Monday, January 30, 2006

A Palestinian writes...

The Intifada Kid writes from Ramallah at Robert Sharp's weblog (and calls me "amateurish and wrong-headed": nice to know that someone gets the point of this 'blog). It is interesting to have an opinion from someone on the ground. However, I do have a few issues with what he writes.
Both effectively make the same point: that Palestinians democratically electing Hamas vindicates Israel’s argument that there is no peace partner.

That was not a point that I made; there was no vindication of Israel in my post. What I did point out was that Hamas have never acknowledged Israel's right to exist, nor have they renounced violence.
If they fail, well, we’ll be forced to keep colonising and occupying their lands, demolishing their homes and shooting their kids- ensuring that they “taste Israeli steel,” as Ottolenghi puts it. And of course, we have to accelerate construction of the Wall: the animals must be encaged.

Is this in the same way that the Israelis have kept colonising Gaza? And these kids that they are killing: are they the ones that run at those checkpoints with guns? Or explosives slung around their waists?

As for the invasion and colonisation, can we please remember who first invaded Palestine, in 1948?
The Arabs had rejected the November 1947 UN Partition Plan, which proposed the establishment of Arab and Jewish states in Palestine. Jewish and Arab militias had begun campaigns to control territory inside and outside the designated borders. Joint Jordanian, Egyptian, Syrian, Lebanese and Iraqi troops invaded Palestine, which Israel, the US, the Soviet Union, and UN Secretary-General Trygve Lie called illegal aggression, while China broadly backed the Arab claims. The Arab states proclaimed their aim of a "United State of Palestine"[1] in place of Israel and an Arab state. They considered the UN Plan to be invalid because it was opposed by Palestine's Arab majority, and claimed that the British withdrawal led to an absence of legal authority, making it necessary for them to protect Arab lives and property.

Were the Palestinians to look upon the Arabs as saviours? No: Plaestinians of all persuasions were displaced (by both Arabs and Israelis).
About two thirds of Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from the territories which came under Jewish control (see Palestinian exodus); practically all of the much smaller number of Jews in the territories captured by the Arabs, for example the Old City of Jerusalem, also fled or were expelled. About 700,000 Arabs (estimates vary from 520,000 to 957,000 [3]) became refugees during the fighting.

The fighting ended with signing of the Rhodes Armistice, which formalized Israeli control of the area allotted to the Jewish state plus 23% of the area allotted to the Arab state. The Gaza Strip was occupied by Egypt and the West Bank by Jordan until June 1967.

Hang on? The Gaza Strip was occupied by Egypt? The West Bank was occupied by Jordan? What! I thought that it was only the evil Jews who had ever occupied those lands? What the fuck? And how did the Israelis get their mitts on those areas?
The Six-Day War, 1967 began as a strike by Israel, which Israel and its supporters consider preemptive, against Egypt and Syria following the Egyptian closure of the Straits of Tiran (a casus belli, according to a possible interpretation of international law), a build up of troops along the Syrian border, expulsion of U.N. peacekeepers from the Sinai, stationing some 100,000 Egyptian troops at the peninsula, and a public announcement by Nasser that he intended to destroy Israel [6]. (In fact Nasser had said this would be an objective only if Israel "embarks on an aggression against Syria or Egypt"). Surprise Israeli air strikes destroyed the entire Egyptian air force while still on the ground. A subsequent ground invasion into Egyptian territory led to Israel's conquest of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula. In spite of Israel's request to Jordan to desist from attacking it, both Jordan and Syria began to shell Israeli targets; Israel responded by capturing the West Bank from Jordan on June 7, and the Golan Heights from Syria on June 9.

Oh, whoops! You can read more about the Six Day War, a model—from the Arab side—of how not to fight a war, here, but here are some salient points.
On 18 May, 1967, Egypt formally requested the withdrawal of UNEF from Sinai. UN Secretary-General U Thant complied, thus removing the international buffer which had existed along the Egyptian-Israeli border since 1957. Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser then began the re-militarization of the Sinai, and concentrated tanks and troops on the border with Israel.

On 23 May, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to all Israel-bound ships, thus blockading the Israeli port of Eilat at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba. Israel viewed the closure of the straits with alarm and demanded the US and UK to open the straits as they guaranteed they would in 1957. Harold Wilson's proposal of an international maritime force to quell the crisis was adopted by US President Johnson, but received little international support. The Israeli cabinet met on 23 May and decided to launch a pre-emptive strike if the Straits of Tiran were not re-opened by 25 May, later agreeing to a delay of another two weeks at US request.

On May 30, Jordan signed a mutual defense treaty with Egypt, thereby joining the military alliance already in place between Egypt and Syria. Jordanian forces were placed under the command of Egyptian General Abdul Munim Riad. This put Arab forces just 17 kilometers from Israel's coast, a jump-off point from which a well co-ordinated tank assault would likely cut Israel in two within half an hour. Such a coordinated attack from the West Bank was always viewed by the Israeli leadership as a threat to Israel's existence. Nasser declared: "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight". At the same time, several other Arab states not bordering Israel, including Iraq, Sudan, Kuwait and Algeria, also began mobilising their armed forces.

However, because the Arabs were all fighting amongst themselves, and because they were fucking spastics, they lost the war and Egypt and Jordan lost the territories that they had previously taken from the Palestinians. Whoops, what a fuck-up.

The basic conclusion that we come to is that, essentially, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have not belonged to the people who call themselves the Palestinians since at least 1948, and the original aggressive invasion was not by the Israelis, but by the Arabs. In truth, had the Arabs not made constant attempts, either by overt invasion or by "people's intifadas", to destroy Israel, then the Jews would not have the West Bank, the Gaza Strip or the Golan Heights.

Many have also objected to the Israeli strikes upon Arab leaders, which they maintain is no different to the killing of Israeli teenagers in an Israeli nightclub. Bollocks.

If these terrorists had not instigated the bombings (and rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip three days after the Palestinians moved back into it) in the first place, then Israel wouldn't be trying to assassinate them. Nor would they be building a bloody great wall around their country.

Whilst I think that the two state option is the best idea, regardless of the fact that the Arabs rejected this idea in 1947, it is not going to happen whilst the Palestinians keep bombing the Israelis (and the Israelis keep killing the Palestinians, obviously).
Hamas weren’t voted into office for suicide bombings. Hamas haven’t even carried out any suicide bombs since 2004.

Well, that really is very generous of them.
Another reason Fateh were ousted was that their leaders were considered corrupt and self-servicing while Hamas’s leadership has spent over a decade building a functioning network of social services that the PA should have been providing.

Well, that's really great. Well done Hamas, the gentle social workers. Wow. Perhaps they have reformed. I'll just not bet on it.

An interesting article by the Intifada Kid that, unfortunately, fails to give any concrete facts; just rhetoric about Israeli invasion and kiddie-killing. In fact, it is as dismissive and biased in its tone as my brief post was. Interesting to get a view on the ground though, as I said.


Anonymous said...

I think what makes Intifada Kid so angry (it annoys me too, but I'm not in Ramallah) is the total lack of differentiation between Arab states and Palestinians. You make this point yourself. The PLO has a responsibility to the refugees as well as those inside WB/Gaza, people who have indeed been betrayed by the Arab states. No-one is saying that this isn't part of the problem.

It is also true that the Israelis won more land as a result of the 1967. That doesn't excuse them instigating an apartheid regime on the land they won.

Your wall argument is trivially false, as it is definitely not for security but for land grabs. The reason I know it is not for security is that there are actually gaping holes in it, its not finished yet, and it follows a path that makes no sense for security purposes - There are loads of Palestinian houses on the 'Israeli' side of the fence. It really is impossible to look at it without coming to the conclusion that it is there to piss off Palestinians, disperse them from the area.

Which is just one example of the central pillar in the Palestinian argument, IK's in particular - Israeli agression has nothing to do with defence. Even if you believe that the kiddie-killing is genuinely done out of some kind of self-defence, it is an entirely disproportionate response for a supposedly well-trained army, supposedly trying to keep a peace.

Overall, there is a tendency on this issue to allow the transgressions of one group justify the transgressions of the other (the door swings both ways on this - suicide bombings are just as disproportionate, just as counter-productive). It is as if the other side doing something bad justifies an equal yet opposite retaliation. Since the argument for a Jewish State gained weight after the Holocaust of the early 1940s, I fear for just how far this could go.

Katy Newton said...

"Since the argument for a Jewish State gained weight after the Holocaust of the early 1940s, I fear for just how far this could go."

What holocaust is about to happen in the Middle East? Both sides are dependent upon Western support and backing - Palestine from the EU and Israel from America. How likely is it that either side would risk losing their financial backing by initiating any kind of Holocaust? Or have I misunderstood completely?

Katy Newton said...

The best way to understand what Hamas is all about and how they feel about Israel is to read their own covenant, which you can find here:

Anonymous said...

Katy -

Both sides are indeed backed by the US and the EU. That hasn't stopped some pretty brutal killing though, I don't see why it should stop a little more. Genocide is a bit strong, but 'ethnic cleansing' is a phrase often applied to the region.

The Hamas covenant is certainly not something I would subscribe to, I'll tell you that for free.

The question now is: how do we help the Palestinians?

Anonymous said...


Despite your rejection of the Hamas covenant, you are still taking sides.

Isn't the man on the Tel Aviv omnibus also worth helping?

Katy Newton said...

Hi Robert

It's good to hear that you wouldn't subscribe to the Hamas Covenant, what with it openly calling for the slaughter of the Jews, the universal imposition of Islamic rule over Christians, Jews and Muslims and its blunt rejection of all forms of diplomatic process and negotiation in favour of jihad. I hope that most people in this country would not subscribe to it either!

"Ethnic cleansing" is often applied to the Middle East situation. I disagree with its use, personally, and think that people who do use it don't understand what ethnic cleansing means. I understand ethnic cleansing to be the widespread systematic wiping out of a people based on their ethnicity. That is not what is happening in the Middle East. Israelis and Palestinians are killing each other because they are at war. They are at war over land, not over religion (although query whether Hamas would agree!). Jews and Muslims on an everyday level have more in common with each other than with other ethnic groups, and for the most part lived together in peace when ruled by others, until the Zionist movement began to gain momentum. The dispute is and always has been about land. It is not about race, although people often refer to "Muslims" versus "Jews." Jews have no interest in imposing their religion on others or in wiping out other ethnicities, and I have always believed and still do believe that Muslims feel the same way.

As for "helping" the Palestinians, perhaps one of the reasons they elected Hamas was because they no longer wanted to be seen as the world's rent-a-victims. Ros is right: when you say "help the Palestinians" it sounds as if you are taking sides, although you may not mean that.

I hope that having been elected Hamas will become more moderate, although having read the Covenant I am not terribly optimistic. Let's not forget that the fact that a party is elected democratically is no guarantee that they will then continue to administer their country as a democracy. I also hope that one day everyone will stop pointing the finger at Israel OR Palestine, and get down to helping all parties in the Middle East find a solution that stops people from killing each other. Every time you say that one party is at fault, you give the other party justification to continue to drag their feet. Let's try not to cast either side as victim or aggressor.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that.

Devil's Kitchen said...

The only reason that the ethnic cleansing of the Jews has not happened in the Middle East is because of the West's support, with money, weaponry and training, of that country. Now one could argue that Israel should never have been set up, and that land was not free to be given to the Jews, but I think that that is a fruitless argument.

Let's not be Communist about this: much of the land that the evil jewish settlers have colonised was bought fair and square under property laws that we would recognise. Certainly, the irrigation and infrastructure that is in those areas was bought and paid for by Israeli taxes. And, faced with working municipal buildings in the Gaza Strip, the first thing that the Palestinians did was to take everything, right down to the kitchen sink. The rank stupidity, which I admit equates to the ignorance of those in our own country, only serves to annoy me more.

The fact is that the Palestinians have had shitty leaders, although I have heard no one repeat that old canard (as I have of Blair's government) that the people get the leaders that they deserve. The sooner that someone has the courage to stand up and calls Arafat the corrupt, evil cunt that he so patently was, the better.

We all have opinions—I'm sorry, but simply living in Palestine and writing a load of biased, flyblown bollocks and calling on the authority of residence to justify it doesn't help—but, as Robert said, what are we to do to help the Palestinians?

OK, is this all about land? No, it's not. Sorry. This is mainly about justified Israeli paranoia, which is not going to reduce with people like Ahmajusgonnagetmacoat of Iran spazzing on about destroying Israel. Neither is it going to help that the majority of the elected representatives, elected by the majority of the people of Palestine whatever their motives, is not going to make the Israelis less paranoid.

The Israeli government has a duty to protect its citizens.

Your wall argument is trivially false, as it is definitely not for security but for land grabs. The reason I know it is not for security is that there are actually gaping holes in it, its not finished yet

Robert, I know that Israel is a small country, but have you ever built a wall around an entire country? Would you like to start building a wall around Britain? How long - and how much money - do you think that would take? Which bits would you shore up first - the bits most at risk?

The whole situation is a fucking mess. Personally, I think that we should just say that the next country to kill anybody gets nuked by us. And can we just abandon the idea that there is no religious influence at work here, please? As long as Muslims continue to adhere to the patently Jew-hating edicts of the Koran, there will never be peace in the Middle East.

It's really that simple.

Anonymous said...

If nothing else, the sheer inhumanity of building a wall around an entire country should set off alarm bells ringing somewhere. Its a Bad Idea worthy of a New Labour Policy Announcement, but I'll let that pass. When I say there are gaping holes it, I don't mean at the end. I mean, the wall has gaps in places where it is meant to be finished. In places it simply blocks off roads, and you can get round it by walking through the grounds of the properties either side. I repeat, you cannot look upon it and say "its for security" with a straight face. Its for pissing off Palestinians. House prices near the wall have plummeted, you know. I'd be livid...

The answer to Ros' pertinent question is that of course, we want to help the Israeli citizens too. But I specifically mention - and defend - the Palestinians, because many people have written them off. The man on the omnibus needs our help too, but we never send him the message that he is a lost cause.

I thank our host DK for putting a bolshy voice (well, a bolshy keyboard) to what a lot of people might be thinking. But I cannot subscribe to the sentiment towards the Palestinians, which seems to be: "you are not valued." I ask how we can help the Palestinians because I think that as fellow human beings, they deserve it. Its not taking sides, but the first step to unity.

edjog said...

How would anyone respond to a druid-led rebellion of the Welsh with occupation of Gloucestershire and ancient Wessex? Yet during a similar historical period to a Jewish claim to Palestine, the Celts were the rightful rulers there. Ancient Celtic religion has been subject to at least as much oppression as the Jewish faith over the years and the Welsh have been also the butt of prejudice.

The only reason the international community settled on allowing the terrorists Haganah to form the state of Israel was because of their own anti-semitism: we don't want hordes of displaced European Jewry descending upon us! If this were not the case how come Britain and America wouldn't accept Jews deported from Nazi Germany, even though the death camps were the alternative? Britain was without resources to effectively administer much of the Empire after WW2 anyway, so they may as well kill two birds with one stone.

That aside, many Israelis were born there and have a moral right to a homeland. However, they have no moral right to oppress an indiginous people to get it. If there is any state on earth for whom the oppression of the downtrodden should be anathema, it is Israel.

If they got back behind their borders as instructed to do by the UN Security Council, Hamas would not command the mandate they do. The Palestinians have voted for extremists because their situation is extreme. As you or i would.

We don't know what a Palestinian State could achieve in terms of stamping out unauthorised violence against Israelis, because they have never been given a chance to run a viable country without constant US backed Israeli interference. However, one thing is quite clear, to suggest that, of all peoples on earth, the Palestinians are the one group who cannot be trusted to exercise control of their populace, as the Israeli position of non-dialogue suggests, is plainly racist.

Anonymous said...

"Hamas haven’t even carried out any suicide bombs since 2004."

Somebody needs to hurry up and tell the good folks in Be'ersheba that.

Obviously that explosion on August 28th, 2005, was nothing more than a bad case of bean-induced flatulence then.

Katy Newton said...

I'll tell you both what's bothering me, shall I?

1. Antisemitism is on the rise worldwide, to the extent that an Iranian premier can make an openly antisemitic speech and receive only a token amount of criticism. No one thinks he really means it. Besides, the Jews have brought it on themselves. Again.

2. A blatantly anti-Semitic organisation with ambitions of world domination has just been elected to power. They receive token criticism. But no one thinks they really mean it. The Jews are making a fuss about nothing again. And besides, the Jews have brought it on themselves. Again. It is perfectly reasonable, in these circumstances, to vote for extremists. As for the part in Hamas' charter where they state their aim for a world run under Islamic rule, they probably don't mean that either, really.

Maybe I'm being stupid, but haven't we been through all of this before?

And why don't any of you care about what Hamas say about wanting to rule the world? Doesn't that bother anyone? "First they came for the Jews..."

PS Edjog, I missed the Celtic holocaust you're talking about. Six million Celts gassed and burned? By a democratically elected party? Within living memory? I should really watch the news more. Can you send me a link?

Anonymous said...

Edjog, the Celtic comparison is an interesting one. Celtic poetry and literature is full of yearnings for the ancestoral homeland. Although that homeland is smaller, it still exists. The Welsh, Irish and Scots can still respectively go home to Wales, Ireland and Scotland.

I am Jewish. I am not religious but I too yearn culturally for a homeland to return to, and that homeland is Israel, and an Israel that is much smaller than the original land of the Bible.

Lack of support from the rest of the world has caused this problem. The USA and the USSR used the situation to score points against each other during the cold war. Since the fall of communism they both want to turn away from the problem they created.

Basically, nobody cares. Nobody cares about the Jews or the Palestinians. Now it's just a peg to hang the problems of the world on. The 'If only Israel didn't exist...' syndrome. If Israel didn't exist there would be something else. And would you really like a peaceful middle east where Israeli technological know-how was backed by Arabian oil money? Send a shiver down your spines chaps? You bet!

The reason for that is that Islam's philosophy demands a worldwide nation, an Islamic one. It's not only Judaism they think is wrong, but Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and any other ism you can think of. This is not being critical of or disrespectful to Moslems, it is how it is, and what they want. Is it what everybody else wants? If so, tell me now, I have no desire to waste my breath so to speak.

Say what you like about Jews and Judaism, and I assure you, that like all religions there is a large amount of silliness in it, we don't want you to convert, we don't want you to stop practising your faith because it offends us, we don't even mind if you think it's funny or even downright weird. All we ask is that you let us do our thing next to you doing your thing. Oh, and a little country in the middle east that we have always considered our spiritual and literal home to do it in.

Before anyone asks why I don't go there, I am seriously considering it as at least there I'd know who hated me.

Katy Newton said...

Cheering update, which shows that for the Palestinian and Israeli in the street the dispute really is about land and not religion/ideology, as I said above:

A survey shows that 84% of Palestinians want a peace pact with Israel and 86% want Abbas to remain at his post; three quarters of Palestinians want Hamas to drop its call for the destruction of Israel.,5744,18002477%255E2703,00.html

That is fantastic news.

Let's hope that having been democratically elected, Hamas now decides to govern as a democratic administration and listens to its constituents.

Just like ours does...

Devil's Kitchen said...

Let's hope that having been democratically elected, Hamas now decides to govern as a democratic administration and listens to its constituents.

Just like ours does...

That's right, bring us good news and then dash our hopes...!


Katy Newton said...

In all seriousness, if the Palestinians themselves are pro-peace then it is still good news. I am in a considerably better mood than I was yesterday.

*whistles cheerfully*

Anonymous said...

Katy et al - YES! As I said in my original post - Palestinians have never been more willing to compromise in an agreement with Israel than they are now, as a recent US Institute of Peace report concluded. So anyone genuinely interested in seeing a peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israelis materialize should be concentrating on how to revive negotiations. As the report states: “For the first time since the start of the peace process, a majority of Palestinians support a compromise settlement that is acceptable to a majority of Israelis.” (See: That should be at the forefront of our minds now.

Another point that has become clear now that the election results have been published is that Hamas’s landslide victory owes a great deal to our bizarre mixed electoral system – half proportional representation and half majority (district) system. (For more info on results and structure of PLC elections in English, see: )

As a Newsweek article by Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki makes clear, although Fateh and 4 other secular parties won 55% of the popular vote (with Fateh alone scoring 28 seats on the list system versus Hamas’s 29), that translated into only 39 per cent of PLC seats. By contrast, Hamas won only 45 per cent of the popular vote, but 58 per cent of PLC seats. (See:

In part, of course, Fateh deserves the blame for this - its ineptitude and lack of internal discipline is largely responsible for this result. In many cases, Fateh-affiliated independents competed with each other and with the official Fateh candidate, thereby splitting the vote of even the secular-nationalists who weren’t intent on punishing Fateh for perceived corruption and lack of progress in the “peace process”.

Perhaps more interestingly, a recent Near East Consulting Group survey discovered that 75 per cent of Palestinians believe that Hamas should alter its position vis-à-vis Israel, with regards to its official call for the elimination of the state. (See:

Moreover, Shikaki found that even among Hamas voters alone, support for an *immediate* resumption of negotiations was at the level of 60 per cent.

So let’s end this pretence that the PLC elections prove Palestinians do not want a negotiated peace agreement with Israel (or an Islamist society, for that matter). The victory of Hamas was a tactical, not ideological one. As Shikaki writes, “Palestinians want a political solution, not political Islam.” Anyone else interested in also seeing a political solution to the conflict materialize should now focus on using peaceful methods to pressure Israel to return to the negotiating table with the PLO. No more unilateralism, and no more excuses!

Anonymous said...

I K, I am delighted to find myself in agreement with the majority of your post. The only thing that bothers me is the reluctance of democratically elected representatives to actually carry out the wishes of the electorate.

It is probably terribly non-PC to say this, but democracy is the parent of paternalism, and universal suffrage too often ends as universal suffering.

Having said that, voting is the best system anyone's come up with to date, and we must all keep our fingers crossed that the people we elect have the strength of mind to put the good of the people before their personal philosophies.

chris said...

The Palestinian people might want peace, but their democratically elected leaders don't. Hamas has already ruled out talking with Israel, want it wiped off the map and the jews driven into the sea. Like here they might not not have been able to vote for a party that fitted their views, and had a electoral system that distorted the views expressed by the ballot box. But the Islamofascists are in power. So now the chance of peace is greatly reduced until, or rather if, Hamas' term of office expires and there are fresh elections.

edjog said...

Hey Ros & Katy Newton, i'm 1/4 Jewish. My oposition to the current policy of the State of Israel has nothing to do with anti-semitism or simply blaming "The Jews". Nor does this translate into hatred for individuals who claim Semitic descent or follow Judaism. Two wrongs don't make a right. So the Celts weren't gassed and burned in living memory... and your point is what exactly, Katy?

Much of the doctrine of Christianity is ignored by most supposedly Christian countries, because it is unhelpful and even offensive to modern sensibilities. We don't expect even US wingnuts to actually follow the 10 commandments, so why should we expect that if the Palestinians were given an oportunity to run a secure viable state, the letter of Islam would be their policy? Wealth and education makes for progressive thinking. Religious dogma is a convenient rallying cry for the oppressed. I'm certain there are Palestinian Atheists, Agnostics, as well as other religions and progressive Moslems, but while conflict is in the interest of US "Full Spectrum Dominance" policy, we'll not see them get a chance to create a viable modern State.

BTW, attempts to conflate Jews as in followers of Judaism, Jews as in a Semitic racial group, Judaism and the State of Israel are misleading and unhelpful. Where is my "spiritual homeland"? With a varied racial background and religious influences including Christianity, Gnosticism, Buddhism and Wicca, but a healthy scepticism for all dogma, where do i get to arbitrarily claim to belong? The People's Republic of Confused Anarcho-Syndicalist but Curiously Spiritual Utopia?

In a modern democracy in which religion and government are firmly seperated by custom, if not the letter of the law (yet), that's where i belong. Spiritual and physical are two very different things.

Anonymous said...

Having read your profile, I would arbitrarily suggest Cornwall.

Anonymous said...

Two excellent op-eds appeared in The Guardian on this issue in as many days.

To read Hamas's Khaled Misha'l in his own words, go here:,,1698702,00.html

To read Jonathan Freedland's analysis, click here:,,1699312,00.html

Katy Newton said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
edjog said...

Been there... Too many weirdos! LOL! Thanks for those url's, Intifada Kid.

Devil's Kitchen said...

On the subject of Misha'l, Scott at The Daily Ablution wrote about his piece a couple of days ago. Needless to say, he was not mightily impressed.


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