Tuesday, October 28, 2014

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Kerry, Qatar and the poisonous tree
By insinuating that Israel is to blame for IS’s rise to power, Kerry was not simply blaming the victim. He was empowering the aggressor.
For the West to defeat IS, it first needs to recognize that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was right when he said at the UN last month that IS and Hamas – and increasingly Qatari-financed Fatah – are “branches of the same poisonous tree.”
With his announcement Monday that the government had approved the construction of 1,250 new housing units in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, Netanyahu showed that Israel prefers freedom and security to good relations with Washington and Brussels.
Washington and Brussels need understand that by forcing Israel to make that choice, they are hurting themselves and the cause of their own freedom and security far more than they are harming Israel.
Obama Admin: Palestinians Who Throw Molotov Cocktails at Israelis Are Not Terrorists
The Obama administration insisted Monday that a Palestinian killed by an IDF while attempting to throw a Molotov cocktail at Israeli civilians is not a terrorist.
The Palestinian, a teenager with U.S. citizenship, was shot Friday and buried wearing a green Hamas headband. The Obama administration said in a statement on Friday that it “expresses its deepest condolences to the family.”
At a State Department briefing today, Associated Press reporter Matt Lee asked spokesperson Jen Psaki whether it is appropriate to offer “deepest condolences” to the family of someone killed while attempting to carry out an attack on civilians.
“There are reports … that [the Palestinian teenager] was throwing Molotov cocktails at cars on a highway, and I’m wondering, if that is the case, would you still have been so speedy in putting out a statement and offering your condolences to the family?” asked Lee. “The argument that is being made by some in Israel is that this kid was essentially a terrorist, and you don’t agree with that, I assume,” Lee continued.
“Correct, we don’t,” Psaki said. Lee then asked whether the fact that the teenager was buried wearing a Hamas headband was “of concern at all.” Psaki replied, “I just don’t have any more on this particular case.”

Israel’s Ambassador Dermer: ‘It’s a Disgrace to Call Abbas ‘a Man of Peace” (VIDEO)
Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, on Sunday launched an unprecedented attack on Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, saying he “educates Palestinian children to hate Jews, and wants a Palestinian state free of Jews”, according to a transcript.
“The Palestinian President wrote a dissertation denying the Holocaust,” he said, and added that it is a “disgrace” that “anyone in the world embraces this man as a peacemaker,” said Dermer, speaking before some 5,000 participants at “A Night to Honor Israel,” held in Washington under the auspices of pro-Israel evangelist pastor, John Hagee.
The ambassador, referring to Abbas’ recent speech at the United Nations General Assembly, in which the Palestinian leader claimed that Israel is inflicting a “genocide” against Palestinians in Gaza, said, “…since 1967, the population of the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza has increased fourfold to between 3 to 4 million people today. And yet President Abbas stands before the world at the United Nations and accuses Israel of genocide? What a disgrace! What an embarrassment that anyone in the world embraces this man as a peacemaker,” Dermer charged.

PA Lies to its People: Car Terrorism was 'Accident'
A Monday editorial in the main PA daily newspaper shows the extent to which the war against Israel is waged on the "incitement" front.
The Ramallah-based Al-Hayat Al-Jadida referred to last week's terrorist attack in which a Hamas member and resident of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan rammed his car into a crowd of Jews and killed two, including an infant. The paper calls it a "traffic accident" that Israel is "exploiting" in order to "exacerbate the oppression in Jerusalem and to incite against the PA."
MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) published a translation of the editorial, which is replete with lies of the type the Palestinian Arab public is constantly exposed to.
Israel: UN Must Declare Hamas a Terror Organization
Israel’s UN Mission in New York is starting to go on the counter-attack against Hamas, and is seeking for the United Nations to officially declare Hamas a “terrorist organization.” The Israeli Mission commented that, “Surprisingly, to date the UN has not officially recognized any organization in the world as a terrorist organization.”
This week, Colonel Noam Neuman, Head of the International Law Department in the IDF’s Military Advocate General Corps, will travel to New York and meet with United Nations officials to offer evidence of “international crimes perpetrated by Hamas, especially in regards to the building of terror tunnels, the use of civilians as human shields and the persistent shooting on civilian population centers.” Col. Neuman will be assisted by Ehud Keinan, the legal adviser of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Recently, Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prossor commented that from the disconnected way the UN talks about the terrorist organization Hamas, “One would think that we were speaking about an organization that coincidentally found itself in a conflict not its own. It’s time that the United Nations begin to deal with the threat that terrorism poses. It's one thing to give a green light to political terrorism, something which we have seen the UN excel at, but the terrorist attacks which Israel faces on a daily basis must be condemned."
Why Does the State Department Endorse Palestinian Fight to Exclude Jews?
As the New York Times reports:
“If Israel wants to live in a peaceful society, they need to take steps that will reduce tensions,” Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, told reporters in a briefing. “Moving forward with this sort of action would be incompatible with the pursuit of peace.”
The Israeli move is being blasted as yet another example of Netanyahu worsening the already tense relationship between Israel and the United States. But Psaki’s willingness to jump on Netanyahu after repeatedly refusing in the last week to condemn statements from Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in which he openly incited violence against Israelis, the State Department stand could easily be interpreted as an implicit approval of the PA position.
If so, then it should be understood that what the United States is doing here is saying that Palestinians are in the right when they demand that Jews be kept out of certain parts of Jerusalem. But far from disturbing the peace, the idea of building new apartments in existing Jewish neighborhoods in the city or moving into mixed or Arab majority areas not only repudiates the formula of territorial swaps that President Obama has repeatedly endorsed but also reinforces the notion that the Palestinian state that the State Department envisions will be one in which no Jew is allowed to live. That means the U.S. is backing a vision of a Palestinian apartheid state that is itself incompatible with any notion of peace and rationalizing the recent wave of Arab violence against Jewish targets in Jerusalem.
PM: Criticism of E. Jerusalem building hurts peace chances
Netanyahu, speaking at Ashdod’s port, said blowback from the United States, Palestinians and others over an announcement a day earlier that planning could go ahead for about 1,000 housing units in East Jerusalem was “detached from reality.”
He added that he did not accept the outcry given international silence on Palestinian incitement.
“We have built in Jerusalem, we are building in Jerusalem and we will continue to build in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said, according to a statement from his office. “I have heard a claim that our construction in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem makes peace more distant. It is the criticism which is making peace more distant. These words are detached from reality. They foster false statements among the Palestinians.”
On Monday, Netanyahu gave the go-ahead for some 600 homes in the neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo and another 400 in Har Homa, both Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem over the Green Line.
Speaking at the Knesset later Monday, the prime minister vowed to continue building in the capital.
“The French build in Paris, the English build in London, the Israelis build in Jerusalem. Should we tell Jews not to live in Jerusalem because it will stir things up?” he said.
Erekat: Construction Punishable Under International Law
Palestinian Authority officials strongly condemned Israel on Monday after it announced plans for 1,000 new homes in eastern Jerusalem, the Ma’an news agency reports.
Among those was senior negotiator Saeb Erekat, who said the decision "amounts to evidence of an intent to further commit crimes defined by and punishable under international law."
"The announcement by Israel's housing minister, Uri Ariel, who is already a settler, of his intent to occupy a seized Palestinian home in Silwan is just another shocking reminder of Israel's accelerating efforts to forcibly displace Palestinians from Jerusalem and turn the Holy City of three faiths into an exclusive Jewish city," he charged, according to Ma’an.
Erekat also called on the the international community to take action to save the two-state solution from "colonial expansionism" and support the PLO's efforts at the Security Council to set a deadline for ending the “Israeli occupation.”
EU seeking Israeli clarification on new settlement homes
If the reports are confirmed, “it will call once again into serious question Israel’s commitment to a negotiated solution with the Palestinians,” a spokeswoman for EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton said.
The European Union could only “condemn such an ill-judged and ill-timed decision” if the plans went ahead, spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said.
“We stress that the future development of relations between the EU and Israel will depend on (its) engagement towards a lasting peace based on a two-state solution.”
Jordan to request emergency UN Security Council session to discuss Israeli housing plans
UN diplomats told Israel Radio that such a discussion at the Security Council is not expected to take place in the coming days.
The Palestinian envoy to the UN, Riyad Mansour, called on the international community to immediately put a stop to Israel’s “illegal settlement” in east Jerusalem and other areas.
Jordan’s foreign minister, Nasser Judeh, said that Israel’s decision to advance construction plans in areas that lie beyond the 1967 Green Line constitute “a slap in the face to international efforts to restart negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians” as well as “a clear violation of Israel’s obligation as anchored in the peace treaty between the two countries.”
Israel Radio is reporting on Tuesday that Judeh sent an urgent letter on the matter to US Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and the foreign ministers of the other 14 members of the Security Council.
Abbas Calls for UNSC Session Over Arab Rioting in Jerusalem
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmud Abbas said Monday he has called for an emergency UN Security Council session over the constant cycle of Arab rioting and violence, according to AFP - blaming Israeli "aggression" for the unrest, both throughout Jerusalem in general and on the Temple Mount in particular.
Abbas's comments surface amid high tensions in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, which saw an attack mowing down Israelis at the Ammunition Hill train stop on Wednesday night and an attack by a teenager throwing firebombs at Israeli civilians on Friday.
Both incidents received international attention, with many media outlets focusing on the Palestinian Arab terrorists being shot dead for launching the attacks instead of the attacks themselves.
PA TV broadcasts 19 times in 3 days Abbas' implicit call for violence in Jerusalem

Khaled Abu Toameh: Jerusalem eternal capital of Palestinian state, says PA's Hamdallah at Temple Mount
As rioting in Arab neighborhoods of the capital continued, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah visited the Temple Mount on Monday, where he declared that east Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Palestinian state.
“Jerusalem is a redline, and so is the Aksa Mosque,” Hamdallah told reporters. “We will go to all international institutions and Islamic and Arab countries to request that they stand against Israeli violations in Jerusalem.”
During the visit, which was coordinated with Israeli authorities, Hamdallah was accompanied by PA General Intelligence Service head Majed Faraj and Preventive Security Service commander Ziad Hab al-Reeh.
They also paid a brief visit to the nearby St. Anne’s Church in the Muslim Quarter, the traditional site of the home of Jesus’s maternal grandparents.
Hamdallah accused Israel of working toward Judaizing Jerusalem and the Aksa Mosque.
“We came here to say that Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state and an important part of the national program,” he said.
“Occupation is illegal and illegitimate. All Israeli measures and the settlements are illegal.”
Waqf condemns mayor’s visit to Temple Mount
The Islamic Waqf body, which administers the Temple Mount, on Tuesday condemned Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s visit to the site earlier in the day, charging that it had not been coordinated.
The visit was “merely for publicity and its political nature is characteristic of [Barkat],” Azzam al-Khatib, head of the Waqf, told AFP.
In a statement, the Al-Aqsa Foundation condemned what it described as the “storming” of the compound by Barkat.
Jerusalem’s ‘silent intifada’ is anything but silent
Amid the specter of historically high rioting and unrest in the capital, many in the Israeli media have come to refer to the violence that has engulfed much of east Jerusalem since last summer as a “silent intifada.”
However, it would appear that the only issue that two of the city’s most outspoken and diametrically opposed politicians can agree on is that the violence is indeed another intifada, and it is anything but silent.
According to councilmen Dr. Meir Margalit (Meretz), who holds the east Jerusalem portfolio, and right-wing hardliner Arieh King (United Jerusalem), the “third intifada” is already upon us, and has been for some time.
“For several weeks I have said that we are inside the third intifada,” said Margalit on Monday. “I don’t know why they call it a “silent intifada,” because it’s very loud, so the word silent is incorrect. It’s an intifada, and we have to call it by its proper name.”
The nature of the third intifada though, Margalit said, is far more akin to the first one than the second.
Mayor Reveals Jerusalem Went from 200 to 5,000 Monthly Attacks
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat outlined the sorry state of security in the capital Monday, in a session of the Knesset's Interior Committee.
Barkat disputed the claims that the deterioration in security began around the time of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.
“Even before Operation Protective Edge, the state of affairs in Jerusalem as regards riots, rock throwing and enforcement was shoddy. We were talking about 200 events of rock throwing [per month]. Even before Protective Edge, we held a discussion about the changes needed to bring back the rule of law in Jerusalem."
"The Arab residents are complaining about the situation no less than the Jews," he noted.
Arab Party Balad Boycotts Opening of Knesset Winter Session
Members of the Arab party Balad boycotted the opening of the Israeli Knesset winter session on Monday in response to the Knesset Ethics Committee’s decision in July to bar MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) from all plenum sessions and committee meetings for six months, following multiple complaints filed against her by MKs over her anti-Israel statements.
In a press conference held by Balad members at the Knesset building, Zoabi said, “When they suspend me from Knesset, they are essentially saying they don’t want Arabs, they only want ‘good Arabs.’ We won’t be ‘good Arabs.’”
A new poll commissioned by Israel Hayom from the New Wave Research Institute revealed that 85 percent of Israelis would like to see Zoabi dismissed from the Knesset over her recent remarks comparing Israeli soldiers to Islamic State terrorists.
Israeli Air Force’s First F-35 Fighter Jets Set for Production
The U.S. Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin have reached an agreement in principle on the production of 43 F-35 joint strike fighter jets, including the first two to be built for the Israeli Air Force. The deal is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.
This will mark the eighth lot of F-35 aircraft to be produced. Production and delivery of the lot will begin in 2016.
“Today’s agreement is representative of the program’s ongoing maturation,” F-35 Program Executive Officer Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan said Monday. “Once production of LRIP 8 aircraft is completed, more than 200 F-35s will be in operation by eight nations.”
According to Lockheed Martin, the eighth lot of F-35s includes 29 U.S. aircraft, the first two F-35As for Israel, the first four F-35As for Japan, four F-35Bs for the United Kingdom, two F-35As for Norway, and two F-35As for Italy.
In 2010, Israel ordered 19 of the state-of-the-art stealth fighter planes at a cost of around $2.75 billion, with an option of increasing the total number to 75.
Israel's air force the best in the world, study finds
Israel’s military is the most powerful in the Middle East while its air force ranks second to none globally, according to a new study conducted by military experts for the publication Business Insider.
The publication ranked the 15 strongest armies in the region while noting the size of the countries’ respective defense budgets as well as the latest geopolitical tumult and its impact on military strength.
“A close defense relationship with the US and an energetic domestic defense industry give Israel a qualitative edge over all of the region's other militaries,” the report stated.
“Israel has space assets, advanced fighter jets, high-tech armed drones, and nuclear weapons. Its air force has incredibly high entry and training standards.”
"Pilot to pilot, airframe to airframe, the Israeli air force is the best in the world," Chris Harmer, a senior naval analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, told Business Insider.
Gaza still in ruins, but Palestinians say Hamas won the war
The survey, carried out by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center, shows that as far as local public opinion is concerned, the latest war in Gaza was a victory for Hamas.
Some 57 percent of those polled claimed that Hamas was victorious — a strong majority, albeit far short of the 70% who thought Hamas had won after 2012’s Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza. Only 8% thought that Israel had won.
Some 53% claimed the recent war achieved the interests of the Palestinian people, while a little more than 21% said that the war damaged those interests.
At the same time Fatah, Hamas’s rival, has weakened while Hamas is getting stronger. Before the conflict began, 41.7% of Palestinians said they trusted Fatah but by the end of the fighting that percentage had slipped to 35.1. On the eve of the war nearly 17% said Hamas was the organization they believed in most, while in the current survey 26% said they believed in Hamas.
Support for the military struggle against Israel rose dramatically — from 31.5% on the eve of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, launched in early July, to 42.7% in the new survey.
Hamas’ Sinai Torture Camps
“They hang us upside down on a ramp and hit our feet with a baton …[t]hey electrocute and torture us day and night. We are not fed. They don’t give us food or water. There are many diseases; many of us have already succumbed…They tie us and melt plastic and drip it on our backs…They burn us and electrocute us every single day.”
— Sinai Refugee
Hamas’ Industry of Death and Torture in the Sinai
In a crisis the United Nations has deemed to be “one of the most underreported in the world,” the Sinai Peninsula, in a span of just a few years, has turned into a global hub of torture, human trafficking, and nearly indescribable crimes.
Hamas denies role in Sinai terror, says it has no tunnels into Egypt
Hamas officials rejected Egypt’s claims of Palestinian involvement in last week’s terror attack in northern Sinai, claiming that smuggling tunnels leading from Gaza into the Sinai Peninsula were completely destroyed two years ago.
“Gaza has nothing to do with what is happening inside Egypt,” Hamas’s interior ministry spokesman Iyad Al-Bozum asserted in comments posted on his ministry’s website Saturday. “Tunnels between Gaza and Egypt no longer exist and have become a thing of the past since the Egyptian army shut them more than two years ago.”
Egypt’s deputy interior minister, Samih Bashadi, told Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat that a suicide attack on an army checkpoint near the town of el-Arish last Friday that killed over 30 soldiers was carried out with the help of Palestinian operatives. Bashadi was elaborating on statements made earlier by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who spoke of “foreign hands” involved in the attack.
Egypt Requests Support in War against Jihadi Groups, Bans Hamas
Egypt has called upon its allies and the international community at large to help the country combat threats, both internally and externally, from terror groups such as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and Hamas.
On Friday, an attack in one of Egypt’s sectors of the Sinai peninsula killed 31 Egyptian soldiers and wounded dozens more. The event prompted the Egyptian Foreign Ministry to ask allies for support in the country’s “fight against terrorism,” as battles continue to ignite between the current government and Islamist factions, many of which have been carrying out terrorist acts in retaliation for the ouster of Cairo’s former Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said Saturday that his country is facing an “existential war” against foreign Islamist organizations. Some of these organizations have set up bases in the mostly demilitarized Sinai Peninsula. Sisi said that the foreign entities were attempting to “break the back of Egypt” and that the country should be prepared for an “extensive war” against Islamist factions.
Egypt said to be weighing canal on Gaza border
Canal would stop tunnel digging; Egyptian officials claim terrorists who attacked military trained in Gaza
Egyptian officials are reportedly considering a proposal to dig a canal along Egypt's border with Gaza that would prevent the digging of tunnels through which weapons and militants are smuggled into the Sinai Peninsula.
The idea, raised by tribal leaders in northern Sinai, follows Friday's killing of 33 troops in a combined attack by a car bomb, rocket-propelled grenades and roadside bombs placed to target rescuers.
The idea, according to the Egyptian daily al-Masry al-Youm, would be less expensive than the one currently under consideration to create a five-kilometer-wide buffer zone between Gaza and northern Sinai. It would also not require the evacuation of tens of thousands of people, and could be accomplished by evacuating far fewer residents.
Turkish-Egyptian Tensions Take on an Economic Dimension
This past week, Turkish-Egyptian tensions took on a new, economic dimension. Egypt decided to prevent the passage of Turkish trucks and ships through its territory to the Persian Gulf states, signaling an increase of friction between the two rival countries.
The Egyptian government signed an agreement with Turkey in March 2012 to use Egyptian ports for transporting Turkish products after Syria closed its crossing to all Turkish exports. These products are transported to Saudi ports and then to other gulf countries.
However, the Egyptian transportation minister’s advisor declared Egypt will not renew this agreement with Turkey after it ends in April, as reported by the Aswat Masriya website.
The Egyptian-Turkish conflict escalated last month after Turkish President Recep Erdogan criticized the current Egyptian regime, whose rise it described as a coup d’état, in his speech to the UN General Assembly.
Egyptian officials were outraged by the statement, viewing it as interference in the Egyptian internal issues. Egyptian diplomats retaliated by accusing Erdogan of funding terrorist groups.
Jewish Kurds Fear ISIS Advances; Call on Israel for Rescue (VIDEO)
The few hundred remaining Jews of the ancient Kurdistani community in northern Iraq are deeply concerned by advances by ISIS throughout their region, and many want out – to Israel, and elsewhere, Israel television reported Sunday.
They join some eight million other Kurds who are battling the Islamic State’s militants, and Sami, a Jewish resident of Erbil shared his uncertainty of the future, as many of his countrymen have fled.
“ISIS is about 20 kilometers from Erbil, and all the Israelis – the Jews who were here – they fled their homes and headed for the mountains,” he told the network.
“Those who had ever visited Israel, they were afraid for their safety, and they got out,” according to Sami.
He represents a young generation of Kurdish Jews that want to emigrate to Israel, since they see no future in the ancient area, believed to have hosted Jews since the Prophet Nahum.
ISIS’s Gruesome Muslim Death Toll
The group’s killing of Westerners gets attention. But ISIS has killed far more Muslims, and publicizing that fact would harm it more.
Last Thursday, the United Nations released a report that could provide us with one of the keys to defeating ISIS. Unfortunately, it received almost zero media attention.
What makes this 26-page report (PDF) so powerful is that it describes to us the gruesome circumstances in which ISIS has killed fellow Muslims. We are talking beheadings, killing of women for objecting to ISIS’ policies, and executing Sunni Muslim clerics for refusing to swear allegiance to ISIS.
Why is this important? This information can hopefully help dissuade other Muslims from joining or financially supporting ISIS. And it may even persuade other Muslim countries to join or increase their efforts in fighting ISIS. The reason being that slaughtering fellow Muslims is seen as universally wrong across the Muslim world and as a violation of Islamic values. In fact, Al Qaeda has even publicly criticized ISIS for this very conduct.
Now the report also details ISIS’ horrific actions against Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities. But these events—along with the grisly beheadings of American journalists and Western aid workers- have been covered extensively by our media.
Video Shows Islamic State Terrorists Wielding Anti-Aircraft Missiles
New images released by the Islamic State reveal that the terrorist group is in possession of surface-to-air missiles capable of shooting down helicopters and civilian aircraft.
Military experts at Jane’s Defence identified the weapons as Chinese-made FN-6 Man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADs, which can reach up to 12,500 feet vertically.
Although the range of the FN-6 puts most military and commercial aircraft out of reach, they are capable of shooting down any aircraft during takeoff and landing, posing a significant threat to flights in and out of Baghdad airport.
More troubling, however, is the fact that terrorists are now sharing information on “the best way to shoot down an Apache helicopter” on the Internet.
After Gaza, EU Also Seeking To Give Funds To Avalanche That Killed Israelis (satire)
Technical difficulties may prove a challenge, but the governing arm of the European Union is looking into methods for delivering aid to the avalanche in Nepal that killed several Israelis two weeks ago. The move would continue the European Commission’s efforts to finance entities that kill, maim, or threaten Jews, especially Israeli Jews, after pledging $568 million to help Hamas rebuild its military infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.
Three Israelis were among the seventeen killed in a Nepal avalanche on October 16. The total number of victims does not match the 72 dead from this summer’s barrage of Hamas missiles, mortars, and terrorist infiltrations, but Commission leaders expressed hope that the cataclysm of snow, ice, and rock will use the funds to improve its methods and effectiveness.
“The Palestinian Arabs have had more than a hundred years’ experience killing Jews,” said Catherine Ashton, the outgoing head of EU foreign affairs. “That’s the longest-running currently active Jew-killing initiative in the world. While we can’t expect relative neophytes in the field to attain the same level of achievement that the Palestinians have done, we can certainly offer the necessary support and encouragement to others in pursuit of the same goal.”
“By 2050, avalanches might be killing dozens of Israelis at a time,” offered Ashton.

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