Monthly Archives: October 2016

Why I will never use Ramdev’s Patanjali products again

 

Why I will never use Ramdev’s Patanjali products again

The yoga guru’s political clout makes it easy for him to evade government scrutiny of his products and processes.

 |   Long-form |   21-10-2016

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay

NILANJAN MUKHOPADHYAY

 @nilanjanudwin

 
 
 
 

Till a few years ago, I was a regular consumer of Ayurvedic medicines manufactured and marketed by the empire of Baba Ramdev – Patanjali Ayurved. 

Drawn to one of his shops after battling chronic lower-back pain for close to three decades, I found refuge in a communicative “vaidji” who sympathetically heard the litany of health complications.

“It will take time but theek ho jayega.”

Greatly relieved, I did not let it bother me that these products were rather expensive. I reasoned that allopathic medicines and tests often cost a lot more. Hope, it is said, often denudes rationalism.

I believed that a tiny packet containing brownish powder was worth its cost of several hundreds of rupees, as the man at the counter explained that the price was high because “gold was used” in manufacturing the medicine. It had to be mixed with other powders – cheaper than this – and then had to be taken in prescribed doses at designated hours.

Over several years, many medicines were added for other ailments, beginning with diabetes and a few other chronic ailments. Yet none of the “problems” were alleviated. In time, my back pain worsened and I chose to try out oil massage therapy of the Kottakkal school of Ayurveda.

In contrast to the Hindi-speaking vaidji at Ramdev’s shop, the doctor who I was assigned to was an English-speaking Punjabi lady – an oddity in the Malayali-dominated hospital in East Delhi.

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Ramdev has gone beyond being yoga guru, and is now often referred as what he actually is – an industrialist.

The question must have been scribbled on my face because she volunteered that she had studied in an Ayurvedic college in Punjab before settling in Delhi after her marriage and taking up a job at the hospital. She read the supplementary question too and explained:

“Basically, all Ayurvedic medicines are the same. Be it ours, Dabur, Hamdard or even Baba Ramdev’s. Our medicines respond better to certain ailments like muscular pains and neurological disorders because we use oils with medicines mixed in it. Also, they are applied to affected parts by trained hands.”

I also agreed to supplement the massage with oral medicines. That is when I began reading the fine print of constituents in the medicine and discovered, to my astonishment, that some of them were the same as the Patanjali medicines.

Before I went to try the Kottakkal therapy, I had been further sucked into the Ramdev web. I started buying Patanjali’s hair oils and shampoos in the mistaken idea (not that my hair will grow again) that itching in the scalp would stop. A sucker for diabetic products, I began buying Patanjali biscuits despite rating it lesser on the taste parameter compared to those “sugar-free” products manufactured by FMCG regulars.

I remained a committed Patanjali consumer till the summer of 2011 when I began examining if CPI leader Brinda Karat had indeed raised valid questions about its products and medicines.

After all, anyone who was engaged in genuine “sewa” would not behave in the selfish manner Baba Ramdev chose to in June that year when he abandoned thousands of followers disguising himself in a woman’s attire and exposing them to grave danger.

I was particularly incensed that while the Baba scooted, a poor woman, Rajbala, took police batons on her body and eventually died of injuries. Only a professional politician abandons followers, and not someone who likens himself to gurus and swamis, I reasoned. And my disenchantment with Ramdev, opportunistic campaigner against corruption, grew.

In the past five years Ramdev has gone beyond being a yoga guru, and is now often referred as to what he actually is – an industrialist.

After all, after having become a Rs 5,000-crore company this past fiscal, he is now aiming to round off the current financial year with a turnover of more than Rs 7,000 crore, and an annual sales figure of $1 billion.

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Every business activity of Patanjali is justified in the name of Ramdev’s vision of providing an alternative. (Photo: PTI)

As his business grew by leaps and bounds, my reasons to stop using Patanjali products also increased for several reasons, but most importantly, I found the idea of guru and business anachronistic.

This is not a campaign piece. Let me make it clear that I do not object to members of my family from using Ramdev products, if they wish – and many do with great faith.

Yet, because of being in the business of news and views, and since we often write about personal experiences, it is probably apt for me to do so because Ramdev is in the middle of an aggressive campaign against Chinese goods.

A person having diverse business interests is one matter, but if he also begins displaying active political interests and promotes his products by political and nationalistic reasons, then his sincerity is suspect in my eyes.

Once again, let me confess that I have not been buying Chinese brands for several years, though there is almost no escaping multi-national brands assembled or manufactured in China, and thereby, I am partially on the same page as Ramdev.

Where we differ is that I have no business interests, while he has. And thus his decision is suspect in my eyes.

On radio, over TV, Patanjali products are advertised ad nauseam and it is estimated that Ramdev’s face appears on one major Indian TV channel every 30 seconds, which coupled with ad spends for print and radio, involves an annual expenditure of Rs 400 crore. That too because the cost does not involve that of the “model” – the so-called yoga guru himself.

But most importantly, in radio ads, his sales pitch is that Patanjali products must be purchased to secure “aarthik azaadi for Bharat”. Similarly, in one of frequently aired ads references are made to the Swadeshi movement of 1906 and images of Bhagat Singh and Chandrasekhar Azad are used liberally.

Essentially, this means that Ramdev is likening his products to those that were popularised in the first flush of the nascent national movement and he is presenting himself as part of the generations of India’s freedom fighters.

A businessman must remain in his territory and such tactics must be disallowed. It is for the government to decide that. If it chooses to allow Patanjali or any other company using national icons, symbols and episodes of the freedom struggle, it becomes open to charges of pandering to crony capitalism.

The ruling dispensation also attracts this charge because Ramdev has claimed that he advises Modi on political matters — “I tweeted to Modiji that he should talk about Buddha and yudhha (war) side by side.”

In his advertisements, the promoter of Patanjali also claims that profits earned from the sale of products are accrued in the account of any person. However, Balkrishna, Ramdev’s aide who spent time in jail on charges of money laundering, owns 94 per cent of the shares of Patanjali Ayurved Limited.

Watch: How India Today got Baba Ramdev’s ‘Power Yogi’ pose

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/embed/j4ci68lt1c

Interestingly, Forbes magazine recently listed Balkrishna as one of India’s richest individuals but, for the sake of pretence, he is always clad in dhoti and half-sleeve kurta.

The BJP governments in several states have also been large-hearted in their largesse towards Ramdev’s empire by allotting land at concessional prices for pursuing his businesses, which are cleverly woven into his yoga camps.

The favour bestowed on Ramdev is obviously part of the quid pro quo arrangement that was worked out in return for Ramdev’s support to Modi during the 2014 polls and thereafter.

While the almost-iconic photograph of Ramdev on the India Todaycover where his inversely vertical image has been a rage, little is known to the public about the intricate business arrangement of his four verticals — food, cosmetics, herbal and home care. To add to these, he now intends adding dairy as the fifth vertical.

Every business activity of Patanjali is justified in the name of Ramdev’s vision of providing an alternative. He is a clear leader in a sector which has witnessed the entry of others who peddle spirituality besides yielding enormous political clout, for instance, Sri Sri Ravishankar and Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, head of Dera Sachha Sauda. But because of the economic and social class that Ramdev targets – mainly the middle-middle group – he is the clear winner in this category of businessmen.

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Ramdev’s political clout makes it easy for him to evade government scrutiny. (Photo: PTI)

Though his vow is to provide alternate products, the business model that Ramdev uses is no different from what MNCs and other big companies. His products are manufactured in similar production units but without any information if laws related to their functioning and labour regulations are followed or not. (Karat was embroiled in the controversy after workers went to the CPM-controlled CITU with complaints of law laws being violated by Patanjali)

Because of the veil of doing “good business”, no information ever comes out as government officials refrain from checking if norms are being followed or not because of his political connections.

Ramdev is successful because he preys on the insecurities of potential consumers (“you will fall ill if you continue consuming products made by existing companies” or “their products are harmful while mine are not”).

After nudging consumers from their perch of safe and secure consumption, his marketing ploy emphasises on two themes – faith and purity.

Ramdev in this manner emerges as clear leader in the F&P sector as his primary product is yoga, or “ticket” to well-being, while Sri Sri and Ram Rahim’s primary outreach vehicle is spirituality as membership to a sect. All Ramdev’s followers are his clients, though not all consumers are his followers.

Riding on the unbeatable formula of spiritualism, politics and business, Ramdev has now stepped into fashion and footwear, which by no imagination can be termed as “alternatives”.

Jeans, after all, are a foreign idea and to say that there can be “Swadeshi jeans” is stretching the imagination too far. However, it gets accepted and stores put his products on their counter because they fear political pressure.

Ramdev tweets from the latest Apple iPhone, quite unmindful that they are assembled in China. This makes one wonder if in times to come Ramdev will also step into the mobile market and come up with Pat Mobiles?

Ramdev’s political clout makes it easy for him to evade government scrutiny of his products and processes, and this gives him an unfair advantage in the market. Having being gullible once, I now opt again for products made by long-standing companies, who do not have the capacity to evade routine inspections from government officials.

Many of these products, I am sure, get into the market by greasing palms. There have been several studies that have demonstrated that cold drinks, infant milk, instant noodles contain dangerous contaminants. But it is probably wiser to wade into a territory knowing that there are landmines than stepping into a field about which we know little.

Because of the size of Ramdev’s business and the wide range of products, it is time that consumers had better information about these products, rather than be guided by faith and believing blindly that they are pure.

Maybe they are. But if not, then?

Watch: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/embed/is2jzlz28w

Also read: No economic freedom in Ramdev’s Patanjali

 
ALSOREAD
 
 
 
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5 Years Ago Today, the US Helped Murder Gaddafi to Stop the Creation of Gold-Backed Currency

5 Years Ago Today, the US Helped Murder Gaddafi to Stop the Creation of Gold-Backed Currency

Five years ago today, the West took it upon itself to use NATO to overthrow Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi — not for any humanitarian threat to civilians as had been repeatedly claimed — but because his planned roll-out of a new currency to be used across Africa posed a palpable existential threat to central banks at the heart of the Western financial and political system.

Long theorized to be the actual vehicle for Gaddafi’s downfall, the gold dinar-based, pan-African currency motive came to light in nascent 2016 in one of more than 3,000 of Hillary Clinton’s emails released by the State Department — conveniently timed with the New Year’s holiday to abate outrage or repercussions.

And outrage there should still be — plenty of false posturing in the lead-in to the ultimate overthrow of the Gaddafi regime should sour public trust in the West’s geopolitical motives, as a prime example of embroiling itself in unnecessary conflict every time a nation threatens to gain too much independence.

In March 2011, amid heightening rebellion of the Arab Spring, chaos came to Libya’s second-largest city, Benghazi — and the West and its allies quickly capitalized on those events to partake in a falsely-premised rebellion of its own.

Citing a decades-old U.N. Security Council resolution to invoke a nefarious no-fly zone over Libya to “protect civilians,” the United States, U.K., France, and others began a bombing campaign on March 19 — in actuality, of course, that protection was of the central bank monopoly and, in particular, France’s financial interests in the historically French-colonial region.

“We are doing it to protect the civilian population from the murderous madness of a regime that in killing its own people has lost all legitimacy,” railed French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who played a key role in Gaddafi’s fated demise.

“Colonel Gaddafi has made this happen. He has lied to the international community… He continues to brutalize his own people,” British Prime Minister David Cameron also asserted. “We cannot allow the slaughter of civilians to continue.”

As head of the U.S. State Department, Hillary Clinton intoned the scripted narrative, heralding the intervention in Libya as the need to “protect civilians and it is to provide access for humanitarian assistance.”

In the years leading up to the decision to topple the Libyan government, Gaddafi had made amends for the nation’s terrorism-pockmarked history, even agreeing to abandon and dismantle its chemical and nuclear weapons programs. In fact, Gaddafi so ameliorated Libya’s reputation, the U.S. removed the nation from its state sponsors of terrorism list in 2006.

But all of that was for naught once Gaddafi sought to pivot from central banks for the good of millions of people in Africa.

In the aforementioned memo released by the State Department, longtime Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal wrote the secretary of state on April 2, 2011, under the heading, “France’s client & Qaddafi’s gold,” about several pertinent concerns in the ongoing siege on Libya.

It seemed to Blumenthal toppling Gaddafi might be a more cumbersome task than originally imagined, in part because the leader had “nearly bottomless financial resources to continue indefinitely” combating NATO and allied forces.

Blumenthal wrote:

“On April 2, 2011 sources with access to advisors to Saif al-Islam Qaddafi stated in strictest confidence that while the freezing of Libya’s foreign bank accounts presents Muammar Qaddafi with serious challenges, his ability to equip and maintain his armed forces and intelligence services remains intact. According to sensitive information available to this these individuals, Qaddafi’s government holds 143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver. During late March, 2011 these stocks were moved to SABHA (south west in the direction of the Libyan border with Niger and Chad); taken from the vaults of the Libyan Central Bank in Tripoli.”

Indeed, the extent of the threat to the West’s central financial monopolies from the gold dinar-backed currency is made astonishingly clear as the now-notorious memorandum continues:

“This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide, the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA).

“(Source Comment: According to knowledgeable individuals this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya.”

Those unnamed sources cited five major points of concern for Sarkozy over Gaddafi’s innovative plan to escape Western control:

a. A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,

b. Increase French influence in North Africa,

c. Improve his internal political situation in France,

d. Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,

e. Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi’s long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in,Francophone Africa.)

In what could best be described a gut-wrenching letter — considering the events to follow — Gaddafi, oblivious to the plot, penned a letter on April 6 to President Obama begging for an end to NATO-led airstrikes on Libya.

Addressing the president as “Our son,” referring to Obama’s African heritage, the embattled leader wrote [unusual spellings and errors per original]:

“We have been hurt more morally that physically because of what had happened against us in both deeds and words by you. Despite all this you will always remain our son whatever happened. We still pray that you continue to be president of the U.S.A. We Endeavour and hope that you will gain victory in the new election campaigne. You are a man who has enough courage to annul a wrong and mistaken action.”

Gaddafi added that “for the sake of economic, and security cooperation against terror, you are in a position to keep Nato off the Libyan affair for good.

“As you know too well democracy and building of civil society cannot be achieved by means of missiles and aircraft, or by backing armed member of AlQuaeda in Benghazi.”

But his plea — as one sent just days before the bombing began, in which Gaddafi insisted, “even if Libya and the United States enter into war, God forbid, you will always remain my son” — fell on purposely, criminally deaf ears.

On October 20, 2011, Gaddafi attempted in vain to flee the city of Sirte — and Libya fell largely under Western-backed rebel and NATO control by the end of the month.

Hillary Clinton’s deplorably merciless reaction, “We came, we saw, he died,” played out in an interview shortly after Gaddafi’s shameful murder.

As per usual, the U.S. and its Western counterparts left the country to its own devices after slashing the once-thriving nation to the ground.

“Today there is no government of Libya. It’s simply mobs that patrol the streets and kill one another,” Virginia State Senator Richard Black told RT of the mess left behind.

And despite certain issues in Libya before the coup, “Libyans had an incredibly high standard of living, the highest in Africa,” international lawyer Francis Boyle told RT“When I first went to Libya in 1986, I was amazed by the empowerment of women. What I saw in Libya was that women could do anything they wanted to do.”

Tragically, as has played out repeatedly around the planet, any nation — no matter how functional and successful — will be annihilated by the American empire if it or its allies have sufficient reason.

As Sen. Black noted — as could be of any such nation:

“We were willing to absolutely wipe out and crush their civilization.”


Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/5-years-ago-us-killed-gaddafi-gold/#RUZzf538GSO4g411.99

Fats and figures

Fats and figures

32Fats

Meet the doctor who is changing the way we eat

  • “The focus has been on cholesterol, weight and burning calories—it’s all fatally flawed. The root cause driving heart disease and diabetes is insulin resistance. What drives insulin resistance is a diet that is high in sugar and refined carbohydrates” – Dr Aseem Malhotra

Dr Aseem Malhotra orders a double helping of cheese. At Li Veli, an Italian bistro in Covent Garden, he picks a plate of Italian cheeses as a starter and then tucks into aubergine Parmigiana, a gratin with mozzarella and Parmesan.

This isn’t a “sod the diet” day, though. Malhotra is a cardiologist, and this is how he thinks we should all eat. He puts grass-fed butter on his vegetables, and extra-virgin olive oil on everything else. And in his new documentary, The Big Fat Fix, he sets out why fat is not the enemy but sugar is, and how refined carbohydrates—white bread and white pasta—are false friends, to be consumed only in moderation.

“Some people have an outdated fear of fat,” the 38-year-old says. “It’s nonsense. We’ve got better data than we had years ago when it was said that fat was the problem. Full-fat, non-processed dairy is good for the heart and fat keeps you fuller for longer.”

What about the old bogeyman of the food industry, saturated fat? “There are different types. Extra virgin olive oil—amazing for health—has about 14 to 20 per cent saturated fat. We should move towards food-based, not food-group, guidelines.”

Malhotra dismisses the current health consensus: “The focus has been on cholesterol, weight and burning calories—it’s all fatally flawed. The root cause driving heart disease and diabetes is insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that helps control glucose levels in the blood. What drives insulin resistance is a diet that is high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.”

In The Big Fat Fix, Malhotra travels to Pioppi, southern Italy, where residents enjoy longevity and a healthy old-age with low rates of heart disease, diabetes and dementia. Britain’s bastardisation of the Italian diet means we think pizza and pasta. It doesn’t. It means oily fish and lots of vegetables. Pizza is a once-a-month treat; pasta is a starter. And in Pioppi, even a rare pudding is cooked in olive oil.

35AseemMalhotraDr Aseem Malhotra | Alamy

The Pioppi Protocol should be our dietary model, Malhotra says. His first advice to patients (he works at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage) is that they should eat a handful of nuts a day. Then they should cut all processed and refined sugar. They should never buy anything marked low-fat but should eat lots of vegetables and oily fish, which is high in Omega 3. Counting calories is out, too. “It’s the quality of the calories you are eating that matters, not the number,” he asserts.

The effects, he says, are dramatic: “I don’t mean weight loss—although you may lose weight as a side-effect—I mean with health. We should focus on health; the weight will correct itself.”

Even the slim should heed this advice. Many have the “illusion of protection”, Malhotra says, because they aren’t struggling to button up their jeans. “Many of my patients’ measure of success is their weight and doctors focus too much on it, too. There’s no such thing as a healthy weight. Forty per cent of people with a normal BMI will still get lifestyle diseases. The biggest risk factor for them is waist circumference.”

Malhotra was not always this way. He used to eat sugary cereal for breakfast. Finding himself starving at 11am, he would reach for a KitKat. For lunch he might have pasta, while dinner could be a curry with lots of rice. Since changing his diet, he has lost a stone—and it is all from around the waist. What changed his view was seeing, as a junior doctor, the pressure on England’s National Health Service. “There was ever more misery, ever more people who were overweight or with type II diabetes.” He believed our dietary advice must be wrong, started investigating and noted conflicts of interest in the promotion of a low-fat diet. “I have been eating and sleeping this for five years.”

35Thefocus

The Big Fat Fix also looks at exercise (there is even a training montage). Previously, Malhotra was a drive-to-the-gym-and-pound-the-treadmill type. But then he spoke to orthopaedic surgeons, who said they were seeing people in their forties needing hip and knee replacements, and that no one should run on the pavement, or even treadmills.

Now he does a lot of squats, and focuses on compound movement. “Try not to sit for more than 45 minutes at your desk. Just stretch for 15 seconds or do a squat. For heart health, keep moving. Do what you enjoy: whether it’s cycling or walking.” In Pioppi there are no gyms. “If you look at the Mediterranean culture in the film, they walk everywhere. These people are living until 90!” He also reckons we should have more sex—to reduce the odds of heart disease, obviously.

He is frustrated that so much focus is on working off calories. “It angers me that people are measuring how many they burn on a treadmill. The body doesn’t work that way. The amount you burn from exercise is minimal compared to what people eat. If you want to put on weight, we tell you to exercise because it increases appetite.”

He calls for a revolution in how we think about energy from food. “About 75 per cent of the calories we burn are just for keeping your organs going. I need energy for my brain, my heart. I don’t want to be fuelling that with stuff that’s going to give me heart disease and type II diabetes. The idea that it doesn’t matter where the calories come from, you can just burn it off, is nonsense.”

Malhotra’s mission now is to take these messages to the masses. “A doctor’s duty goes beyond individual patients, to the whole population.”

34doctorprescribes

What the doctor prescribes 
* Fat is not the enemy: cheese and butter are off the banned list, and olive oil and nuts are your dietary new best friends 
* Stop counting calories. What really matters is the quality of the calories you eat 
* Cut out processed and refined sugar. You can still eat fruit, but try to get the majority of your five-a-day from vegetables 
* Reduce your consumption of refined carbohydrates by eating as the Italians actually do—pasta is not a main course and pizza is a treat 
* If you sit at a desk all day, set a timer and every 45 minutes do 15 seconds of stretching, a squat or walk to the water cooler 
* To combat stress, get 10 minutes a day (you can break it up) of deep breathing or tai chi exercises, where you switch off

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): 9 Healthy Habits That Science Later Proved

Jack The Lad

In honor of the prophet’s birthday, we decided to share with you some of Muhammad’s (PBUH) healthy habits, which happen to be backed scientifically today!

Early Riser: Prophet Muhammad slept early and woke up with the Adhan of Fajr each day. Being an early riser has scientifically been correlated with better productivity, as well as better mental health in general. So, waking up early may be hard but with baby steps, even if it’s just waking up 15 minutes earlier to start with, you can begin improving your quality of life.


Eating Less: The practice of eating less to prevent sickness and disease was emphasized by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and now backed heavily by science much later. The Islamic concept ‘1/3 for your food, 1/3 for your liquids, and 1/3 for your breath’ matches very closely to the Japanese ‘hara hachi bu’ concept, which means eat until you are only…

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Muhammad Mentioned By Name In The Hebrew Bible | Jack The Lad

Muhammad Mentioned By Name In The Hebrew Bible | Jack The Lad

 
 
 
 
 

 

 
3 Votes

 

The name “Muhammad” is written in the Bible in the original Hebrew language.

In the 5th chapter of the Shir haShirim ( שיר השירים ), which is one of the five megilot or Sacred Scrolls that are part of the Hebrew Bible or for short the “Song of Solomon” (also called “Song of Songs”). That chapter is giving a prophecy about an individual to come, a mystery man.

Song of Songs 5:15 compares this prophetic mystery man to the land of “Lebanon” which is the land of the Arabs. This implies that the mystery man would be an Arab.

Verse 15 of the NIV Bible says: “His appearance is like Lebanon”, so this is an Arabic gentleman (or Arab looking).

Verse 11 says: “his head is as the most fine gold, his locks are
wavy, and black as a raven”. Verse 10 describes this man as being “radiant and ruddy” which means he was slightly light-skinned with a rosy color. This physical description matches exactly with the authentic Islamic sources.
Sahih Al Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 747, says Muhammad was slightly light skinned, with a rosy color (and has the same hair as is mentioned in verse 11)

Song of Songs 5:10 says: “My beloved is white and ruddy, pre-eminent above ten thousand.” This is a prophecy of Prophet Muhammad as he conquered Mecca. It is a well known historically documented fact that in the year 630 CE Muhammad entered Mecca as the leader of an army of “ten thousand men”.

In reading the English translation of Song of Songs 5:16 it finishes the description by saying: “He is altogether lovely” but what most people don’t know is that the name of that man was given in the original megilot. Here is the name written in ancient Hebrew as it appears in verse sixteen: מחמד . It is read as : “Mahammad”.

Hebrew: חִכּוֹ, מַמְתַקִּים, וְכֻלּוֹ, מַחֲמַדִּים; זֶה דוֹדִי וְזֶה רֵעִי, בְּנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָם.

English: His mouth is most sweet; yea, he is ALTOGETHER LOVELY. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

There is a plural used together with this Hebrew word, with
the plural it’s pronounced “Mahamadd-im”. The ending letters ‘im’ is a plural of respect, majesty and grandeur for God’s prophet, just as in the word Eloh-im.

According to Ben Yehuda’s Hebrew-English Dictionary, it is correctly pronounced as “Mahammad”.

If you still don’t believe, go to these translator links, paste the name מחמד and then translate it into English. You will see that מחמד is translated as “Muhammad”.

http://www.freetranslation.com/

http://www.worldlingo.com

You can also see and listen to the Song of Songs in its original form, in Hebrew where Muhammad is mentioned by name in the below link (please notice the “im” in Hebrew is a plural of respect):

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt3005.htm

The main proof of Muhammad’s Prophethood, peace and blessings be upon him, is and forever will be the Miraculous Qur’an which was revealed by God to him through the Angel Gabriel. God Almighty, out of His mercy for the Jews and Christians (respectfully referred to in the Qur’an as the People of the Book) also provided an additional proof to mankind of his Prophethood. This can be found in their very own scriptures, the Torah and Gospels.

This video discusses the 42nd chapter of the Old Testament Book of Isaiah which clearly foretells the coming of an Arabian Prophet, specifically Prophet Muhammad.

To learn more about Muhammad in the Bible please visit this website:

www.manyprophetsonemessage.com

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Donald Trump Tax Records Show that he declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns.

Donald Trump Tax Records Show He Could Have Avoided Taxes for Nearly Two Decades, The Times Found

By DAVID BARSTOW, SUSANNE CRAIG, RUSS BUETTNER and MEGAN TWOHEY

Donald J. Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years, records obtained by The New York Times show.

The 1995 tax records, never before disclosed, reveal the extraordinary tax benefits that Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, derived from the financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s through mismanagement of three Atlantic City casinos, his ill-fated foray into the airline business and his ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.

Tax experts hired by The Times to analyze Mr. Trump’s 1995 records said that tax rules especially advantageous to wealthy filers would have allowed Mr. Trump to use his $916 million loss to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income over an 18-year period.

Although Mr. Trump’s taxable income in subsequent years is as yet unknown, a $916 million loss in 1995 would have been large enough to wipe out more than $50 million a year in taxable income over 18 years.

The $916 million loss certainly could have eliminated any federal income taxes Mr. Trump otherwise would have owed on the $50,000 to $100,000 he was paid for each episode of “The Apprentice,” or the roughly $45 million he was paid between 1995 and 2009 when he was chairman or chief executive of the publicly traded company he created to assume ownership of his troubled Atlantic City casinos. Ordinary investors in the new company, meanwhile, saw the value of their shares plunge to 17 cents from $35.50, while scores of contractors went unpaid for work on Mr. Trump’s casinos and casino bondholders received pennies on the dollar.

 
 

“He has a vast benefit from his destruction” in the early 1990s, said one of the experts, Joel Rosenfeld, an assistant professor at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. Mr. Rosenfeld offered this description of what he would advise a client who came to him with a tax return like Mr. Trump’s: “Do you realize you can create $916 million in income without paying a nickel in taxes?”

Mr. Trump declined to comment on the documents. Instead, the campaign released a statement that neither challenged nor confirmed the $916 million loss.

“Mr. Trump is a highly-skilled businessman who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required,” the statement said. “That being said, Mr. Trump has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real estate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes.”

The statement continued, “Mr. Trump knows the tax code far better than anyone who has ever run for President and he is the only one that knows how to fix it.”

Document | Donald Trump’s Letter In response to a Times article revealing pages of his 1995 income tax records, Mr. Trump said, “The only news here is that the more than 20 year-old alleged tax document was illegally obtained.”

Separately, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, Marc E. Kasowitz, emailed a letter to The Times arguing that publication of the records is illegal because Mr. Trump has not authorized the disclosure of any of his tax returns. Mr. Kasowitz threatened “prompt initiation of appropriate legal action.”

Mr. Trump’s refusal to make his tax returns public — breaking with decades of tradition in presidential contests — has emerged as a central issue in the campaign, with a majority of voters saying he should release them. Mr. Trump has declined to do so, and has said he is being audited by the Internal Revenue Service.

At last Monday’s presidential debate, when Hillary Clinton suggested Mr. Trump was refusing to release his tax returns so voters would not know “he’s paid nothing in federal taxes,” and when she also pointed out that Mr. Trump had once revealed to casino regulators that he paid no federal income taxes in the late 1970s, Mr. Trump retorted, “That makes me smart.”

The tax experts consulted by The Times said nothing in the 1995 documents suggested any wrongdoing by Mr. Trump, even if the extraordinary size of the loss he declared would have probably attracted extra scrutiny from I.R.S. examiners. “The I.R.S., when they see a negative $916 million, that has to pop out,” Mr. Rosenfeld said.

The documents examined by The Times represent a small fraction of the voluminous tax returns Mr. Trump would have filed in 1995.

The documents consisted of three pages from what appeared to be Mr. Trump’s 1995 tax returns. The pages were mailed last month to Susanne Craig, a reporter at The Times who has written about Mr. Trump’s finances. The documents were the first page of a New York State resident income tax return, the first page of a New Jersey nonresident tax return and the first page of a Connecticut nonresident tax return. Each page bore the names and Social Security numbers of Mr. Trump and Marla Maples, his wife at the time. Only the New Jersey form had what appeared to be their signatures.

The three documents arrived by mail at The Times with a postmark indicating they had been sent from New York City. The return address claimed the envelope had been sent from Trump Tower.

Document | Pages From Donald Trump’s 1995 Income Tax Records The tax records obtained by The Times show that Donald J. Trump claimed a $916 million loss that could have allowed him to legally avoid paying federal income taxes for up to 18 years.

On Wednesday, The Times presented the tax documents to Jack Mitnick, a lawyer and certified public accountant who handled Mr. Trump’s tax matters for more than 30 years, until 1996. Mr. Mitnick was listed as the preparer on the New Jersey tax form.

Mr. Mitnick, 80, now semiretired and living in Florida, said that while he no longer had access to Mr. Trump’s original returns, the documents appeared to be authentic copies of portions of Mr. Trump’s 1995 tax returns. Mr. Mitnick said the signature on the tax preparer line of the New Jersey tax form was his, and he readily explained an obvious anomaly in the way especially large numbers appeared on the New York tax document.

 

A flaw in the tax software program he used at the time prevented him from being able to print a nine-figure loss on Mr. Trump’s New York return, he said. So, for example, the loss of “-915,729,293” on Line 18 of the return printed out as “5,729,293.” As a result, Mr. Mitnick recalled, he had to use his typewriter to manually add the “-91,” thus explaining why the first two digits appeared to be in a different font and were slightly misaligned from the following seven digits.

“This is legit,” he said, stabbing a finger into the document.

Interactive Feature | Donald Trump’s Taxes: What We Know and Don’t Know In the absence of any disclosures from Mr. Trump, The New York Times and other news outlets have attempted to fill in the gaps.

Because the documents sent to The Times did not include any pages from Mr. Trump’s 1995 federal tax return, it is impossible to determine how much he may have donated to charity that year. The state documents do show, though, that Mr. Trump declined the opportunity to contribute to the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Fund, the New Jersey Wildlife Conservation Fund or the Children’s Trust Fund. He also declined to contribute $1 toward public financing of New Jersey’s elections for governor.

The tax documents also do not shed any light on Mr. Trump’s claimed net worth of about $2 billion at that time. This is because the complex calculations of business deductions that produced a tax loss of $916 million are a separate matter from how Mr. Trump valued his assets, the tax experts said.

Nor does the $916 million loss suggest that Mr. Trump was insolvent or effectively bankrupt in 1995. The cash flow generated by his various businesses that year was more than enough to service his various debts.

But fragmentary as they are, the documents nonetheless provide new insight into Mr. Trump’s finances, a subject of intense scrutiny given Mr. Trump’s emphasis on his business record during the presidential campaign.

The documents show, for example, that while Mr. Trump reported $7.4 million in interest income in 1995, he made only $6,108 in wages, salaries and tips. They also suggest Mr. Trump took full advantage of generous tax loopholes specifically available to commercial real estate developers to claim a $15.8 million loss in 1995 on his real estate holdings and partnerships.

But the most important revelation from the 1995 tax documents is just how much Mr. Trump may have benefited from a tax provision that is particularly prized by America’s dynastic families, which, like the Trumps, hold their wealth inside byzantine networks of partnerships, limited liability companies and S corporations.

The provision, known as net operating loss, or N.O.L., allows a dizzying array of deductions, business expenses, real estate depreciation, losses from the sale of business assets and even operating losses to flow from the balance sheets of those partnerships, limited liability companies and S corporations onto the personal tax returns of men like Mr. Trump. In turn, those losses can be used to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income from, say, book royalties or branding deals.

Better still, if the losses are big enough, they can cancel out taxable income earned in other years. Under I.R.S. rules in 1995, net operating losses could be used to wipe out taxable income earned in the three years before and the 15 years after the loss. (The effect of net operating losses on state income taxes varies, depending on each state’s tax regime.)

The tax experts consulted by The Times said the $916 million net operating loss declared by Mr. Trump in 1995 almost certainly included large net operating losses carried forward from the early 1990s, when most of Mr. Trump’s key holdings were hemorrhaging money. Indeed, by 1990, his entire business empire was on the verge of collapse. In a few short years, he had amassed $3.4 billion in debt — personally guaranteeing $832 million of it — to assemble a portfolio that included three casinos and a hotel in Atlantic City, the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, an airline and a huge yacht.

Reports that year by New Jersey casino regulators gave glimpses of the balance sheet carnage. The Trump Taj Mahal casino reported a $25.5 million net loss during its first six months of 1990; the Trump’s Castle casino lost $43.5 million for the year. His airline, Trump Shuttle, lost $34.5 million during just the first six months of that year.

 

“Simply put, the organization is in dire financial straits,” the casino regulators concluded.

Reports by New Jersey’s casino regulators strongly suggested that Mr. Trump had claimed large net operating losses on his taxes in the early 1990s. Their reports, for example, revealed that Mr. Trump had carried forward net operating losses in both 1991 and 1993. What’s more, the reports said the losses he claimed were large enough to virtually cancel out any taxes he might owe on the millions of dollars of debt that was being forgiven by his creditors. (The I.R.S. considers forgiven debt to be taxable income.)

But crucially, the casino regulators redacted the precise size of the net operating losses in the public versions of their reports. Two former New Jersey officials, who were privy to the unredacted documents, could not recall the precise size of the numbers, but said they were substantial.

Politico, which previously reported that Mr. Trump most likely paid no income taxes in 1991 and 1993 based on the casino commission’s description of his net operating losses, asked Mr. Trump to comment. “Welcome to the real estate business,” he replied in an email.

Now, thanks to Mr. Trump’s 1995 tax records, the degree to which he spun all those years of red ink into tax write-off gold may finally be apparent.

Mr. Mitnick, the lawyer and accountant, was the person Mr. Trump leaned on most to do the spinning. Mr. Mitnick worked for a small Long Island accounting firm that specialized in handling tax issues for wealthy New York real estate families. He had long handled tax matters for Mr. Trump’s father, Fred C. Trump, and he said he began doing Donald Trump’s taxes after Mr. Trump turned 18.

In an interview on Wednesday, Mr. Mitnick said he could not divulge details of Mr. Trump’s finances without Mr. Trump’s consent. But he did talk about Mr. Trump’s approaches to taxes, and he contrasted Fred Trump’s attention to detail with what he described as Mr. Trump’s brash and undisciplined style. He recalled, for example, that when Donald and Ivana Trump came in each year to sign their tax forms, it was almost always Ivana who asked more questions.

But if Mr. Trump lacked a sophisticated understanding of the tax code, and if he rarely showed any interest in the details behind various tax strategies, Mr. Mitnick said he clearly grasped the critical role taxes would play in helping him build wealth. “He knew we could use the tax code to protect him,” Mr. Mitnick said.

According to Mr. Mitnick, Mr. Trump’s use of net operating losses was no different from that of his other wealthy clients. “This may have had a couple extra digits compared to someone else’s operation, but they all benefited in the same way,” he said, pointing to the $916 million loss on Mr. Trump’s tax returns.

In “The Art of the Deal,” his 1987 best-selling book, Mr. Trump referred to Mr. Mitnick as “my accountant” — although he misspelled his name. Mr. Trump described consulting with Mr. Mitnick on the tax implications of deals he was contemplating and seeking his advice on how new federal tax regulations might affect real estate write-offs.

Mr. Mitnick, though, said there were times when even he, for all his years helping wealthy New Yorkers navigate the tax code, found it difficult to face the incongruity of his work for Mr. Trump. He felt keenly aware that Mr. Trump was living a life of unimaginable luxury thanks in part to Mr. Mitnick’s ability to relieve him of the burden of paying taxes like everyone else.

“Here the guy was building incredible net worth and not paying tax on it,” he said.

How to Crash Systemd in a 50 character command

How to Crash Systemd in One Tweet

The following command, when run as any user, will crash systemd:

NOTIFY_SOCKET=/run/systemd/notify systemd-notify ""

After running this command, PID 1 is hung in the pause system call. You can no longer start and stop daemons. inetd-style services no longer accept connections. You cannot cleanly reboot the system. The system feels generally unstable (e.g. ssh and su hang for 30 seconds since systemd is now integrated with the login system). All of this can be caused by a command that’s short enough to fit in a Tweet.

Edit (2016-09-28 21:34): Some people can only reproduce if they wrap the command in a while true loop. Yay non-determinism!

The bug is remarkably banal. The above systemd-notify command sends a zero-length message to the world-accessible UNIX domain socket located at /run/systemd/notify. PID 1 receives the message and fails an assertion that the message length is greater than zero. Despite the banality, the bug is serious, as it allows any local user to trivially perform a denial-of-service attack against a critical system component.

The immediate question raised by this bug is what kind of quality assurance process would allow such a simple bug to exist for over two years (it was introduced in systemd 209). Isn’t the empty string an obvious test case? One would hope that PID 1, the most important userspace process, would have better quality assurance than this. Unfortunately, it seems that crashes of PID 1 are not unusual, as a quick glance through the systemd commit log reveals commit messages such as:

Systemd’s problems run far deeper than this one bug. Systemd is defective by design. Writing bug-free software is extremely difficult. Even good programmers would inevitably introduce bugs into a project of the scale and complexity of systemd. However, good programmers recognize the difficulty of writing bug-free software and understand the importance of designing software in a way that minimizes the likelihood of bugs or at least reduces their impact. The systemd developers understand none of this, opting to cram an enormous amount of unnecessary complexity into PID 1, which runs as root and is written in a memory-unsafe language.

Some degree of complexity is to be expected, as systemd provides a number of useful and compelling features (although they did not invent them; they were just the first to aggressively market them). Whether or not systemd has made the right trade-off between features and complexity is a matter of debate. What is not debatable is that systemd’s complexity does not belong in PID 1. As Rich Felker explained, the only job of PID 1 is to execute the real init system and reap zombies. Furthermore, the real init system, even when running as a non-PID 1 process, should be structured in a modular way such that a failure in one of the riskier components does not bring down the more critical components. For instance, a failure in the daemon management code should not prevent the system from being cleanly rebooted.

In particular, any code that accepts messages from untrustworthy sources like systemd-notify should run in a dedicated process as a unprivileged user. The unprivileged process parses and validates messages before passing them along to the privileged process. This is called privilege separation and has been a best practice in security-aware software for over a decade. Systemd, by contrast, does text parsing on messages from untrusted sources, in C, running as root in PID 1. If you think systemd doesn’t need privilege separation because it only parses messages from local users, keep in mind that in the Internet era, local attacks tend to acquire remote vectors. Consider Shellshock, or the presentation at this year’s systemd conference which is titled “Talking to systemd from a Web Browser.”

Systemd’s “we don’t make mistakes” attitude towards security can be seen in other places, such as this code from the main() function of PID 1:

/* Disable the umask logic */
if (getpid() == 1)
        umask(0);

Setting a umask of 0 means that, by default, any file created by systemd will be world-readable and -writable. Systemd defines a macro called RUN_WITH_UMASK which is used to temporarily set a more restrictive umask when systemd needs to create a file with different permissions. This is backwards. The default umask should be restrictive, so forgetting to change the umask when creating a file would result in a file that obviously doesn’t work. This is called fail-safe design. Instead systemd is fail-open, so forgetting to change the umask (which has already happened twice) creates a file that works but is a potential security vulnerability.

The Linux ecosystem has fallen behind other operating systems in writing secure and robust software. While Microsoft was hardening Windows and Apple was developing iOS, open source software became complacent. However, I see improvement on the horizon. Heartbleed and Shellshock were wake-up calls that have led to increased scrutiny of open source software. Go and Rust are compelling, safe languages for writing the type of systems software that has traditionally been written in C. Systemd is dangerous not only because it is introducing hundreds of thousands of lines of complex C code without any regard to longstanding security practices like privilege separation or fail-safe design, but because it is setting itself up to be irreplaceable. Systemd is far more than an init system: it is becoming a secondary operating system kernel, providing a log server, a device manager, a container manager, a login manager, a DHCP client, a DNS resolver, and an NTP client. These services are largely interdependent and provide non-standard interfaces for other applications to use. This makes any one component of systemd hard to replace, which will prevent more secure alternatives from gaining adoption in the future.

Consider systemd’s DNS resolver. DNS is a complicated, security-sensitive protocol. In August 2014, Lennart Poettering declared that “systemd-resolved is now a pretty complete caching DNS and LLMNR stub resolver.” In reality, systemd-resolved failed to implement any of the documented best practices to protect against DNS cache poisoning. It was vulnerable to Dan Kaminsky’s cache poisoning attack which was fixed in every other DNS server during a massive coordinated response in 2008 (and which had been fixed in djbdns in 1999). Although systemd doesn’t force you to use systemd-resolved, it exposes a non-standard interface over DBUS which theyencourage applications to use instead of the standard DNS protocol over port 53. If applications follow this recommendation, it will become impossible to replace systemd-resolved with a more secure DNS resolver, unless that DNS resolver opts to emulate systemd’s non-standard DBUS API.

It is not too late to stop this. Although almost every Linux distribution now uses systemd for their init system, init was a soft target for systemd because the systems they replaced were so bad. That’s not true for the other services which systemd is trying to replace such as network management, DNS, and NTP. Systemd offers very few compelling features over existing implementations, but does carry a large amount of risk. If you’re a system administrator, resist the replacement of existing services and hold out for replacements that are more secure. If you’re an application developer, do not use systemd’s non-standard interfaces. There will be better alternatives in the future that are more secure than what we have now. But adopting them will only be possible if systemd has not destroyed the modularity and standards-compliance that make innovation possible.

Hi, I’m Andrew. I’m the founder of SSLMate, a service which automates your SSL certificate deployment. I also develop open source projects like git-crypt and titus.

I blog here about a variety of technology topics, including security, devops, IPv6, and reliable programming. If you liked this post, check out my other posts or subscribe to my Atom feed.

My email address is andrew@agwa.name. I’m AGWA at GitHub and @__agwa on Twitter.

Clinton Email: We Must Destroy Syria For Israel

Clinton Email: We Must Destroy Syria For Israel

Leaked Clinton email reveals that Clinton ordered war against Syria to benefit Israel
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A leaked Hillary Clinton email confirms that the Obama administration, with Hillary at the helm,  orchestrated a civil war in Syria to benefit Israel. 

The new Wikileaks release shows the then Secretary of State ordering a war in Syria in order to overthrow the government and oust President Assad, claiming it was the “best way to help Israel”.

Newobserveronline.com reports:

The document was one of many unclassified by the US Department of State under case number F-2014-20439, Doc No. C05794498, following the uproar over Clinton’s private email server kept at her house while she served as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013.

Although the Wikileaks transcript dates the email as December 31, 2000, this is an error on their part, as the contents of the email (in particular the reference to May 2012 talks between Iran and the west over its nuclear program in Istanbul) show that the email was in fact sent on December 31, 2012.

 

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The email makes it clear that it has been US policy from the very beginning to violently overthrow the Syrian government—and specifically to do this because it is in Israel’s interests.

clinton-email-syria-israel

“The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad,” Clinton forthrightly starts off by saying.

Even though all US intelligence reports had long dismissed Iran’s “atom bomb” program as a hoax (a conclusion supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency), Clinton continues to use these lies to “justify” destroying Syria in the name of Israel.

She specifically links Iran’s mythical atom bomb program to Syria because, she says, Iran’s “atom bomb” program threatens Israel’s “monopoly” on nuclear weapons in the Middle East.

If Iran were to acquire a nuclear weapon, Clinton asserts, this would allow Syria (and other “adversaries of Israel” such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt) to “go nuclear as well,” all of which would threaten Israel’s interests.

Therefore, Clinton, says, Syria has to be destroyed.

Iran’s nuclear program and Syria’s civil war may seem unconnected, but they are. What Israeli military leaders really worry about — but cannot talk about — is losing their nuclear monopoly.

An Iranian nuclear weapons capability would not only end that nuclear monopoly but could also prompt other adversaries, like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to go nuclear as well. The result would be a precarious nuclear balance in which Israel could not respond to provocations with conventional military strikes on Syria and Lebanon, as it can today.

If Iran were to reach the threshold of a nuclear weapons state, Tehran would find it much easier to call on its allies in Syria and Hezbollah to strike Israel, knowing that its nuclear weapons would serve as a deterrent to Israel responding against Iran itself.

It is, Clinton continues, the “strategic relationship between Iran and the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria” that makes it possible for Iran to undermine Israel’s security.

This would not come about through a “direct attack,” Clinton admits, because “in the thirty years of hostility between Iran and Israel” this has never occurred, but through its alleged “proxies.”

The end of the Assad regime would end this dangerous alliance. Israel’s leadership understands well why defeating Assad is now in its interests.

Bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon to Israel’s security, it would also ease Israel’s understandable fear of losing its nuclear monopoly.

Then, Israel and the United States might be able to develop a common view of when the Iranian program is so dangerous that military action could be warranted.

Clinton goes on to asset that directly threatening Bashar Assad “and his family” with violence is the “right thing” to do:

In short, the White House can ease the tension that has developed with Israel over Iran by doing the right thing in Syria.

With his life and his family at risk, only the threat or use of force will change the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s mind.

The email proves—as if any more proof was needed—that the US government has been the main sponsor of the growth of terrorism in the Middle East, and all in order to “protect” Israel.

It is also a sobering thought to consider that the “refugee” crisis which currently threatens to destroy Europe, was directly sparked off by this US government action as well, insofar as there are any genuine refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria.

In addition, over 250,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict, which has spread to Iraq—all thanks to Clinton and the Obama administration backing the “rebels” and stoking the fires of war in Syria.

The real and disturbing possibility that a psychopath like Clinton—whose policy has inflicted death and misery upon millions of people—could become the next president of America is the most deeply shocking thought of all.

Clinton’s public assertion that, if elected president, she would “take the relationship with Israel to the next level,” would definitively mark her, and Israel, as the enemy of not just some Arab states in the Middle East, but of all peace-loving people on earth.

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