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2021 Israeli Election (Sa'ar Wars Episode IV: A New Hope)

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Who would you vote for in Israel's fourth election?

Likud
7
11%
New Hope
6
9%
Yamina
2
3%
Yesh Atid
9
14%
Joint List
15
23%
Shas / UTJ
1
2%
Yisrael Beiteinu
2
3%
Labor
0
No votes
Meretz
21
32%
Other (Kachol Lavan, RZ, Ra'am, NEP, etc.)
3
5%
 
Total votes : 66

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Angleter
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2021 Israeli Election (Sa'ar Wars Episode IV: A New Hope)

Postby Angleter » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:57 pm

May the fourth election be with you!

After an uncharacteristically long short four years seven weeks twelve weeks nine months, Israel is going back to the polls on April 9th September 17th, 2019 March 2nd, 2020 March 23rd, 2021.

This follows elections which had been held on April 9th and September 17th, 2019, and March 2nd, 2020. These were sparked when Binyamin Netanyahu's right-wing coalition couldn't agree on military service for Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews. The April elections made this quandary even worse by making it impossible for Netanyahu to form his natural coalition without both the Haredi parties and the staunchly secular Yisrael Beiteinu, and the September and March elections did not resolve this issue.

In the September campaign, Yisrael Beiteinu started pushing for a 'unity' government between Netanyahu and centre-left leader Benny Gantz (former head of the IDF), and finally, in April 2020, this is what happened. Gantz was essentially pressured by a combination of the pandemic, Netanyahu's sheer stubbornness, and a vague sense of patriotic duty, into caving and agreeing a 'rotation' coalition that would allow Netanyahu to remain Prime Minister until the end of 2021, before Gantz would take over. Joining the coalition was a heterogeneous combination of careerists and single-issue parties: the Haredi parties, two-thirds of Labor, a one-woman centrist party called Gesher, and a settler-interest party called the Bayit Yehudi. Obviously this hasn't worked in Gantz's favour, and few believed Netanyahu actually intended to honour the agreement, especially after Gantz's centre-left party spectacularly split in two over the agreement. Mass defections from both Netanyahu and Gantz's parties over the government's budget have prompted a fourth round of elections.

Netanyahu is also the subject of a massive corruption investigation. The Attorney General (who is independent of the government) announced in the middle of the April election campaign that he intended to indict Netanyahu in three corruption cases, but the final decision on indictment was delayed until October, after the September elections. Netanyahu was eventually indicted in November, but refused to resign. Netanyahu has even suggested legislation to make himself immune from prosecution while Prime Minister, but doesn't have a majority in the Knesset for that.

This has all contributed to a growing sense that Netanyahu's party, and alliance, is little more than a vehicle to shield him from prosecution. Many of his natural coalition partners went into opposition after the March elections, and in December 2019, Gideon Sa'ar, a long-standing cabinet minister, challenged Netanyahu for the party leadership. He lost, but for these elections, he's founded his own party, called New Hope, hoping that, in essence, the wider right-wing voter base will prefer him to Netanyahu.




So who's running?

Everybody. Pretty much the entire population of Israel is running in these elections. In April 2019, a whopping 47 parties put forward candidates. In September, only 32 lists were put forward, although this was mostly because multiple parties formed blocs to cross the electoral threshold. These blocs mostly disintegrated before the March elections, and this time they've been shaken up yet again.

That said, a number of parties, some of them founded for these elections, have decided upon reflection to sit this one out. This includes The Israelis, a centre-left outfit founded by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, which has disbanded after 36 days; and Tnufa, another centre-left offering, founded by former Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah after his old party refused to hold a leadership election, only to wind up his new party 42 days later. Also sitting this one out after two years of existence are Telem, a centrist party founded by former IDF chief Moshe Ya'alon, which ran with Kachol Lavan last time but couldn't find a partner on this occasion; and Gesher, a centrist party whose founder, Orly Levy, has left to join Likud. One more established party, the religious-right Bayit Yehudi, is also taking a break; they've endorsed Yamina, who in turn have promised a ministerial post to Bayit Yehudi leader Hagit Moshe if they end up in government.

Israel has a nationwide party-list PR system which allows small parties to flourish, and this has allowed extraordinary political fragmentation in recent years. The threshold to get into the Knesset was raised to 3.25% in 2014 to try and combat this, but it hadn't really worked until the April 2019 elections, when the two largest parties sucked large numbers of voters away from the smaller parties, so enough parties came perilously close to the threshold to terrify some of them into forming larger alliances in September. While these alliances were mostly short-lived, the idea of alliances seems to have survived.

Here are the parties with the best chances of winning seats (with the number of seats they had when the Knesset was dissolved for this election):

The Joint List (11) :: Led by Ayman Odeh, a former lawyer, the Joint List is an alliance of convenience between three Arab-interest parties – Hadash (communist), Ta'al (Arab nationalist), and Balad (more hardline Arab nationalist). This group was founded for the 2015 elections, briefly split into two parts for the April elections, but have since reunited (mostly; one of their constituent parties, Ra'am, has broken off again). The Joint List generally lean left economically and are focussed on economic development for the Arab community, fighting anti-Arab discrimination, and supporting the Palestinian movement in the West Bank and Gaza. They will not join any coalition, but they may support a centre-left coalition from the outside.

Ra'am (4) :: Led by Mansour Abbas, Ra'am is an Islamist party which has split from the rest of the Joint List because they found it too left-wing and secular for their liking. Ra'am, like the Joint List, focus on Arab minority rights and supporting the Palestinian movement in the West Bank and Gaza; and their core voter base is among Bedouins and traditionalist Muslim Arabs. Abbas has struck up something of an alliance with Netanyahu in recent months, and they may support a Netanyahu-led coalition.


Meretz (3) :: Led by Nitzan Horowitz, a former news correspondent and Israel's first openly gay party leader, Meretz is a socialist party that supports environmentalism, feminism, secularism, the LGBT community, and a two-state solution along pre-1967 borders. In the September and March elections they ran in various alliances with other centre-left parties, but at present they're running alone. They would prefer a centre-left coalition, but might support a broader coalition if it excludes Netanyahu.

Labor (3) :: Led by Merav Michaeli, a former journalist. After the last election, Labor joined Netanyahu's coalition, but Michaeli rebelled and remained in opposition. This clearly endeared her to her party's dwindling base, as she won their recent leadership election, and both other Labor MKs have quit politics altogether. Michaeli inherits Israel's once-dominant social democratic party, which is generally secularist, 'dovish' on security, left-wing on economics, and supportive of a two-state solution based on pre-1967 borders but with major West Bank settlement blocs transferred to Israel. Labor will benefit from the withdrawal of two new centre-left parties (The Israelis, led by Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai; and Tnufa, led by former Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah) from the elections. They would prefer a centre-left coalition.

Yesh Atid (13) :: Led by Yair Lapid, a former newsreader. Yesh Atid are socially liberal and fiercely secularist, and support a two-state solution based on pre-1967 borders but with major West Bank settlement blocs transferred to Israel. They were part of Gantz's Kachol Lavan alliance until Lapid walked out over the coalition with Netanyahu. Ideally, Lapid would prefer to lead a centre-left coalition, but at the moment he'd probably be comfortable allying with centre-right parties if it means bringing Netanyahu down.


Kachol Lavan (12) :: Led by Benny Gantz, previously head of the Israel Defence Force (IDF). Kachol Lavan, or 'Blue and White', was once a centrist super-alliance between Yesh Atid, Telem, Gantz's own Hosen Yisrael party, and independent Gabi Ashkenazi. Now only Hosen is left. Broadly centrist and liberal, they're rapidly disintegrating following Gantz's ill-advised alliance with Netanyahu, and frankly they could do anything coalition-wise, but they'll have to get back into the Knesset first.

Yisrael Beiteinu (7) :: Led by Avigdor Lieberman, Yisrael Beiteinu are essentially a vehicle for his idiosyncratic views. Lieberman sees himself as the standard-bearer of Russian-speaking Israelis' interests, and combines staunchly hawkish and nationalist views, an eccentric peace plan that would exchange major West Bank settlement blocs for Arab-majority areas in Israel proper (whether the Arabs living there like it or not, which they don't), and hardline secularism and social liberalism. Lieberman normally tends towards the right-wing coalition, but left Netanyahu's coalition in late 2018 because he believed it was leaning too much towards the Haredi parties. Lieberman is highly unpredictable, but for now he appears to have found a niche as lead cheerleader for a centrist, secular 'unity' government that excludes the Haredi and Arab interest parties.

New Economic Party (0) :: Led by Yaron Zelekha, a former accountant-general and anti-corruption campaigner. Zelekha's new party will focus on economic issues (surprise!) and he says he wants to be finance minister in the next coalition (unless the PM is 'allegedly corrupt', which presumably excludes Netanyahu) so he can save Israel from financial ruin.


Likud (32) :: Led by Binyamin Netanyahu, or 'Bibi', who has been Prime Minister since 2009. Likud are the leading centre-right party in Israel. They are pro-business, 'hawkish' on security issues, appeal to both secular and religious voters, and are moderately conservative on social issues (although they tend to go into coalition with socially conservative religious parties). They blame what they call Israel's left-wing establishment for Netanyahu's corruption investigation, to the extent that Netanyahu sceptics are rapidly leaving the party. They have also become increasingly populist in recent years, reflecting their working-class Mizrahi voter base. Likud's position on a two-state solution is changeable, but Netanyahu currently supports a demilitarised Palestinian state under Israeli security control. Bibi recently ran on unilaterally annexing parts of the West Bank, but these plans have been shelved following the peace agreements with multiple Arab states.

New Hope (7) :: Led by Gideon Sa'ar, a former Likud cabinet minister who unsuccessfully challenged Bibi for the Likud leadership in 2019. New Hope call themselves 'national liberal', but are expected to be more or less mainstream conservatives, a sort of Likud without Bibi, possibly with a little less of a populist edge. Sa'ar has been joined by Derekh Eretz, a two-man party that emerged out of the ruins of Kachol Lavan in April 2020, and four (so far) Likud MKs. He will hope to lead a new centre-right coalition without Netanyahu.

Yamina (3) :: Led by Naftali Bennett, a former special forces soldier and tech entrepreneur, Yamina is the product of a head-spinning series of alliances between various right-wing populist and religious parties over the last two years. Equally head-spinningly, only one party, the New Right, remains in the alliance. Bennett and his deputy Ayelet Shaked founded the New Right in order to jettison the more unhinged wing of their former party, only to be forced into an alliance with said unhinged people, only for the unhinged people to leave the alliance. Yamina are pro-market, socially conservative, hawkish, pro-annexing at least part of the West Bank, and opposed to what they consider 'judicial activism'. Bennett also favours a 'Zero COVID' strategy. They want more 'co-operation' between religious and secular Jews, and would join a centre-right coalition, preferably without Netanyahu, and preferably with Bennett as Prime Minister (although that's unlikely).


Religious Zionist Party - Otzma Yehudit - Noam (2) :: Led by Bezalel Smotrich, an outspoken religious Zionist activist and the leader of the RZP. This is an alliance of three extreme-right religious parties: the RZP (also known as Tkuma or National Union), which was previously the most hardline component of Yamina; Otzma Yehudit, who subscribe to the Kahanist ideology of annexing the West Bank and Gaza, denying Arabs citizenship or the vote and paying them to emigrate, and installing Jewish law; and Noam, a 'hardali' (ultranationalist Haredi) party who focus on campaigning against the LGBT movement and Reform Judaism. This alliance was orchestrated by Netanyahu and they would almost certainly support his efforts to stay in office, although some of them may be kept outside the coalition for being too extreme - even Smotrich thinks his running mates are a little bit out there.


United Torah Judaism (8) :: Co-led by Yaakov Litzman and Moshe Gafni, UTJ is the party of Ashkenazi (European origin) Haredi Jews. Technically, they're an alliance between a Hasidic party (Agudat Yisrael) and a non-Hasidic party (Degel HaTorah) who occasionally fall out, but are together for now. Their main focus is on preserving Haredi dominance in religious institutions, preventing reform to the relationship between religion and state, and ensuring that Haredi Jews do not get drafted into the IDF (which is what upset Lieberman and caused these new elections). They don't identify as Zionists, and have no position on the Palestinians. They do not let women run as candidates. They tend to join centre-right coalitions.

Shas (8) :: Led by Aryeh Deri, a former yeshiva manager who served as Shas leader in the 1990s before going to prison for corruption. He returned to the leadership in 2013. Shas is the party of Mizrahi Haredi Jews, although it appeals more broadly to conservative Mizrahi Jews. It is also mostly focussed on preserving the position of Haredi Jews, although they also campaign on cost of living issues and oppose discrimination against Mizrahi Jews. They also do not let women run as candidates, and tend to join centre-right coalitions.


Israelis get to decide between this over-long menu of choices on April 9th September 17th March 2nd March 23rd. In the meantime, the intense competition will inevitably lead to plenty of high drama, Machiavellian horse-trading, and bizarre publicity stunts – Israeli politics is probably the closest the world gets to a TV soap, so whatever happens, it'll certainly be fun.




So who's winning?

Obviously at this stage it's difficult to tell who'll win, not least since 'winning' is a matter of forming a coalition of 61 or more MKs after the election (just ask Netanyahu), and after April 2020 coalitions need not fit neatly into ideological blocs, but you can find the most recent polls at Knesset Jeremy. At the moment, New Hope appear to be the main competitors to Netanyahu's Likud.



Some good, non-paywalled English-language news sources include The Times of Israel, i24 News, and Jerusalem Post.




So who should win, and what coalition should they form? Who do you think will win, and do you think Israel should change its electoral system to something that doesn't generate 1,000 new parties an hour?

Also, should Israel introduce direct Prime Ministerial elections to try and break the current deadlock? This idea came (back) to the fore after the September election. That said, Israel experimented with this in the 1990s and it didn't work, so I'd probably go with no.
Last edited by Angleter on Sat Feb 13, 2021 12:27 pm, edited 56 times in total.
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Postby Sicaris » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:01 pm

Cool.

Here’s to hoping Likud wins again.
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Postby Sapientia Et Bellum » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:06 pm

Yeah, gonna support the continuation of Bibis government
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Postby Len Hyet » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:17 pm

I really hope this pans out and the Likudniks take a back seat for a while. I'd like to see a more center, center-left coalition take form, but I don't see that happening.
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Postby United States of Natan » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:25 pm

I'd probably support Labor. Certainly not Party List or Likud.
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Postby Woodfiredpizzas » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:42 pm

None of the above. It’s a collection of left wing failures.
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Postby Thermodolia » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:07 pm

I support Hosen Yisrael. I hope the win enough to upset Likud.
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Postby Shrillland » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:55 pm

Persoanlly, I'm standing with Meretz on this one. They're the ones with the best platform on Israel's domestic issues and the best solution to the conflict as a whole. Although I don't see much hope and another four years of Likud, Netanyahu, and continuing the wrong path seem the most likely outcome.
Last edited by Shrillland on Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby JituLand » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:58 pm

Likud leader Netanyahu is like Modi of India. He is right wing, but involved in scams. It is interesting to note that both Modi and Netanyahu will face stiff fight this 2019 8)

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Postby Shrillland » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:04 pm

JituLand wrote:Likud leader Netanyahu is like Modi of India. He is right wing, but involved in scams. It is interesting to note that both Modi and Netanyahu will face stiff fight this 2019 8)

It's not really a stiff fight for him. The polls are showing LIkud gaining a seat or two, he can easily find a right-wing coalition among the old and new faces.
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Postby MERIZoC » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:25 am

Meretz (5) :: Led by Tamar Zandberg, a former college teacher and parliamentary aide, Meretz is a left-wing, social democratic, and environmentalist party, probably similar in outlook to Bernie Sanders, the Canadian NDP, or Jeremy Corbyn (without all the Hamas and Hezbollah stuff). They are staunchly feminist, secularist, pro-Arab and Palestinian rights, and pro-LGBT. A two-state solution along pre-1967 borders is one of their main priorities. They would probably join a centre-left coalition.

lol meretz are not pro palestinian, they dont even support right of return. They're as zionist as the rest.
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Postby Len Hyet » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:38 pm

MERIZoC wrote:
Meretz (5) :: Led by Tamar Zandberg, a former college teacher and parliamentary aide, Meretz is a left-wing, social democratic, and environmentalist party, probably similar in outlook to Bernie Sanders, the Canadian NDP, or Jeremy Corbyn (without all the Hamas and Hezbollah stuff). They are staunchly feminist, secularist, pro-Arab and Palestinian rights, and pro-LGBT. A two-state solution along pre-1967 borders is one of their main priorities. They would probably join a centre-left coalition.

lol meretz are not pro palestinian, they dont even support right of return. They're as zionist as the rest.

Political party in zionist country is zionist

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Postby Thermodolia » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:57 pm

Len Hyet wrote:
MERIZoC wrote:lol meretz are not pro palestinian, they dont even support right of return. They're as zionist as the rest.

Political party in zionist country is zionist

Image

Next you’re going to tell us the pope is catholic?
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Postby Diopolis » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:04 pm

So you can't vote for Hamas?
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Postby Liriena » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:08 pm

Labor (24) :: Led by Avi Gabbay (for now), a former telecoms businessman


I see that the Israeli center-left is just as garbage as the center-left in many Western countries :P
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Postby Liriena » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:09 pm

Diopolis wrote:So you can't vote for Hamas?

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Postby Western Vale Confederacy » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:13 pm

Len Hyet wrote:
MERIZoC wrote:lol meretz are not pro palestinian, they dont even support right of return. They're as zionist as the rest.

Political party in zionist country is zionist

Image


literally shaking and spooked rn

Liriena wrote:
Diopolis wrote:So you can't vote for Hamas?

HEZBOL GANG


Zionist NazBols...

Uh.

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Postby Darussalam » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:17 pm

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Liriena wrote:
Diopolis wrote:So you can't vote for Hamas?

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He wants to abolish women rights, criminalize homosexuality, promote high fertility rate, punish blasphemy and apostasy, establish cohesive religious communities. Hamas is his best bet

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Postby Angleter » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:45 pm

Liriena wrote:
Labor (24) :: Led by Avi Gabbay (for now), a former telecoms businessman


I see that the Israeli center-left is just as garbage as the center-left in many Western countries :P


If not more so (from that perspective), given that Gabbay was elected for a centre-right party and served in Netanyahu's coalition before defecting to Labor. But then, Israeli Labor have had a particularly acute case of the Western social democrat crisis of confidence over the last couple of decades, so that's not much of a surprise.
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Postby Angleter » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:57 pm

In other news, BENNY GANTZ HAS A THEME TUNE

It includes a rap.

Probably because there are so many parties all in fierce competition for attention, Israeli parties have a habit of making theme tunes for their election campaigns. I'll post them as and when I find them. Some highlights from 2015: United Torah Judaism, Shas, Yachad (for some reason the Haredi parties love recording songs), Meretz, Bayit Yehudi
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Postby Taurgha » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:36 am

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Postby Page » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:56 am

There will never ever be peace for Israel and Palestine while Likud is in power. I hope this is Netenyahu's last election and that Israelies will choose a leader who isn't a psychopath.
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Ex-Nation

Postby Novus America » Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:13 am

Page wrote:There will never ever be peace for Israel and Palestine while Likud is in power. I hope this is Netenyahu's last election and that Israelies will choose a leader who isn't a psychopath.


It is relatively peaceful enough for now. About as good as it will be.
Palestian Israeli peace simply is not going to happen. Ever.
It is a lost cause.

Netanyahu is bad because he is corrupt, but expecting some drastic change in Israel/Palestinian relations is not realistic.
___|_|___ _|__*__|_

Zombie Ike/Teddy Roosevelt 2020.

Novus America represents my vision of an awesome Atompunk near future United States of America expanded to the entire North American continent, Guyana and the Philippines. The population would be around 700 million.
Think something like prewar Fallout, minus the bad stuff.

Politically I am an independent. I support what is good for the country, which means I cannot support either party.

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Angleter
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Founded: Apr 27, 2008
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Angleter » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:02 am

Gantz and Ya'alon have agreed to run together. Telem will receive 2nd, 5th, and 8th places on the list; which is quite generous of Gantz, considering that Telem were polling at 0.

However, they don't exactly agree on everything. Which is quite impressive, given that what little Gantz has said has been deliberately tailored to be as vague and inoffensive as possible.
Last edited by Angleter on Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
[align=center]"I gotta tell you, this is just crazy, huh! This is just nuts, OK! Jeezo man."

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Trumptonium1
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Founded: Apr 03, 2018
Ex-Nation

Postby Trumptonium1 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:15 am

Lieberman, but Netanyahu is ok.

Any socially liberal nationalist party is laudable, especially if led by a strongman. I'm jealous of Israel as they have a wide choice of those and have been governed by such for over two decades.
Last edited by Trumptonium1 on Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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