Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

Prominent Australian Jews, including Peter Singer, reject the Israeli right of return

MEDIA RELEASE 3 MARCH, 2010

Today is the national launch of a prominent new Australian initiative that rejects Israel’s automatic right of return for Jews across the world.

Following a recent similar project in the US, 35 distinguished Australian Jews have signed a petition that indicates growing dissent from Zionist policies and dispossession of Palestinian land.

The ongoing occupation of Palestine, the siege on Gaza, the botched Mossad hit in Dubai and violence against Palestinians is encouraging a sea-change in global Jewish opinion towards the state of Israel.

Some of the key signatories include world-renowned ethicist Peter Singer, actor Miriam Margolyes, legendary feminist campaigner Eva Cox, La Trobe University’s Dennis Altman, Monash University’s Andrew Benjamin, Sydney University’s David Goodman and John Docker, legal scholar GJ Lindell, best-selling author and journalist Antony Loewenstein, writers Susan Varga and Sara Dowse, ANU’s Ned Curthoys and many others.

This statement is a direct challenge to the Rudd government’s closeness to Israel and plea for a more balanced approach to the Middle East question.

***

Petition Against the Right of Return to Israel on Behalf of Australian Jews

March 2010

We are Jews from Australia, who, like Jewish people throughout the world, have an automatic right to Israeli citizenship under Israel’s “law of return.” While this law may seem intended to enable a Jewish homeland, we submit that it is in fact a form of racist privilege that abets the colonial oppression of the Palestinians.

Today there are more than seven million Palestinian refugees around the world. Israel denies their right to return to their homes and land—a right recognized and undisputed by UN Resolution 194, the Geneva Convention, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Meanwhile, we are invited to live on that same land simply because we are Jewish, thereby potentially taking the place of Palestinians who would dearly love to return to their ancestral lands.

We renounce this “right” to “return” offered to us by Israeli law. It is not right that we may “return” to a state that is not ours while Palestinians are excluded and continuously dispossessed.

Signed:

Professor Peter Singer – Princeton University
Miriam Margolyes (OBE) – renowned actor
Eva Cox (AO) – National Chair of the Women’s Electoral Lobby.
Professor Dennis Altman – Professor of Politics, La Trobe University
Professor Andrew Benjamin – Monash University
Sara Dowse – writer
GJ Lindell – Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Adelaide
Susan Varga – writer
Antony Loewenstein – writer, journalist, author of My Israel Question
Professor David SG Goodman – Professor of Chinese Politics, University of Sydney
Professor John Docker – Sydney University
Jean McClean – advisor to Vice-Chancellor at Victoria University on East-Timor
Dr Peter Slezak – University of New South Wales
Dr Tony Balint – Blue Horizon Clinic
Dr Ron Witton – University of Wollongong
Dr Ned Curthoys – Australian National University
Dr Rick Kuhn – Australian National University
Dr. Tamas Pataki
Russell Bancroft – Manager Industrial Relations, Government Branch
Alice Beauchamp
Toni Beauchamp
Wendy Crew
Bronwyn Dahlstrom
Nicole Erlich – PhD candidate, University of Queensland
Marshall Harris
David Hermolin
Sylvie Leber
Jeffrey Loewenstein
Stefan Moore
Martin Munz
Vivienne Porzsolt
Joe Rich
Margot Salom
Rene Tsukasov
Nic Witton

29 comments ↪
  • Howard Marosi

    Hi Antony

    Any chance of launching a similar petition for the rest of us Australian Jews to sign?

  • Shaun

    Not very bright are you Howard.  The entire post was about the fact that there is now a petition for Australian "Jews" to renounce their right to return to their ancestral homeland.

  • vaa

    ancestral homeland ????

    Said who, the fairy tale ( Bible) ??

  • Shaun

    Another genius.  Yes Vaa, the Jewish people, religeon, language and culture originated in ancient Israel.  All Jews, wherever they live in the world today, have an ancestral connection to the land of Israel.  Those facts have nothing to do with what is written in the Torah or any other book for that matter. 

  • iResistDe4iAm

    Just like Australia is the ancestral home of the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, Israel (with the Occupied Palestinian Territories) is the ancestral home of the indigenous Palestinians including the Palestinian Jews who comprised only 11% of the population as at the 1922 census*. 

     

    No amount of Zionist lies can change the recorded facts. Lies such as:

    – “A land without a people for a people without a land”

    – “It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist” –  Prime Minister Golda Meir, 1969 

     

    * 1922 Census of Palestine: Reported was population of 757,182 (752,048 excluding the numbers of H.M. Forces), with 78% Muslim, 11% Jewish and 9.6% Christian. 

     

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_British_census

  • Shaun

    Actually 'Palestinians' are not indigenous to Israel – no amount of ignorance will change that fact.  They are the descendants of people who originated in the Arabian peninsula.  Both the language they speak and the religion they follow were brought impoted to the region by colonising Arab hordes in 638AD.  Even the very name "Palestinian" is an invention of foreigners.  As for the 1922 survey, you conviniently ignore the fact that it includes the entire Arab population of what is now Jordan.

  • iResistDe4iAm

    Shaun, 

     

    If you ignore the effects of life, death, disease, cross-breeding, inter-marriage, conflict, politics, assimilation, etc, then the Neanderthal would be the indigenous people of Israel. But unfortunately, there are no pure-bred Neanderthal surviving today. That's life! 

     

    If the Palestinians are not indigenous to Israel/Palestine, then the British are not indigenous to Great Britain. Perhaps the descendants of the Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Danes, Normans, and the rest should follow Israel's lead and ethnically cleanse the British and reclaim Britain as their own. 

     

    Aboriginal Australians are thought to have originally migrated from Southeast Asia, yet all Australians now recognize their legitimate indigenous rights. Nobody is calling for the Aborigines to be transferred to and resettled back in Southeast Asia or even to the birthplace of Homo sapiens, Africa. 

     

    The fact remains that 100% of Palestinians (including Palestinian Israelis) are indigenous to Israel/Palestine, whereas only a minority of Jewish Israelis are indigenous to the same land. 

     

    Jews may have a spiritual connection to Israel, but that spiritual connection does not give them a right to steal the Palestinians' human and ancestral rights, rights that are enshrined in humanitarian and international law.  

     

    You can continue to deny the PALESTINIANS' history and culture if you like. You can deny their very "EXISTENCE" by quarantining them in "so-called" quotes. You can even applaud and make excuses for Israel's denial of the Palestinians' human and ancestral rights in their own homeland. But one thing is certain, the Palestinians are not Neanderthals and they won't be going away, ever.

  • Shaun

    It wouldn't matter if we expelled every Aboriginal from this country in the same way that the Jews were expelled from Judea and Samaria.  In 10, 100 or 1000 years time, the Aboriginal people would still have a legitimate claim to this land as it's true indigenous people.  Australia is the birthplace of their language, culture and religion and no amount of time in the diaspora would weaken entitlement to the land.  The same is true for Jews and Israel.  Arabs will never be indiginous to Israel whereas Jews always will be.

  • iResistDe4iAm

    Who expelled the Jews from Judea and Samaria 2000 years ago?

    Who exterminated 6 million Jews in the Holocaust?

    Why are the Palestinians still paying for crimes that they did not commit?

  • Shaun

    The Shoah has absolutely nothing to do with the Jewish people's entitlement to Judea and Samaria.  The Arabs are squatting on other people's land and trying to steal what the Jews have rightfully reclaimed.

  • iResistDe4iAm

    Why are the Palestinians still paying for crimes that they did not commit?

  • Shaun

    The Arabs were slaughtering Jews in Judea and Samaria long before the Holocaust let alone the establishment of the modern state of Israel. 

  • iResistDe4iAm

    If Israel was created on "a land without a people for a people without a land", then who the hell is Israel occupying & oppressing, blockading & besieging, bunker-buster cluster & phosphorus bombing, collectively punishing, economically strangulating, ghettoizing & impoverishing, arbitrarily imprisoning, torturing, summarily executing, forcibly evicting, bulldozing the homes & farms of, stealing water & land from, restricting the movement of, medically neglecting causing births & deaths at checkpoints, surrounding with impenetrable walls colonies & segregated roads, humiliating & dehumanizing?  

     

    If Israel lied about its founding principle to its own pioneers, what else is Israel lying about?

  • Shaun

    You really need to go away and do some research before coming online to make such ignorant statements.  The oft cited phrase "a land without people for a people without a land" was not a Zionist statement but rather a restorationist Christian idea.  Israel was never "created" on this premise.  For thousand years, Jews in the diaspora longed for the restoration of their homeland – they regarded Judea and Samaria as anything but a land without a people.  It was their land and they were its people.  Please educate yourself.

  • iResistDe4iAm

    If the Romans expelled the Jews from Judea and Samaria 2000 years ago, then why are the Palestinians still paying for crimes that they did not commit?

  • Shaun

    What are you on about with this "paying for crimes" rubbish.  Jews have had a continuous presence in Judea and Samaria for over 3000 years.  The modern State of Israel is only the most recent iteration of Jewish self rule in that area.  There never has been a nation called "Palestine" and if one is created, it will be built on land stolen from the Jews.  Fact.

  • iResistDe4iAm

    Palestinians want the same human rights that Israelis have, but which the Israelis (not the Romans or Crusaders or Ottomans or British) continue to forcibly deny them. 

     

    Are the Israelis more human, or are the Palestinians less human?

  • Shaun

    The 'Palestinians' already have a state – it's called Jordan.  If they don't have rights within their homeland, they should take it up with the Jordanian government who still denies them even the dignity of citizenship in the land in which they were born.  Arab Israeli citizens have all the same rights and privilages as Jewish Israeli citizens.  'Palestinians' living in the former British Mandate of Palestine are treated like animals by the Jordanian government.

  • iResistDe4iAm

    If Jordan is Palestine

    then Israel is Palestine,

    and Lebanon is Syria,

    and Kuwait is Iraq,

    and Bangladesh is Pakistan,

    and Pakistan is India,

    and Taiwan is China,

    and East Timor is Indonesia,

    and Kosovo is Serbia,

    and Serbia is Yugoslavia,

    and Croatia is Yugoslavia,

    and Bosnia and Herzegovina is Yugoslavia,

    and Ukraine is the Soviet Union,

    and Russia is the Soviet Union,

    and so on and so forth…. 

     

    The world is full of people who are quick to volunteer to give away other people's homes, lands and countries, but who never volunteer to give away their own.

    Nice try, but you cannot make the Jordanians (or Lebanese or Egyptians or Iraqis or Kuwaitis or Saudi Arabians or Iranians or any other peoples) pay for Israel's crimes against the indigenous people of Israel.

  • Ray Bergmann

    Even Ben Gurion conceded that the Palestinians were decendants of the seven tribes of Canaanites, and from the the Hebrews and Philistines who invaded Canaan. The New Testament bears witness that there were still people calling themselves Canaanites at the time of Jesus – even though the majority of the country had either voluntarily or forcibly been converted to the religion enforced by Ezra and Nehemia when the Persians supported their campaign to Judaize Canaan. Islam did not become the religion of the majority in Palestine until around the 9th century but even today there still remains a large Christian minority among the Palestinian people. As with Islam, the language of the Arabs spread and by 9th century it had become the dominant language of the region replacing Aramaic that had been the lingua franca previously. The mainstream of Palestinian society (including its Jewish and Christian minorities) became assimilated into the Arabic and Islamic culture, thus the reason for many Palestinian’s intertwined identities like the Nashashibi family with their mix of Muslim, christian and Jewish forebears. The Arabic name Judeh of another prominent (now Muslim) Palestinian family also  shows their original Jewish heritage. Palestinians and Jews are genetically closer to each other than either is to the Arabs of Arabia or to Europeans [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian]. A study of congenital deafness identified an allele limited to Palestinian and Jews of Ashkenazi origin (those who lived in Europe in recent centuries), suggesting a common origin. Furthermore, Y-chromosome polymorphism is very similar among Palestinians and Sephardic Jews. [Ibid].  The DNA of Yemenite Jews is closer to Arabs of South Arabia than to other Jews. The DNA of Morrocan Jews is closer to Berber people than to either Arabs or Jews. Christian Palestinians certainly descended from the ethnic Jewish population of Palestine (as it was known after the Roman conquest). Regardless of their descent however Jews, Christians and Muslims must live together as one people in the Holy Land/Canaan/Israel/Palestine.

     

  • Charles Tyler

    These days I no longer believe in a two-state solution to the problems of Israel-Palestine. This would only cement in place the enormous historical injustice done to the Palestinians by the late colonial movement known as Zionism. Besides it is now a virtual impossibility because of the spread of settlements.

    The reality is that Israel-Palestine is already one country. It just happens to be a country in which one group of people oppresses and humiliates another while stealing their land piece by piece – and crying foul when the victims try to fight back. The central issue is not one state or two – but human rights.

    The holocaust was a tragedy for the Jews. The creation of the modern state of Israel was a tragedy for the Palestinians. Palestinians are quite right to say that they should not be paying now for the crimes committed against Jews in Europe and elsewhere.

    Until Israelis wake up to the reality that the violence they suffer from rockets and bombs is the direct result of their occupation of Palestinian land and the constant humiliation they inflict on the Palestinians there will be no peace.

    Until Palestinians give up the idea of destroying the state of Israel and re-taking the land they lost through violent action there will be no peace.

    All the people who now live in the land have a right to be citizens of all the land and to live in it in peace with their neighbours – their neighbours within a single border – within which all the people have the right to live and work and travel in any part of it – no checkpoints – no security walls – no exclusive settlements.

    The answer to the present impasse is not to divide but to unite – to tear down the walls – physical, legal and mental – which divide the citizens of this single country – and to build a single multi-ethnic secular state for all its people based on respect for human rights and freedom both of and from religion. One person – one vote – one country, and the right of return for all.

    Jews have to give up the idea of having a Jewish state in all the land and Palestinians have to give up the idea of having an Islamic state in all the land. And then, surprise surprise, both Jews and Palestinians can have it all.

    Then, finally, with cooperation and goodwill, the enormous talent and creativity and vitality of both communities can finally flourish. This new re-born state could be a beacon to the world of how to settle conflicts and how people of different faiths and backgrounds can live together in harmony.

    For many centuries in this land Arabs, Jews and Christians and others were able to live in peace together. They can again.

    You may say I'm a dreamer…..

    Book References – just Google them:

    "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" by Ilan Pappe

    "One country" by Ali Abunimah

    "Herzl's Nightmare" by Peter Rodgers

    "Palestine Inside Out" by Saree Makdisi

    "My Israel Question" by Antony Loewenstein

  • Charles Tyler

    PS – When I said in my piece 'The right of return for all' – I meant the right of return for all genuine refugees from Israel-Palestine …  those who lost their homes in Israel-Palestine – whatever their national origin. I need to clarify that I agree with the text of the petition!

  • AbeBird

    Don't you think that it is Israel matter to decide whether or not to accept the "right of return"? Peter Singer et el are allowed not to implement that law. Most of the Jews defend Israel  and nature.

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  • https://sites.google.com/site/jewsagainstracistzionism/home Dr Gideon Polya

    I applaud this courageous and ethical statement on the racist Zionist "law of return" by these wonderful anti-racist, humanitarian Jewish Australian intellectuals.

    For anti-racist Jews and indeed all anti-racist humanitarians the core moral messages from the Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million dead, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation) and from the more general WW2 European Holocaust (30 million Slav, Jewish and Gypsy dead) are “zero tolerance for racism”, “never again to anyone”, “bear witness” and “zero tolerance for lying”.

    In 1880 there were about 0.5 million Indigenous Palestinians. Of the 25,000 Jews in Palestine half were immigrants (see: http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Palestine… and http://www.mideastweb.org/palpop.htm ). Palestinian casualties of war violence total about 80,000 since 1948 and about 100,000 since 1936 (see “Palestinian casualties of war”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_casualti… ). However one must also consider avoidable Palestinian deaths from war-, expulsion- and occupation-imposed deprivation that now total about 1.4 million since 1948. Palestinian refugees total over 7 million. This has been a Palestinian Genocide as defined by Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention.

    Decent people will similarly applaud the words of outstanding Jewish American scholar Professor Jared Diamond who in his best-selling book "Collapse” (Prologue, p10, Penguin edition) enunciated the "moral principle, namely that it is morally wrong for one people to dispossess, subjugate, or exterminate another people" – an injunction grossly violated by racist Zionist (RZ)-run Apartheid Israel and its racist, genocide-committing and genocide-ignoring US Alliance backers.

    Racist Zionism is not simply a huge threat to Palestinians (1.5 million dead, 7 million refugees, 4.3 million without rights under Occupier guns in West Bank mini-Bantustans and the Gaza Concentration Camp, 6 million forbidden to even step foot in the land continuously inhabited by their forebears for thousands of years, only the adults of 1.5 million Palestinian Israelis are permitted to vote for the government ruling all of Palestine, albeit as third class citizens in a race-based Apartheid Israel) – ) it is also a huge threat to decent, anti-racist Jews around the world.

    All decent, anti-racist, humanitarians must vigorously oppose and sideline those supporting racist Zionism, Apartheid Israel and racist Western wars and occupations who are currently complicit in 0.7 million non-violent excess deaths annually and 12 million Muslim deaths since 1990 in the Zionist-backed US Alliance War on Muslims; continuing, racist perversion of human rights, humanitarian values and rational discourse in the Western democracies; ignoring of worsening climate genocide (that may kill 10 billion non-Europeans this century through unaddressed man-made climate change); and egregious anti-Jewish anti-Semitism through falsely identifying decent, anti-racist Jews with these appalling crimes.

    Racist Zionist-beholden Australian media are not just anti-Arab anti-Semitic (by supporting the ongoing Palestinian Genocide and the ongoing Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide) but also anti-Jewish anti-Semitic by resolutely ignoring the opinions of anti-racist Jews (for such views from Hannah Arendt to Howard Zinn see "Jews Against Racist Zionism") and by utterly falsely conflating racist Zionism and its genocidal crimes with anti-racist secular, liberal and Orthodox Jews.

    The taxpayer-funded ABC is anti-Arab anti-Semitic through its lying by omission and commission over the Palestinian Genocide, Iraqi Genocide, Afghan Genocide and Muslim Genocide and anti-Jewish anti-Semitic by endangering decent anti-racist Jews and sidelining their opinions. Thus an ABC Search for "law of return" reveals ZERO (0) reportage by the ABC of the above letter by anti-racist Australian Jewish intellectuals (Google "ABC Censorship").

  • hulio

    This is fantastic, people talking as if Jews are a race of people,its a religion . The race is semites who originated from Shem who was an arab. Oxymorons everywhere here . Most Jews in this world are ashkanazi Jews or khazar Jews from khazaria where Georgia is now. To claim Palestine as their homeland is the biggest facade in modern history , as to what they are doing to palestinians is the bigger issue . While this is happening the wonderful zionists controlled media reports nothing of this . Only lies need laws to protect them, the truth becomes a victim of zionists political control. Only the truth will set you free.

  • ludovic

    So these wonderful "anti-racist" Jews would like the State of Israel to put out the welcome mat to 7 million hate-filled Palestinians.Sounds nice on paper.But surely this is an invitation to commit national suicide.So surprising that the Israelis aren't that keen on the idea.How can a Jew think like this? If the day came (and it won't) and we once again witness the mass murder of Jews and the destruction of the Jewish state are these conscience-stricken "non-racist ' Jews going to celebrate a victory for morality and justice?.I wouldn't mind these special Jews criticising Israel if just occasionally they found something positive to say.And there has to be something positive.Nu?

  • Andrea venter

    Put out the welcome mat would be good but firstly start with recognizing the palestinians as human beings instead of target practice. The racist policies of Germany in 1940s seem to be enacted towards the Palestinians which is definitely not a positive.

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