Posted by Ariel Blumenthal
A persistent cry from the global anti-Israel campaign claims that Israel enjoys impunity under which it commits unspeakable crimes. Based on a categorical definition of any Israeli action as a horrible crime, this argument is essentially flawed, and is actually aimed at stripping Israel of its ability to operate in a series of extremely hostile and active fronts.
But now, in light of the expected release of 104 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, the question arises: Who’s really operating with impunity here?
The definition “political prisoners” covers only the background of these men’s actions; These are no freedom-seeking-flag-hangers. Most of the released this time around are in prison for murder or attempted murder. Among them are two who had stabbed a 78 and an 82 year old to death; Some who murdered their Palestinians brethren; A man who boarded a bus and stabbed 3 passengers to death. Under the comfortable auspices of a political cause these men committed severe criminal acts. And now, their accumulative violence will enjoy impunity.
Learning from history: This is an unfortunate ocassion to revisit the Gilad Shalit dillema:
Can the violent death of 180 human beings be regarded as a move towards peace? Are 180 murdered people - or 36 or 2 - the price of peace? They may have certainly been just that, as a tragic backdrop to a momentous, historical reconciliation between Jews and Arabs, where the crimes and atrocities of the past are to be put to rest for the sake of a prosperous, hopeful future.
Alas. We’re far from that. These Palestinian criminals are going back to a society that sees them as heros and examples, a sick society that lacks a moral compass of the most basic kind to deal with the atrocious legacy of Palestinian terrorism. This kind of soul-searching would be a basis for a real peace process, where the sides are willing to place their bets on compromise, and give up fantasies of total victory, holy martyrdom and glorious bloodletting.
No, we’re certainly not there. Not a single Palestinian will have to audacity to doubt these killers’ heroism. These criminals are part of a society that sees their unspeakable acts as accepted and even virtuous behavior, and is happy to give them moral and cultural impunity.
Follow me on Twitter: @Lostroadtopeace
11.15.13 at 1:48 pm | One interpreter was struck with a moment of. . .
10.30.13 at 10:08 pm | The moral problematics in releasing these men are. . .
10.16.13 at 10:24 pm | Good morning Europeans. Today the European Court. . .
10.8.13 at 9:00 pm | Another glorification of terrorism; Swift,. . .
9.28.13 at 11:26 pm | This past Tuesday Iranian President Hasan Rouhani. . .
8.26.13 at 12:46 pm | On August 15th a powerful car bomb exploded in. . .
11.15.13 at 1:48 pm | One interpreter was struck with a moment of. . . (11)
10.16.13 at 10:24 pm | Good morning Europeans. Today the European Court. . . (5)
10.8.13 at 9:00 pm | Another glorification of terrorism; Swift,. . . (4)
July 30, 2013 | 6:54 pm
Posted by Ariel Blumenthal
The images of released killers boasting their triumph are not images of peace.
In October 2011 Palestinians cheered 1,027 prisoners, responsible for 569 deaths, whose release was forced upon Israel by what basically was a hostage situation. Among the released, the likes of Ahlam Tamimi, a young, beautiful woman shown here gloating upon learning that her attack killed 8 children, not 3 as she previously thought.
104 more killers will be released now, part of an agreement to restart peace talks.
Last Thursday, at the height of Secretary Kerry’s efforts to usher in the talks, Mahmoud Abbas’ party Fatah posted a fb shout-out for the “The brave free prisoner” Abdallah Barghouti, carefully itemizing his achievements: “15 Zionists dead at Sbarro restaurant, 11 Zionists dead at Café Moment, 15 Zionists dead at Sheffield night-club - -” and on it goes. 61 deaths in total.
The Palestinian society deserves its glorified heros, killers of women and children.
On July 18th the Palestinian Authority honored the diseased Abu Sukkar, who killed 15 in a 1975 bombing in Jerusalem, with an official military funeral. President Abbas eulogized the “righteous son”; Jibril Rajoub vowed to keep his “principles and goals”.
A broadcast on Palestinian TV in June glorifies Ibrahim Faiz Abu Ali, who murdered a 24-year-old taxi driver, as “A hero whose struggle brought honor to us and all of humanity”, and in another broadcast in May, Farej Saleh Abdallah Al-Rimahi is described as an “Heroic giant who brought pride to all humanity.” Al-Rimahi killed an 84-year-old using a hoe.
The Palestinian attachment to violence and blood is a morality-free pathology. Everything is named after killers: from squares and bridges to summer-camps and football tournaments, and that’s the moderate Palestinian Authority we’re talking about. Murderer of an 84-year-old a “Giant hero” - when the moral inversion is so complete, it is not just a case of culpable neglect in the face of Secretary Kerry’s committed efforts towards peace, it’s a cultural, societal disorder.
The Huff-Post reports that a majority of Israelis support the negotiations - they absolutely have to. But more than half have no hope that it’d bring peace - including yours truly. My reason expressed in a metaphor: A person in debt would have to stop burrowing before they can start paying off their debt; The Palestinians will have to stop nourishing and nurturing tendencies that contradict peace before they can start moving towards it.
Release and even total amnesty of all perpetrators makes sense when a conflict is resolved. Releasing guilty parties is never a moral move or a moment of justice, but under real, meaningful circumstances it’s an understandable step in a momentous change that finally puts all the pain, blood and agony of the past behind. At the moment, there’s no resolution or momentous change in sight, all we are left with is the unjust and immoral moment.
About 70% of Israelis, reports that poll on the Huff-Post, reject release of prisoners or other gestures of that sort, they don’t see how it may serve any positive goal. Indeed, even the most sober, strategic calculations I can think of won’t turn the moment of joy for radically disturbed killers, poster-boys for the non-peaceful reality, into an appropriate interlude to peace efforts.
Follow me on Twitter:
July 19, 2013 | 1:32 pm
Posted by Ariel Blumenthal
When I got my German passport, based on my grandparents’ credentials, it was clearly stated by the Germans that the next generation will not be eligible for a citizenship. The buck, or the Mark, stops with me. But 10 years later, while renewing my passport, the consular clerk urged me to register my little son as a citizen. Politely but persistently she lobbied, even after I explained that he already had an EU citizenship thanks to his French mother. “With us it’s better” she said. I thanked her, and wondered whether she had noticed the moment of thick irony: 75 years after my grandparents - citizens and all - had to run for their lives, a new Blumenthal is being courted to sustain a largely bogus relationship with the German state.
It may be purely guilt, but I want to think that the German authorities’ change of policy can be partly attributed to the pursuit of productive, contributing members of society. I want to think they dared to assume that my son, just like his great-grandparents, will turn out that way. The desirable kind, after all.
I remembered that anecdote this week, when the EU issued its “Binding directive ... forbidding any funding, cooperation, awarding of scholarships, research funds or prizes to anyone residing in the Jewish settlements...” The Europeans had decided to stop investing their West-Bank Euros in science, education and the arts, and focus on endless aid spending. Something about severing ties with the productive side, the one with the academic institutions, environmental ventures and art institutions, feels wrong, and the question is whether this is really what needs to be done in order to find the road to peace.
The Europeans continue to place the responsibility for lack of peace solely on Israeli refusals, failings and abstinence and believe that exerting pressure on Israel is the road to peace. This is an optimistic thesis, as it grants Israelis the ability and power to end the conflict. It’s hardly apparent this week, though, as Abbas’ refusal to return to negotiations dictates Secretary Kerry’s busy travel itinerary. On a wider view, this assumption contradicts ideologies, cultures, history, rhetorics, education, policies, statements - all of those important components and factors that the Europeans would have thoroughly looked at if they weren’t absolutely committed, emotionally and ideologically, to Palestinian victimhood.
The European disconnectedness already leads to frequent entanglements with indirect support for Palestinian violence and hatred, through EU money placed in the wrong hands. Norwegian-funded hate speech and British Pounds paid to terrorists - this is the funneling direction the EU had decided on this week.
East Jerusalem’s inclusion in the boycott totes another moment of irony: The resolution was delivered on Tish’a Be’av, a fasting day commemorating the destruction of the two Jewish Temples, which were located, unfortunately, in the EU's East Jerusalem. As economy Secretary Bennet put it on his fb page: “Turns out I’m fasting over an occupied territory”.
In the name of justice an inquiry should be made as to the arbitrary nature of the European definition of occupied territory. When the old city of Jerusalem was taken by Jordanian forces in 1948, its Jewish residents were expelled and the Jewish quarter destroyed. Isn’t that an act of occupation? In the case of the old city of Jerusalem, the focus of 2000 years of Jewish longing, the EU had decided that the buck (or the Shekel) stops in 1967.
Finally, the Golan Heights were included in the boycott as well. I hope no one entertains the absurdity of handing out the region to Bashar Assad or anyone else in the Syrian slaughterhouse. Still, the EU, in contradiction with the principles of freedom and prosperity, is clearly eager to abolish Israeli sovereignty in the region. To that end, I’d like to suggest reverting to the French mandate of 1918-1943. The French will surely be orderly and courteous, and after all, they’ve controlled the Golan Heights for 25 years, one year more than the Syrian state did (and just over half the time it’s been under Israeli control: 46 years.)
Follow me on Twitter:
July 4, 2013 | 8:45 pm
Posted by Ariel Blumenthal
No writer in Hollywood could have gotten it better. Revolution in Egypt: a season finale shocker.
For decades it was common knowledge that Hosni Mobarak is sitting on a barrel of Islamist explosive, that only his firm hand is keeping the Muslim Brotherhood from taking over the country, unleashing violence and chaos. Egypt was not alone: A Brotherhood rise against Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad in the 1980s ended with some 30,000 dead bodies in Hama, and when Al Qaeda first announced its agenda, it was the ousting of the secular regimes in the Arab world at the top; Most specifically in Saudi Arabia.
Thus was the status-quo in Egypt and other Arab countries: Enormously popular Muslim Brotherhood, disciplined and patient, kept at bay by ruthless strongmen.
But when they finally rose to power, it wasn’t the way the Brothers had anticipated. No rivers of blood for the sake of Allah, no holy martyrdom - almost disappointing. No, the Muslim Brothers moved directly, and quite literally, from Mubarak’s prison dungeons to the Presidency on the wings of Democracy, a Western invention that categorically contradicts everything they believe in.
Only the hopelessly naive could have missed the irony in Islamists reaping the benefits of a “Democratic” “Arab Spring”, which taught us that when the will of the people in the Arab world is accommodated, what you get is Political Islam in all of its calamitous glory.
Tunisia, Egypt, Gaza, Libya, Turkey - the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and Political Islam is not a democratic occurrence equivalent to a Republican or a Democratic win in an election cycle. Their rise was decades in the making, backed by the current enormous wave of religiosity and radicalism in the Muslim world - from Tehran to Malmo, Damascus to Boston. Their rise is a tsunami, or as agent Smith says to Neo in The first Matrix: “You hear that Mr. Anderson? This is the sound of inevitability.”
Until this week.
This revolution came out of left field: the defeat of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is perfectly counter-intuitive. The Islamist route for Egypt, which was building up for 80 years, collapsed in just one year and three days. Astounding.
This is not the first time history takes an unexpected turn. Why positive outcomes occur in the face of hopeless prospects is a philosophical question more than anything else. Such a resounding loss for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the land of its founder Hassan Al-Bana (the father of the Brothers if you will), a land of 80 million people, a leader in the Arab world - is hardly a bump in the road for Political Islam. And a loss to political Islam is a clear win for civilization, freedom and progress worldwide.
The issue of democracy is almost beside the point. Just like placing a team of Swedes on the Cricket field; Democracy is simply not an Arab game, at least not at the moment. The two titanic battles in the Muslim world are Islamists against secularists and Sunnis against Shi’as, the rest is a distraction. Just like Hamas in Gaza, being elected was the last democratic move Morsi had made, and seeing supporters of the Brotherhood now sob for the demise of democracy is a recap of that same irony I mentioned above.
So what now?
After the first round of the 1991 Parliamentary elections in Algeria, it became crystal clear that the Islamic Salvation Front is about to triumph in a monumental way, and that the country will inevitably turn into an Islamic state. The military got nervous, and cancelled the election in a swift coup. The result was a gruesome civil war lasting 10 years, including intensely brutal massacres of entire villages by raging Islamist factions.
Islamism thrives in an environment of violence and blood. Case in point: Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia, Iraq, Gaza and terror scenes around the world. The Muslim Brotherhood had built its strength in Egypt while under the iron fist of dictators. If anything, the Brotherhood is now back in its natural, comfortable position of the victim, the underdog.
If the Algerian civil war is to teach us anything, the battle in Egypt is far from over.
Follow me on Twitter:
April 8, 2013 | 12:08 am
Posted by Ariel Blumenthal
The Irish Teachers Union members are oblivious of the symbolic week they had picked to adopt an academic boycott on Israel. One may argue the justice behind this move; I’d argue it has nothing to do with justice. Even the grimmest Apartheid reality the Irish teachers may imagine to be going on in Israel would leave them with much more evil candidates for a boycott. But the Irish teachers would not boycott China for the unchallenged annihilation of Tibet and Tibetan culture, would not seek academic retaliation on Iraq and Egypt for a tsunami of fleeing Christians, they have no issues with Syria for the horrors we all know about -- it’s a gruesome, long list.
This sort of unfounded singling-out is primitive, vicious and disconnected from reality as Antisemitism has always been. You won’t find “justice” among it’s motivations.
Venezuelan front runner and Chavez lackey Nicolas Maduro goes antisemitic on his opponent Enrique Capriles, who had a Jewish grandparent. Capriles is, therefore, a Zionistic agent - and that’s that. Maduro also told thousands of supporters that his late master Hugo Chavez had tweeted him - an analog tweet that is, through a beak of a bird. Antisemitism has always been ridiculous, psychotic.
On the occasion of Holocaust Memorial Day (and that’s where the Irish teachers had struck symbolism), Israeli Ha’aretz reports a rise of 30% in antisemitic incidents in 2012. Antisemitism is doing well, thank you. Professor Krzysztof Jasiewicz, an esteemed Polish historian, said this week that the Holocaust was the work of the Jews. No typo here. The head of Rome’s Jewish community Riccardo Pacifici warned of “The end of the good days”, saying that Jews should “get ready to leave”. The good days, turns out, lasted less than 70 years.
Antisemitism is rising. And while Western governments take some measures, the reaction of the world this time around is not yielding very good results.
Jews leave Malmö, Sweden, because of violent attacks by Muslim immigrants, and mayor Ilmar Reepalu says that “If Jews want to leave that is not a concern for Malmö.” The mayor believes that the right-wing Democrats party had “infiltrated” Malmö’s Jewish community in order to turn it against Muslims. In reaction to the very un-European violence against a group of Jewish demonstrators during the last Gaza fighting (“Hitler Hitler!” chants, home made bombs, evacuation and all), Mayor Reepalu blamed the Jewish crowd for supporting Israel’s position. You probably think: Where is freedom of speech? Not in Malmö, Sweden I’m afraid. The Jewish demonstrators were merely expressing sympathy for “all civilian victims” in Gaza and Israel - they’d already not dare to say anything more pro-Israeli than that in Malmö. Jews attacked? Authorities blame the attacked? That’s too closely familiar.
What had civilization learnt from the Holocaust? One of the important lessons is to protect minorities from hatred, harassment and violence. Under this very protection, ironically, Islamic antisemitism thrives and it’s irrational, dogmatic and paranoid. Is this a correct turn of events? These are the same Jews, after all. Political correctness cannot be the right answer to Nazi horrors if it allows for rhetoric and intentions equally horrifying as the Nazi’s.
I’m afraid there’s no place for Holocaust-fatigue. A message heard so many times may become old and tiring, especially when the world we live in today is so different. Unfortunately we see that antisemitism persists through cultures and political systems - god knows why. It hides behind political excuses that are no more credible than the 19th century libel.
But through all its reincarnations it retains its language, the language of hatred. This is the sign that we cannot afford to miss.
Follow me on Twitter: @lostroadtopeace
April 5, 2013 | 2:09 pm
Posted by Ariel Blumenthal
Malek Nasr A-din entered Caffit Cafe in Jerusalem, gun at hand, suicide belt ready to go. But something happened to Malek: He decided not to blow himself up. He turned around and hurried out of the coffee shop. The patrons finished their cups and went on with their lives.
One of the people sending Malek on his suicide mission that Sunday in 2002 was Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh. Hamdiyeh was arrested, convicted and imprisoned; on Wednesday he died of cancer in a hospital in Israel, at 64. His death triggered a series of prison riots.
It’s only natural that Palestinians held in Israeli jails are the pinnacle of Palestinian mythology of heroism and sacrifice. The fact that these heros are the likes of Hamdiyeh, who was doing time for putting together a hair-raising orgy of blood and religious fantasies, is an indication of a deep cultural malaise.
Hundreds riot in the West Bank immediately after Mr. Hamdiyeh’s death. Two men are killed - both healthy and much younger than Hamdiyeh was. It’s unclear how much of a leader or a follower the Palestinian Authority is in this; Whatever the balance may be, the Authority seems happy to participate in an reckless escalation, and death from cancer, so it seems, is a reason to recklessly escalate.
Even more frustrating is the Authority’s choice to reject the civilized alternative at hand: Dr. El-Alul, the top Palestinian pathologist, conducts the autopsy together with his Israeli counterpart Dr. Liss. Reason of death: Cancer, the kind common with heavy smokers like Hamdiyeh. President Abbas, nevertheless, announces through his spokesperson that “The Palestinian presidency holds the government of Netanyahu responsible for the martyrdom” (echoing the well-nurtured myth that Israel killed Yasser Arafat), and Secretary of Prisoners Issa Kara’ke tells the mourning family that “It’s time to turn to the International Court in Hague in regards to the prisoners”. Inversion complete: Terrorists don’t go to Hague, those who put them in prison do.
The prospects of political exploitation of the legal procedure is precisely why both the United States and Israel refuse to be states parties to the Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Palestinians have been throwing fervent glances at the international legal system that the UN nod last November made available to them, with two targets in mind: Delegitimization of Israel, and impunity for their own foul acts. Both goals are as contradictory to the reason this court was established as they are to justice itself. Abuses of progressive legal systems in Belgium, Spain and the UK by pro-Palestinian activists had already led to some restrictions in Universal Jurisdiction legislation - Damage inflicted under the Palestinian banner, and goes unnoticed by a civilization that holds the ideas of Universal Jurisdiction dear.
There’s a constant campaign going on in (and by) the Palestinian Authority to glorify the prisoners and their violence - It’s only natural. Generation after generation, indiscriminate killing - terrorism - is further cemented as the glorious, honorable Palestinian way. [see many examples from Itamar Marcus and PMW here] Fire fed, rage nurtured, fantasies encouraged - any day is a good day for an Intifada, be it because of death of cancer, or any other occasion.
Follow me on twitter:
March 24, 2013 | 6:22 pm
Posted by Ariel Blumenthal
On Thursday, as President Obama was getting ready to deliver his vision of peace to Israeli students, the alternative to that vision was typically expressed by a rocket attack from Gaza. On Thursday morning the contrast between the two visions was clearly illustrated; Just a day later the violent alternative received a tremendous boost.
Hamas applauded Turkish PM Erdogan on finally getting his apology, declaring it “A victory” - and so they should: The effort to rescue the Hamas regime in Gaza, taken by the Turkish Islamist organization IHH three years ago, ended Friday with their calamitous moral victory. Since IHH radicals on board of the Mavi Marmara are still too often related to as “carrying humanitarian aid” and as “peace activists”, I’m inclined to remind my readers who they were, via this 3:35 video I made with my friend Guy Ross:
No, these were no peace activists attacked by ruthless commandos while selflessly seeking justice; These were fanatic Islamists confronted with paint guns while seeking martyrdom and itching for a holy fight. These “peace activists”, die-hard supporters of Hamas and the alternative it offers to the region, were never looking for peace. And on Thursday morning, back in their homes in Turkey, they were very happy to see some rockets flying into Israel. These are the people granted an apology.
Beyond the context of intent and ideology, there’s also the issue of affiliation. Three years ago the Muslim Brotherhood was unknown to the Western public; Today it’s a household name, making the significance of IHH’s ties to the global Brotherhood clear. A report by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs showed that “The IHH ... was an integral part of a Turkish Muslim Brotherhood network” and that “Since 2006, Turkey has become a new center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood, while the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip acted as the main axis for this activity.” You can’t expect the IHH to care for Shiites, or even non-Brotherhood Sunnis (like the Palestinian Authority). The flotilla was an act of alliance between Muslim Brotherhood affiliates; The thin veneer of “humanitarian aid” that miraculously still holds, was intended for those who are foolish enough to still believe in it.
Erdogan did not hesitate to throw his weight behind the IHH and keep it there for three years. The PM and his Justice and Development party, (which last year received Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal with a standing ovation and “damn Israel!” chants), are Brotherhood sympathizers, if not affiliates themselves. The moral ramifications are to be expected.
Erdogan doesn’t think Hamas is a terrorist organization, but calls Israel a “terrorist nation”. He takes no notice of Hamas’ violence and accuses Israel of genocide in Gaza, while ironically facing a very similar situation with the Kurdish PKK, a challenge he responds to with lethal ferociousness. Describing Erdogan as a non-objective mediator is an understatement. In 1998 he said that “the image of the Jews is no different than that of the Nazis”; In 2011 he rallied an Arab League meeting: “Israel must pay the price for its aggression and crimes.” He told his Parliament that Israel is engaged in ethnic cleansing; He said that “Israel is inexplicably cruel” and “hiding behind the Nazi Holocaust”. Some classic Antisemitic themes? Here you go: “The world media is under the control of Israel” and “Wherever Jews settle, they make money.” Bizarro roots? By all means: Back in 1974 Mr. Erdogan wrote, directed and starred in the play “Maskomya” about a Free-Mason - Communist - Jewish (Mas-Kom-Ya) evil conspiracy.
And finally, just three weeks ago he told a press conference in Vienna that Zionism is a crime against humanity. This coming from the PM of Turkey, whose nationalism cost an enormous number of Armenian, Greek and Kurdish lives - is infuriating. This is the man granted an apology...? The game of apologies in the Middle East is a one-way affair: the provocateur demands it, the provocateur is granted it.
Commentator Robin Wright was correct to say on Friday’s “Left Right & Center” that the apology “was the most important thing to come out of Obama’s visit”. The diplomatic necessity for Turkish-Israeli cooperation in light of the chaos in Syria is clear; Access to NATO facilities in Turkey and the dismissal of abusive legal charges against Israeli officers are just two of many immediate benefits. It’s a prospect you can’t refuse.
This is an artificial apology, a product of extortion. Israelis don’t believe in it, their PM had to eat a dish-full of frogs in order to make the call. The Turkish PM will escalate again very soon - he won’t be able to help it. It’s the ideology, stupid. Did I hear reconciliation? Erdogan was remarkably quick to cool it down on Saturday using confrontational language the world has grown so deaf to identify.
The moral consequences are devastating. If I were an Islamist anywhere in the world - I’d be launching a new flotilla tomorrow. For the rest of the world, the understanding of good and bad intentions, violent and peaceful ideologies and the very principle of justice, is more blurry today. As I wrote here yesterday, reality and perception are growing further and further removed.
Follow me on Twitter:
March 23, 2013 | 11:22 pm
Posted by Ariel Blumenthal
“Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland,” says President Obama, “Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land.” Standing ovation, the crowd goes crazy. Who is that audience so passionately endorsing Obama’s vision of peace? The Norwegian Parliament? Democratic convention-goers? Perhaps an Arab crowd in Egypt or Ramallah? Non of the above; Those were in fact Israeli students in Jerusalem.
This was another powerful speech, masterfully delivered. But for me the enthusiastic applause the President received multiple times on the Palestinian issue were the main story of the night.
Marco Werman, host of “The World” on PRI, didn’t get as excited on Thursday’s show, saying that “The President’s speech was interrupted several times by applause, but he was heckled too” (The heckler was an Arab-Israeli student who thought the speech was “extremist and Zionistic”). NPR commentator E.J. Dionne spoke Friday of Obama’s message to Palestinians that “Israelis in their heart of hearts think that peace is a good thing.” hold on - Heart of hearts? Israelis, that in 65 years of statehood yield a gazillion peace songs? Whose Oscar-nominated films are statements for peace, every single time? Israelis, who never seize to talk about peace -- This cheering crowd?!
Call me sensitive, but reports like these - redundant and single-minded, make me uneasy. Judging from such and similar examples, it seems - this week more than ever, that reality and perception are growing more and more removed.