Third Party & Independents Archives

A tale of two fences

Two fences are in the news. Both keep people out. Yet, the level of criticism differs. They protect the citizens of their respective nations from different threat levels. Further, the US fence has a greater economic basis than security. To understand the level of importance, it is necessary to understand the relationship of the population living on either side of the border.

Both the US and Israel are building fences between itself and its neighbor. These fences serve to keep citizens from a neighboring country out of its territory. In the case of the US / Mexico border, the two nations have been at peace since the US-Mexican war in 1946-1848. The last incursion from Mexico was in the 1916 raid on Columbus, New Mexico by Poncho Villa.

For years the border with Mexico has been relatively open. As such there has been a continuous flow both ways of seasonal workers across the border. However, the rationale for fence is it is being being constructed for security reasons. The likelihood that there will be a security breach over a border is unlikely. Were the problem terrorists, the border with Canada would require the same type of protection.

The Israel / Palestinian and previously the Israel / Jordan border has been active from 1948. Throughout this 58 year period, incursions have occurred on a consistent basis. Unlike the US / Mexico border, a virtual state of war has existed between the entities living on either side of ceasefire line. The current government in the West Bank and Gaza has a stated aim: destroy its neighbor.

Israel is faced with an active security problem. The infiltration of suicide murders across the border is well documented. Successful and unsuccessful infiltrators have been traced to terrorist groups on the West Bank. In Gaza, with a well defined border barrier, the number of infiltrators is almost nonexistent. A fence works.

The two fences are viewed differently. Israel has an "Apartheit Fence," whereas the US has a "Security Fence." The Israeli fence is condemned; the US fence is applauded. While there appears to be no difference between the two, they differ in the level of threat involved. There has yet to be a documented case of terrorist action across the US / Mexico border since 1916, while incursions across the Israeli border have been attempted daily. Not in the last ten years, nor since 1967, but ever since the inception of Israel in 1948.

Economic and political interests are as much a reason for the creation of the new US / Mexico fence. The "traditional" cry that immigrants are taking jobs from Americans continues to resonate with the American public. The "terrorism card," so well played in previous elections has resulted in the appearance of a false sense of security resulting from increasing the difficulty of entering the US across the Mexican and Canadian borders at defined crossings. Is this true protection or window dressing? One fact remains: the terrorists in the UK bombings were long time residents. If there will be a terrorist act in the US, it will come from a US citizen.

This is not to say that a well defined border is not necessary; it is the hallmark of international relations. But, if security issues are foremost, then Israel has the same needs and it fence should be accepted as equal to the US fence.

Posted by M.L. Schneider at November 2, 2006 3:38 PM
Comment #192014

My button has been pushed so often on this issue, it is now flat.
I think that our “fence” is electioneering at it’s worst.
If Mr. Bush wanted to make the public feel safer by building a fence, he has had plenty of time to do so, and for this to come up just before an election that the Republicans may very well lose, just reeks.
Anyone who will change their vote based on the “promise” of a border fence, deserves what they get.

Oh, and BTW, Israel began to build their fence years ago. Our fence has yet to see it’s first surveyor’s stake planted.

I’m not holding my breath, and I don’t think anyone else should either.

Posted by: Rocky at October 31, 2006 8:51 PM
Comment #192865

The difference between the two fences is one seperates countries that have been apart for 150+ years and the other divides a territory (Palestine) into to parts, the part Israel is trying to annex and the part it is currently not trying to annex.

Posted by: Warren P at November 2, 2006 5:52 PM
Comment #192866

More Security Theater.The joke is on us, folks.

Posted by: gergle at November 2, 2006 5:56 PM
Comment #192871

M.L., our intelligence reports Hezbollah has been crossing our Mexican border and with false ID in hand in the event of apprehension. The next terrorist event may very well NOT come from a U.S. citizen.

Then there are the 90% of uninspected shipping containers traveling our interstates from border to border. Our government has preferred cheap labor to national security. That is why this government needs to be purged.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 2, 2006 6:05 PM
Comment #192925

M.L., do you really believe this garbage? The Israeli wall is an imperialist land grab, pure and simple. Isreal is not interested in peace. If the arabs were totally passive in seeking a settlement, Israel would have to provoke them into conflict, becuase they know that they have the military upper hand and can contain the arabs within acceptable losses. In this way they get to expand the lands and resources under their control. It’s disgraceful what is being done, and with the support of the US, which proudly boasts of its committment to freedom and democracy.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at November 2, 2006 7:52 PM
Comment #192953

I left a pertinent and clarifying argument here.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 2, 2006 9:20 PM
Comment #192985

The Israelis have every right to build a fence between them and their enemies. The US has every right to build a fence between itself and the major source of illegal immigration.
I don’t care if the fence never stops one terrorist from coming in the US or not. If will slow or on the very remote chance even stop illegal immigration then build it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 2, 2006 11:48 PM
Comment #193004

Ron, your comment speaks to a much deeper problem in America. Government corruption. You see, there was something to be gained by politicians over the last couple decades by breaking their own laws regarding immigration and allowing illegals to cross with impunity. And that is the deeper problem. We are losing our identity as a nation of law, not men.

We Americans are now tolerant of violating international law, federal law, state law, local law, natural law, god’s law, if there is more to be gained than lost. Bush violated our Constitution and our laws on torture and habeas corpus, because in his mind, there was more to be gained than lost - I mean he had a Republican House which would not impeach him, so it was OK.

We have so many people dodging their income taxes, the IRS is offering up to 80% amnesty if they will just confess, because they have been so downsized and outsourced. Though bribing a Congressperson for a vote on the Congress floor is illegal, it goes on everyday of the year, year in and year out, with no outcry from the public, unless something is documented on paper.

We have so, so many more people who should be in prison for breaking the law, that we are forced to let rapists, pedophiles, and murderers out early in order to make room for the drug dealers, embezzlers, and 3 times and your out shoplifters.

We have become a lawless nation for all intents and purposes. Half of us know family, friends, or acquaintances who operate business under the table so taxes can be dodged. Society is breaking down under the weight of the growing lawlessness from the White House to the middle school kids with guns.

It is not hard to see where this will end. Either revolution or anarchy covered up by delusion and propaganda. Americans love their westerns and pine for lawless days of the mountain men, and cattle barons, and oil men. We are reaping what we have sowed as a culture, and as the wealth grows, so grows the corruption and disintegration of our society and its values once held so high, if never reached. Now those values are called impractical, nostalgic, and PollyAnnish.

Thus it was in the end days of the Golden Age of Greece, and the 2nd and 3rd century of Rome, and the dusk of the British Empire.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 3, 2006 4:03 AM
Comment #193019
The Israelis have every right to build a fence between them and their enemies.

Ron, I agree; the problem is the wall they are building goes straight through Palestinian Territory and not along the border. The Israelis are basically annexing territory that is not theirs to take.

Posted by: Warren P at November 3, 2006 7:51 AM
Comment #193080

Texas Border Control has launched a new website where you can watch live border cams and report “suspicious” activity.

Texas Border Watch

Posted by: gergle at November 3, 2006 12:10 PM
Comment #193111


Keep in mind that the means by which Isreal became a country was to:

1. Purchase large amounts of Palenstinian land with money returned to the church after WWII.

2. Illegally declare the land their own country in a fashion that violated the geneva convention and U.N. law.

3. Then annexed all Palenstinian military goods, that fell with in the borders of their now stolen country.

4. Then used those goods to wage a war against the Palenstinians in the name of Imperialisazion.

So, in my personal opinion, the wall in Israel is no different than if Hitler would have built a wall in France. Which he did. Israelis are no different than Nazis in their foreign policies.

The wall on the Mexican border I think is of good intention and is ideologically a great idea, but its not going to work, to think a wall will really stop imigration is ignorant to the concepts of Social Psychology.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at November 3, 2006 2:25 PM
Comment #193123

Brian, are you really suggesting that Jews made money from WWII?

Paul, you can think whatever you want, but your hypothesis of what Israelis would do if Palestinians weren’t violent will always be just that, a hypothesis, because the Palestinians will never stop agitating. If they were to stop, they could have peace in a shared Israel, but they won’t.

Posted by: Max at November 3, 2006 2:56 PM
Comment #193139


No, they most definetly did not. They in fact lost everything, then were returned only half.

The half that was returned was returned to the cuhrch, as they had no way of administering who each possession actual belonged to due to the time gap from when the Nazis took it to the time the had it returned.

So, what they ended up with was a large fortune in one lump some that was used for the purpose of buying back land that was there’s at one time, a long time ago, but had since been officialised as some one elses (think U.S.A.).

So I don’t agree with Israel existing as a country, while our country was obtained from the Native Americans in an even more awful fashion, it was done at a time when such actions were exceptable in the views of world sociological perspective.

That is no the perspective today, which I have no doubt you could agree with.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at November 3, 2006 3:37 PM
Comment #193147

Ah, now the guys in lawnchairs can watch our borders from the comfort of their homes.

As for the fences? I think its a whole bunch of expense and effort just to fail to solve the real problem. There’s a reason people haven’t been so keen on a fence all these years- it’s just a hell of a lot of trouble to put these things up when people could circumvent them just by going around in boats and through in cars. The Border fence would be as airtight as a sieve.

As for the Israeli fence? It perpetuates the problem. The only solution to the problem is the one that makes the occupied territories separate in name only, Where Israelis and Arabs can walk the same land with equal claim to it.

Divided, that land falls to violence.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 3, 2006 4:12 PM
Comment #193149


I hear ya, man. You’ll get no argument from me. I’m just am waiting for the Alien being reports to the website to be published. After a few beers, they’ll probably be a few chupacabra sightings.

Posted by: gergle at November 3, 2006 4:21 PM
Comment #193181

Stephen, that’s because you are still looking for a magic bullet to solve the problem. There isn’t one. The border security, illegal immigration issue solution only begins with a fence, which slows down the traffic and makes the whole situation more manageable. That must be followed up by enforcement of hiring laws, a legal worker immigrant pass through and accountable return to country of origin solution, as well as devising some program to deal with the illegals already here.

But, none of the parts of the solution make any sense or have a prayer of being effective without a border barrier to significantly reduce the more than 1.25 million illegal immigrants crossing over each year.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 3, 2006 6:17 PM
Comment #193288


I believe that to be one route of a quasi-solution.

I think if we were to take the cost of the fence and turn it into incentives for Mexican Economic Enrichment, with the money waiting for whom ever earns it in money market accounts, we could solve the problem and make a profit.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at November 4, 2006 1:45 PM
Comment #193295

Bryan, the drugs and Mexican immigrant workers in America have been sending 65 billion dollars a year back to Mexico (45 and 20 billion, respectively). If that Mexican Economic Enrichment solution hasn’t worked yet, then no investments in a fence will do the trick.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 4, 2006 2:54 PM
Comment #193303

David, that is a very good point. I think the reason that itself has failed is due to where that money goes.

First my credentials on this subject are that I have been living in a 92% (exact count as of August 2006) Mexican populated part of Lakewood, WA, it has been the begining of what is to be a 6 year project to go towards my PhD in Politcal Science with a minor in Anthropolgy. I have now been there as of June 2006. I am not attempting to brag, just set the standard.

In my conversations with Francis (my Mexican conversational partner), he has made it clear that the majority of the money he makes is used purchases ‘goods’ that he mails to Mexico. This seems to be the trend with the other immigrants as well.

I then looked into the Mexican economy steming from the same conclusion you have. Their export is fairly effecient $213.4 billion in goods and services, but I also noted their import was of goods and services was a value of $223.7 billion. A no brainer huh. =)

Another factor is that their GDP PPP is $1.052 trillion (according to world bank), 14th in the world, which is far higher than one would expect (even higher than Austrailia at $655 billion).

Peculiar, concerning that the GDI per capita is only $6,770.

That tells us that all that money is going to the top of the food chain in a very large quantities.

So, the incentive idea would be to get American businesses interested in moving some operations (that we probably wouldn’t want anyway, seriously who is looking forward to working in a factory that manufactures, idunno, tampons, urinal cakes, the little cotton stuffers in the top of medicine bottles, I mean really now) that way rather than just making the wealthy upper percent of the population richer, we actual invest money into the portion of the population that is ‘jumping’ the border.

After all how many multi-millionaire Mexican imgrants have you heard mention of?

{All statistics were found on Wikipedia then varified through the U.S. Census, U.S. Customs, and/or World Bank)

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at November 4, 2006 3:41 PM
Comment #193321

Bryan, NAFTA did exactly that with the Maquilladoras along border towns. The increased wages and jobs acted as magnets for drug gangs in Mexico to flock to the border towns. Now the Mexican mafias warfare is spilling onto the American side of the border with our own officials being shot at near daily.

You are quite correct in your facts and assertion that the distribution of wealth in Mexico is top heavy, a situation Republicans have been mirroring here in America in increments.

But, there is no solution to that from the American side of the border. Mexico’s wealth distribution imbalance is a direct result of their government’s fear of another revolution. That is their problem. The effects of their problem which spills into our nation is our problem, and putting a halt to the consequential spillovers is precisely what a border barrier will begin to accomplish.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 4, 2006 6:33 PM
Comment #193341

Illegal immigration is a problem for many countries today, my own being no exception. A couple of years ago, we had to have a constitutional referendum to change our citizenship laws to stop women disembarking aircraft to head for the maternity hospitals to give birth to children who would automatically become citizens. I don’t know if a wall is the way for the US to stop illegal immigration. However, it does seem to me that if the Government got serious and sufficiently penalised employers who hired illegals, then the incentive for illegals to come in the first place (to earn money they couldn’t earn at home), would be removed. Since we changed our constitution on citizenship, miraculously this form of citizenship shopping has stopped. Dead. In its tracks!

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at November 4, 2006 8:49 PM
Comment #193420

Any sovereign nation that can or will NOT control its own borders is asking for trouble in many forms.

But, the most obvious problem is the massive migration of millions of people from one place to another, and ruining that place too (such as Los Angeles where 95% of all warrants for homicide are for illegal aliens, ERs and hospitals are over-run and 84 hospitals have closed, schools, prisons, welfare, and law enforcement systems are severely burdened, etc.).

A fence, if done properly can reduce the magnitude of the problem, even if it can’t eliminate it 100%.

The lame excuses that a fence will not stop illegal immigration by 100% ignores the fact that it WILL severely limit it. That excuse is just one of the common exuses used.

The cost is another lame argument, since illegal immigration is costing net losses of over $70 billion per year to U.S. citizens. If the cost of the fence and personnel to guard it is $10 billion per year, we will be saving money. Especially since the $70 billion per year could easily double or triple as the number of illegal aliens doubles or triples. It’s a growing problem, and it can get much worse.

And increases in crime is another side-effect of massive, uncontrolled illegal immigration. There are many burdens; on our ERs and hospitals (being severely over-run; 84 hospitals have closed in California), schools, prisons, welfare, law enforcement systems, etc..

Also, even if the cost doubled (i.e. $20 billion per year), it would still be a savings and still far less than the $27 billion of annual pork-barrel for graft, bridges to nowhere, corporate welfare, and waste.

What is truly irresponsible (even despicable) is the irresponsible incubment politicians that have ignored this problem for decades, and now, for political reasons, are pitting Americans and illegal aliens against each other.

Most Americans want the borders secured, and most Americans are against amnesty.

But, whether voters will stop re-electing the irresponsible incubment politicians that keep ignoring the voters and this naiton’s pressing probolems remains to be seen.

If voters keep re-electing the irresponsible incubment politicians, then voters only have themselves to thank for it.


Posted by: d.a.n at November 5, 2006 11:43 AM
Comment #193428

Arab - Israel history 101.

In 1948, Israel was partitioned by the United Nations through resolution 181 into a Jewish and an Arab state. It should be noted that the terminology was Arab state, not Palestinian state. Immediately, the surrounding countries invaded the new state in an attempt to destroy it. On April 3, 1949, Israel signed an armistice agreement with Transjordan. What was generally called a border was nothing more than the position of the armies at the secession of hostilities: a ceasefire line, nothing more. The ceasefire line was termed the “Green Line.“ Transjordan then annexed the territory east of the green line, making it part of Transjordan. On June 5th the 1967 Arab -Israel War started. Once Jordan crossed the green line, it no longer was a ceasefire line since, by entering the hostilities, Jordan violated the ceasefire. At the conclusion of the war six days later, a new ceasefire line existed along the border of he Jordan River.

So, now I ask: what border:? There never was one. Had Israel followed Jordan’s example, it would have annexed the West Bank, which it didn’t, the border would have been on the Jordan river. So, Paul, Warren and Brian, how can this be a land grab if there was never a formal border?

Paul, I suggest you read the PLO Covenant and the Hamas Charter. Both are highly racist, treating Jews and Arabs differently. The PLO Covenant states that a Palestinian is a Jew whose family lived in the area prior to 1917 and an Arab until 1948. The Hamas Charter simply declarers that Jews should be killed.

Posted by: M.L. Schneider at November 5, 2006 12:25 PM
Comment #193472

Yeah M.L., and the IRA used to say they would never cease their war until the British were driven from all of Ireland. It hasn’t happened, but the guns and bombs have fallen silent, and they have fallen silent because the British and Irish Governments worked together to bring about a situation in which agreement could be achieved that would be acceptable to all sides. The rights of all parties were given due respect and no one was required to give up their national identity or national aspirations. As Gerry Adams liked to say, parity of esteem. Israel is not interested in peace. It could achieve a peaceful settlement in months if that was what it wanted. But unfortunately, what it wants is expansion, under the guise of defending itself from attack. Attack! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha …………..i’m rotfl. What is going to attack them with any real threat? There is nothing there that can seriously challenge Israel’s existence. It is the regional superpower.

Finkelstein, an American Jew, has it right. If you want to know what is really happening, then read his link. That is, unless you are one of those who regard him, and all Jewish critics of Israel, as self hating Jews.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at November 5, 2006 5:23 PM
Comment #193485


Your memory is a bit short. Under Ehud Barak, Israel offered at Camp David 2000 Summit to give back almost all the land that came under its control in 1967. Arafat refused to even discuss the issue. Even Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia put the failure to achieve a settlement on Arafat.

In obtaining information, I prefer to read primary sources. Consider the charter of Hamas.

“Article Thirteen: Peaceful Solutions,
[Peace] Initiatives and International Conferences
[Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement. For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion; the nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its faith, the movement educates its members to adhere to its principles and to raise the banner of Allah over their homeland as they fight their Jihad: “Allah is the all-powerful, but most people are not aware.” From time to time a clamoring is voiced, to hold an International Conference in search for a solution to the problem.

“And the Jews will not be pleased with thee, nor will the Christians, till thou follow their creed. ‘Say: Lo! the guidance of Allah [himself] is the Guidance. And if you should follow their desires after the knowledge which has come unto thee, then you would have from Allah no protecting friend nor helper.” Sura 2 (the Cow), verse 120

There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. The initiatives, proposals and International Conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility. The Palestinian people are too noble to have their future, their right and their destiny submitted to a vain game. As the hadith has it:

“The people of Syria are Allah’s whip on this land; He takes revenge by their intermediary from whoever he wished among his worshipers. The Hypocrites among them are forbidden from vanquishing the true believers, and they will die in anxiety and sorrow.” (Told by Tabarani, who is traceable in ascending order of traditionaries to Muhammad, and by Ahmed whose chain of transmission is incomplete. But it is bound to be a true hadith, for both story tellers are reliable. Allah knows best.) ”

These are not my words. These are not the interpretation of a second source. These are not an assumption. These are the statements of Hamas, the current leadership in Palestine. To allow Israel to exist, so they say, is against Islamic law. The only solution is a single state under Moslem rule. They state there will be war until they control the entire area.

Can there, as you state, be a “parity of esteem” if one party considers the other to be beneath it? Can there be peace if one party refused to negate a settlement? Can there be peace if the goal of the government of the Palestinians is the elimination of Israel?

Posted by: M.L. Schneider at November 5, 2006 7:18 PM
Comment #193595

The border I refer to is the one the UN put into place in 1948. Since then both Israel and its neighbors have failed to respect it and building the fence definately does not respect it.

I agree that the leadership of the Palestinian resistance movements (especially Arafat) has made several mistakes that have hindered their cause.

Posted by: Warren P at November 6, 2006 12:32 PM
Comment #193645

Actually in 1948 the land we call Israel was a country recongized by nearly all nations.

In 1947 the land wasn’t. It is not about Jews. That land in 1947 belonged to another country. That country is Plaestine.

The establishment of Zionism led to the Second Aliyah (1904 – 1914) with the influx of around 40,000 Jews. In 1917, the British Foreign Secretary Arthur J. Balfour issued the Balfour Declaration that “view[ed] with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” In 1920, Palestine became a League of Nations mandate administered by Britain.

Jewish immigration resumed in third (1919 – 1923) and fourth (1924 – 1929) waves after World War I. A massacre of Jews by Arabs in 1929 killed 133 Jews, including 67 in Hebron.

The rise of Nazism in 1933 led to a fifth wave of Aliyah. The Jews in the region increased from 11% of the population in 1922 to 30% by 1940.[citation needed] 28% of the land was already bought and owned by Zionist organizations plus additional private land owned by Jews.[citation needed] The southern half of the country is the barren and mostly empty Negev desert. The subsequent Holocaust in Europe led to additional immigration from other parts of Europe. By the end of World War II, the number of Jews in Palestine was approximately 600,000.

[In 1939, the British introduced a White Paper of 1939, which limited Jewish immigration over the course of the war to 75,000 and restricted purchase of land by Jews, perhaps in response to the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine. The White Paper was seen as a betrayal by the Jewish community and Zionists, who perceived it as being in conflict with the Balfour Declaration of 1917. The Arabs were not entirely satisfied either, as they wanted Jewish immigration halted completely. However, the White Paper guided British policy until the end of the term of their Mandate. As a result, many Jews fleeing to Palestine to avoid Nazi persecution and the Holocaust were intercepted and returned to Europe. Two specific examples of this policy involved the ships Struma and Exodus (which was carrying holocaust survivors, in 1947).[12]]

Seriously, the existance of Israel is no different then if 1,000,000 Mexicans all moved to Arizona and declared it “The Free State of Mexican Catholic”.

We would fight them and take our state back.

So to say your pro-Israel (not to be confused with pro-jew) is to say you wouldn’t be against the idea of giving the state of Arizona to a million illegal immigrants.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at November 6, 2006 3:38 PM
Comment #193646

Also this war is NOT thousands of years old, it is about a hundred years old.

Here is little more about that:

[Establishment of the State

Ben-Gurion pronounces the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948 in Tel Aviv.Main article: Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel
In 1947, following increasing levels of violence from groups such as Irgun and Lehi, uncontrollable immigration from Europe and general war-weariness, the British government decided to withdraw from the Palestine Mandate.[13] The UN General Assembly approved the 1947 UN Partition Plan dividing the territory into two states, with the Jewish area consisting of roughly 55% of the land, and the Arab area roughly 45%. Jerusalem was planned to be an international region administered by the UN to avoid conflict over its status.

Immediately following the adoption of the Partition Plan by the UN General Assembly on November 29, 1947, David Ben-Gurion tentatively accepted the partition, while the Arab League rejected it. The Arab Higher Committee immediately ordered a violent three-day strike on Jewish civilians, attacking buildings, shops, and neighborhoods, and prompting counter-attacks organized by underground Jewish militias like the Lehi and Irgun. These attacks soon turned into widespread fighting between Arabs and Jews, this civil war being the first “phase” of the 1948 War of Independence.[14]

The State of Israel was proclaimed on May 14, 1948, one day before the expiry of the Palestine Mandate.

Israel was admitted as a member of the United Nations on May 11, 1949.]

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at November 6, 2006 3:41 PM
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