Beyond the Cusp

December 27, 2018

Israeli Future a Look Thirty Years Hence

 

Israel is a nation at the leading edge of a swell which will crest in about twenty to thirty years and may simply continue to grow for the foreseeable future. Currently, Israel has a narrow majority of Zionist, nationalist Jews of which the majority is religious, some more and some less, but all go to Synagogue on Shabbat and observe the Day of Rest and many go to daily morning service if not evening as well. The difference is one of the most basic of statistics, birth rates. The liberal left is having less numbers of children the further left you reach in the political spectrum. Their reproductive rates have been estimated to fall between one and a half to as many as two children per child-bearing aged women where two and a quarter is the minimum required to replace their population. The religious Zionists are having an average of between four to six children per married women, well above replacement level. There are some communities within this community where nine or more children are the norm. It does not take a mathematical wizard to see where the Israeli people are heading amongst the Jewish populations. Now for the reality which nobody wants the world to know. The Muslim, mostly Arab, population has had a declining reproductive rate with it currently between three and three and a half children per married woman. There have been some who have statistically measured the demographics which see that Israel will soon have a solid and unchallengeable three-quarters majority within Israel. The only challenge is the Palestinian Arab populations in the Shomron and Gaza. As both of these populations are outside the Israeli population and have their own governance, whether it is Hamas or the Palestinian Authority both being basic dictatorships, they will not become Israelis beyond those in Eastern Jerusalem. These Arabs have been given provisional citizenship which permits them to vote in Jerusalem and neighborhood elections but they are not permitted to vote in national elections thus far. The remainder of the Palestinian Arabs of the Palestinian Authority will, at best, receive resident alien status while being granted citizenship in whatever Arab nation is willing to grant them such status or they will remain under their present governance while their region will become part of Israel with them in a semiautonomous region. Gaza is unlikely to ever be readmitted into Israel without something extremely severe occurring in which most of the population will be sent from Israel as the Gaza population support Hamas and Islamic Jihad by over 80% according to most surveys. This makes this population antagonistic and adversarial to Israel and completely hostile and unacceptable for incorporating into Israeli rule under any circumstance or political scenario.

 

With Israeli population mostly defined as those who already have citizenship and those who may immigrate into Israel from abroad. Much of the Jewish population outside of Israel is highly unlikely to make Aliyah and come home to Israel. Israel has placed impediments against illegal immigration or any influx of refugees from Syria or the other disasters referred to as nations currently in the Middle East and North Africa, such as are streaming into Europe. There are some advantages to having adversarial nations on every border as it forces one to have the IDF guarding every border. The one border which had proven problematic was the long border along the Sinai Peninsula and the Israeli Negev Desert. Israel suffered such an influx from several African nations which Israel has been unable to deport thanks to threats from the European Union and its several nations, the United Nations and their interference forcing any nation willing to take these illegal immigrants through threats to cancel their agreements with Israel. This minority population will eventually leave by one means or another. Since their influx, Israel has, wait for it, built, yes, you know what is coming, a border wall which cut the numbers significantly. Israel then made this border wall even higher and it cut the numbers to zero. That problem addressed, Israel is in control of their borders and thus the population.

 

Stretch of the Israel-Egypt Border Fence

Stretch of the Israel-Egypt Border Fence

 

There is a currently sizable sector of the religious community which is largely not Zionist in their beliefs believing that the Messiach is necessary to form the final Jewish state, the Haredi. They are the current king-makers as their numbers of ministers, as they vote pretty much as a block though that is slowly crumbling at the edges, so to speak, but they still are often the deciding block which decides which party is capable of making a majority coalition. Their population numbers is also increasing due to their high birth rate but their percentage is still not increasing as the religious Zionist percentage is increasing even faster. The mathematical projections show the religious Zionists allied with the nationalist conservatives will have a near majority needing less numbers, if any, of other smaller interest-specific parties such as the Haredi Parties, there are two, or the Yisrael Beiteinu Party which represents largely Russian Jews but has been losing mandates in recent elections. In time, providing the religious Zionist groups can solidify putting aside their often-petty differences and some based on a small group of larger than life egos, then such a party will soon be able to replace the Likud as the largest party. Polls taken recently show that the left leaning parties, unless they receive boosts from retired generals and former Mossad commanders which they often woo immediately before election with promises of high positions in their list for Knesset Ministers. Without such a boost, the Zionist Union is perched to lose a number, potentially significant number, of mandates in the upcoming elections. Meanwhile, the religious Zionist Parties appear to be ready for gains, as does Likud. There is one thing which we must tell about Israeli elections and politics, it is extremely energetic which makes a poll taken in the morning out of touch by late afternoon, not to mention the change which can take place in a few days or a week. There is one item for which we need to thank President Trump, the media has become far more suspect and their slant is now readily identifiable by the majority of the population. This has been evidenced by serious changes in subscription rates within Israel.

 

But we are attempting to predict the future in twenty to thirty years. Then Israel will be even more Jewish than she is today. Israel will be more conservative, more religious, more Zionist, more nationalist and still a technological marvel as Israel will continue to be the start-up nation. It will still, unfortunately, be facing the same problems with the threats from the Islamic and Arab world not to mention that there will be opposition to the fact that Israel is such a success and Jewish being a bother to many in Europe plus the world will also have changed. The direction of many of the problems and the future of the world’s nations is in many cases problematic and in so many others in flux. The United States is in the center of a political civil war being fought largely on social media and the ballot box. One can only pray that the American civil war remains as civil as it currently exists and not turn to violence or one side winning an election and then altering the laws of governance permanently altering the future of the nation. In Europe, they are being tested by the large influx, much larger than expected, of people from the Islamic world. This is causing a culture clash of monstrous proportions exampled by the Ramadan with Muslims attacking cars in Birmingham, England early last June (video below). These confrontations as well as the tax riots in Paris and across France are all signs that within Europe the civilization is tearing itself apart. They make future predictions about Europe, especially Western Europe, far more problematic than here in Israel. The United States will be more readily predicted by the 2024 elections completely independent of whether or not President Trump is reelected as whomever the Democrats might run against him would likely not even remain in the Democrat Party by 2024 as that party is in flux apparently moving well to the left. The world is a very unpredictable and vacillating place where the only thing which is constant is change, a saying which has numerous variations and an equal number of claims of authorship.

 

 

Well, there really is not much to add beyond that the future does appear bright for Israel. The one item which is an unknown will be the numbers of Jews making Aliyah and coming home to Eretz Yisroel. That is a pleasant variable to have to be the main variable for the future. We realize that many of those Jews will be more liberal than the direction which Israel is moving. These Jews will also very possibly have decided to return home because of the changing situations in the world where anti-Semitism is on the rise and in all too many instances taking on some very violent confrontations. This is even occurring in some of the neighborhoods in and around New York City, even in some which are major Jewish areas. This has been a greater difficulty for the Jews in Europe where in France the numbers leaving for other shores has been increasing every year for the last decade. Numbers of Jews have stated their intent to depart Britain should the Labor Party place Jeremy Corbyn into the Prime Minister’s 10 Downing Street address. The future for Jews living outside of Israel is another problematic situation which is in flux and too often in a very wrong direction. Such experiences will have definitive effects upon those who are victimized and their congregations and neighborhoods. That will also have an influence on their political outlook upon arriving in Israel. They will all be welcomed and Israel will try to accommodate them as quickly and comfortably as possible. This too could lead to a significant increase in the Jewish population of Israel as not even half of the world’s Jewish population resides in Israel. There are approximately fourteen and two-thirds million Jews in the world and between six and a half and seven million in Israel making it 44.5% of the world’s Jews currently residing in Israel. The best projections claim that in thirty years the number of Jews making Aliyah will provide Israel with a twenty to thirty percent increase in the Jewish population, which is something we will have to wait and see as it occurs. Outside and unpredictable events and conditions will weigh heavily on what the actual numbers will become. But the predictions we have made will likely stand with whatever influx should occur. Coming to Israel can have a profound effect on many people as it did myself, and I pray it was for the better.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

December 24, 2018

The Syria Connection

 

One hears rumors of deals and arrangements being touted which predicated the United States departure from Syria. One can only pray that these are valid statements but should plan as if those words were never heard. Does anybody in their right mind believe that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is really going to end his murdering of the Kurdish population in Syria? How many actually are able to convince themselves that once the United States has departed that Bashir al-Assad will not simply begin to slaughter not only the fighters who still oppose him in the eastern parts of the nation but will also choose a genocidal approach to the civilian populations in these regions slaughtering millions of innocents for the crime of being Sunni Muslims or Kurds. There was one promise already kept, but whether the promise was made to United States President Donald Trump or to Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is unclear. The good news is that Russian President Vladimir Putin did lean on Lebanon regarding the Hezballah tunnels dug under the border and into Israel plus warned them to take steps to assure the border with Israel remains quiet. This also serves Russian influences and interests that there does not open up warring between Lebanon based Hezballah and Israel as such a war is bound to spill into Syria even if just to prevent arms from reaching Hezballah from Iran through Damascus, the route usually taken, though of late Iran has begun using Beirut International Airport to transport guidance system upgrades to the massive Hezballah rocket inventory making them deadly accurate missiles instead of launch and pray rockets with marginal accuracy.

 

The problem is that either President Trump has not learned that in the Middle East falsehoods are a way of life and actually demanded of the followers of Islam if that lie furthers the goals of Islam. The American President is accustomed to making deals with people whose word is their bond and such does not exist throughout most of the Middle East, Israel being the exception. This has caused Israel many serious problems when dealing with the Palestinian Authority (PA) as they would often make a promise which they had no intention of ever honoring as that would be counter to their interests, and as they are Muslim, their interests when dealing with Jews is an imperative that they gain specifically when they lie. The PA has not kept virtually everything they have ever agreed upon with the greatest and most obvious lie being that they rewrote their charter removing calls to totally destroy Israel and kill all the Jews. To the credit of the PA, when Washington DC sent State Department monitors to determine if the PA was to alter their charter, they had a vote to form a committee to look into having a committee which would consider making the prescribed alterations. The State Department monitors returned to Washington DC reporting that the PA was indeed going to make the changes required, and that settled that argument. Of course, that committee saw no reason to form another committee to decide if the changes should be made, as obviously they never intended to alter one letter of their charter and nobody in the Western World can understand their charter as it is written in the apparently untranslatable Arabic. We can expect the same for any and all guarantees given to President Trump as conditions under which the United States military could leave the region-claiming job done in the defeating of the Islamic State.

 

That takes us to whether or not the Islamic State has indeed been defeated. That would depend on one’s definition of defeated. The Islamic State lost virtually all of the territory it once held, had its declared capital city taken and has been reduced to sparse groups scattered over many square miles of territory all of whom have melted back into the population, often in the very villages they left to fight with the Islamic State. Such a dispersed group would be next to impossible to hunt down and the effort would make such more and more difficult as time progressed as many of these people would be torn from their communities leading to resentment and making more terrorists. So, was the Islamic State defeated? Well, yes, as much as such can be the case as the remainder has vanished into the countryside and in small towns and villages. The remnants if they were to gather to attempt another power seizure, they would become a simple target which could be eliminated using aircraft from the fleet in the Arabian Gulf or Mediterranean Sea as soon as they were identified. Will the Islamic State ever return and become a new menace? Probably not, or at least not in the same form with the same leadership and it would only take the name Islamic State because there is a history to be found in the ruins of the Islamic State. President Trump was basically correct in reporting that the Islamic State had been defeated, but his move to pull the troops may prove to have been premature.

 

Reports have stated that this was a decision made by the President and only the President. Security Adviser John Bolton argued against pulling the troops out claiming it was premature. Secretary of Defense James Mattis was in so much agreement with Bolton that he tendered his resignation claiming that the President should have somebody supportive of his decision rather than himself who was vehemently opposed to this move. The leadership of the Democrat Party stated that what the President did with pulling the United States military troops from Syria was a form of deserting America’s post in the troubled region. Yes, you read that correctly, the Democrat Party is now in favor of a military campaign half way around the globe to eradicate every last person who ever had any cordial relations with the Islamic State. These are the same people who scream as if somebody murdered their pet puppy any time Israel is forced to act against Hamas, a terrorist group on the immediate border from Gaza yet bemoan the removal of United States military which was fighting terrorists extremely far removed from the American borders. That, our friends, is hypocrisy. But nobody ever honestly claimed that the United States had no double standards when it comes to Israel. Every nation, or virtually every country, holds contrary expectations of Israel which are far and away more restrictive and bordering on making it dangerous to the point of allowing Israel to face destruction while applauding any other nation taking steps for protection from terrorists even if the threat was thousands of miles distant; for example, the United States and Islamic State for whom the United States sent troops to the far side of the planet.

 

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis

 

The first and near immediate consequence of the United States pulling her troops from the region will produce will be Iran establishing a direct route across Iraq and into Syria and Lebanon with the equipment headed for Lebanon and will be utilized by Hezballah. The IRGC will become more active vis-à-vis the Israeli border with more regularly stray bullets just happening to strike somewhere along the Golan Heights and even rockets will stray into the Golan Heights all of which will make soldiering on this front more demanding. Bashir al-Assad will take the American troop withdrawal as a signal that he will be free to do as he pleases while he completes his retaking of Syria. The human rights abuses are simply going to become a major part of the coming Syrian despotic regime returning to power. Assad will definitively punish those peoples he feels were disloyal or critical of his rule. This will include the Kurds and the Sunni Arabs in large part as their Alawite Shiite leader purifies their nation. Once the perceived enemies of the Syrian despot have been cowed, then everything will return to an eerie form of normalcy. Such will take time as the people are going to have to rebuild their lives and their homes in all too many instances. Bashir al-Assad has proven to be at least as great a destroyer of worlds and has exceeded his father’s totals and Bashir is not yet near to the completion of his transformation of his nation and its population. Additionally, Turkey’s Erdoğan will be serving al-Assad by sweeping through and killing the Kurds in the north of Syria while disarming any he allows to remain. We may be on the verge of witnessing the murder systematically of millions of Kurds. In far too many cases, the military troops have been hand picked selected for their proven loyalty and their brutal oppression they are willing to inflict often on innocent persons. The anti-Kurd animosity is very apparent in both the sweeping away of described terror cells and the brutal treatment of all of those who are not them. The Kurds are also facing murderous troops in northern Iraq as the Iraqi militias, the Iraqi military and the IRGC from Iran are sweeping Kurdish territories seeking to kill anyone who ever had even the slightest connection to Kurdish Militias. This sweep may even include what is left of the Yazidis who escaped the Islamic State slaughterhouse by the skin of their teeth. Life outside of Israel in the Middle East can be horrific to the point one simply gets trampled by one despot after another. The United States departure from this region will have detrimental effects, but these will be nothing when compared to what will occur once the United States pulls their support for Israel and no longer provides cover in the Security Council. That is something which is already in the pipes and coming before you know it. Before that day arrives, Israel will require a new and kindly friend who has a permanent veto.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

December 20, 2018

The Mistaken View the World Wishes to Impose

 

Eight European Union member states, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany and Italy, on Tuesday warned that US President Donald Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century” would fail unless it is based on the internationally agreed parameters, whatever that means. We will be including the statement made by United States Ambassador to the United Nations to the Security Council on the obsession of the United Nations, and she may as well have added the European Union and the majority of the world. US Special Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt tweeted in response to Haley’s speech: “Thank you Nikki Halley for your friendship, leadership, support and vision. Wishing you all the best in your promising future!” The below may have been her parting shot though we would not even begin to rule out at least one or two more broadsides against that body which she has witnessed in close contact for the last number of years. The eight European Union members released statement read, “We, the European Union members of the Council, would like to reiterate once more and emphasize the EU’s strong continued commitment to the internationally agreed parameters for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on international law, relevant UN resolutions and previous agreements.” This is the usual copout which provides cover for the Arab world, and the Palestinian Authority leadership, to reject any peace agreement which permits the existence of the Jews ruling their own nation. This is Euroweenie speak for we support the obliteration of the Jewish state but are too mealy-mouthed to actually say what we mean.

 

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley

 

But they had more to say as they added just for further emphasis, “The EU is truly convinced that the achievement of a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, that meets Israeli and Palestinian security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty, ends the occupation and resolves all final status issues, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2334 and previous agreements, is the only viable and realistic way to end the conflict and to achieve just and lasting peace.” First, International Law does not demand any return to the pre-Six Day War border, the armistice line from the failed 1948 Arab attempt to wipe out the Jews immediately after their independence and then the Arab nations of Jordan in the Shomron and Egypt in Gaza occupying land legally belonging to the Jewish State. Their cowardly reference to President Obama’s parting shot in an attempt to circumvent International Law with UNSC Res. 2334 as they are as aware as anyone knowledgeable on the actual history that that resolution was contrary to UN Charter Article 80 under which the United Nations is to support and enforce the Mandates which gave the eastern border of Israel as the Jordan River. The attempts to destroy Israel started with the chopping off of 78% of the British Mandate in order to form an Arab state presumably for establishing the two state solution as well as fulfilling the British promise to the Hashemites. Any making of yet another two state solution is, in reality, the making of a three state solution, Jordan and whatever the second Arab state will be called with Israel being chopped up further. Then there will be a call for a third Arab state in Gaza and whatever part of the Negev which the world feels is appropriate to allow Hamas and Islamic Jihad their state. Then the question will be what the next concept that the world led by the Europeans can invent to chop up Israel even further with such continuing until the Jews all live in one tower in central Tel Aviv, and then they will start demanding that the Jews surrender floors of that building.

 

There have been some conservative radio talk show hosts, rumored to include Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh, who have predicted what may eventually become reality predicting that the Arab-Israeli conflict will only end after one side wins such a decisive victory over the other with ramifications which leave the other side feeling decimated. They stated that either the world will witness a second Holocaust with the Jews of Israel being slaughtered down to the last man, women and child or the Arabs forces being so totally defeated that the Arab world would be incapable of mounting sufficient force to counter even the slightest uprising of their own people. One can hope that this is not what will become reality. Israel has proven repeatedly their desire for peace with the only proviso that their borders be defensible and that the Jordan River valley remain under IDF control to make the eastern border defensible and that the Judean hills overlooking Tel Aviv and the central region of Israel, making them vulnerable, remain under Israeli control. The Oslo Accords were designed such that Israel was to retain control of Area C while Area B was to be negotiated to establish the border and Area A was to remain as part of the Palestinian state and Israel has stated they would surrender some areas such that the Palestinian regions would have a smoothed border and all would be connected directly. Both sides were to make agreements on mutual use of certain main roads to allow for easy movement for both peoples. The reason for the Jordan River valley and the overlooking highlands becomes obvious when one looks at a cutaway of the region as it defends an insurmountable barrier to any attack from the east (shown below). This minimal set of demands is what is required for Israeli borders to be defensible, presumably another promise which is turning out to be just as meaningless as every other promise the world has given the Jews.

 

Cutaway View of Tactical Advantage and Necessity of the Jordan Valley and Judean Hills for Defending Coastal Plains and Israel Alongside the Mediterranean Sea

Cutaway View of Tactical Advantage and Necessity
of the Jordan Valley and Judean Hills for Defending
Coastal Plains and Israel Alongside the Mediterranean Sea

 

The reality is that should the world actually honor their promises made during the San Remo Conference, the Mandate System, Article 80 of the UN Charter, the Treaty of Sèvres, The Anglo American Treaty and numerous other agreements, then the Jordan River would be the eastern border for Israel and the Arabs of the Palestinian Authority would be granted legal alien resident status by which they would rule themselves while the lands would still be under Israel national control. This would in no way take away their land as they would continue to own their lands and elect their own government or have whatever governance they chose, but the region would legally be part of Israel. The best solution of this would be to return Jordanian citizenship to the Palestinian Arabs which they had when Jordan occupied this part of Israel and forcefully transferred many of these Arab into the region. We are not holding out breath waiting for the world to honor promises which the world had given to the Jewish People represented by the Zionist Congress. That includes the British promise that they would defend the border for Israel being the Jordan River which was part of the agreement when Jordan was gifted 78% of the British Mandate. Living up to promises given the Jewish People has been a problem for the world with one exception, Cyrus the Great when he allowed the Jews to return and rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem back in or about 600 BCE.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

Outgoing US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley addressed the UN Security Council recently stating as follows in a transcript as reported here.

 

“The problems of the Middle East are numerous, and yet we spend a vastly disproportionate amount of time on just one of them. The UN has shown itself to be hopelessly biased, as we witnessed again just two weeks ago when the General Assembly failed to even condemn Hamas’s terrorism against Israel.

“Most of the region’s problems have nothing to do with the Israel-Palestinian conflict…. The UN [should] move away from its obsession with Israel. This UN obsession has been entirely unproductive. It’s actually worse than that. The UN’s obsession with this issue has been counterproductive. It has sent a loud and false message to the Palestinians that they might be able to achieve their goals by relying on the UN, rather than through direct negotiations. And it has sent a loud and accurate message to the Israelis that they can never trust the UN.

“Israel is a thriving, strong, prosperous country. It has always wanted peace with its neighbors. It has clearly demonstrated its willingness to make big sacrifices for peace, including giving up large areas of land. No UN resolutions, anti-Semitic boycotts, or terrorist threats will change that. Throughout its existence, and even today, Israel has been surrounded by threats to its security. It would be foolish for it to make a deal that weakened its security. And yet, even in the face of constant threats, Israel has become one of the leading nations of the world. It wants a peace agreement, but it does not need one.

“And then there are the Palestinian people. Like the Israelis, they are a deservedly proud people. They too do not need to accept a peace agreement at any price. Terrorists rule much of the territory, undermining the safety of all civilians. The Palestinian people are suffering terribly, while their leadership clings to fifty-year old demands that have only become less and less realistic. What awaits the Palestinian people with a peace agreement are the prospects of a massive improvement in the quality of their lives and far greater control over their political future.
“It is time we faced a hard truth: both sides would benefit greatly from a peace agreement, but the Palestinians would benefit more, and the Israelis would risk more. Unlike previous attempts at addressing this conflict, this plan is not just a few pages, containing unspecific and unimaginative guidelines. It is much longer. It contains much more thoughtful detail. It recognizes that realities on the ground in the Middle East have changed in powerful and important ways. This plan will be different from all previous ones. The critical question is whether the response to it will be any different. There are things in the plan that every party will like, and there are things that every party will not like. That is certainly true for the Israelis and the Palestinians; but it is also true for every country in the world that has taken an interest in this subject.

“Every country or party will therefore have an important choice to make. They can focus on the parts of the plan they dislike. For irresponsible parties, that would be the easiest thing to do. Just reject the plan because it does not satisfy all of your demands. Then we would return to the failed status quo of the last fifty years with no prospects for change. The other choice is to focus on the parts of the plan that you do like and to encourage negotiations to move forward. And I assure you there is a lot for both sides to like. Ultimately, as always, the final decisions can only be made by the parties themselves. Israelis and Palestinians will decide their own futures. They will decide what sacrifices they are willing to make. And they will need leaders with real vision to do it.

“But my friends at the United Nations — in particular my Arab and European friends – will also play an important part. You will face the same choice. The choice between a hopeful future that sheds the tired, old, and unrealistic demands of the past, or a darker future that sticks with the proven failed talking points of the past.
“The world will be watching.

“More importantly, the Palestinians and Israelis will be watching. Their response can be affected by your response. I have heard privately from many Arab Ambassadors that they know a solution is urgently needed. But your governments have not been willing to talk to your constituencies about what is realistic, or to the Palestinian leadership about the harm they are doing to their own people. By taking the easy way, you are really saying the Palestinian people are not a priority for you. Because if they were, you would all be in a room helping bring both sides to the table.

“As for the American people, we have demonstrated time and again our commitment to peace in the Middle East. We will continue to offer our hand in friendship to the Palestinian people, whom we have financially supported by far more than any other country has done. The Palestinians have everything to gain by engaging in peace negotiations. But whatever it is that others decide, the world must know that America will remain steadfast in our support for Israel, its people, and its security. That is an unshakable bond between our two peoples. And it is that bond – more than anything else — that makes peace possible.”

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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