Silent Wars

The Zionist Factor in Africa: Mossad and Nelson Mandela

Written by Anonymous

Source: Counter-Currents

by Kerry Bolton

During the 80s, when the offensive against South Africa (SA) was at its height, the Right was focused on the prospect of the Soviet Union taking over the mineral wealth and strategic position of SA. I recall this because I was among those in New Zealand speaking in favor of SA, and using this specter as the main reason for opposing the anti-SA campaigns, albeit among the few who also defended White self-determination. As with much else during that time and before, the USSR and the specter of “Communism” were red-herrings. While the USSR naturally had its own strategic interests in being involved in Africa, certainly of far greater influence in Europe’s scuttle from Africa, as well as in the surrender of the Afrikaners and Rhodesians, were the subversion and pressures emanating from the United States and from international capital. The US wanted to fill the power vacuum left by the White scuttle, and international capital regarded the old colonialism and race segregation as hindrances to what became “globalization.”[1]

Another major factor in the decolonization and White surrender process was the geopolitical interests of Israel. That was even less understood at the time than the role of the US and international finance, although a certain amount of information was documented by the sterling work of A. K. Chesterton in particular,[2] and the journalist Ivor Benson, who served as information advisor to the Rhodesian government.[3] Now, more about Israel’s role in backing “black liberation” in Africa is known.

Nelson Mandela meeting with Israeli PM Shimon Peres in Johannesburg in 2002.

Nelson Mandela Trained by Mossad

In 2013, the year of Nelson Mandela’s death, Haaretz published reports from the Israeli state archives that referred to him as having been trained in weapons and sabotage by Mossad in Ethiopia in 1962. This was a few months prior to his being arrested as part of a sabotage cell in South Africa, and during a visit of African states, including Ethiopia, Algeria, Egypt, and Ghana, to obtain support for the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC). The Haaretz article states, “During his training, Mandela expressed interest in the methods of the Haganah pre-state underground and was viewed by the Mossad as leaning toward communism,”[4] according to a “top secret” letter sent from the Mossad to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem and deposited in the Israeli state archives, dated October 11, 1962, shortly after Mandela was arrested in SA:

“As you may recall, three months ago we discussed the case of a trainee who arrived at the [Israeli] embassy in Ethiopia by the name of David Mobsari who came from Rhodesia,” the letter said. “The aforementioned received training from the Ethiopians [Israeli embassy staff, almost certainly Mossad agents] in judo, sabotage and weaponry.” The phrase “the Ethiopians” was apparently a code name for Mossad operatives working in Ethiopia.[5]

The letter noted that “David Mobsari” “showed an interest in the methods of the Haganah and other Israeli underground movements”:[6]

He greeted our men with “Shalom”, was familiar with the problems of Jewry and of Israel, and gave the impression of being an intellectual. The staff tried to make him into a Zionist. In conversations with him, he expressed socialist worldviews and at times created the impression that he leaned toward communism.[7]

What is just stated in passing — and without reference by Haaretz or the other media who picked up the story in 2013 — was the reference to Mandela’s interest in the methods not only of the Haganah, the so-called “official” Zionist underground, but of “other Israeli underground movements.”[8] This can only refer to the likes of the Stern, Irgun, and Palmach. Mandela’s interests in the “other Israeli underground movements,” even if one accepts the official Zionist line that the Haganah was a legitimate military force, undermines his image as a man of peace who sought only to bring tranquility between all races and created the “rainbow nation.” The claim of Mandela’s interest in these terrorist organizations is perfectly plausible, as Irgun/Stern/Palmach tactics were put into practice by the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto We Sizwe, or “Spear of the Nation.” While it is often said — to the point of being a cliché — that “one man’s ‘terrorist’ is another man’s ‘freedom fighter,’” an apt definition might be the use of violence that does not take civilian casualties into consideration. Mandela’s cell was terroristic, and so was the Israeli underground, if that definition is accepted.

The Stern organization was a split from the Irgun. Among Stern’s eighteen principles was the creation of Israel extending from the Nile to the Euphrates; i.e. the “Deed of Covenant” of Genesis 15:18.[9] The Zionist terror organizations saw themselves as part of an anti-imperialist struggle (other than imposing their own imperialism over Arabs, of course). Their primary enemy for Stern and Irgun, even more so than Hitler, was Britain. They identified with the Irish Republican Army,[10] and considered sending a detachment to fight the British in India.[11] Among Stern’s actions were the assassination of Lord Moyne, Colonial Secretary for Palestine, in 1944; and Count Bernadotte, UN Middle East mediator, in 1948, who was noted for his assistance to Jews during the war. The Irgun, whose leader, Menachem Begin, became an Israeli Prime Minister, blew up the King David Hotel in 1946, killing British, Jewish, and Arab civilian workers. In 1947, the infamous killing and stringing up of the booby-trapped bodies of sergeants Martin and Paice sparked wide outrage. Martin and Paice were murdered on account of their “anti-Hebrew activities.” And Rabin, another Prime Minister, was a Palmach commander. Palmach saw themselves as part of the “national liberation” armies. They identified with the Chinese Red Army and the Vietcong, according to Tom Segev. They were the “crack military forces, six thousand strong,” of the official Haganah.[12]

These organizations served as inspiration and guidance for the Israeli training of Black insurgents. With the establishment of Israel and Europe’s departure from Africa, it was a short step for Israel to portray itself as a fellow African state – albeit one that would lead all the others – and part of the “neutralist” alliance. On January 13, 1949, “The New York Times reported Israel sought to steer a neutral course between the United States and the Soviet Union. Correspondent Anne O’Hare McCormick reported from Jerusalem that ‘It is true that Israel cherishes the ideal of remaining “neutral” between the United States and the Soviet Union, constantly referred to as “our two powerful friends . . .”’”[13] It subsequently became opportune for Israel portray itself as the bulwark against Soviet penetration into the Middle East. Part of this image was Israel’s backing of the Red Brigades in Italy as part of a regional destabilization program.[14]

It was the sabotage plans of the ANC cell headquartered at the Lilisleaf Farm, near Johannesburg, that resulted in the famous Rivonia Trial and the jailing of Mandela and his associates, which became a cause célèbre for the sundry factions the world over that wanted the destruction of White South Africa.

Israel Maisels (1905-1994), “a major Jewish and Zionist leader [was] one of the lead defense attorneys at the 1958-61 Treason Trial of Mandela and others.”[15] The Maisels law firm eulogizes its founder’s role:

. . . In the 61st year since the Treason Trial, Isie’s leadership will forever be memorialised in the letter penned by the struggle stalwarts he represented which hangs in the foyer of the building which bears his name. Of him, they said: “throughout the long dreary years of our trial we have been proud to have been defended by you, not only because we know that in you we have had the best defence that this land could supply, but we have been proud because we know of the magnificent legal battles you have fought to preserve the rule of law, to prevent it from being whittled away by the unscrupulous machinations of the Government. The Maisels Group is proud to carry his name and legacy and to continue the finest traditions of the Bar which Isie’s life exemplified throughout his extraordinary career.[16]

Maisels served as president of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, and the South African Zionist Federation.[17]

While it is now denied by South Africa that Mandela underwent Mossad training, there was a cryptic allusion by Mandela at the Rivonia sabotage trial to having received “military training” when he was on his tour of African states in 1962, having been acquitted of “treason.”[18] The official leasees of Lilisleaf Farm, the headquarters of Umkhonto We Sizwe, were Arthur Goldreich and lawyer Harold Wolpe. In a tribute to Goldreich, the Jerusalem Post states that during the raid on the farm, “The 19 persons arrested and charged with sabotage included five Whites — all Jews, namely Goldreich, Rusty Bernstein, Dennis Goldberg, Bob Hepple and Hilliard Festenstein.” Considered by security police to be “the arch-conspirator” of the sabotage campaign, Goldreich escaped to Israel before the Rivonia trial, and lived there until his death in 2011. Goldreich was a veteran of Palmach.[19] Mandela, closely associated with Goldreich at the farm, “wrote in his autobiography how he turned to Goldreich as one of the few in the ANC’s nascent guerrilla army who knew how to fight because of his experience in Israel.” Again, such an allusion suggests the plausibility of Mandela’s interest in learning Israeli terror tactics.[20]

Another of the Umkhonto We Sizwe “high command” and Rivonia defendant, Denis Goldberg, was released from jail in 1986 as the result of Zionist pressure. While it is said that Goldberg, like other Jewish Communists, did not regard himself primarily as a “Jew,” nonetheless, when Goldberg was in jail, his daughter, Hilary, organized a committee on a kibbutz where she lived to lobby for her father’s release. Goldberg was released in 1985 and stayed at Goldreich’s home in Israel.[21] He was, and remains, critical of Israel, as many Jewish Marxists always have been, but it was Israeli diplomats who secured his release. He stayed for several months on the kibbutz where his daughter lived, and regarded the collective as “pure Communism,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Speaking to an Israeli magazine, Koteret Rashit, just after his arrival in Israel, Goldberg reiterated his belief in “terrorism”: “It is very possible that innocent people will get killed, but that is the price.”[22]

Again, we might discern something that does not accord with the cultivated image of Nelson Mandela’s noble struggle. As Goldberg pointed out, he gave a commitment to eschew personal involvement with violence to secure his release from jail, while Mandela never did, and Goldberg respected that. The deaths of the innocent, as Goldberg stated, were acceptable to the “high command” of Umkhonto We Sizwe, including Mandela.

Israel and Africa

Israel had been cultivating relations with Black Africa, as the European powers were retreating. In 1958, Israel established the Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) to support the emerging independent African states.

During the 1960s:

Israel was keen to court the recently decolonized African states and so went out of its way to show solidarity with the latter by consistently voting in UN resolutions condemning the apartheid state and the regime behind it. . . . The ANC itself, then led by Oliver Tambo, penned a letter from London to Israel’s President Yitzhak Ben Zvi thanking him for Israel’s actions at the United Nations.[23]

Steven Gruzd of the South African Institute of International Affairs states: “There was a kind of anti-colonial affinity because the Israelis had gotten rid of the British colonialization and Africa was doing the same.”[24]

Among the first of the Black terrorist organizations was the Mau Mau in Kenya, whose very name at the time conjured images of blood-curdling savagery; albeit today they are feted as freedom fighters against the brutal British. At around the time (1962) that Mandela was receiving training from the Mossad in Ethiopia, “General China” (Waruhiu Itote), who had been second-in-command of the Mau Mau, was in Israel with other East Africans, receiving military training.[25] In July 1963, he and other East Africans graduated as officers.[26] They served as the basis of the post-British Kenyan army officers corps.

From the mid-1950s – that is, at the start of the White scuttle from Africa – Israel had an intensive program to influence Black Africa, and they were “aiding the military and civil systems,” according to Israel Lior, military secretary to Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol.[27]

The Israelis were able to take advantage of a certain fascination Africans had for Israel as a new state that had attained independence from the British, and Israel was able to take advantage of its anti-colonial status, as it subsequently did as a newfound bulwark against the Soviet bloc from the 1970s, and nowadays as a bulwark of “Western democracy” against “Islamism,” not to mention the present supreme cynical irony of its mixture of atheists and Talmudists being lauded by Christian fundamentalists as being the defenders of Christianity in the “Holy Land.” Each image has been based on a profound myth, and adjusted according to the needs of the time. The initiative towards Black Africa was intended to make Israel the leader of non-Muslim Africa. Jomo Kenyatta, the secret leader of the Mau Mau, wrote in the Introduction to the Hebrew edition of his book, Facing Mount Kenya:

You [Israelis] have built a nation with Jews coming from all the corners of the world; we want to build a unified Kenya composed of a multitude of tribes joined together through Harambee [“working together”].[28]

Dr. Steven Carol, a highly experienced — and pro-Israel — historian, comments that, “These sentiments go far to explain the thinking behind the symbol of progress that Israel represented to the people of Kenya and to the developing nations of East Africa. To them Israel represented the attainable dream . . .”[29] Carol shows that after Kenya’s independence, links with Israel in terms of training, development, and technical expertise were extensive.[30]

The situation was similar in Uganda. Yusuf Lule, who became President of Uganda in 1979 after the ouster of Idi Amin, had gone to Israel. Milton Obote, an earlier Prime Minster, had visited in September 1962, the month prior to independence, to discuss getting assistance from Israel. Additionally, a Technical Cooperation Agreement was signed in 1963, and many scholarships were granted, while Israel sent advisers.[31] And while Idi Amin is today remembered for his later anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiments, Israelis started cultivating Amin when he was Chief of Staff under Obote. Indeed, Baruch Bar Lev, the Israeli military attaché, stated that Amin was “our man.” The Israelis, headed by Lev, backed Amin’s overthrow of Obote in 1971.[32]

In Tanganyika/Tanzania, Israeli delegations started examining how they could fill the void of the White colonials even before independence in 1961. The focus was on water development and agriculture, Israel’s Agriculture Minister then being General Moshe Dayan. Joint ventures and training programs ensued. Although the focus was on technical ventures and training in Black Africa, monetary loans were made to Kenya and Tanzania. Dr. Carol comments that this indicated how important East Africa was to foreign policymakers in Israel.[33]

As is often the case with Israel’s relationships, its associations with White-ruled South Africa and Rhodesia were duplicitous. While Israel profited from White South Africa and Rhodesia, it simultaneously continued its subversion. It is a necessary part of the Left-wing fantasy to believe that there was a symbiotic relationship between Israel and “the apartheid regime.”

As with its consistent vote against South Africa at the United Nations while profiting from trade deals, on the international diplomatic level, Israel also acted against Rhodesia. Israel opposed Rhodesia’s declaration of independence, while assiduously backing the “winds of change” of White scuttle. Black Africa could be manipulated and used. The thinking not only of Israel but of the US, USSR, China, and international finance as well was that White-ruled states could not, especially given the Afrikaners long history of antagonism against an oligarchy they referred to as the “Hoggenheimers.” At the time of Rhodesia’s UDI, The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported:

The Israel Government formally denounced today Rhodesia’s declaration of independence as an “illegal, unilateral act violating the elementary rights of the overwhelming majority of the population.” The official Israeli communique said Israel would not recognize the Rhodesian regime, had already acted to interrupt relations, including economic ties, and that it would support United Nations actions on the declaration.

The Foreign Ministry today requested the Ministries of Finance and Commerce and Industry to withhold approval of any further trade exchanges with the British colony, Israel’s exports to Rhodesia last year totaled some $600,000.[34]

One surely has to wonder whether the drafters of the Israeli declaration were rolling about with laughter when they included “illegal, unilateral act violating the elementary rights of the overwhelming majority of the population.”

The following month, the Israeli delegate reiterated Israel’s stand against Rhodesia, and added an attack on South Africa:

Israel’s unqualified opposition to the apartheid program of the South African Government and to the “illegal regime” in Rhodesia was reaffirmed here today by Joel Barromi, Israel’s delegate to the General Assembly’s Special Political Committee.

Speaking in debate on the South African apartheid policy, Mr. Barromi declared that Israel and the Jewish people reacted “instinctively” against the apartheid program as a threat not only against Africa, or against any given race but one against all mankind.

He said that to be a citizen of Israel “means to take a position” in the struggle against racial discrimination. As far as Israel is concerned, he told the committee, its place is in the “anti-racist front,” which is the front of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Israel, he said, hoped that all members of the United Nations would be ready to make the sacrifices necessary to meet the challenge. He reported that on November 13, Israel advised the Security Council of its decision not to recognize “the illegal regime” of Rhodesia and to take immediate steps to sever ties with the breakaway regime of Ian Smith economically “or otherwise.” He also said that Israel was ready to “consider earnestly” any proposal for further “serious and responsible international action.”[35]

It is evident here that Israel was seeking to ingratiate itself with Black Africa in furthering its aim of establishing a neo-colonialism in the name of anti-colonialism. While details still seem obscure, Israel was backing Black terrorist groups in Rhodesia, as it had elsewhere (along with the US).[36] In their anti-Rhodesia book, The Struggle for Zimbabwe, journalists David Martin and Phyllis Johnson refer to the expenses of running Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF offices in Dar es Salaam as being funded by the Israeli embassy.[37] Already in 1951, ANC General Secretary Walter Sisulu, with Duma Nokwe (President of the ANC Youth League), although they did not have passports, were able to attend an international conference in Romania, courtesy of Israel’s El Al airlines. Stopping over for several weeks in Israel, they were widely feted as heroes, despite their preference for Israel’s Communist Party over Zionism, and they met with General Moshe Dayan, approvingly noting the popularity of Communism among Israelis.[38]


Unsurprisingly, Israel’s posturing as the leader in “the anti-colonialist struggle” soon became unconvincing, as Israel’s own colonialism became obvious (although one could wonder why it was not always obvious). The 1973 Yom Kippur War was the defining event when Black Africa broke its relationship with Israel, although there had been disquiet in 1967, and Israel had nowhere left to go apart from the other pariah states, South Africa and Rhodesia. Geoff Sifrin, writing in Haaretz, states of the time:

Then, when African nations severed ties after the 1973 Yom Kippur war, Israel drew closer to South Africa — another international “pariah.” South African Prime Minister John Vorster even made an official visit to Israel at the height of apartheid, causing disquiet among the local Jewish community. Then in 1987, with South Africa ablaze in violent protests, Israel followed other Western nations and restricted ties. Black South Africans still remember, though, that throughout their struggle the PLO helped the liberation movements, forging bonds which still endure.

The affair was tinged with irony, coming soon after the UN World Conference Against Racism in Durban, which turned into an open display of anti-Semitism, and Water Affairs Minister Ronnie Kasrils’[39] attempt to get local Jews to sign a declaration against Israel called “Not in my name.”[40]

Israel has been restoring its relationship with Black Africa in recent years. While Mandela is widely cited as having condemned Israel as an “apartheid state,” this is incorrect; the result of a spoof letter supposedly written by Mandela, but actually written by Arjan el Fassed, a Palestinian activist.[41] Zionists are still eager to present their credentials as supporters of Mandela, and as heirs to an anti-colonial legacy.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said in 2016 that a new diplomatic initiative with African states was one of his top priorities, and that “Israel is coming back to Africa, and Africa is returning to Israel.” Yoram Elron, Deputy Director General and head of the Africa division of the Israeli foreign ministry, commented on the continuing importance of Israel’s role in Africa:

The reason why Africa is gaining so much importance in our foreign policy is its growing economic and political importance. The other component is the instability of northern African countries that are of concern to us. We would like to see more countries disengage from the positions of the African Union and vote against anti-Israeli resolutions in international forums. This is work in progress, this is not something that happens overnight, but the trend is positive.

There are fifty-four African votes to be had in the UN General Assembly.[42]


Dr. Carol refers to Israel’s agenda in East Africa as a mixture of altruism and strategic interest, as well as a sense of messianic mission. Critics of Zionism will be more cynical in regard to any altruistic motive, and one might contend that a sense of messianic mission does not extend to humanitarian gestures other than when they also serve a messianism that is based on Jewish world supremacy.

In a novel by Theodor Herzl, Altneuland (Old-New Land, 1898), the novel’s hero, Professor Steineck, condemns the suffering of the Negro race due to slavery and expresses the desire to see the renaissance of the Negro, as he had seen the renaissance of the Jews. That is why he – the fictional character – was engaged in the “development of Africa.”[43] However, while Zionist lobbies are active in promoting open borders and multicultural agendas all over the world, Israel remains the exception. Israel’s reaction to the “refugee crisis,” inflamed by the destruction of Libya as Europe’s bulwark against Black Africa, has been to reach an “international agreement” to deport forty thousand Africans – described as “infiltrators” – and to shut down the Holot migrant detention center, allowing their removal without delay. The Israeli Public Security Ministry issued a statement saying the options were to leave or to be jailed.[44]


[1] See K. R. Bolton, Babel Inc.: Multiculturalism, Globalisation and the New World Order (London: Black House Publishing, 2013), pp. 41-77.
[2] A. K. Chesterton, The New Unhappy Lords (Hampshire: Candour Publishing House, 1975). The book remains in print.
[3] Ivor Benson, The Zionist Factor (Bullsbrook, Western Australian: Veritas Publishing Co., 1986).
[4] Ofer Aderet & David Fachler, “Mandela Received Weapons Training From Mossad Agents in Ethiopia,” Haaretz, December 20, 2013.
[5] Ofer Aderet & David Fachler, ibid.
[6] My emphasis.
[7] Mossad letter cited by Ofer Aderet & David Fachler, op. cit.
[8] My emphasis.
[9] Lenni Brenner, Zionism in the Age of Dictators (Connecticut: Lawrence Hill, 1983), p. 265.
[10] “The Michael Collins of Israel.”
[11] Lenni Brenner, op. cit., p. 266.
[12] Tom Segev, One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate (London: Abacus, 2000), p. 452.
[13] Donald Neff, “Israel Seeks ‘Neutrality’ Between U.S., Soviet Union,” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, January/February 1995, pp. 36-38.
[14] Ferdinando Imposimato, who was the investigating magistrate into the 1978 kidnapping of Prime Minister Aldo Moro, stated that “at least until 1978 Israeli secret services infiltrated the Italian subversive groups. He said that based on confessions of jailed guerrillas who turned police informers there had been an Israeli plan to destabilise Italy. ‘The plan aimed at reducing Italy to a country convulsed by civil war so that the U.S. would be forced to count on Israel for the security of the Mediterranean,’ the judge said.” From “Arrest wrecked Brigades’ plan for massacre,” NZPA-Reuter, Evening Post (Wellington, New Zealand), January 18, 1982.
[15] David Fachler, “Mandela and the Mossad: How Israel courted Black Africa,” Haaretz, December 20, 2013.
[16] “Remembering Isie Maisels,” The Maisels Group.
[17] “Maisels, Israel Aaron,”
[18] Lauritz Strydom, Rivonia Unmasked, p. 78.
[19] Roy Isacowitz, “Mandela’s Jewish comrades,” Haaretz, July 30, 2013.
[20] Maurice Ostroff, “Appreciation: Arthur Goldreich,” The Jerusalem Post, May 29, 2011.
[21] Jonathan Ancer, “For Denis Goldberg, life is still wonderful,” South African Jewish Report, October 24, 2018.
[22] Jonathan Broder, “Apartheid fight still his passion,” Chicago Tribune, March 21, 1985.
[23] David Fachler, “Mandela and the Mossad: How Israel courted Black Africa,” op. cit.
[24] “Is Israel Africa’s new best friend?”, Deutsche Welle.
[25] Steven Carol, From Jerusalem to the Lion of Judah and Beyond: Israel’s Foreign Policy in East Africa (Bloomington: iUniverse Inc., 2012), p. 68.
[26] K. R. Bolton, Zionism, Islam and the West (London: Black House Publishing, 2014), p. 116.
[27] Andrew & Leslie Cockburn, Dangerous Liaisons: The Inside Story of the US-Israeli Covert Relationship (New York: Harper Collins, 1991), p. 11. Bolton, Zionism, Islam and the West, op. cit., pp. 116-117.
[28] Quoted by Steven Carol, op. cit., p. 68.
[29] Carol, ibid., pp. 68-69.
[30] Carol, ibid., p. 69.
[31] Ibid., p. 72.
[32] Andrew & Leslie Cockburn, op. cit., p. 11.
[33] Carol, op. cit., p. 76.
[34] “Israel supports U.N on Rhodesia; severs economic ties with colony,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, November 15, 1965.
[35] “Israel takes stand at U.N. against Rhodesia and So. African policy,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, December 3, 1965.
[36] Bolton, Babel Inc., op. cit., pp 58-68.
[37] David Martin & Phyllis Johnson, The Struggle for Zimbabwe (London: Faber & Faber, 1981).
[38] Elinor Sisulu, Walter and Albertina Sisuulu: In Our Lifetime (Claremont, SA: David Philips Publisher, 2006), pp. 160-162.
[39] Ronnie Kasril, a leader of the South African Communist Party, who was of Jewish descent.
[40] Geoff Sifrin, “Coming in from the cold: can Israel and South Africa restore warm ties?”, Haartez, August 7, 2013.
[41] Ben Cohen, “Nelson Mandela and Zionism,” Jewish News Syndicate, December 5, 2013.
[42] “A history of Africa-Israel relations,” Deutsche Welle.
[43] Cited by Carol, op. cit., p. 37.
[44] “Israel to deport 40,000 African refugees without their consent,” Deutsche Welle.

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