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October 22, 2016 / 20 Tishri, 5777
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I Was Baruch Goldstein’s Friend

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He was my friend. He was also a doctor. A very good one. He treated both Arabs and Jews. His trauma treatment was legendary in Israeli medical circles. His on-the-spot diagnoses were, after weeks of hospital tests, found to be 100% on the mark.

He was my friend. He was also a doctor. A very good one. He treated both Arabs and Jews. His trauma treatment was legendary in Israeli medical circles. His on-the-spot diagnoses were, after weeks of hospital tests, found to be 100% on the mark.

The past week or so has witnessed a spate of “Remembering Baruch Goldstein” articles and videos in the international media. That’s because the past week marked the 20th anniversary of his attack at Ma’arat HaMachpela, the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron.

First, to be clear, I do not agree with, or justify what Baruch Goldstein did twenty years ago. I believe I can say, as I have stated many times before, that the Jewish Community of Hebron also rejects such violence and bloodshed as a means to deal with the issues plaguing us. The reason I am so sure is simply because our people do not do it. Our people do not go out and randomly shoot at other people who are not endangering their lives.

People here are armed. We are licensed, either by the Ministry of the Interior or by the IDF, to carry small arms and rifles for reasons of self-defense, and self-defense only. Once a pistol or a rifle is in the possession of any given person, they can, theoretically, do with it whatever they want. If a person wants to go outside and start shooting people, there is nothing to stop him. The fact is that Jews don’t randomly attack and shoot people, not in Hebron, and not anywhere else. This is not the way to achieve whatever aims we might have. It is not right legally, morally or ethically. It is wrong.

As a result there are very few people who have illegitimately used weapons against Arabs for reasons other than self-defense. And those who have are imprisoned for very lengthy periods of time.

When journalists ask me about our reaction to Baruch Goldstein, after replying, I inquire as to whether they ask my Arab neighbors what they think about Yahya Ayyash. About 99% of them don’t know who I’m talking about. Ayyash was nicknamed ‘the engineer.’ Bombs he assembled killed more than 70 Israelis in numerous terror attacks in the 1990s. He trained his successors to follow in his footsteps after his death at the hands of Israeli intelligence. At his funeral, attended by well over 100,000 people, Arafat called him a saint. (Two days after Goldstein’s attack, Yitzhak Rabin, in the Knesset, said, “I am ashamed to be a Jew.”)

How many Jews have committed such acts? Five, six, maybe seven. How many Arabs? Between 1989 and 2008, more than 800 Arab suicide-homicide killers have murdered Jews. Who is the only one remembered? Baruch Goldstein.

I asked former MK Mossi Raz, demonstrating in Hebron this week, if he would also demonstrate to mark the 18th anniversary of Israel’s killing of Ayyash. Of course, the answer was a stark No.

I knew Goldstein. He was my friend. He was also a doctor. A very good one. He treated both Arabs and Jews. His trauma treatment was legendary in Israeli medical circles. His on-the-spot diagnoses were, after weeks of hospital tests, found to be 100% on the mark.

He was also the only on-duty doctor in Kiryat Arba, just about 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During the first intifada, following drive-by shootings and terror attacks, he was frequently the first medical person at the scene. As such, he witnessed horrible sights. It is said that he would sleep at night with earphones in his ears, allowing him to hear reports of attacks, without disturbing his wife’s’ sleep.

Why did he do what he did? This is a question to which, as far as I know, nobody really knows the full answer. To the best of my knowledge, he didn’t leave behind any notes or messages. However, only two months earlier, I was present at the scene of the murder of his close friend, Mordechai Lapid and his son Shalom, just outside the gates of Kiryat Arba. He tried to save Mordechai’s life, in vain.

At the beginning of that fateful week, IDF General Shaul Mofaz visited with the Kiryat Arba leadership for an emergency meeting. Baruch Goldstein, as the doctor of the area, was present. Mofaz told of intelligence information concerning a planned terror attack in the area of Machpela towards the end of the week. Baruch Goldstein was asked to “be prepared.” The Saturday night prior to the attack, during evening prayers, Arabs inside Machpela chanted “Itbach el-Yahud,” “Slaughter the Jews.” The IDF did nothing to stop this. The night before his attack, the evening of Purim, while reciting Megilat Esther, when we read how Haman planned to annihilate the Jews, again, Arabs yelled and screamed, “Itbach el-Yahud.” Despite Goldstein’s protests, nothing was done to stop it.

The next morning he arrived there early, shot and killed twenty nine Arabs as they prayed, wounding dozens of others.

It seems, as much as can be assumed, that he very simply cracked, deciding, ‘if anyone is going to be killed here today, it will be Arabs and not Jews.’

That doesn’t make it right, in any way, shape or form. But that’s what happened.

Baruch Goldstein was not a bloodthirsty terrorist whose goal in life was to kill as many people as he could, as often as he could. He was a brilliant doctor, whose purpose in life was to save other people’s lives. His purpose in life was also to actively support and promote Jewish life in the State of Israel. For that reason he left the United States, as did the rest of his family, and moved to Israel, to take an active role in the rebirth of the Jewish homeland. It seems that this, too, was a reason behind his acts. Witnessing terror murders, one after the other, by Arabs, with Israel’s leadership standing on the sideline, watching, doing nothing to prevent the next terror killing.

He made a tremendously appalling error, which cost the lives of many people, which cost him his own life, and which left an indelible stain on Israel. That having been said, and realizing the horror of his act, it must be examined and remembered in the perspective of what was happening around us and to us. Had there not been an intifada, with some 160 Jews killed, with very few government attempts to protect the Jewish victims, he never would have broken down and committed the acts that he did.

And we cannot and must not forget that what he did, as ghastly as it was, was miniscule compared to the terror and death Israelis have faced at the hands of hundreds of Arab terrorists over the past decades. Terror that continues to this very day. Are not rockets, shot from Gaza into Ashkelon, acts of terror?

Clearly, the agenda of those protesting, and the articles appearing over the past couple of weeks have nothing to do with human life, human rights and human suffering. Rather, that agenda is purely political, overtly anti-Israel, anti-Jewish Hebron and in many cases, covertly antisemitic, in an attempt to create an atmosphere of incitement, justifying continued Arab violence and terror against Jews in Israel, with the immediate goal being the creation of another enemy Arab state on our land, to be followed by the destruction of the state of Israel and the implementation of those very words intoned at Machpela, here in Hebron, twenty years ago: “Itbach el-Yahud.”

David Wilder

About the Author: David Wilder is the spokesperson for the Hebron Community.

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  1. well written article.

  2. Uzi Kattan says:

    How outrageous to compare Baruch Goldstein to Josef Mengele. You are one sick m***********r. The Arabs are closer to Mengele with their Nazi desires to wipe out the Jewish people. sick bastard.

  3. Dan Silagi says:

    Yes, this Palestinian terrorist was evil, and I'm delighted he's dead. But his acts, and those of his fellow terrorists, do not in any way justify the evil of "Dr." Baruch Goldstein, who did far more than commit an "egegious error." He was a terrorist himself, and even worse, he was a doctor, whose credo is supposed to be, "first, do no harm."

    Burn in Hell, Baruch.

  4. Thank you, David Wilder, for explaining what Dr. Goldstein experienced before his attack.

  5. Dear Mr Silagi, do you know what happenned there at the Itzchak's Tomb? I do not. Shamgar Commission's report does not lend any support to your conclusions. http://vaam.tripod.com/Aug2198.html

  6. Kirill Tuchin says:

    Boruch Goldstein was a tzadik, while those who shook Arafat's hand are traitors.

  7. Dan Silagi says:

    Andrzej Lozowski I, unlike this jerk Manfred Lehmann, believe in calling a spade a spade, and Baruch Goldstein a terrorist.

  8. Dan Silagi says:

    He was as much a tzadik as Josef Mengele.

  9. Uzi Kattan says:

    Baruch Goldstein prevented a massacre the Arabs were planning against the Jews of Hevron with the Rabin government knowing about it. He acted to stop them and he did. My friends told me of the weapons the Arab Nazis hid under the rugs which were found later. The leftists will smear Baruch Goldstein but he deserves praise for saving Jewish lives. The self hating Jews in Name Only and the leftist vermin will slander him but he deserves praise.

  10. Nobody can say what really happened there – there was no proper investigation done. Baruch Goldstein is innocent, he has never been proven guilty!

  11. Dan Silagi
    Based on What? Was Shamgar also a jerk? Well maybe. Most Israeli supreme court Chief Justices are.

  12. Douglas Kent says:

    They didn't even try to find his murderers.

  13. Lani Lowell says:

    I am only guessing, but could it be that those praying at the tomb when Goldstein opened fire! could it be they were actual terrorists . being the only doctor for Miles around he probably treated more than a few Arabs who were up to planning and carrying out terrorist activities. Did he see someone or something that day, that made him think he and or the surrounding area, was in imminent danger?

  14. Yechiel Baum says:

    Rather than Jewish doctors treating Arabs for free, how about treating Jews and especially the aging holocaust survivors for free.

  15. By the Grace of G-d

    Wherever you happened to be on February 25, 1994, if you were old enough to read a newspaper you’ll likely recognize the name Baruch Goldstein. You may recall that he was a brilliant, exceedingly gifted physician, an expert in trauma medicine who, as a student at Yeshiva University, was president of his class and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 index. You may also recall that he studied medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, graduated with honors and was accepted into the AOA, America’s prestigious medical honor society.
    What? It doesn’t sound familiar? You didn’t read about it in the newspapers? Oh, I’m sorry, you’re right. The media didn’t mention those particular details.
    Maybe this rings a bell: When Dr. Goldstein was 25 he immigrated to Israel. He married, settled in Kiryat Arba and became the town’s chief emergency service physician. His stunning success as a trauma physician made him a living legend in the emergency wards of Jerusalem’s Hadassa and Shaarei Tzedek hospitals, where Jewish terror victims were sent after being treated by him. He also served in the I.D.F. with distinction and reached the rank of captain in the reserves. Yes, he opted to trade a life of ease for one of self-sacrifice because he thought that he was coming to a Jewish haven that wanted and needed him.
    He also thought that he was coming to a democracy. In 1990 he ran for Kiryat Arba Town Council Chairman and received one seat on the Town Council – a laughable number for someone as wildly popular as him. At the time of his death he was preparing for a second run, in 1995. In fact, he had already chosen his running mate, an engineer and former Soviet refusenik named Mordechai Lapid, who immigrated to Israel in 1968 and became a pioneer of the right-wing settlement movement. When Russian immigrants began arriving in Kiryat Arba in 1990, Lapid was involved in immigrant absorption and became a popular community figure. Given the fact that his electoral base comprised 45 percent of the town’s population, with Dr. Goldstein commanding an even larger and more diverse constituency, the two were headed for a landslide victory. Both their wide lead and vigilance made election fraud an unviable solution – and democratic elections, a very real prospect that threatened to dissolve the Shin Bet’s command over Kiryat Arba and the surrounding area.
    You didn’t know that, either? What about the fact that Mordechai Lapid and his son were murdered on December 6, 1993? It received wide coverage in the media. They said Lapid and his son were murdered by Arabs. When Dr. Goldstein was murdered two months later, they said the same thing. They said he was lynched by Arab worshippers after he opened fire on them in the Cave of the Patriarchs. Yes, Dr. Goldstein and his running mate were murdered two months apart. Just like it happens in El Salvador.
    Here are a few more details you probably missed. Four days before the massacre, Major General Shaharam Mofaz, Commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, visited Kiryat Arba. Among the people he met with was Dr. Goldstein. During their meeting, Mofaz briefed Dr. Goldstein on what he claimed was a serious security threat in Hebron. The army had been set on high alert, he said, and civilians were being recruited. Dr. Goldstein would be called up for reserve duty in the Cave of the Patriarchs on Purim morning; the recruitment order would be sent to him shortly and he was advised to bring it with him when he reported for duty. He and three additional reservists would be stationed in the Covenants Hall, just inside the Cave’s southern gate, as a field team on standby. Colonel Meir Kalifi, Commander of the Judea Brigade, would be there with them. Finally, handing him a letter dated January 18, 1994, and signed by Major Dr. Yitzhak Ashkenazi, Commander of the Medical Corps of the Judea and Samaria Division, Mofaz informed Dr. Goldstein that he was being recommended for promotion to the rank of major on Israel Independence day. The letter concluded in bold type:
    “If there is an officer worthy of promotion in rank in the Judea and Samaria region, it is, without a doubt, Dr. Baruch Goldstein.”
    Shortly after the meeting, Dr. Goldstein received the recruitment order. Early Purim morning, he and three of his closest friends from Kiryat Arba – settlers he had known for years – arrived at security headquarters in their I.D.F. uniforms and were driven by a security officer named Motti Unger to the Cave of the Patriarchs….
    What would we have known about that fateful day without the media? We would have known the truth. We would have known that the Massacre at the Cave of the Patriarchs on February 25, 1994, was a hoax built on the illusion that a settler staged the attack; that Dr. Goldstein had been framed in a black flag attack and was no less an innocent victim than those whose deaths were attributed to him. We would have known that the Arabs who died that day were killed by I.D.F. soldiers in a political ploy that backfired, orchestrated by PM Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres to move the Oslo Accords forward; and that the people who lynched Dr. Goldstein were Jewish settlers from Kiryat Arba-Hebron, not Arab worshippers.
    The facts just presented are part of an electrifying expose on the betrayal and assassination of Dr. Baruch Goldstein contained in chapters 17 and 18 (attached) of The Only Democracy in the Middle East, published by Bear Mountain Press and available in paperback and Kindle format at Amazon.com. As Dr. Goldstein’s sister, I have one thing to say to the news media: Stop dancing around my brother’s funeral pyre. Either tell the story like it happened or stop telling it. Twenty years is enough.

    Batsheva (Goldstein) Elkeslasi,
    Director, Bear Mountain Press, Inc.

  16. Dan Silagi says:

    Yes, he was a great hero, right up there with Osama Bin Laden. You're no better than Hezbollah, Hamas, and al-Qaeda, putz.

  17. Dan Silagi says:

    Uzi Kattan You terroristic turd, I'll compare Baruch Goldstein to anyone I want to. If you have a problem with that, girlie-man with a big mouth, you can voice your objections to me up close and personal. But if you really want to win a fight with me, you'll need the weapon you named yourself after. Otherwise, you're going down, big time.

  18. Dan Silagi says:

    Let's add Lt. William Calley, who personally massacred 500 Vietnamese peasants, mostly women and children, to the list of mass murderers to whom one can compare Baruch Goldstein. Goldstein was a disgrace to the United States of America, where he came from, Israel, and the Jewish people. He was also a disgrace to Yeshiva University and Albert Einstein Medical College, where my cousin is a professor of public health and associate dean.

  19. Dan Silagi says:

    Yes, Baruch Goldstein was indeed a great man. We need to add the date of his deed (and death) to the list of Jewish holidays. On second thought, maybe we should just lump it in with Purim, so the next time you dress up in an appropriate costume to commemorate both the holiday and Goldstein's actions — say a SchutzStaffel uniform — you'll be thinking of this good doctor and benefactor of Eretz Yisroel.

    Hold on — stop the presses! Goldstein didn't do it; he was murdered, along with 29 Arabs (plus another 150 or so who were wounded) by Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, both kapos who would have gladly thrown Jews into the ovens had they had the chance. Just as the Mossad, acting in conjunction with rogue elements of the CIA (the descendants of those who murdered JFK, RFK, and Jimmy Hoffa), destroyed the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

    Blessed be you, Batsh'it, er, Batshiva, for bringing forth the true story of what happened on that fateful day.

  20. Jan Bauman says:

    If you want to get sick just read the comments. All, with the exception of one commenter, justify the terrorism of this vile Baruch Goldstein.

  21. Dawn Yonah says:

    Thank you, David Wilder, for this article.

  22. The Talmud says if someone comes to kill you get up earlier and . Kill them first …not turn the other cheek.

  23. From our Torah we learn that King David was an expert warrior and a King commanded by God to eliminate all Philistines. At that time, we had sovereignty, our country had vast land and our nation was feared by all our enemies. Is this wrong too? What makes us different now?

  24. זהו שכחנו לכתוב בשפת הקודש?
    או שהאנגלית אמורה להיות השפה המגבה על לשון הרע?
    לא הבנתי את הקטע הזה עדיין.
    בכל אופן אם תרצה תגובה תאלץ לכתוב תרגום כי לא בא לי להתאמץ עם שפה זרה.

  25. Dan Silagi
    you also probably think that the Duke three were guilty. Because that is how the press decided.

  26. Dan Silagi
    you have not shown one iota of evidence for your unconditional condemnation of Baruch Goldstein. All you know is what you read in antisemitc press. Why don't you read official Israeli reports?

  27. ב"ה…מי ביקש תגובה מתת רמה …לכי תלמדי אנגלית….

  28. Dan Silagi says:

    Andrzej Lozowski You and the other Kahanist idiots here are all a disgrace to Judaism, venerating a mass murderer.

  29. בשביל מי ומה ללמוד שפה זרה? בזבוז זמן עדיף ללמוד תורה במקום אנגלית. אני גאה בעברית ולא זקוקה לגויים ולשפתם תודה.
    לגבי גולדשטיין ז"ל חבל שהתייאש מהחיים והעדיף להתאבד .כפי שאנו רואים מעשהו לא הועיל לאף אחד. הלוואי והיה יכול להיות איתנו היום. וולהוות כח נוסף במאבק שלנו על ארץ ישראלהשלימה.ם.

  30. Dan Silagi says:

    Andrzej Lozowski Keep making a fool of yourself by making assumptions.

  31. Uzi Kattan says:

    SIlagi, you are a disgrace to humanity with your cheap attacks on Baruch Goldstein. Apparently you would have preferred to see the Jews of Hevron massacred that day instead of the murderous Arabs who got what they deserved. Filthy leftist swine.

  32. Uzi Kattan says:

    Burn in hell yourself SIlagi you filthy swine.

  33. Uzi Kattan says:

    Apparently Silagi would have preferred to have the Jews of Hevron massacred by the murderous Arab mob. Typical liberal Jew hating asshat.

  34. Dan Silagi says:

    Uzi Kattan And I'll keep right on attacking that murderous POS and those who insist on defending him. Capisci?

  35. Rest in Peace, Baruch Goldstein!!!!!

  36. Baruch Goldstein's murderous rampage resulted in the introduction of outside, pro-palestinian observers in hebron.

    he set back the Jewish cause like no other individual of his times

  37. Goldstein was no warrior
    He was a cold-blooded murderer

  38. Nobody had come to kill Goldstein. He went on a rage against unarmed civilians.

    murder=murder, regardless of who the killer is

  39. Charles Hoffman And you are basing your opinion on which facts?

  40. Dudik Fischer says:

    I was Dr.Baruch Goldstein's, ZT'L, friend too. Dr. Baruch, ZT'L, was a great tzadik who B'Mesirut Nefesh sacrificed his noble life for Am Yisroel. Dr.Baruch, ZT"L, single-handedly prevented a major arab terrorist murder of Jews & made the mad pack of these sand-nazi hyeenas howl in pain. Funny, most arabs died being trampled underfoot of their own "heroic" fellow terrorists bravely cramming exits. LOL! Sand-nazis kaput! Kol HaKavod, Dr.Baruch! Am Yisroel Chai!!!

  41. Uzi Kattan says:

    Dan Silagi go to hell you leftist swine. I won't waste any more time arguing with an idiot.

  42. Dan Silagi says:

    Andrzej Lozowski Poles, fairly or not, have gotten the reputation of being the biggest anti-Semites in Europe (with Lithuanians and Ukranians not far behind). Statement such as yours, which venerate a mass murderer far worse than that Arab SOB Nidal Hassan who slaughtered 13 fellow U.S. soldiers and thus are the ultimate shanda fur de goyim, confirm that reputation.

  43. Dan Silagi says:

    So is Osama bin Laden; he was never tried in a U.S. court. Same with Hitler.

  44. Dan Silagi says:

    I'm only guessing myself, but the 6 million Jews Hitler murdered probably didn't care much for the Fuhrer themselves, and I'm also hypothesizing that many of them would have killed him had they the chance. Ths by your logic, or what passes for logic, the Nazis were acting in self-defense when they sent the Jews to the ovens.

  45. Dan Silagi
    Sir, what do Poles have to do with anything? You sir are an antisemite. (silagi. Hungarian Szilagi. Hungarians have a pretty bad record regarding antisemitsm, as well) Other than arguments ad hominem, you have produced nothing to back up your claims that Dr Baruch Goldstein was a "mass murderer" All your information comes from popular pinko liberal leftist press like Ha Aretz and NYT. Why don't you read official Israeli reports that investigated the "massacre".

  46. Dan Silagi says:

    Anti-Semite? I'm Jewish, you flaming rectal orifice. One hundred percent, on both sides. And my great-grandfather changed his name from Abraham Schwartz to Elemer Szilagyi. I guess so he wouldn't get drafted into the Hungarian navy, and serve under Adm. Horthy. Yeah, I get my info from the NY Times. Got a problem with that, you lump of spoiled kielbasa? Where do you get yours from, ski?

  47. Dan Silagi , So is Chomski. So is Richard Silverstein. Some of the worst antisemites are Jewish. As to my being a "lump of spoiled kielbasa" because I am critical of that antisemitc newspaper with its antisemitic editors going back to Sulzberger (more recently Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected a proposal to write an article for the paper on grounds of lack of objectivity. A piece in which Thomas Friedman commented that praise awarded to Netanyahu during a speech at congress was "paid for by the Israel lobby" elicited an apology) so be it. I happen to be a Jew. So was perhaps the most famous Lozowski (Shlomo ben Abraham, no relation) – murdered by Stalin. And if you think that I include anything true about myself in the facebook, then you are not just an antisemite, but a stupid antisemite, Jewish one to boot! Oy vey…

  48. Dan Silagi says:

    Andrzej Lozowski My wrestling coach in college famously said about me, "Strong as an ox, as smart as one too." I'd like to meet you, putzski, to demonstrate that the "strong as an ox" aspect still applies.

  49. Dan Silagi . That can be arranged. I see we are both alumni of the UofC. Perhpas at the next Alumni meeting in New York? 🙂 Or at the next Harper lecture in NJ.

  50. Dan Silagi says:

    Andrzej Lozowski Yeah, we can be the main event; the boring speaker(s) the undercard. And the winner can get to take on Little Dickie Kapostein, whom I despise.

  51. The inclusion of this article which goes into the good side of Baruch Goldstein is as appropriate as an article which goes into the good side of the most prominent Nazis. So and so was good to dogs and children he knew.

    The damage done by the massacre at the Tomb of the Patriarchs cannot be undone but it can be extended by articles like this one.

  52. Andrzej Lozowski The Israeli government inquiry said

    "(a) Dr. Baruch Goldstein bears direct responsibility for the massacre because the evidence unequivocally indicates that he carried it out. Furthermore, all stages of the event, including his preparations and behavior on the morning of February 25, 1994, as well as both general, and specifically ideological conversations which he conducted with others, such as the arguments with Mr. Meir Lapid (exhibit 1088), and an interview with a foreign correspondent early in February 1994 (exhibit 1092), indicate that his actions were premeditated."

  53. Jean Pierre, if you see no difference between Dr Goldstein and Dr Mengele, then you are simply ill informed. I can only tell you the same thing I told Silagi, read Shamgar report. Stop repeating slogans of liberal press.

  54. Donny Reich says:

    This was a man who devoted his life for the People of Israel, the Land of Israel and the State of Israel.

  55. Herr Jeff Blankfort! Instead of calling me names go and educate yourself – the investigation into this case was a joke, only arab witnesses were considered, many discrepancies in witness' statements were ignored. I will give you only one example: WHY in a world after the alleged shooter started shooting, the doors were blocked from inside so the people could not get out and the Israeli soldiers could not get in? It was never investigated as appropriate!

  56. Dan Silagi! This is not about trying in a court, it is about honest and professional investigating. Concerning the court, Baruch Goldstein was tore to pieces as you probably know – so he would not be able to be tried in court! He might had have a lot to say to his defense!

  57. Joels Davidi says:

    Dan Silagi This nutjob is married to Baruch Goldstein's sister!

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