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Russian Military Elite honors Zachary Baumel in a grand memorial ceremony DEBKAfile
Apr 4, 2019 @ 15:24 Binyamin Netanyahu, Russian defense ministry ceremony, Russian-Israel relations, Vladimir Putin, Zachary Baumel

A special memorial ceremony for the missing Israeli soldier Zachary Baumel took place at the Russian Defense Ministry on Thursday, April 4, led by Russian Chief of Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov in the presence of visiting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. This was the first known instance of the Russian High Command conducting a military ceremony with full trappings in honor of a foreign serviceman. Baumel had been missing for 37 years since the First Lebanon War until his remains were recovered and returned to Israel by the Russian army on Wednesday.

DEBKAfile's military sources note that the exceptional honor awarded by the Russian high command to Israel and its defense forces marks the strengthening of ties between Moscow and Jerusalem and their armed forces. It also ends their disagreement over the downing of the Russian IL20 spy plane over Syria last September.

A guard of honor and Gen. Gerasimov in person greeted Netanyahu, who doubles as defense minister, and his companions at the gate of the defense ministry, when they arrived from talks with President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin.

At the start of their conversation, Putin stressed that Zachary Baumel's remains were found by Russian troops "with Syrian assistance" at the Yarmouk camp near Damascus, once occupied by Palestinian refugees. He promised that Russia would keep on searching for the two Israeli soldiers who went missing with Baumel, the late Yehuda Katz and Zvi Feldman. Conspicuous at the memorial ceremony was a casket containing Baumel's last personal possessions. It was wrapped in an Israeli flag and flanked by two rows of Russian soldiers in full dress uniform. One held his photo. Netanyahu placed a wreath on the casket, before thanking Gen. Gerasimov: "This demonstration of honor and the sympathy of comrades-at-arms warms the heart and vindicates the principle that we must never leave anyone behind." Zachary Baumel is to be laid to rest in Israel on Thursday night.

Israeli spacecraft makes complex lunar capture as it prepares for moon landing Israel Hayom

A week before its anticipated lunar landing, Beresheet makes complex maneuver in order to orbit the moon. Israel hopes to become fourth country to make soft landing. by Ilan Gattegno , Niv Lilien Published on 2019-04-04 18:12 Last modified: 2019-04-04 18:34

Israeli spacecraft makes complex lunar capture as it prepares for moon landing Beresheet performs a maneuver after being launched | Photo: SpaceIL

The Israeli spacecraft Beresheet reached a critical milestone on Thursday after it successfully entered the moon's orbit.

The complex maneuver to enter the moon's gravity, called lunar capture, was particularly important, as it was key to making a soft landing on the moon, scheduled for April 11.

Earlier this week, Beresheet ("In the beginning," the Hebrew name for the Book of Genesis) passed Earth for the final time.

If the mission succeeds, Israel will become the fourth country to make a soft landing on the moon, after the Soviet Union, the United States and China.

The Beresheet mission was originally part of the Google Lunar XPrize competition and even made the final cut before the contest ended last year without a winner.

The organizers decided to press ahead on their own, and the project – which cost around 100 million dollars – was financed largely by philanthropists Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson together with SpaceIL President Morris Kahn, as well as other donors from around the world.

The Adelson family owns the company that is the primary shareholder in Israel Hayom. Dr. Miriam Adelson is the publisher of Israel Hayom.

Farrakhan: Jesus was 2,000 years too early to destroy the Jews Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan claims to be Jesus here to complete mission 'to end the civilization of the Jews' in video.

Gary Willig, 04/04/19 21:19

Louis Farrakhan
Louis FarrakhanREUTERS

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan claimed to be Jesus and that he would fulfill Jesus' mission of destroying the Jewish civilization in a newly revealed video.

Speaking at a 'Savior's Day event in February, Farrakhan said that "God does not love this world. God never sent Jesus to die for this world. Jesus died because he was 2,000 years too soon to bring about the end of the civilization of the Jews. He never was on a cross, there was no Calvary for that Jesus."

"The real story is what I tried to tell you from the beginning. It didn't happen back there. It's happening right while you're alive looking at it," Farrakhan continued. "I represent the Messiah. I represent the Jesus and I am that Jesus. If I am not, take my life."

The Nation of Islam leader further claimed that he made deaf hear and dumb speak. "When I made the call in 1995 to Black people, with the Million Man March, that was like Jesus calling Lazarus and Lazarus came forth."

"Some of you do today reject because the white man told you I'm an evil man, I'm a hater, I'm an anti-Semite. I hate Jewish people, I hate gay people. Here I am in front of you. I represent the Jesus that saves. I don't represent somebody that came to judge you and me for our errors and mistakes…Everywhere I went I found myself rejected. My black people, they accepted me. But now white people are frightening the hell out of black people. College presidents are punished for allowing me or anyone that represents me to come on the college campus because they fear what's in my mouth from my teacher the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

Farrakhan also praised freshmen Congresswomen Ilan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, saying that Omar had "nothing to apologize for" after she drew controversy with a series of anti-Semitic comments.

Farrakhan has a long history of anti-Semitic statements. In 1984 he praised Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and derided Judaism as a gutter religion.

In the intervening 35 years, Farrakhan has since accused American Jews of being part of the "Synagogue of Satan", compared Jews to termites, warned of the eventual annihilation of whites, claimed that white people were artificially created by a mad scientist and calling them only "potential humans", accused "the Jews" of helping Adolf Hitler "get the Third Reich on the road" and last year led a chant of "Death to Israel, Death to America" during a visit to Tehran.

Anti-Semitism, Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam

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`Post' poll predicts easy win for Right - Israel News - Jerusalem Post

Jerusalem Post Israel News

Survey says rotation hurts Blue and White.

BY GIL HOFFMAN APRIL 5, 2019 00:00
1 minute read.


Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Benny Gantz (R)
Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Benny Gantz (R). (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Blue and White will get one more seat than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud, but the Right-Center bloc will beat the Left-Center bloc by a wide margin, according to the final Jerusalem Post poll taken by Smith Research ahead of Tuesday's general election.

The poll found that Blue and White will win 28 seats and Likud 27. Twelve more parties would cross the 3.25% electoral threshold.


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But eleven of them, which are predicted to win only four to six seats, could each end up losing them all on Election Day if they don't actually cross the threshold (Labor is expected to be out of danger, with nine predicted seats).

The Right-Center bloc will win 68 seats from Likud (27), Union of Right-wing Parties (6), Shas (6), United Torah Judaism (6), New Right (5), Kulanu (5), Yisrael Beytenu (5), Zehut (4) and Gesher (4).

The Left-Center bloc will win 52 mandates from Blue and White (28), Labor (9), Hadash-Ta'al (6), Meretz (5) and United Arab List-Balad (4).

The poll of 1,097 respondents representing a statistical sample of the Israeli adult population was taken Wednesday and Thursday and had a ±3% margin of error. Recommended videosPowered by AnyClip
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Two other polls broadcast on television newscasts Thursday had different results. A poll broadcast on Channel 12 predicted a four-seat victory for Blue and White over Likud: 30 to 26.

KAN's poll predicted that Likud will barely beat Blue and White, 31 seats to 30. The KAN poll found that if Blue and White leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid decide to forego their rotation agreement, their party would gain three seats to 33 and Likud would fall from 31 to 30, giving Blue and White a three-seat victory.

When asked who was most fit to be prime minister in the Channel 12 poll, 36% responded Netanyahu, 35% Gantz and the rest declined to respond or said they did not know.

Asked whether they favored a national unity government of Blue and White and Likud, 37% said yes and 26% said no. The rest declined to respond or said they did not know.

KAN's poll of 1,290 people representing a statistical sample of the adult Israeli population had a ±2.9% margin of error. Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Tags: Benjamin netanyahu Benny Gantz Elections 2019 Share on facebook Share on twitter

For Israelis abroad, elections start with a scramble for flight tickets
BY      CNAAN LIPHSHIZ  APRIL 2, 2019 7:35 AM
Ben-Gurion Airport
Travelers at Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv in 2018 (Moshe Shai/Flash90)


AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Like many voters in democratic national elections, I almost always hope that whoever is elected will be able to serve out their full term — even if they weren't my pick.

This is especially true in my native Israel, whose infamously brittle coalitions last on average only 2 1/2 years. Early elections there cost billions in polarizing campaigns and present a governance challenge that I see as far more worrisome than having the country run by someone who isn't my cup of tea.

But if I'm honest, my desire for political stability in Israel is tainted by selfishness: I'm one of thousands of Israelis living abroad who, in every election, must fly home on short notice with high costs because our country won't let us vote anywhere else.

In other words, I really wouldn't mind limiting this ordeal to once every four years.

Just as our desire to vote reflects an undying attachment to the country that many of us perceive as an insurance policy, Israel's lack of absentee voting reflects a country's hang-ups about citizens who leave its borders and the Zionist ethos of Israel's founders.

The late Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin famously called leavers "wimpy debris" as late as 1976. The word for leaving Israel in Hebrew is "yerida" – descending — as opposed to "aliyah" – ascending.

Whereas the United States, France, the Netherlands and many other democracies actively encourage expats to participate in elections – expats even have their own constituencies and representatives in the French parliament's lower house – Israel bars its about half a million citizens living elsewhere from voting abroad.

The only ones eligible to vote oversees in Israeli elections are several thousand government envoys.

According to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, about 60 percent of the world's 193 countries allow their citizens to vote abroad. Globalization is only helping to increase this trend, with Belgium, Sweden, Mexico and Panama joining the list in the previous decade. India did so this year.

Netanyahu's is one of several Israeli governments that have tried to promote voting abroad, but a 2015 bill on the matter failed. (Opponents of the idea include Arab lawmakers and many on the left and right of center.)

In Israel, "the first reaction to any political statement by an expat is often not to debate the expat's argument, but their right to even express an opinion," said Eldad Beck, an Israeli journalist based in Berlin. "This mentality needs to go, whether the prime minister stays or not."

Why, then, are we prepared to travel thousands of miles to vote in Israel, where we haven't lived in years? And why do some of us do this, then lazily opt out of voting in the countries where we do make our homes?

Maximillian Marco Katz, an Israeli citizen and activist against anti-Semitism in his native Romania, said he wouldn't make a special trip to vote there, although he will for Israel.

"The truth is, in Romania I was told too often that I don't belong, even though I grew up here," Katz said. "I served in Israel, I fought in Israel. My children are there. I'm a Zionist above all and it's my home, so of course I will vote."

The relatively dramatic nature of just about any Israeli election — it's often a close race with serious security implications — certainly helps attract the devotion of some expat voters.

Merav Shtifman, an Israeli businessman from Amsterdam, will travel to Israel for two days just to vote. She cited her belief that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is implicated in several alleged corruption scandals, is a danger to Israeli society.

"There is no alternative to replacing this ruler," wrote Shtifman, who will vote for Blue and White, the newly formed center-left party led by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, which is neck and neck with Netanyahu's Likud in the polls. "I don't think he cares about what's good for the country, only about his personal survivability [in power.]"

Katz, by contrast, says the allegations against Netanyahu have a minor influence on his decision making, though he has not decided whether to vote for him or for Blue and White.

"I live in a country with many corruption scandals," he said. "I've learned to disregard them until a court hands down a verdict. There's too much risk for manipulation otherwise."

Cnaan Liphshiz
JTA's Cnaan Liphshiz, a Netherlands resident shown in Paris, is one of many native Israeli citizens abroad forced to travel to the Jewish state to vote in elections. (Courtesy of Liphshiz)

Torn and undecided about whom to vote for, Katz says Netanyahu has "elevated Israel to new heights in terms of its international status, economy and security, but neglected vital internal issues like health, socioeconomic gaps and education."

Meital Davidsen, a repeat expat voter from Denmark, will vote Labour not necessarily against Netanyahu, she said, but for its "great legislative work, which corresponds with my values." Like Katz, Davidsen has decided to suspend her verdict on the allegations facing Netanyahu until a court delivers its own.

"It's only fair to give him the right to fight for his name and not be the judge and jury," Davidsen, a mother of one, wrote of Netanyahu in a private Facebook message to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. "Though I never believed in his agenda nor agreed with his way of managing the country, I don't think he is a traitor as others claims. But he lost his way a long time ago."

Beck will fly in to vote for Netanyahu.

"The left has not internalized the lessons of its failed policy of concessions" to the Palestinians, he said. "That makes it dangerous. And Netanyahu and his Cabinet have brought Israel to unprecedented achievements in security and diplomacy. I'm voting to protect it."

Netanyahu's legal woes and unpopularity in the media only strengthen Beck's feeling that "Israel's democracy is under attack" by people, including in the justice system, determined to oust Netanyahu.

Beck is less nonchalant than many other Israeli expats about voting in Europe.

"I basically make a point of participating in every election where I am eligible to vote," said Beck, a dual citizen of Austria and Israel. "The difference is, Austria makes an effort to allow me to vote wherever I am. Israel does not." (Austria allows voting by mail. The Netherlands even allows citizens to empower others to vote for them.)

This time around, I booked my ticket from Amsterdam, where I've been living since 2010, days after the early elections were set for April 9. I've learned that even off season, waiting any longer means forfeiting all hope of finding a direct flight and submitting myself to exorbitant prices for a connection — thanks to other Israelis flying from Amsterdam to Tel Aviv close to the elections.

One of them is my own father, Israel Lifshitz. When elections come around, we often travel together. Sometimes we vote for the same party, other times we don't and sometimes, ridiculously, we travel to effectively cancel each other's vote by picking opposing candidates.

Looking up our designated ballots in Israel, I remembered with a pang of guilt sitting out the 2017 Dutch elections. I had the voting slip ready and then went gardening or something and simply forgot all about it.

As for my dad, who is also a Dutch citizen, well, he chivalrously donates his vote in the the Dutch elections to his wife — she tells him who to vote for. ("We're both lefties, so whatever," as he explains it.)

To my father, the stakes are compellingly higher in Israel because of threats to its security. Yet this time around, security played a marginal role in his electoral choice, I reminded him.

"You're right," he said. "I guess it's all about an emotional attachment that I have over there, but not here." The son of Polish Holocaust survivors, he also regards Israel as a contingency, he said.

As for me, my attachment to Israel is simple: Rising anti-Semitism and xenophobia here and throughout Europe give me little reason to believe that our two small children, whom my wife and I are raising as pro-Israel, pro-American Jews, will feel at home in the Netherlands when they come of age in about 20 years. This belief informs the importance I attach to voting in Israel, a country they might someday call home.

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First ever 2,000-year old Jewish settlement uncovered in Beersheba April 4, 2019

First ever 2,000-year old Jewish settlement uncovered in BeershebaA shard of lamp depicting a menorah found at the site is "probably one of the earliest artistic depictions of a nine-branched menorah yet discovered." (Israel Antiquities Authority/Anat Rasiuk)

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A Jewish settlement dating from the Second Temple period have recently been discovered in Beersheba.


The remains of a Jewish settlement from the Second Temple period have recently been discovered in Beersheba in southern Israel, the first time such findings have been unearthed.

As in multiple previous occurrences in Israel, the exciting discovery was chanced upon and the archaeological excavation was carried out after construction for a new neighborhood near the northern entrance to Beersheba revealed evidence of a 2,000-year-old Jewish community.

The findings revealed Jewish day-to-day life there, including part of an oil lamp decorated with a nine-branched menorah, one of the oldest such discovered by researchers. Limestone vessels used by Jews for reasons of ritual purity, a watchtower and more interesting findings were also found at the dig.

The site, dated to the first century C.E. up until the Bar-Kochba Revolt against the Roman Empire in 135 C.E., also appears to contain underground hidden passageways used by the Jewish rebels.

Dr. Peter Fabian of the Ben-Gurion University in the Negev, and Dr. Daniel Varga of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), said that the "remains of the settlement cover an area of about two dunams and include several structures and installations, such as the foundations of a large watchtower, baking facilities, ancient trash pits and an underground system that was probably used as a Jewish ritual bath (mikveh)."

Signs of a blaze discovered in some of the structures show a crisis that the settlement experienced, probably during the First Jewish Revolt in 70 C.E.

The site is located along the southern border of the ancient kingdom of Judah next to a road that led from Tel Beersheba to the southern coastal plain.

The site's strategic value along the road was probably the reason for the construction of a 10 x 10 meter watchtower, the foundations of which were uncovered in the excavation. The remains of a staircase would have led upwards to the two upper levels that are no longer extant. During the Late Roman period, the stones of the tower were used to construct other nearby buildings.

The special finds uncovered in the excavation included a shard of an oil lamp of a type known as a Jewish "Southern lamp." There was great excitement when the shard was cleaned and its decoration revealed: a nine-branched menorah.

Fabian and Varga explained that "this is probably one of the earliest artistic depictions of a nine-branched menorah yet discovered."

It is interesting to note that of the few lamps found depicting a menorah, these are never seven-branched. This was in accordance with a ruling in the Babylonian Talmud stating that only the menorah in the Temple could have seven branches and thus lamps used in domestic contexts commonly had eight to eleven branches.

Dozens of bronze coins dating to the period of Roman provincial rule were found along the road. Some were minted in Ashkelon and others were minted in cities from throughout the Roman Empire.


Logline: Love and suspense in a time of terror as the Nazi noose tightens around them and their loved ones.


This is a novel of love, friendship, and courage, that follows the timeline of the tightening of the Nazi noose that took place in the Lodz Ghetto in Poland, beginning in 1941, as described in the Chronicle of the Lodz Ghetto, edited by Lucjan Dobroszycki, (Yale University Press, 1984). Some character names are real, while most attributes, conversations, and actions are fictitious since little is known about the authors who wrote this little-known record of the suffering, they and those they loved, experienced. The characters' behaviors and relationships are figments of my imagination, unfortunately, the historical facts are real. These men, hired to record the daily events in the ghetto my parents were among the few who survived of more than 250,000 residents, wanted to survive, love and enjoy life, but sealed off from the rest of the world by barbed wire and armed German guards, they risked all to serve their dictatorial leader, whose actions to save the ghetto are hotly debated even today. Was he a saint who saved the ghetto or the devil who to save himself enslaved others helping their enemy?

Friends and loved ones vanished without explanation, and hope flared and was extinguished by terrible uncertainty and desperation. Of approximately two hundred thousand human beings who suffered in the Lodz ghetto, less than five thousand survived. Two of the survivors were my parents. I dedicate this work to them, the grandparents and relatives I never knew, and all victims of hate and genocide past, present, and future. The Holocaust is not only about Jews during World War 2, but a warning and call for tolerance for everyone. I hope this story till melt your heart, touch your soul and keep you awake at night. I hope it will inspire readers to read the original Chronicle, written under the noses of the Nazis, so we may say:

                                  "Never again to anyone."


An engineer, in love with his much younger wife, is thrilled when he is offered a job working for the mysterious and powerful Chairman of the Jewish ghetto, a sealed-off slum in Poland created by the Nazis as a holding tank for Jews with a purpose known only to them. His joy to be finally employed is tested when he meets the `difficult' men he must work with on a secret task that if discovered by the Nazis working in the same building, will get him expelled to one of their labor camps, or executed. His support for the drastic policies of the Chairman, using his police to brutally enforce German demands, is tested by a young and adventurous coworker and his wife, who now pregnant, sounds as if she's echoing the criticisms of the younger man he introduced to her. As their situation verges from hopeful to horror, the engineer becomes desperate to save his loved ones from the uncertainty of their fate with the Nazi noose tightening. Can anything save the ghetto? Is the Chairman a saint or the devil? What would you do if faced with these life and death decisions? The Devil's Bookkeepers is a love story, a story of friendship, and sacrifice that readers have called "grippingly suspenseful", "an amazing accomplishment", and "it kept me up all night." As one reader said, "This book made me mad…in a good way." BIOGRAPHY of Mark H. Newhouse Mark is a multi-award-winning author of books and stories for children and adults. He was born in Germany to Holocaust survivors. His parents lived through the Lodz ghetto, Auschwitz and Buchenwald, but he lost his grandparents and most of his relatives during the Holocaust, which caused him to devote his career and life to helping children as an award-winning teacher, and with books that feature underdog young heroes overcoming obstacles with intelligence and courage rather than violence. His mysteries, Welcome to Monstrovia; The Case of the Disastrous Dragon; The Case of the Crazy Chickenscratches, are the adventures of a young boy, sent to live with his strange uncle after his parents' divorce, only to find he must become the assistant to the lawyer for mythical monsters and fictional folk in comical cases that could only take place in Monstrovia, a secret sector of the United States where anything can happen. The series has won awards from Readers' Favorite, The Royal Palm Literary Awards of the Florida Writers Association and was voted a Top Ten Children's Book in a Readers Poll. Book 4, The Case of the Killer Knights will be published soon. Teacher of the Year (New York State Reading Association, 1989,) he is state Chairperson for the Florida Writers Association Youth Program and enjoys enjoys helping other authors, parents and children.


The inspiration for The Devil's Bookkeepers was a mysterious accident. I was cleaning out a closet in my office when a book I had placed in the thrift store pile opened. I looked down and saw it was autographed for my mother, an Auschwitz survivor, who never talked about her experiences during the Holocaust with my brother and me. The book was a monster she gave me shortly before she passed away which I never looked at until it opened. I looked at the cover and was surprised to see it was The Chronicle of the Lodz Ghetto, translated and edited by Lucjan Dobroszycki, a mouthful-of-a-name, published by Yale University Press in 1984, about the ghetto my parents had survived.

I began to read the collection of entries, almost all anonymous and brief statements about the daily events in the ghetto. Most of it would have been boring depressing details of their existence, to many readers, but I was getting a timeline of the desperation of the ghetto dwellers who were herded into this slum surrounded by barbed wire and brutal German guards, not knowing it was a holding tank for the Nazis from which more than two hundred thousand Jews were sent to their death. It was the first time in my life I had a sense of what my parents, two of the less than 5,000 survivors of the Lodz ghetto, experienced. It was also my introduction to the mysterious and still controversial Jewish ghetto administrator, Rumkowski, who brutally used his police to enforce German demands and turn the ghetto into a supplier for the enemy.

Bitten by his story and eager to learn more about how my parents survived, I began to research the writers of this incredible account, but soon found there was very little known about them. As Dobroszycki said, they were largely lost in anonymity. Something inside me told me I had to try and capture their story, but it was so out of my league as a children's writer that I decided to do it for my children and grandchildren, as a way to get them to learn about my parents and what they went through. With extensive notes and the Chronicle at my side I began to type and to my amazement, within thirty days, I'd written the first draft of 700 pages of a novel that made me angry, laugh, and cry. When I shared chapters with my writing group, their gasps and eagerness to hear more convinced me that I had to change my mind and share this book, the most challenging and important work of my life, because it touches souls and melts hearts with a very human story of love in a time of terror that is a tribute to the Holocaust victims and survivors, but also a call for tolerance for all people. I decided to publish the book in three suspenseful parts and test it on Readers' Favorite where it received a 5 Star review and was "Highly recommended", and on Kindle, where it is also receiving 5 Star reviews and has been my self-selling book ever. Beta readers have called it "Mark's masterpiece", "Gripping suspense"; "An amazing accomplishment" and reported, "It kept me up all night." I feel grateful I was given the privilege of sharing this story, but honestly, after writing 700 pages in 30 days, I think it was the spirits of the relatives I never knew, who wrote this book for me. As readers have said, it is a story that "will haunt for the rest of their lives.

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