98 thoughts on “Itamar: Turning Victims into National Blood Sacrifices – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Thank you, Richard. I share your sentiments. This was a horrible act and there is no excuse for the killing of innocent children. There is no reason to believe these parents engaged in acts of violence against Palestinians in nearby villages. But this settlement/outpost has residents who are known to be especially violent, and their presence at Itamar puts all its residents at greater risk. While it’s true that Palestinians are not happy to have their land taken from them for settlement building, I believe this tragic event would not have happened had there not been so many vicious attacks committed for many years by settlers from Itamar. They all need to take their children and move home to Israel.

    1. ….They have chosen to live on Palestinian lands, stolen from their previous rightful owners.
      ….They all need to take their children and move home to Israel.
      Does anybody who understands the Middle East honestly believe that if all of the settlers were to return to pre 1967 Israel that the violence would stop.
      Did the withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza bring peace or new hostile fronts.
      A withdrawal from the “west bank” will bring a new and very dangerous front that will embolden the Arabs to finish what they have started.
      I pray that I am wrong but 30 years of contact with Arabs have taught me that I an not.

      1. I pray that I am wrong but 30 years of contact with Arabs have taught me that I an not.

        What sort of contact have you had with “an Arab” that allows you to express such an ignorant unsupported thought? You sound like you just came out of a 1968 time warp. YOu know hasbara has progressed since 1968…

        1. Richard,
          I wrote “Arabs” and not “an Arab”.
          You are trying to make my use of the word Arabs into something that was not intended.
          I have had many good friends who were Arabs,some of whom did not know that I am a Jew.I was thus able to acquire a certain insight into and respect for their culture.

          However,it is my belief ,that most peoples in the Middle East region of today have not and will not accept the thorn of Israel in their side.
          My impression, in talking with Palestinian Muslims is that they felt betrayed by their Arab brothers in the past and that now, when Israel is seen to be weaker and a new wave is sweeping the Middle East the time may have come to finish what has long been their desire, to avenge the nakba.Iran fuels this desire.
          Historically in the Middle East,brute strength was respected and attempts to negotiate were seen as a sign of weakness.
          In the Arabic mentality as long as each person assumes his position in the pecking order there is not a problem.
          In this was Jews could peacefully live among Arabs for centuries.
          Grudges are not forgotten,compromise is not an option.
          May I be proven wrong and may a new era of enlightenment descend upon the region.

          1. Omigod, it’s the long lost, mythical fountain of racism!

            “Historically in the Middle East,brute strength was respected and attempts to negotiate were seen as a sign of weakness.”

            Ok, so if we just kill 1000 innocent men, women and children everything would be ok right? Oh wait…

            “In the Arabic mentality as long as each person assumes his position in the pecking order there is not a problem.”

            So in this arab-hive, is there an arab-queen? Can we kill it so they can’t spawn?

            “respect for their culture.”

            So you think *this* is arab culture, and you respect it? shudder.

          2. I repeat myself: you are utterly & absolutely ignorant of “Arab culture,” “Arab mentality” or whatever other racist notion you wish to propagate here. If you know any Arab, which I strongly doubt, you certainly don’t have a clue who or what “Arabs” are, what they believe, how they live, etc. You’re clueless in Gaza so to speak.

            Egypt & Jordan have already accepted that “thorn in their side.” Turkey has relations with Israel, even if they are strained. So there goes your claim that “most” peoples of the Middle East will not accept Israel. Israel could have a peace deal w. Syria & Lebanon as well if it return lands it occupied of theirs, which it refuses to do.

            Which Palestinian Muslims specifically have you gleaned this so called knowledge from? You’re a liar bud & not a very good one. You don’t know a single Palestinian anywhere who wants to ‘finish what has long been his desire to avenge the Nakba.”

            You’ve violated my comment rules every which way till Sunday. So read them if you wish to publish another. YOu may not make racist statements here even if you don’t understand why they’re racist. Your generalizations about Arabs & Palestinians are pure racism & you won’t be publishing anything further in that vein here. Either you decide you will publish comments that are truthful, accurate & based on fact–or if you continue in yr previous vein, you won’t be here long.

            If there is an Arab mentality (which many would strongly dispute) you sure as hell don’t know anything about it.

            Your future comments will be moderated & approved as long as they adhere to the rules. IF you prove able to respect the rules moderation will be removed.

  2. Mary, when I hear arguments like yours but concerning Palestinian children killed in Gaza by IDF airstrikes against Hamas, I cannot accept them. The fact that Hamas is a violent terrorist organization responsible for crimes against humanity is no reason to “understand” the death of Palestinian children.

    Shouldn’t we use the same criteria?

    Itay

    1. @Itay,
      When I hear arguments like yours but concerning Israeli children killed by Hamas retaliating against Israeli airstrikes I cannot accept them. The fact that Israel commits crimes against humanity is no reason to “understand” the death of Israeli children.

      I do, however, grieve for all children who are victims of senseless violence, both Jewish and non-Jewish. But Itamar parents who insist on putting their children in harm’s way should not be surprised if an occasional Palestinian is driven to respond violently to years of violence perpetrated by Itamar settlers against him and his people. If this family had chosen to live legally in Israel rather than setting up house on stolen land in Palestine then these three beautiful children would be alive today.

  3. The problem of the Left (in Israel) is that it is often quickly to condemn and be emotional about deaths of minorities but late to the party when events of equal magnitude happen to Jews. This is a problem because it is hypocrite and takes away from these organizations’ credibility in their honest pursuit after human rights. I agree that it feels redundant to repeat what others have said before and that condemnations serve little purpose other than pleasing those who are looking for them – but this is precisely the role that they serve.

    Here is a comment on one of my friend’s Facebook wall:

    Still so shocked by this awful barbarian murder.
    How can human stab a baby in her bed?!?
    And where all the human rights groups now? why I don’t hear them?
    So sad.

    To my surprise, I could only find B’tselem’s and PHR’s condemnations. This is the main argument against human rights organizations – that they are biased and hypocrite. Even if you feel there is nothing to add and all has been said, you are still morally obliged to condemn everyone equally if you wish to maintain integrity. It’s not like you haven’t personally demanded from some of your readers to condemn the immoral killings carried out by the IDF before they press on to condemn Palestinian wrongdoings. It is exactly the same.

    1. No, killings by the IDF and by individuals or even an organized group of Palestinians are not the same. The IDF is the army of a State that is supposed to be democratic, and killings by the IDF are as such done in the name of Israel, whether you agree or not as an individual. There is also a huge difference between the killings by the IDF and by a settler, though we all know they are financed, encouraged and mostly whitewashed by the State of Israel.

    2. @Shai,
      Where do you get these ridiculous claims from? I have seen nothing but condemnation for this act of violence from all sides. Are you blind or deliberately obtuse?

      If there are more reports of violence by Israelis toward Palestinians than the reverse, it is because Palestinians are many, many times more often the victims. In fact crimes committed against Palestinians, while they occur far more frequently, are outrageously under reported, so many people believe Israelis are victims as often or even more often than are Palestinians.

      Palestinians are killed almost every day, and rarely are these deaths reported in MSM.

      http://www.ifamericansknew.org

      Everyone should be outraged when innocent civilians are murdered, whether or not they are Jewish.

      1. Blind? Obtuse? Did you read Reider’s post? When was I talking about the MSM? I was talking about Israeli human rights NGOs.

    3. Shai, please read updates to Dimi’s story. These left-wing activist organisations have also issued statements:

      – Solidarity Sheikh Jarrah, one of the most important activist Left movement operating today
      – New Family, Israel’s pre-eminent organization for equality in marriage and family rights
      – The Bilin Popular Committee Against the Wall, the flagship group of the non-violent struggle against the separation barrier
      – Rabbis for Human Rights, whose activists are routinely attacked by violent settler thugs in the West Bank
      – Condemnations also came in from Zionist Left organisations, like J-Street and Peace Now; Human Rights Watch released a particularly refined and nuanced statement

      This looks like a very solid response from the Left.

      1. I read that. But at the time I’d wanted to show my friend that he was wrong, browsed their websites and found nothing but silence which surprised me. I’m glad they’ve issued responses now.

  4. While nobody should fail to condemn this or any act of violence against children in Israel or Palestine, it appears this latest attack is generating a somewhat different response from what Israel is used to. World opinion has changed considerably since the last suicide bombing several years ago. Israel lost a lot of credibility when it killed a thousand people in Lebanon, followed by the massacre in Gaza, and finally the attack on the Freedom Flotilla last year when nine unarmed passengers on board the MAVI MARMARA were murdered in cold blood. As a result the majority no longer sees Israel as the victim it has always claimed to be.

  5. I found an old Economist article the other day that was written after an anti-apartheid resistance car bomb killed 19 South Africans in 1983. It made statements like: “White    South Africa has remained astonishingly immune from what even stable democracies now regard as ”normal” pseudo-political terrorism” and “So long as it practises   
    apartheid it must expect a measure of violent resistance”. There certainly wasn’t any gushing of horror or grief for the victims, which is still expected from everyone in the Israel case.

    Along the same line, I’ve seen a few very mainstream Israelis, including journalists, say that the solution is simple: remove the settlements.

    So the responses seem to be shifting away from what it’s been for decades: the outporing of horror and sympathy and racism. And it’s not shifting to the promotion or acceptance of such violence (which would have been deeply alarming), but to a solutions-oriented approach: identify the causes of violence and find solutions that will address them. As far as I can see, that’s the only appropriate response, otherwise we contribute to keeping Israel trapped in this victim mindset from within which violence and oppression are their only options. The appropriate response to an alcoholic after he loses his tenth job just isn’t sympathy, even if one feels it inside.

  6. Liane, I agree with your analysis. I don’t know if Bibi et al realize it yet, but this horrific act is not doing much to help Israel get the kind of sympathy that used to follow those long ago suicide bombings in Israel. After Lebanon and Gaza and the Flotilla, Israel can no longer get away with playing the victim, and while people everywhere condemn these killings, they also condemn the occupation and the illegal settlements. And Bibi’s announcement that 500 more settlement houses will be built is not doing anything for Israel’s image. Israel is definitely starting to lose the propaganda war. Clearly the tide is turning in favor of the Palestinians in the world forum.

    1. Especially if the latest news are shown to be true. There are surfacing news that maybe behind the murder was some foreign worker, not the Palestinians.
      http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=212115

      If it is true that the murderer was not a Palestinian the Israeli Jewish right wing with its politically used rage and actions are in a rather preposterous position. The only thing they can say in their defence will be: “well the murderer could have been a Palestinian”.

      In the most absurd position will be the Israeli government which has used maximumly this tragedy for their own political purposes and direct new land robbery. Actually Israeli “apparatus” has no other possibility than to make some Palestinians “guilty” for this even the murderer was not a Palestinian. Otherwise they will lose their face completely.

  7. Well, someone has to say this.

    They are legitimate targets. Very much so. Everyone living in itamar is guilty of terrible, horrible crimes against humanity. People in the left tend to forget how terrible it really is. I forget too. I have to remind myself – I look at the wall, I cross the green line. Death is fitting penalty. They need to learn fear and pain and grief and death. I shed no tears for them. I’m glad they didn’t die in their sleep. Harsh, isn’t it? Well the occupation IS harsh.

    “What about the kids? Did they deserve to die?”

    Well here’s for the mandatory condemnation for child killers. Boo to them.
    Not really though. Yes, killing children is always wrong. But the killers here are, shall we say, “exempt”. Born to occupation. Second generation. Third generation to the nakba. Their world devastated. They were, however, given a rare privilege – they get to put a face on their tormentor. It lives right next door. As close as a short walk and a hop over a fence. It’s children, though innocent, make for tempting targets.
    Incidentally, The Fogel’s 12 year old kid urged bibi (another child killer) to murder arabs as revenge. So she too is guilty. BTW, she survived since at the time of the murders she was with the bene akiva, our very own Hitlerjugend.

      1. Couch leftist much?

        These people, these deranged religious madmen, need to be recognised for what they are.

        They do not deserve our hugs whenever their victims bite them in the ass.

        They willingly, joyfully, forcefully LEAD not only a 40 year long holocaust, but the ultimate destruction of our country.

        Your “tar’omot” might just not be cutting it.

        1. If you think I am pleased with the occupation you are wildly mistaken. I am aware & deeply concerned for Israel’s future and the unfortunate price it pays for the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.

          The one who is a deranged madman is the person who broke into their house and butchered the family.

          5 people have been murdered in cold blood here. Nobody deserves this. No one. Especially not children. You seem to have lost a great deal of humanity; I feel sorry for you.

        2. They’re people.

          That twelve-year-old girl is calling for the deaths of Palestinians because it’s what she’s been taught from the day of her birth. This is why she is deserving of more compassion, not less. How else is she going to learn to be any different? And that’s the purpose of peace work – not taking revenge for your own hurt, but making a different life possible.

          I did have more to say, but I can’t find the words.

          1. I wish I could hope she will be raised somewhere away from Itamar and the West Bank, perhaps by relatives who hold different views from those of her parents. Sadly, though, she will be so embittered at the tragic loss of her entire family that she will most likely hate Palestinians even more than she has already been taught to do.

            Perhaps somehow she will learn from those few remarkable people from both sides whose loss of loved ones to this senseless violence has made them join the struggle for peace. Insha’Allah.

    1. They are legitimate targets. Very much so. Everyone living in itamar is guilty of terrible, horrible crimes against humanity.

      By using this logic you and i (im guessing ur israeli too) should also be killed, as we pay taxes, and taxes support the idf / occupation.

      Incidentally, The Fogel’s 12 year old kid urged bibi (another child killer) to murder arabs as revenge. So she too is guilty. BTW, she survived since at the time of the murders she was with the bene akiva, our very own Hitlerjugend.

      Sir duck, Shes 12 years old. She’s not even grown-up enough to go to prison. You’ve sentenced her to death, so how are u different from her though and from what she says? The only difference is that you’re probably abit older, but you both are full of hate in a very similar way.

      Richard, i frankly have no idea if this is the way to report someone, but i think ducks posts crosses any possible border. Advocating murder of a 12 years old kid should be unacceptable no mater what.

      1. Y, I agree with you in all you write except for one small thing:

        “Shes 12 years old. She’s not even grown-up enough to go to prison.”

        If she were Palestinian she would be grown-enough to go to prison.

        1. A Palestinian certainly does not have to be 12 years old to be blown up or otherwise killed by the IDF.

          Anyway, I have to point out that by Nuremberg Tribunal rulings, which constitute the only corpus of International Law that deals with the issue of settlement and genocide, Duck is completely correct.

          We really have to discuss what Nuremberg Tribunal rulings and judgments mean in the context of the conflict over Palestine.

          Goering defined the Nuremberg Tribunals an expression of victor’s law. Kid-gloving Zionists seems to prove him correct.

          By any reasonable standard Martin Peretz deserves at least as much to be hanged by the neck until dead as Julius Streicher did. Instead Peretz has been honored by the most prestigious American university.

          Isn’t American discourse on these issues simply broken?

    2. @ Duck)
      I don’t want to abuse of Richard’s hospitality, and say things that could be interpreted as encouraging killings: there might be legitimate targets for resistance, and settlers might be one of them. But, under NO, absolutely no circomstances are the killing of children justifiable. I spent a long moment looking at those beautiful kids, I looked at the photos taken after they were killed, and I felt sick, really sick.
      Only a sick person could do this, no fight for national freedom could ever justify killing children. They did not choose to be born into a – maybe – extremist family. I don’t know about the ideological standpoints of the Fogel family, but knowing that they moved to Itamar after being expelled from Gaza in 2005 gives me an idea.
      Don’t push your empathy for the Palestinians too far ;-))
      I haven’t spoken to anyone who has justified the massacre of three children, and I know people who’ve been through a lot.

      I appreciate your comments a lot, and I think you’re really tormented by what your country is doing, and that gives me a lot of hope. And all my respect for crossing the Green Line, going to Sheikh Jarrah etc. If you could convince Shai of joining you 🙂 The youth is the future …

      1. The fact that Motti Fogel, the older brother, has renounced the idea of turning his dead brother into a national martyr & symbol of revenge is hopeful too.

        And I agree w. everything you wrote about Duck’s comment as well. I think it’s really a symptom of the general hopelessness of the Israeli left at being able to change anything. When you can’t create change within the system, you tend to resort to outrageous acts like the killing & extreme sentiment like justifying it.

      2. Shai needs no convincing – I will hopefully soon be going on a tour in the West Bank, something I have wanted to do for a long while.

        1. I’m so glad to hear it. And I know that since you won’t be wearing a uniform or carrying a gun you will receive the same welcome that has always greeted me and my friends no matter what our race or religion.

    3. I repudiate yr views in the strongest possible way.

      The basics of what you say are true in that Itamar is a noxious, hateful place which is a festering sore in the midst of the Occupation. But the way to rid the world of the Itamars is not by killing children, no matter how noxious anything they might say or any membership they might have in pro settler youth movement. Killing, whether of Palestinian civilians or Israeli leads to nihilism, chaos & soaking the territory of both countries in blood.

      That being said, as long as the great powers of Europe & the U.S. allow the Bibi regime to get away with its own murders, great & small, massacres like Itamar & Cast Lead will continue. So I certainly blame the Palestinian killer, & Bibi, but also the EU & Barack Obama for the continuation of this madness. They are all guilty & should be held accountable.

    4. For clarity’s sake, I’ll respond in a single post.

      I am NOT calling for killing. I do NOT support violence. This is not, however, our choice to make. If the palestinians choose to kill as part of their fight, it is their right to do so. We, as observers, have a right to judge whether their targets are legitimate. Settlers like itamar’s are legitimate. They are the most legitimate targets, since they are the most guilty. Regardless of the fight for freedom, when all is said and done, I hope they are brought to justice in court. They deserve punishment.

      As for the 12 year old – she urged a PM to kill. Not as a child asking to “get the bad guys” – she asked it while voicing full understanding of bibi’s “diplomatic restraints”. So I judge her also as legitimate.

      As for children in general, clearly they are NOT legitimate. My outrage was at the tendency to wave the killers off as lunatics. They may be barbaric, but they are also victims. They were raised into barbarity by israel. We are in no position to call them monsters. And we don’t have to do so just because the right wing demands that we do.

      @Shai – I realise you oppose the occupation. The problem is that you, like many others in the left, don’t realise the gravity of it. The settlers are the madmen, the butchers are first and foremost victims.

      @y – I would not presume to be an expert on such things. I can’t say if taxpayers are legitimate targets. I do, however, serve in the IDF. While it alone does not make me guilty, it does make me legitimate. I am PAINFULLY aware of that. As for me vs girl – she advocated murder based on ethnicity, I “advocated” (in the sense they I didn’t actually advocate, and she did) murder based on opinion.

      @richard – deir yassin implied I abused your hospitality. I did not consider this, and I do apologise.

      1. You didn’t abuse my hospitality. Though I don’t agree w you & had to say so, there are Israeli leftists saying what you said so I think it is reasonable to hear this perspective, even if I disagree. It’s a question of degree. If a number of diff people expressed this view then I might cut off this line of discussion. But for the perspective to be heard one time expressed by one person seems legitimate to me.

      2. @ Duck)
        No, no I didn’t imply YOU abused Richard’s hospitality, I was just tryng to explain that I also might consider settlers a legitimate target, but that I’m didn’t want to banned for saying it 🙂 That’s why my sentence was a bit unclear.
        And once again, I do understand everything you express. You know, I’ve heard more than once Palestinians saying that somehow they are happy not to be in the Israelis’ position. And I’ve met enough young Israelis to realize what a moral dilemma many of them are going through. It’s kind of the Hegelian Master-Slave relation.
        But don’t ever loose your humanity.

      3. duck, i understand what you’re saying, but i think you’re blaming it on the settlers too much. They are just a part of the problem, and the 12 years old girl is just a symptom and not the cause of the problem (just like the 12 years old on the other side, whom mary has mentioned – and no, i dont think its ok to send 12 years old palestinians to prison either).
        This is why its actually very hard for me to consider myself a left winger anymore. Theres so much hate on both sides, that i simply cant see how it can be resolved. However the people we should blame for it are our own leaders, and the leaders from the palestininan side (some of whom based their academic carreers/titles on clear antisemitic works), and not on 12 years old kids, who just express what they’ve been taught to express.

        1. I don’t think a 12 yr old girl, no matter what she says or believes should be a legitimate target for killing.

          BTW, the father of one of the victims today expressed opposition to publishing images of his dead son & the man’s children & wife. We may disagree w. their politics, perhaps vehemently so, but they do have humanity, thank God.

        2. Everyone has excuses – some allow the the occupation through apathy, some support it because of ignorant hate. Some do it for political gain, some for money. Some live in ariel cause it’s cheap, some live in modi’in elit for the haredi atmosphere. Some serve the idf cause they have to, some don’t know any better.

          Only the extreme settlers (like itamar) have no excuse. They are the men on the ground. Leading the charge. And they love it.

        3. @ Y
          “And the leaders from the Palestinian side (some of whom based their academic careers/titles on clear antisemic work)”
          Nothing on your own politicians’ anti-Arab writings ? What do you say, Yvette can’t write. Oh, I should have known.

          Did you just read that on CAMERA’s or MEMRI’s website ?
          I guess one of the persons that you’re accusing is Mahmoud Abbas who actually wrote his thesis on Zionism in the Moscou Patrice Lumumba University.. Serious references, please, just so we don’t consider it another cheap Hasbara comment.

          1. Der Yassi, i actually mentioned the leaders from both sides as being responsible for the ever-growing hatered in our region. I dont know what “CAMERA” is, and read MEMRI maybe once. The info about abu mazen work is from wikipedia, where its stated its considered by some critics anti jewish due to holocaust diminishing/denying claims.
            I remember reading similar claims about other palestinian leaders as well, and somehow it doesnt surprise me, as denying the holocaust/ diminishing it seems to be a standart way to explain why zionism is not a legitime movement (saw iranian leaders making such claim more than once, for example).

            I dont know if israeli politicans have “anti-arab writings”.
            I know i didnt study about der yassin in school, and the official version of the nakba i got was “Arabs left palestine.” (the term “nakba” wasnt ever mentioned, if u wondered).

            The bottom line is, im not here to make “cheap hasbara comments”. Israeli kids most certanly dont study / know enough about the history of the conflict, but i dont have any reason to think its different on the palestinian side, and as i said – i can only blame our leaders , and not 12 years old kids who’ve been raised to hate.

          2. @ Y
            You’re maybe not here to “make cheap Hasbara statements” (I’m sorry if I were rude) but you still claimed “the leaders from the Palestinian side (some of whom based their academic careers/titles on clear antisemitic works)”.

            Now you say that you only know that from Abu Mazen’s wikipedia-entry “where it’s stated its considered by some critics …” and “I remember reading similar claims about other Palestinian leaders”.

            Well, that are serious sources. You didn’t judge his work by yourself, did you ?
            And if I understand your comment correctly: being a anti-Zionist is being anti-semitic ? Well, I’m an anti-Zionist … You’re saying that if Palestinians don’t approve Zionism – a movement of national liberation from a Jewish point of view – responsible of their ethnic cleansing and the establishment of a Jewish State on their land, then you’re an antisemite ?? You’re asking the Palestinians to love the spade that’s dicking their grave ?

            CAMERA is a pro-Israeli neocon group that’s lobbying the American media and they’ve been involved in controversies, trying to place their members on the wikipedia editing council. That’s why you – or rather I – should always be careful with wikipedia when it comes to Israel/Palestine and verify the sources . The Yesha Council is also giving courses on how to edit wikipedia.

            http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=CAMERA
            http://electronicintifada.net/downloads/pdf/080421-camera-wikipedia.pdf
            http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9474.shtml

      4. Duck, I believe there is an explanation for everything. There is an explanation behind this murder. There is an explanation behind settlers’ violence. There is an explanation behind the 12-year-old’s hate. All are victims of many things. Because I also sometimes experience hateful feelings, I understand her hate, the settlers’ hate and the Palestinians’ hate. These people are no monsters, no aliens, they are human, because hate is part of human experience and has its causes.

        Therefore let’s attempt not do judge all of them personally, but to judge their actions.

        You shed no tears for the murdered family. You advocate murder based on opinion. You say that the Palestinians have the right to kill as part of their fight. But unless one side stops killing, this cycle of violence will never stop. Violence has to stop. It leads nowhere. It begets further violence.

        1. I wish the palestinians didn’t exercise this right – no good will come of it. But non-the-less, they have the right to kill their oppressors.

          And please don’t compare arab victimhood to settler victimhood.

      5. Duck, why do you serve in the IDF, holding the views that you do? I don’t understand how you reconcile being in an occupation army with your anti-occupation views.

          1. Yes, but you could refuse to serve.

            I know it’s not an easy choice to make, and I don’t mean to sound reproachful or belligerent at all – had I been born and raised in Israel, there is every chance that I would have served too. (I really hope not, but whenever I see the soldiers at the checkpoint – especially when they’re behaving badly, as they were today – I can never escape the thought that brought up as they were, I would probably be one of them.) But you are unusually strong in your views, and I have met refuseniks who are less committed than you are.

          2. Well maybe I don’t have the guts to go to jail. Not to mention the price payed later in life. Also, not the whole IDF works in occupation. I managed to find a place that isn’t too morally objectionable.

            Poor excuses, but that’s the way it is.

          3. The consequences later in life are horrible and they’re the things that would put me off if I were in your position. As for prison, I look at people who have been hurt by their service in some way (I’ve met a few ex-soldiers who are in a lot of mental/emotional distress) and sometimes I wonder what would have been easiest for them, prison or the route they chose. Both are difficult, but the former is perhaps less so, at least for them. Your comments about Itamar make me wonder the same thing about you.

            I disagree with the idea that not the whole IDF works in occupation. Even if people are serving in Israel itself and never set foot in the OPT, they’re still part of the machinery and they’re still enabling occupation/the militarization of society. But you know this. On the positive side, I’d rather occupied Palestinians encountered soldiers like you than anybody else.

            Prayers for you, Duck. Hopefully one day soon there will be no more occupation and no more conscription.

          4. “what would have been easiest for them, prison or the route they chose”

            Big question. In retrospect, I’m leaning towards prison.

            “I disagree with the idea that not the whole IDF works in occupation”

            As I said, a poor excuse.

            “Prayers for you, Duck. Hopefully one day soon there will be no more occupation and no more conscription.”

            Thanks and amen.

          5. Duck, would it be all right if I had your e-mail address? I’d quite like to talk to you at more length, if that’s OK. (And feel free to say no.)

          6. [good idea not to publish your e mail address here. I’m happy to share e mail addresses among readers as long as both parties agree to the exchange.]

    5. Richard – I cannot understand how you could not at least threaten Duck with moderation for his vile views and language. You have often banned comments and commentators for less, and here I feel you should have used your discretion better.

      You may of course rightly reply that it’s your blog and you fix your rules, but if you wish to have any form of dialogue here with opposing views aired openly and intelligently there have to be boundaries to both ends of the spectrum and not just on the right side.

      Saying merely that you don’t agree with Duck is not enough for me to feel I can continue to participate in this forum with people who until now I respected even though often disagreed with.

      I thank you and your fellow commentators for the “hachnasat orhim” (guest welcoming) that you offered until now, but a guest should always feel when he has overstayed his welcome.

      Good luck, maybe we’ll meet one day at the signing of the one-state-solution.

      1. @ Shmuel)
        Come on, don’t act as a puritanical Protestant :-))
        I also think Duck went too far in his ‘rationalizing’ of killing innocent children – even if the 12-years old is a brainwashed Taliban ;-(
        Still, he’s not spewing Hasbara, but expressed a very personal point of view, and I think the fact he’s an Israeli plays in his favor. To feel like that shows that he probably doesn’t sleep well at night, contrary to others – that I won’t mention – who seems not to have the courage to confront the reality. I’m thinking of people who pretend that the Israeli judicial system is unbiased….
        Richard has explained why he accepted this comment. Why don’t you challenge Duck instead of leaving. I guess he’s not even a one-stater ….
        You’re the only Israeli one-stater around (though I hardly understand why, but if you leave I won’t get the opportunity to ask you, though I guess you’re the Moshe Arens-type one-stater) so, please, min fadlak, don’t leave us.

        1. I am too a one-stater. I’m hoping for a federal solution, but even a regular one-state would be better than the joke that is two states.

          1. @ Duck)
            God bless you, though YOU might not believe in HIM. I’m very happy to hear.

          2. Thanks.

            I believe in a god that loves me even when I love other men. Your god, I’m afraid, like the killer’s god and the settler’s god, has serious failings in this department.
            Which has nothing and everything to do with the matter at hand.

          3. @ Duck)
            I have a rather ‘utilitarian’ relationship with God. I once saw someone with a t-shirt saying “God is a Black female gay”. That’s fine with me. God IS love. And you’re right, it has everything to do with the matters discussed here: some people think they have a privileged relationship with God and know exclusively what HE wants.

      2. I’m sorry to hear this. You make for good conversation, and you hold valuable knowledge.

        I realise the gravity of what I said. Many people with my views would have a hard time accepting it. It is difficult for me to hold myself and people I care about as legitimate targets for violence. But it is a truth that we, as occupiers and oppressors, have to face.

        And you know what? I have no sympathy for settlers. I really don’t.

        Btw, to be fair, richard warned me quite a few times in the past. I think it’s sort of a given at this point 😛

      3. Oh please. I’ve allowed many commentators from both sides of the political fence make points with which I strongly disagreed. I published a comment once from a pro settler who called for hanging Ehud Olmert if he made territorial compromise with the Palestinians. Your protestations ring hollow. You withdraw fr. the field when something is published you don’t like. But if you read the type of comment I just mentioned you’d disagree but never stop reading . It’s your choice & I can’t stop you, but you’re being hypocritical.

    6. “They are legitimate targets. Very much so. Everyone living in Itamar is guilty of terrible, horrible crimes against humanity…..Death is fitting penalty……I’m glad they didn’t die in their sleep….Yes, killing children is always wrong. But the killers here are, shall we say, “exempt”.

      Shame on you,NOBODY who does not have blood on his hands or who does not intend to murder or to cause others to murder,under NO circumstance, deserves to be murdered,neither Palestinian nor Jew.
      Have you no compassion for the pain that is felt in Israel because of these senseless murders.
      Yes,the Palestinians suffer but not because anybody in Israel deliberately wants them to suffer (for the most part).
      Yes,the occupation of Yehuda & Shomron is a losing proposition for Israel and is causing suffering.
      Israel only wants one thing from it’s Arab neighbors….safe borders…be they 1967 borders or otherwise…is that so much to ask.

      1. “Yes the Palestinians suffer but not because anybody in Israel deliberately wants them to suffer (for the most part)”

        How then do you explain that Palestinians are killed at a ratio greater than 10 to 1?

        How about “Yes the Israelis suffer but not because anybody in Palestine deliberately wants them to suffer (for the most part)”?

        As for your claim that Israel only wants one thing from its Arab neighbors… safe borders….
        Would that it were so. Sadly it’s patently clear that Israel wants much more: all of the land and resources belonging to Palestine.

        I’m sick and tired of zionists whining: “If Israel moved every soldier and settler from Palestinion land, would the Palestinians stop killing us?” I say it’s pretty certain they would. They are just fed up with the occupation which is a cover for continued land theft and subjugation.

        As for wanting peace, it has been clear for a long time that only one side truly wants peace: the Palestinians. Israel thrives on the occupation. It gets to flaunt its military might, steal more and more land, water and other resources, and annihilate more palestinians with little risk of Israeli casualties.

        But Israel seems to recognize that the natives (literally) are getting restless. Encouraged by what’s been happening in other areas of the Middle East and North Africa, it could be just a matter of a short time before the Palestinians rise up against their oppressors in an effort to throw off the chains of occupation. Time for a no-fly zone over Gaza and the West Bank. Time for Israelis to all go back to Israel – every soldier and every settler. The clock is ticking, and the Palestinians know they have nothing to lose because Israel will never willingly give them their freedom.

      2. You are either ignorant or a liar. Israel doesn’t want “safe borders” because it has never designated its borders. It certainly has explicitly refused 1967 borders even if they were to be safe, as the PA & even Hamas have guaranteed. So please don’t take us for fools. Either we know Israel’s history far better than you or you’re deliberately distorting the truth. Either way, I find it offensive intellectually and rhetorically. State the truth, even if it isn’t convenient to yr argument.

        Of course Israelis deliberately want Palestinians to suffer. They kill them virtually every week & I’m speaking of civlians, not militants. “For the most part” is a convenient “out” for you, but it won’t work. Tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians have died over the decades. These deaths not only were “senseless murders” but in many cases just as deliberate as the Itamar killings.

      3. “NOBODY who does not have blood on his hands”

        Itamar settlers have blood on their hands, they murder, they call for murder. Practicaly their whole lives are dedicated to the slow destruction of an entire nation. They have olympic pools of blood around their hands.

        “Have you no compassion for the pain that is felt in Israel because of these senseless murders”

        No.

        “Israel only wants one thing from it’s Arab neighbors”

        Yes. To die, or atleast go away.

  8. It might be expected that the extreme right-wing in Israeli society would view these tragic events as proof, if proof were ever needed, of the irreconcilable differences between themselves and their Palestinian
    counterparts. And, indeed, they may have some cause to be so disposed.
    There are those at both ends of the religious and political divide that regard the other side as, virtually, the spawn of Satan, worshippers of the very darkest of forces or, if not quite that, then as minions of an evil empire, implacably opposed to all that is good and holy in the sight of God and Man. But then it’s always quite amazing to see how much violence and discord can be linked to philosophies preaching love and compassion for all of humanity.

    The brother of Udi Fogel has made his wishes known. He does not want the deaths of this family to be used as a tool for further bloodshed, to be a crime that drives away the hope that, someday, no more such pain and anguish will be visited upon anyone else. This is such an admirable sentiment and it should be honoured by everyone who hears or reads about it.

    Other tragedies, of similar or even greater magnitude may, even now, be advancing down the pipeline of time. And when they arrive, will they bring with them the same set of responses? Anger, sadness, resignation, another failure to communicate, a widening of the already yawning chasm between the two communities? In all probability, these will be among many such sentiments to be felt. And, perhaps, with darker deeds to follow.

    But where then does the madness end? What is there that can impose its will upon impulses that are too deep-seated, too long-standing ever to be reduced to anywhere near a tolerable level?

    A sword, it must be remembered, may be double-edged. It can be made to cut both ways. If all swords could be so constructed to cause injury not only to the victim but be even more devastating to the assailant, the capacity for violence and the continuation of conflict would soon be reduced to displays of almost token symbolism.

    In such a setting, the serious business of finding a peaceful settlement might well prove far less of an uphill struggle.

    Could it be that the right tool for this job is one that’s been overlooked from the very beginning? Perhaps it’s time we all started to sharpen that other edge of the sword.

    1. Perhaps it’s time we all started to sharpen that other edge of the sword.

      But that is exactly what’s been happening for decades. Palestinian suicide bombings in their days came almost invariably after some Israeli transgression – an assassination or some colonial-style punitive expedition, and Israel for its part follows suit with collective punishment, more assassinations, etc. What else is this but the sharpening of that other edge of the mutual other’s sword? Are you really suggesting more of the same?

      As for me, I couldn’t agree more with Yossi Gurvitz:

      There is only one viable way to end the conflict: Non-violent Palestinian resistance. It drives Israel crazy.

      http://972mag.com/the-itamar-victimization-dance-is-disgusting

      1. “There is only one viable way to end the conflict: Non-violent Palestinian resistance. It drives Israel crazy.”

        There is, and it does. Palestinians have been resisting non-violently for years. And for years it was getting them killed and nobody outside Palestine and sometimes Israel knew anything about it. So the world bought into the hasbara that Israel was a tiny defenseless state surrounded by enemies who wanted to drive all the Jews into the sea, yadda yadda yadda.

        At the beginning of the current intifada, internationals rallied to the call of ISM. Together with a few concerned Israelis they began witnessing and reporting the crimes that had been going on for years in occupied Palestine.

        Non violent protest is still widely practised in Palestine; the difference is that Israel can no longer hide details of either the actions that prompt the resistance or of the non-violent civilian Palestinians it kills or maims.

        And settlers, many of whom have terrorized Palestinian villagers and farmers for decades, have been exposed for what they are and do.

      2. No, fiddler, it’s not THAT edge of the sword I mean. That one, I suspect, is sharp enough already.

        I want all of US to sharpen ourselves, to realise that within US, people much like you and I, there exists the potential to end so much of this type of madness.

        You say that Palestinian non-violence protest will bring about changes to what has always been, and for generations, a hostile and bloody confrontation between two diametrically opposed camps. Maybe you will be proved right in the long run. But I would argue that the long run can be a problem in itself. I just don’t think there is sufficient time to allow us the luxury of waiting for a result.

        It has to be forced upon all the combatants here. And, in many ways, that would be the best result of all. Why?

        Because it says that WE human beings, not just Jews or Muslims, not Israelis or Palestinians, but WE all have decided to end this matter once and for all. And in the best possible way we know how.

        You’ll have to click on my name at the top this comment to see how that can be done. Like all problems of this nature, the solution is, for the most part, really quite a simple one.

  9. It is so obvious that Duck is a show off. He is being the contrarian son cause he is an immature kid. Why even dignify his stupid teenage braggadocio? Saying shocking things for effect is what kids do. In the meantime, Richard , you are being criticized on some blogs for allowing this crap. It taints you too. Not that I care of course.

    1. Omigod, I’m being criticized at Jewlicious, Isreallycool & the like for imagined sins. I can’t tell u how deeply this hurts me because I so value their good opinion of me. Tainted–oh the pain, the suffering. It cuts to the quick. Do please tell us where I’m being criticized so we can all share a good laugh together (except you, who won’t be laughing).

      You don’t know who Duck is & certainly don’t know his age. Also, yr claim regarding his immaturity is ad hominem & a red herring.

      Follow my comment rules & take this very seriously.

    2. I am so telling my mommy on you.

      Besides, it’s you who is the braggadocio anyway.

      Actually, “shocking things” is what I heard and saw being done to arabs that made me loose any sort of humanity when it comes to settlers.

  10. And if I understand your comment correctly: being a anti-Zionist is being anti-semitic ?

    Nope, not what i said. i quoted wikipedia +- with exactly what they said. “sme critics claim abu mazen works is anti jewish due to holocaust diminishing claims”.
    Holocaust denial of any kind is antisemitism for me, yes, and it has nothing to do with being anti zionist.
    You can explain why ur anti zionist in a plenty of ways, without making claims about jews faking numbers of holocaust victims.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Other_Side:_the_Secret_Relationship_Between_Nazism_and_Zionism

    This article seems pretty objective to me, i dont think any “settler editors” changed this. Im guessing you read his work. He didnt write what they quote there? He didnt claim a murder of 6 million jews was a “fantastic lie”?

    I frankly dont see what we’re arguing about. Do u think/know an average kid in gaza or west bank knows what “holocaust” is? As ive already said, the average israeli kid doesnt know what “nakba” is, and this is where the proble mstarts. education on both sides.

  11. @ Y)
    No, I didn’t read Mahmoud Abbas’ thesis on Zionism, but I didn’t say anything about it either. You did, and you haven’t read it. You only have informations from a biased ‘wikipedia’-page.

    “This article seems pretty objective to me”.
    Well, well ! I’ll just mention some of the sources that I know to be notorious Hasbaristas. Check them if you don’t believe me:
    1) Itamar Marcus (twice), founder of “Palestinian Media Watch”: right-winged settler from Efrat and well-known Islamophob. He wrote a book on the Islamic danger to the West. Can’t remember the name
    2) MEMRI
    3) Efraim Karch
    4) Efraim Karch once more, writing for Middle East Quarterly, neo-con think-tank founded by Daniel Pipes. Do you know Daniel Pipes ??
    5) Arutz Sheva
    7) Anti-Defamation League

    Couldn’t be more objectice !! Do you get all your knowledge about the Palestinians from wikipedia ?

    It’s not about “any settler editors changed this”. Everybody has the right to edit and correct a wikipedia entry. Someone used Itamar Marcus and “Palestinian Media Watch” as a source, and if that isn’t a propagandist, then I don’t know what it is.

    I’ve been through the “Palestinians don’t know the Holocaust ve Israelis don’t know the Nakba” discussion before. So just shortly: I think it’s worse that the Israelis don’t recognize the Nakba than Palestinians not knowing the Holocaust. I’ll explain: the Palestinians have absolutely no responsability for the Holocaust and it happened on another continent. The fact that the Holocaust has been used to justify the creation of the State of Israel on Palestinian land, and the opposition to Israel often described as pure antisemitism is also a reason why Palestinians are fed up with the Holocaust.
    I’m sorry, I don’t want to shock you, but I’m trying to explain.
    The Nakba, on the contrary, was caused by Zionism, it was necessary for the creation of a Jewish State, and the Nakba thus have a direct influence on the Palestinian/Israeli relationship.

    1. I still dont see where the problem is. There are quotes on this link from different sources, like haaretz and the guardian. We both didnt read the book itself, so i dont see any reason to assume whats written there is not true (even if the source is “pure hasbara” for you – im not sure you’re that objective either).
      Heres another article which mentions this, and similar issues : http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1570116-2,00.html

      Yuo yourself write that palestinians are “fed up with the holocaust” and that they dont know about it, so why does it not make sense to u abu mazen wrote what its claimed he wrote?

      Your explanatin doesnt shock me. There are just two paths here. One – each side denies the other sides right to live here, by making all kinds of cliams (holocaust deniyng, denying the connection between jews and this land, denying palestinians even lived here before the 20 century).
      Two – both sides realise teaching their kids why the opposite side should not be here is not such a good idea.

      Palestinians are not responsible for the holocast, but learning about it might explain to them why jews have choosen to come to palestine 60 years ago (where they werent exactrly the most wanted guests even before 1948)

      1. I want to stop arguing over Mahmoud Abbas’s dissertation right now & yr attempt to prove he’s a Holocaust denier. It’s completely off topic, a red herring & utterly irrelevant to anything. If you don’t understand why the sources used in the Wikipedia article are distorted & propagandistic we’re not going to teach you here. Just end the discussion & get back on topic.

        1. i didnt attempt to prove anything to anyone. My only claim throughout this post was that children shouldnt be taught to hate.
          I didnt even bring abu mazen as an conecrete example untill was asked to do so by der yassin, who claims palestinians are “fed up” with the holocaust, and yet, refuses to believe abu maze ncould have written aynthing on that subject.

          If you dont understand you or der yassin are not the owners of the objective knowledge of the world – i cannot teach you anything else either. I dont think the writers on “Time”, “Guarding”, “Haaretz” are all working for the mighty hasbara, but u of cousre can remain convinced otherwise.

          As it happens so oftenm u or one of ur friends make claims u fail to backup with anything, and u contradict urself throughout ur responses, and as always in such cases this ends with u benig extremly rude. You should really learn minimal derech erez, Richard, or ask someone whos not so nervous / angry to re-read ur replys before u post them.

          and duck, israeli schools AND academy actually teach some german history, but u probably missed those history lessons for some reason.

          1. @ Y)
            “I didn’t even bring Abu Mazen as an concrete example until was asked to do so by Deïr Yassin, who claims Palestinians are “fed up” with the Holocaust, and yet, refuses to believe Abu Mazen could have written anything on that subject”
            That’s rewriting history (of my comments).
            YOU were the one who wrote in your intial comment that “there is much hate on both side” ….”and the leaders from the Palestinian side (some of whom based their academic career/titles on cleear antisemic work”.

            YOU are the one to prove your statements, and I suggested Aby Mazen, because I’ve heard that hundred of times before by people who’ve never read his work. I’m not saying that he didn’t diminish the numbers of the Holocaust victims. Fortunately we’re not asking you for other examples “that you remember that you have read elsewhere” ….
            Well, I remember having read dozens of Israeli politicians not only diminishing, but simply denying the Nakba.

            And I’m “fed up” with Israelis anathematizing the Palestinians with the magic word “anti-semitic”. Fed up. Denying the Nakba is revisionism, too.

          2. Israeli schools teach very little german history. Mostly about german unification and the world wars.

            They most certainly do not teach anything that could even remotely excuse the holocaust, in the way you seem to expect palestinian teachers to excuse the nakba.
            Imagine israeli teachers teaching that the now annihilated jewish communities in germany were sitting on ancient historical german lands. More to the point, imagine jewish teachers teaching this DURING the holocaust.

        2. I don’t know how relevant it is, but I have researched the Holocaust in Poland and the Ukraine. From the E. European standpoint (whether Jewish or non-Jewish), the Holocaust just looks different from the standard Jewish Zionist propaganda narrative to which we are subjected in the USA.

          Soviet leaders had good reason to favor “a collective, nationalistic interpretation of war” that denied a specific Judeocentric interpretation of the mass murder on the Eastern front.

          Christopher Browning writes in The Origins of the Final Solution on pp. 244-5.

          From the beginning, Germany adopted a policy of terror that, though foreshadowed in earlier plans for this war of destruction, gathered momentum over time. Already by the end of 1941, the death toll among noncombatants was devastating. Between 500,000 and 800,00 Jews, including women and children, had been murdered — on average 2,700 to 4,200 per day — and entire regions were reported “free of Jews.” While many Jewish communities, especially in rural areas, were targeted later, the murder of Soviet POWs reached its climax in this early period. In the fall of 1941 [before mass murder of Jews became German Nazi policy], Red Army soldiers were dying in German camps at a rate of 6,000 per day; by the spring of 1942, more than 2 million of the 3.5 million Soviet soldiers captured by the Wehrmacht had perished. By the time of their final withdrawal in 1943/44, the Germans had devastated most of the occupied territory, burned thousands of villages, and depopulated vast areas. Reliable estimates on total Soviet losses are difficult to arrive at; a figure of at least 20 million seems likely.

          I provide more detail in http://eaazi.blogspot.com/2009/10/holocaust-gentile-deaths-dont-count.html .

          Note that Israeli Zionist Holocaust propaganda differs from American Jewish Zionist Holocaust propaganda, and among other things focuses much more heavily on the possibility of a Zionist rescue if only Palestinians had recognized the legitimacy of Zionist goals.

          1. BTW, in terms of evaluating German Nazi policies toward Jews and Zionist policies toward Palestinians, the following article from the Forward is definitely worth reading: http://forward.com/articles/135484/ .

            On the basis of primary Zionist literature, Nuremberg Tribunal law, and the writings of Rafael Lemkin, I have no doubt that the European scholars are correct in their evaluation of the Nakba.

          2. Did u even read what you’ve typed?
            WTF does the number of killed russians vs killed jews on a daily average has to do with anything? Have u considered there were more russians than jews world-wide to start with?
            Your blog is a ridiculous joke with terms like “jeudo-bolsheviks”, which suits obvious idiots and antisemites like Soljenitzin, but i guess you’re considered a very credible source for richard, as ur both – a jew, and anti zionist – or “100% pro palestine as u define yourself”.

            For starters you should learn / read if those “jeudo bolsheviks” you’re talking about CARED for their judaism. The answer would be a simple no, which means their nationallity had little to do with their faith in the marxist theories, but im guessing its way cooler to be a jew who writes a blog against “jeudo bolsheviks” than actually learning your material before spitting it on the web.

          3. Joachim Martillo is not a “source” for this blog any more than you are. So watch the snark. I don’t broadcast his theories here & I’ve spoken to him before about what I will or won’t allow spoken here. As long as he follows the comment rules he’s as welcome as you are.

            I have no interest in promoting a flame war between the two of you so if that’s what you’re about take it elsewhere.

          4. American Israeli Jews indoctrinate themselves with a lot of nonsense and falsehoods about E. European Jews. In terms of reality disconnect, this false history differs in no way from Zionist propaganda about the creation of the State of Israel in the 1947-48 theft of Palestine from the native population.

            There are careful scholars like Columbia Professor Michael Stanislawski, who are worth reading about E. European Jews. In Zionism and the Fin de Siecle, pp. 184-197 addresses Jabotinski’s mistranslation of Bialik’s poem In the City of Slaughter. In Itamar we see that Jabotinski’s followers are still slavishly following Jabotinski’s program.

      2. While we are all educational and understanding, maybe we should get israeli schools to teach students about the german people’s connection to german lands. That should really help jews understand “living space”.

        Can you really imagine a school teacher trying to explain to children why the occupier has to oppress them??

  12. The killings were so likely to provoke blind fury and disproportionate revenge attacks on Palestinians, that it’s safe to assume that they were intended to.

    The sacrifice of several innocent Muslim families was inherent in the slaughter of the Jewish one. That does not make it a wise move to respond to the button being pressed in precisely the anticipated manner.

  13. Upon reading the article by Mr. Silverstein, two thought come to my mind. The first describes my thoughts concerning the vocabulary and ideology behind them, Disgusting. The second is that this article and the thoughts behind many of the posters supporting it would fit very comfortably in “Der Sturmer.” I will be reccommending toothers that they read this. It is good to know ones enemies.

    1. How nice. Mazel tov on publishing your first comment at Tikun Olam, which may also be yr last. I can’t count how many comment rules you’ve violated. Your next violation of the rules will send you into oblivion. Read them.

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