? We have to stop negotiating
about the negotiations. Let’s just get on with it. Let’s negotiate
I spent years
defending Israel on the battlefield. I spent decades defending Israel
in the court of public opinion. President Abbas, you’ve dedicated your
life to advancing the Palestinian cause. Must this conflict continue
for generations, or will we be able our children and our grandchildren
to speak in years ahead of how we found a way to end it? That’s what we
should aim for, and that’s what I believe we can achieve.
In two and a half years, we met
in Jerusalem only once, even though my door has always been open to
you. If you wish, I’ll come to Ramallah. Actually, I have a better
suggestion. We’ve both just flown thousands of miles to New York. Now
we’re in the same city. We’re in the same building. So let’s meet here
today in the United Nations. Who’s there to stop us? What is there to
stop us? If we genuinely want peace28, what is there to stop
meeting today and beginning peace negotiations?
And I suggest we talk openly and honestly. Let’s listen to one another.
Let’s do as we say in the Middle East: Let’s talk “doogri”. That means
straightforward. I’ll tell you my needs and concerns. You’ll tell me
yours. And with God’s help, we’ll find the common ground of peace29.
There’s an old Arab saying that you cannot applaud with one hand. Well,
the same is true of peace. I cannot make peace alone. I cannot make
peace without you30. President
Abbas, I extend my hand – the hand of
Israel – in peace. I hope that you will grasp that hand. We are both
the sons of Abraham. My people call him Avraham. Your people call him
Ibrahim. We share the same patriarch. We dwell in the same land. Our
destinies are intertwined.
Let us realize the vision of Isaiah:
“העם ההולכים בחושך ראו אור גדול”
“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.”31
Let that light be the light of peace.
“העם ההולכים בחושך ראו אור גדול”
“The people who walk in
darkness will see a great light.”
Let that light be the light of peace.
- I urge Netanyahu and his
allies to quit telling that lie. “Palestine” is Israel and the
“Palestinian people” are Jews. The blood thirsty rabble referred
to by the world as Palestinians
are no more than undifferentiated Arabs, asserting a false and
malignant narrative of lost civilization. Follow these links to
the facts: We
have all been had!
people do not exist The most vital quotes are
included with more background information in this blog post:
in a Pig’s … They
will not grasp the proffered hand of friendship because their
hands are full of weapons, ready to attack you.
- The cat presides over
a meeting of mice as they decide who will put a bell on the cat’s
- Since Islam conquered vast
territories, the combination of Islamic satrapies and their allies
forms a majority in the General Assembly.
- Security will be a mirage beckoning just
over the horizon so long as Israel is outnumbered and out gunned by
vast populations thirsting for Jewish blood. No treaties, no borders,
no institution, no forces; nothing can secure Israel while her
neighbors continue to be enslaved by a blood thirsty demon who demands
genocideas the price of
admission to his celestial bordello. Islamic eschatology says plainly
that Muslims must kill the last Jew before the gates of
Paradise will swing open.
- You can not achieve peace so
long as there are Islamic believers living upon the surface of the
earth. Muslims are taught and believe that Jews: earned
Allah’s wrath, are the worst
of living creatures, are cursed
by Allah and are strongest
in enmity to Muslims. Muslims are commanded
to wage war against Jews. Allah has promised them that he
will constantly send someone to humiliate
& torment the Jews until the last day. Muslims are promised eternity in the celestial bordello if they wage jihad and threatened with eternal torment if they sit at home.
These facts must be fatal to the fabulistic maundery that peace is
possible. Only a damned fool believes it; only a liar says it. Both are
worthy of condemnation
- They want
neither; their tactical objective is the genocidal destruction of Israel.
Their strategic objective is the restoration of the caliphate and
- Netanyahu swerves so
close to yet far from the truth. The malignancy is Islam. Not “militant”, “radical” or
“extremist” Islam; its just plain Islam, as Moe preached and
exemplified it. You should read the entire Qur’an & at least one
hadith collection but most people won’t do that. At minimum, these two
ayat, one hadith which confirms them and the Islamic law that
codifies them should be sufficient to disabuse any sentient person of
the idiotic bigotry which declares peace possible. 8:39,
Sahih Bukhari 1.8.387 and Reliance of the Traveller, O9. Read them and
curse Islam if you have a soul.
- Islam is not a great faith,
it is a great evil disguised as a faith; its “original religion” is jihad, whose legal
definition is “war against non-Muslims“.
- The correct word is believers, defined as having sold
their lives to Allah so that they fight
in his cause, killing and being killed in return for guaranteed
admission to the celestial bordello.
- They replaced one
tyrant with another, liberty has no part in “Arab spring”.
- But that is
exactly what you do by pretending that peace is possible with Muslims.
- Islam can never
tolerate the existence of Israel because the loss of conquered land
stands as evidence of the fact that Allah is an impotent idol. Allah promised
victory. He also commanded Muslims to drive
out those who drove them out. So long as Israel exists, faith
in Allah is at risk to rationality because of the evidence of his
- Netanyahu sets
up what appears to be a straw man; unfortunately, it is not a fallacy,
it is reality, as he demonstrates in the succeeding paragraphs.
- They refers to Barack
Hussein Obama & the Quartet who sing the siren song of surrender.
- Meditate on
this wisdom for it is true. Israel absolutely must reject the
disingenuous demands for surrender; she has no choice because any other
course of action is suicidal.
provisions of the Oslo Accords did Arafat implement and maintain?
Only a damn fool believes that Abbas and his successors will perform
any better than Arafat.
- Prevent it by eradicating
Islam from the region. There is no other possibility. If you want
peace, get rid of Islam; make it extinct.
- That is
the understatement of the week. Get a clue, for Chrissakes.
- On the 34th
day of the month of Never. It ain’t going to happen. Muslims make war,
they do not make peace; its what Islam is; what Muslims do.
- The attack in which
Shalit was seized and others were murdered was sufficient violation of
international law. Holding him hostage is exacerbates the violation. A
self-respecting nation would make that act the last of its kind by
wiping the offenders from the face of the earth.
- They should; they won’t
because the institution has been subverted by the predatory aggressor:
- The resolution they are
about to pass will effectively revoke that recognition retroactively.
Muslims will never recognize Israel as the Jewish state, for reasons
explained in # 12.
ICCPR & CPPCG. But who gives a damn? Nobody will enforce them
- Only damned fools doubt
it. “From the river to the sea!” should be your first clue to full
comprehension of the fatal fact.
- The core of the conflict is
the existence of one unconverted Jew. Your answer is Muslim or dead;
that is the only answer you will ever get from them. Conversely, your
response must be secular or dead. You have no acceptable
alternative to the extinction of Islam. If Islam is not extinct,
Jews will be.
are liars. Obama is a Muslim. Obama is not sincere when he
claims to recognize Israel as the Jewish state. If he was, he would not
disrespectfully demand that you commit national suicide.
- They don’t want peace, they
want genocidal conquest. Get a clue already.
- The cemetery.
- Peace is only
possible without Islam; get a clue.
- The last thing you will see: the
blinding flash of a nuclear detonation.
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