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Author Topic: On Hating Jews
EarthShadow
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Babbler # 3391

posted 04 November 2003 12:34 PM      Profile for EarthShadow        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The idea that Israel has become the world’s Jew and that anti-Zionism is a substitute for anti-Semitism is certainly not new. Years ago, Norman Podhoretz observed that the Jewish state "has become the touchstone of attitudes toward the Jewish people, and anti-Zionism has become the most relevant form of anti-Semitism." And well before that, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was even more unequivocal:

You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely "anti-Zionist." And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of God’s green earth; when people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews—this is God’s own truth.

But if Israel is indeed nothing more than the world’s Jew, then to say that the world increasingly hates Jews because the world increasingly hates Israel means as much, or as little, as saying that the world hates Jews because the world hates Jews. We still need to know: why?



quote:
The values ascendant in today’s Middle East are shaped by two forces: Islamic fundamentalism and state authoritarianism. In the eyes of the former, any non-Muslim sovereign power in the region—for that matter, any secular Muslim power—is anathema. Particularly galling is Jewish sovereignty in an area delineated as dar al-Islam, the realm where Islam is destined to enjoy exclusive dominance. Such a violation cannot be compromised with; nothing will suffice but its extirpation.

On Hating the Jews

quote:
The particular dynamic of anti-Semitism in the Middle East orbit today may help explain why—unlike, as we shall see, in Europe—there was no drop in the level of anti-Jewish incitement in the region after the inception of the Oslo peace process. Quite the contrary. And the reason is plain: to the degree that Oslo were to have succeeded in bringing about a real reconciliation with Israel or in facilitating the spread of political freedom, to that degree it would have frustrated the overarching aim of eradicating the Jewish "evil" from the heart of the Middle East and/or preserving the autocratic power of the Arab regimes.

It's hard to be as optimistic as Sharansky is in his conclusion. Will "That shitty little country Israel", as the French Ambassador Daniel Bernard called it, survive?

If Israel is destroyed, what will our role have been in it's destruction?


From: somewhere in a circle | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 04 November 2003 12:46 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The animus against Israel in the Middle East is complex. That, anyway, would be my criticism of your sources, ES.

What puzzles me especially about the right-wing take on unrest in the Arab countries of the ME is the right-wingers' insistence on evading one fundamental cause of trouble in the region, which has been (for a century) and still is European/USian support for the worst dictatorships, fundamentalist and secular both.

I am also puzzled by the right-wingers' continuing denial of the obvious sympathy of the North American and European left for secular Muslim thinkers. I have yet to read any serious Western leftist enthusing about anybody's fundamentalism -- and yet again and again we are painted as cheerleaders for the "tearists." This seems to me simply dishonest.

The reasons for criticizing Israel's oppression of the Palestinians are obvious. No oujie-boujie conspiracy theories are required. The criticisms are political, not mystical, and the only cure for this crisis will be political.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 04 November 2003 12:54 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'll have to read Natan Sharansky's long article some other time - no time now. I will point out that the American Enterprise Institute is a far-right think tank. Herzl's reaction to anti-semitism was not the only one - the majority reaction to anti-semitism (be it the horrific pogroms in Eastern Europe or the Dreyfus affair in "civilised" France) in Herzl's time was universalist - either socialism or liberal humanism.

Hating Jews is evil - though one could argue that the slavery of Blacks or the extermination of Aboriginals in the Americas was every bit as great a racist evil as the Holocaust - but criticising Israeli policy is as legitimate as criticising the policies of any other state.

This article, by the way, was posted in "The Middle East", though Jews live everywhere in the world and are legitimate citizens of Canada, France, Argentina or wherever...


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mishei
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posted 04 November 2003 01:02 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
criticising Israeli policy is as legitimate as criticising the policies of any other state.


I agree totally.

From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 04 November 2003 01:20 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Can I just close this thread now, while it's going so well?
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 04 November 2003 01:27 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I really have neither the time nor the inclination to read what appears to be a "criticsm of Israel is anti-semitism" argument. I will just make two points. The author fails to see the irony that he is part of a government that seeks to deprive another people of their rights. The other is that the comment by Martin Luther King, which is often cited by the Israel right or wrong crowd, was made by a man who was murdered in April 1968. Knowing what I know of King, had he lived, he would have ended up with a very different view of Zionism.
From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 04 November 2003 01:52 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
This article, by the way, was posted in "The Middle East", though Jews live everywhere in the world and are legitimate citizens of Canada, France, Argentina or wherever...

Yes. Why post it here?


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
EarthShadow
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posted 04 November 2003 03:50 PM      Profile for EarthShadow        Edit/Delete Post
What better place? Politics or Ideas? Seems a bit nit picky to me.
From: somewhere in a circle | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 04 November 2003 04:24 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hmm. A prejudice such as "hating Jews", or any other ethnic, national or religious group, is the opposite of an idea, an pernicious absence of thought. I agree with josh that "criticising Israel = anti-semitism" is a questionable idea at best, and often a means of deflecting legitimate criticism of government policy by equating it with some of the most lethal race hatred the world has ever seen.

I don't think it is nitpicking because much of the ideology of anti-semitism centres around the Jews being somehow a "foreign element" and not really a part of the national corpus. It was certainly true in the neo-nationalist ideology of the USSR in decline and the post-Soviet Russian state.

I posted recently on some cases of antisemitism (and have posted on other forms of racism, and mistreatment of asylum seekers, and often on the National Front which hates both Arabs and Jews, since I have lived in France) but those dealt mostly with things in a specific place. I think I posted the things about Germany, Italy, France etc. in "the rest of the world", perhaps in "news", but I find "news" is often too much of a catch-all.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Blind_Patriot
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posted 04 November 2003 04:52 PM      Profile for Blind_Patriot     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mishei:
I agree totally.
Wow! Me Too

From: North Of The Authoritarian Regime | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 04 November 2003 05:51 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mishei:

criticising Israeli policy is as legitimate as criticising the policies of any other state.


And since Israel's 'Jewishness' is policy (as opposed to a policy of multiethnic multiculturalism, for instance) then you agree that our criticism of this policy (i.e. advocating a one-state secular non-ethnic polity) is a legitimate criticism and not the 'antisemitism' you often claim it is? Or is this form of 'antisemitism' a kind "legitimate criticism"?

[ 04 November 2003: Message edited by: Courage ]


From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mishei
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posted 04 November 2003 05:58 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Courage:

And since Israel's 'Jewishness' is policy (as opposed to a policy of multiethnic multiculturalism, for instance) then you agree that our criticism of this policy (i.e. advocating a one-state secular non-ethnic polity) is a legitimate criticism and not the 'antisemitism' you often claim it is? Or is this form of 'antisemitism' a kind "legitimate criticism"?

[ 04 November 2003: Message edited by: Courage ]


No. Israel is a Jewish State by Declaration. It is not open to question as are policy issues. It would be similar to saying that the American Delaration of Independance is itself a mere policy open to change. Its independance is gaurenteed its not policy. Israel as a Jewish State is gaurenteed period.

From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic
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posted 04 November 2003 06:19 PM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
independance is gaurenteed its not policy. Israel as a Jewish State is gaurenteed period.

And so is the corollary that 2nd class treatment for Muslims is also guaranteed? That doesn't sound fair.

From: middle of nowhere | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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Babbler # 3980

posted 04 November 2003 07:02 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mishei:
No. Israel is a Jewish State by Declaration. It is not open to question as are policy issues. It would be similar to saying that the American Delaration of Independance is itself a mere policy open to change. Its independance is gaurenteed its not policy. Israel as a Jewish State is gaurenteed period.

That doesn't make it anything less than policy. This argument is so bad that I won't even bother responding further.

A house built on sand...

Last I checked, the USSR was a Soviet Socialist State by Declaration...and where are they now....

Feh...

[ 04 November 2003: Message edited by: Courage ]


From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 04 November 2003 07:11 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Non-partisan partisan:

And so is the corollary that 2nd class treatment for Muslims is also guaranteed? That doesn't sound fair.

Yes and no - this is all about what we take 'Jewish State' to mean. From one conception 'Jewishness' is an ethical imperative toward tolerance, openness and justice. From another, more popular these days, it is an ethnicity with blood, soil, and a need to be in the majority to protect it's interests -- the 19th century idealist nationalism programme. This second definition is so at odds with democratic pluralism that it is laughable -- except to the perfidous of mind, like Mishei -- so yes, it has discrimination written in (out) to (of) it. However, if a 'Jewish State' is meant in the former manner, the treatment of minorities becomes an entirely different matter. If 'Jewish Character' is meant as a universalist ethical stance, rather than as a narrowly defined ethnonational supremacism than things become altogether different. However, it is the second conception which is propped up (if such a phrase really applies to such a flimsy structure) by the Zionist ideology to which Mishei is beholden.

This has lead to ethnic cleansing, discriminatory laws and practice, occupation and perpetual war.

And they call it a success....


From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
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posted 04 November 2003 08:31 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"Jewish State", means exactly what?? That it is a state for Jews, or does it mean it is a state whos laws are based on Jewish legal traditions??

One would assume that the first form is much more exclusionary than the second.


From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
EarthShadow
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posted 05 November 2003 12:02 AM      Profile for EarthShadow        Edit/Delete Post
It's something like Romania or Cherokee.
Or like a computer bit, one side of the coin means nothing without the other.

From: somewhere in a circle | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
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posted 05 November 2003 02:09 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Can't there be a state based on traditional jewish laws, without the laws and more specifically, the protections provided by those laws, being only fully applied to Jews?
From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mishei
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posted 05 November 2003 02:16 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Courage:

That doesn't make it anything less than policy. This argument is so bad that I won't even bother responding further.

A house built on sand...

Last I checked, the USSR was a Soviet Socialist State by Declaration...and where are they now....

Feh...

[ 04 November 2003: Message edited by: Courage ]


Feh yourself, the difference here is that the USSR was a basic dictatorial regime. Israel is a true democracy in which all of its citizens are treated equally.

From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 05 November 2003 08:37 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I see it's comedy hour here and our roving Fish Monger Clowns are at it again...

Really, Mishei, that is not germane to the subject. Your argument was that a 'Declaration' is set in stone and unchangeable; in short, nothing to do with the 'democratic or dictatorial' nature of a regime.

And, BTW, not all people have equal rights in Israel. There is a clear distinction between 'national rights' and 'citizenship rights' where national rights (i.e. Jewishness) takes precedence. This is the main problem with Israel's founding laws - a policy of discrimination written into their very substance.


From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
EarthShadow
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Babbler # 3391

posted 05 November 2003 10:57 PM      Profile for EarthShadow        Edit/Delete Post
A policy of discrimination written into the clown courage's very psyche.

courage, the disguised nazi, courage the Jew Hater.
You can fool some people all of the time.

goodbye, Jew Hater.


From: somewhere in a circle | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 05 November 2003 11:14 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Good riddance.
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DrConway
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posted 06 November 2003 12:28 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by EarthShadow:
A policy of discrimination written into the clown courage's very psyche.

courage, the disguised nazi, courage the Jew Hater.
You can fool some people all of the time.

goodbye, Jew Hater.


This is actionable under the acceptable use policy. A note will be going to the moderator.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 06 November 2003 12:34 AM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That's just what the persecution complex wants....
From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 06 November 2003 01:32 AM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There is a certain kind of racist who uses the word "Zionist" to mean "Jew." Usually the people who talk about "Zionist conspiracies" and whatnot. They're fairly easily identifiable, usually.

What I would call legitimate criticism of Israel tends not to use the word "Zionist" at all but to focus on the policies of the government of Israel, under the assumption that what is wanted is reform, not eradication. (Some varieties of Zionist would argue that anything that threatens the "all Israelis are equal but some Israelis are more equal than others" status quo is a call to eradication, but I hardly think it's anti-Semitic to disagree.)


From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mishei
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posted 06 November 2003 09:38 AM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Smith:
There is a certain kind of racist who uses the word "Zionist" to mean "Jew." Usually the people who talk about "Zionist conspiracies" and whatnot. They're fairly easily identifiable, usually.

What I would call legitimate criticism of Israel tends not to use the word "Zionist" at all but to focus on the policies of the government of Israel, under the assumption that what is wanted is reform, not eradication. (Some varieties of Zionist would argue that anything that threatens the "all Israelis are equal but some Israelis are more equal than others" status quo is a call to eradication, but I hardly think it's anti-Semitic to disagree.)



For the most part I agree with Smith here.

Where we part company is on the issue of a call for the dissolution of Israel as a "Jewish" state. Israel as a post war haven for beleagered world Jewry is very much the canary in the mine. Even Jews very much on the left (IE Peace Now, Tikkun, Yossi Beillin, the list is endless) see calls for the eradication of a Jewish state as unacceptable. Antisemitism may not be the intent but it is certainly the outcome.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Moses
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posted 06 November 2003 09:59 AM      Profile for Moses     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Where we part company is on the issue of a call for the dissolution of Israel as a "Jewish" state.
If you are not for the dissolution of Israel as a "Jesish" state, then it would seem you are rather for the dissolution or disenfranchisement of those non-Jewish types who make up a significant portion of the population of Israel. Is there really such a thing as a partial democracy?

From: Earth | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 06 November 2003 10:51 AM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Exactly. Thank you, Moses.

quote:
Antisemitism may not be the intent but it is certainly the outcome.

I don't believe your definition of "Jewish state" matches Michael Lerner's. Not for a second.

[ 06 November 2003: Message edited by: Smith ]


From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
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posted 06 November 2003 11:15 AM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I still don't see why there could not be an Israeli state based on Jewish traditional laws that applied these laws equally to all its citizens, be they Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or Buddist . . . supposedly countries like Canada and the USA (probably a bad example) can be countries based on a Christian tradition and still theoritically have their laws applied to all equally!!
From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 06 November 2003 11:39 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It is certainly observable that democracy has taken substantially different forms in different countries, and the structural peculiarities of any one of them probably can be linked to its national history, pre-dating the establishment of democracy.

The rhetoric of the USian founding documents, eg (heavy reliance on "self-evident" truth -- ie: idealist, anti-historical), is very much at odds with European notions of democracy (which evolved through readings of European history, trial and error). That sort of distinction has affected the structures various nations have chosen to embody democracy, and there are times when those cultural differences are quite dramatically in evidence -- when anyone needs to change a head of government or state, eg, much easier in some countries than in others.

I don't have a single, simple point to make here -- only that it is worth crediting more than one thought about national manifestations of democracy. If we only know democracy so far through national manifestations, then it seems wrong to deny any culture its right to put its local stamp on democracy; at the same time, there are obviously some principles and structures that seem irreducible about democracy; and yet it also seems silly to talk about "true" democracy.

[ 06 November 2003: Message edited by: skdadl ]


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gentlebreeze
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posted 06 November 2003 11:53 AM      Profile for Gentlebreeze     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
One difficulty already raised is that the true antisemites have now replaced the label Jew with Zionist and Israel. An unfortunate consequence of this is that those blinkered nationalists (of which we seem to have a few on babble) are now able to tar all with the antisemite brush. It has been too successfull in muzzling logical and compassionate critics, out of fear of being branded racists. Frankly it makes me sick.

"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson


From: Thornhill | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 06 November 2003 06:18 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mishei:

For the most part I agree with Smith here.

Where we part company is on the issue of a call for the dissolution of Israel as a "Jewish" state. Israel as a post war haven for beleagered world Jewry is very much the canary in the mine. Even Jews very much on the left (IE Peace Now, Tikkun, Yossi Beillin, the list is endless) see calls for the eradication of a Jewish state as unacceptable. Antisemitism may not be the intent but it is certainly the outcome.


Blah, blah, blah...

All this is meaningless because you do not define what you mean by 'Jewish State'.

What do you mean by 'Jewish State'?

Be very precise.


From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 06 November 2003 06:25 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:

I don't have a single, simple point to make here -- only that it is worth crediting more than one thought about national manifestations of democracy. If we only know democracy so far through national manifestations, then it seems wrong to deny any culture its right to put its local stamp on democracy; at the same time, there are obviously some principles and structures that seem irreducible about democracy; and yet it also seems silly to talk about "true" democracy.

[ 06 November 2003: Message edited by: skdadl ]


I think you are on to something very important here. I think a corallory to this is that we have to choose the right kind of 'democracy' for the location. In the case of Israel/Palestine, the existence of such a massive non-Jewish population there would seem to suggest that a highly homogeneous notion of 'the nation' is radically at odds with the concrete conditions. The stubborn insistence on this homogeneous political body as a means of protection has actually created new and greater threats, which forces redoubled efforts at seperation - i.e. enforced homogeneity.


From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged

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