Archive for Judea & Samaria

And She’s Smart, Too!

She had me at Lost in Translation, but the girl has hidden depths (the mind reels!)

American Jewish actress Scarlett Johansson believes anti-Semitism is to blame for much of the fire she drew earlier this year over her endorsement of Israeli company SodaStream, which operates a factory in the West Bank.

“There’s a lot of anti-Semitism out there,” Johansson told Vanity Fair, in an interview for the cover of their May edition.

SodaStream employs Palestinian and Israeli workers at its plant in the Ma’aleh Adumim insdutrial zone. It says the factory offers a model of peaceful cooperation, but Israel’s settlements are deemed illegal under international law and are condemned by Oxfam, which has a large operation in the region.

There’s a lot of anti-Semitism in international law, Scar. (She loves it when I call her that. Especially when I follow up with “Say hello to my lil frien’!”)

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What You Learn Watching CNN

Not much, and if you blink you’ll miss it:

Economics Minister and Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett took his message to the international media last night, in an interview with CNN.

Dismissing suggestions that Israel was responsible for the collapse of peace talks by building homes in Jerusalem, Bennett pointed out that the talks had already ground to a halt after PA leader Mahmoud Abbas refused to even recognize Israel’s existence as the nation-state of the Jewish people, while simultaneously demanding Israeli recognition of a “Palestinian homeland.”

“The reality… is that the era of these negotiations is over – it’s time for plan B… a new approach,” he said. “The approach that we’ve been applying for 20 years now clearly has reached its end.”

Bennett rejected out of hand calls for Israel to freeze construction in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, as part of proposals to eventually partition the city between the Jewish state and a future “Palestinian state”.

“Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital for just about 3,000 years, and just like I would never suggest to freeze building in London, where you’re sitting” Israel should not be expected to “freeze our own building in our own state”, he said.

Responding to his interviewer’s claim that “there has been Palestinian life in Jerusalem for thousands of years,” he retorted: “You’re talking about a Palestinian presence? Has there ever been a Palestinian state? Show me what its flag was, show me what its anthem was, show me who its leader is – show me anything that mentions the word ‘Palestinians’ more than 65 or 80 years ago.

“There has never been ‘Palestinian state’ – that’s one of the big lies that they’ve managed to press forward. The reality is that it’s been the Jewish land for 3,000 years, it’s still our land.”

Readers may have noticed I’ve dropped the affectation “palestinian” from the site almost entirely, preferring the more accurate term “Arab”—sometimes “Palestinian Arab”. Bloodthirstan aside, I don’t write about fictonal places.

That’s why I write about Israel:

Naftali Bennett has drafted a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Wednesday night, demanding that Israel establish full sovereignty over “settlement blocs” in Judea and Samaria.

“It is clear that the current process has run its course and we are entering a new era,” he stated. “For years now we have been slamming our heads against the wall repeatedly during negotiations – and not surprisingly the wall is not broken.”

“It is time for a new way of thinking,” he continued. “I ask you to hold a hearing as soon as possible on an alternative plan (Plan B) to start a process of applying Israeli sovereignty over those areas in Judea and Samaria which are controlled by Israel – Gush Ariel, Gush Etzion, Beit El, Ma’aleh Adumim and more.”

Bennett pointed out that those areas – including Gush Etzion, the Ariel and Bet El ‘blocs’ and Maale Adumim, among others – contain a large Jewish majority.

“In these areas live about 400 thousand Israelis – and only tens of thousands of individual Palestinians,” he noted. “These areas are widely thought to be agreed upon in national consensus and have security significance, historical significance, and value ??for the State of Israel.

“The process will be similar to Israel establishing sovereignty over Jerusalem during the Eshkol government and the Golan Heights during the Begin government,” he noted.

And maybe even sovereignty over—dare I say it—the Temple Mount?

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Breaking News From 1917

John Kerry:

US Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to overcome the controversy surrounding the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state by changing the definition to “the national homeland of the Jews”, the London-based Arabic Al-Hayat newspaper reported Saturday morning.

Lord Balfour:

His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

That’s why they call him “Cutting-Edge Kerry”.

Of course, things have changed in the intervening 97 years. A war here, a pogrom there—oh yeah, the Holocaust—and somehow a “national homeland for the Jews”, as lofty as it once sounded, now sounds less secure than a “Jewish state”. Especially when it is arrived at as a compromise to avoid inflaming hostile, rejectionist Arab opinion.

My opinion, the Jews have had enough of “homelands” like the Warsaw Ghetto. They need—and have—a state. The only debate is how much of Judea and Samaria should be in it? (All.)

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Their Kind

Where’d you say you come from again?

The US State Department is denying visas to senior members of Israeli security forces whose work is connected to Israeli rule in the West Bank, Channel 10 reported Tuesday night, citing “pro-Israel sources” on Capitol Hill.

The effort to identify officers and commanders from the IDF, Shin Bet, Mossad, and other organizations stems from a fear that these individuals may have played a part in violating Palestinians’ human rights.

The US administration did not confirm the report, but did say last week that Israel’s discrimination against visiting Arab Americans is the primary reason it is not eligible for a program allowing Israeli tourists in to the United States without visas.

“The Department of Homeland Security and State remain concerned with the unequal treatment that Palestinian Americans and other Americans of Middle Eastern origin experience at Israel’s border and checkpoints, and reciprocity is the most basic condition of the Visa Waiver Program,” Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said March 21 in her daily briefing with reporters.

The Tsarnaev boys are welcome, but you Joos can just git. (I’m hearing Strother Martin in Cool Hand Luke.)

Israel says its rate of refusal of entry for Arab Americans is not disproportionate and notes that under the Oslo agreements with the Palestinians, foreigners of Palestinian descent undergo a different entry protocol.

Doesn’t seem unreasonable under the circumstances.

Psaki’s remarks came after several weeks in which a number of lawmakers, led by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), have criticized US consular services for their rate of refusal of young Israelis.

In addition to Schumer, other lawmakers who have pressed the State Department to explain the spike in the rate of refusal include Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Reps. Grace Meng (D-NY), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Eliot Engel (D-NY), the ranking Democrat on the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

The Obama-Kerry State Department may bitch-slap Israel with one hand, but it offers flowers with another:

The United States has proposed freeing Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard in a trade-off deal in which Israel would agree to proceed with the next round of prisoner releases, including Israeli Arab prisoners, and the Palestinian Authority would agreed to extend the current peace talks, Israel’s Army Radio reported Wednesday.

It said the offer had been conveyed to Israel and the PA, but there was no official confirmation. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was quoted telling journalists accompanying Secretary of State John Kerry to a meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas Wednesday morning that there were currently no plans to release Pollard, who is serving a life sentence.

In exchange for Pollard, Israel would agree to release 26 prisoners, among them around 20 Arab Israelis, and the Palestinians would agree to continue talks until the end of 2014, according to Army Radio.

Israel has strong feelings about Pollard, which is understandable, but he is not an Israeli citizen. Israel must consider the security of its own citizens first, as unfair as his treatment may be. We sure as hell know we can’t trust the State Department.

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Dear Israel: Bugger Off

Once upon a time, the British thought thusly of a state for the Jews in their historic lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea:

That was then. (The original promise included modern-day Jordan too, btw.)

This is now:

The British architects’ union has declared a boycott of its Israeli counterpart, in the latest development of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement’s crusade targeting the Jewish state.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced on its internet site that it will act to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) from the International Union of Architects…

At the meeting, former RIBA President Angela Brady said if the group didn’t boycott Israel, it would implicitly support “land grabs, forced removals, killing the state [sic] and human rights, and reinforcement of apartheid,” reports The Guardian.

However, other council members noted the horrific human rights abuses committed by other countries, such as North Korea, which is a member of RIBA. “Don’t you think architects are designing prison camps and torture chambers there?” asked council member Francesca Weal at the meeting.

Yeah, so? At least they’re torturing and imprisoning (and starving and murdering) their own people.

For the BDS-ers, this is all in a day’s sedition:

An NGO Monitor report released two weeks ago, in time for British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Israel visit, revealed that the UK, along with the European Union (EU) and other EU governments, is financing NGO lawfare against Israel’s legal system.

The report exposes how the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has been acting to sabotage Israel’s legal processes. It further reports that the UK granted £6 million (roughly $10 million) to NRC between 2011 and 2015 to influence Israeli policies and lobby for international sanctions against Israel. Between the UK, the EU, Norway and Sweden, NRC received over $20 million between 2011 and 2013.

In a related story:

Meanwhile, just this week it was reported that the British legal system, for the first time, is poised to adopt Islamic Sharia law, in a decision allowing solicitors to write Islamic wills denying women an equal share of inheritances and exclude non-Muslims altogether.

If you’re quiet and the wind is right, you can hear the British slander themselves. Though why anyone should listen…

PS: Why can’t Israel design buildings like the Brits?

The call it The Gherkin. This being a family blog, I can’t share with you what I call it.

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Celebrate Diversity

At least in terms of arms suppliers:

Alenia Aermacchi has rolled out its first M-346 jet trainer for Israel, part of a reciprocal deal covering satellites and early warning aircraft for Italy. The deal has boosted ties between the countries and may now see Tel Aviv sending its F-35 joint strike fighters to Italy for maintenance.

Officials from the defense ministries of both countries talked up their close relationship as they met in Italy on March 20 for the rollout of the first of 30 M-346 jets Israel has ordered — the first non-American plane the country has bought for decades.

“It would make a lot of sense for us to maintain JSFs in Italy rather than sending them to the US,” he said.

True, why send them across the Atlantic when Italy lies but halfway across the Mediterranean? But I wonder if there’s more to the strategy than that? America hasn’t been the most steadfast ally of late.

Still, we are trying:

American officials are very concerned that the talks between Israel and Palestinian Authority could break down totally. The two sides are deadlocked, and no progress has been made for weeks, the officials were quoted as saying by Israel Radio – and the administration of President Barack Obama is feverishly trying to come up with a formula that will keep both sides talking.

The US, therefore, is considering various “creative” ideas to make the deal more appealing, the report said. Among them is an idea Netanyahu himself proposed – releasing Jonathan Pollard, who has been in an American prison for nearly three decades on charges of spying for Israel. The diplomats said that it was not clear Obama would agree to such a condition.

Talking is overrated if you ask me, particularly when the only word spoken is “no”:

PA chief Mahmoud Abbas has made it clear numerous times that he will not concede on the Palestinian’s “core” demands – an Israeli withdrawal from all of Judea, Samaria, and much of Jerusalem; free immigration of the descendants of Arabs who fled Israel in 1948 into Israel; and no recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

Under such conditions, Netanyahu has told diplomats, there is no way he could get an agreement with the PA approved by his government.

Under these circumstances, when a man’s freedom is a bargaining chip, Israel would be wise to source its self defense requirements from more than one (unreliable) supplier.

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I’m Glad That’s Over With!

What part of “no” don’t we get?

On his trip to Washington this week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected US Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework document for continued peace talks with Israel, and issued “three no’s” on core issues, leaving the negotiations heading for an explosive collapse, an Israeli TV report said Friday.

Specifically, the report said, Abbas rejected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand that he recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He also refused to abandon the Palestinian demand for a “right of return” for millions of Palestinians and their descendants — a demand that, if implemented, would drastically alter Israel’s demographic balance and which no conceivable Israeli government would accept. And finally, he refused to commit to an “end of conflict,” under which a peace deal would represent the termination of any further Palestinian demands of Israel.

Satisfied? Are we done here?

Can we move on now with the extension of Israeli sovereignty to the ancient Jewish lands of Judea and Samaria—as guaranteed by the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations? (The latter of which automatically became UN policy.)

An invented people, occupying land not their own, have been wasting time pretending to negotiate. That’s quite enough of that.

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The Israeli Solution

Caroline Glick’s new book is out, and I feel like Steve Martin in The Jerk:

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LOPEZ: What is the single most important fact for anyone considering Mideast policy to know?

GLICK: That everything is changing before our eyes. Borders are changing. The way people view each other and the way they see the world and their places in it is changing. Old convictions are being replaced by new ones. In Israel, we see this most vividly among Israeli Arabs who are abandoning their radical leaders in droves and striving to integrate fully into Israeli society, including through vastly increased enlistment in the Israel Defense Forces. Trying to fix problems with the same tools that have been used for the past three generations is like trying to stop up a sea with a wine cork. New thinking is required today more than ever before.

LOPEZ: How has Washington “willfully trampled its own most cherished values” when it comes to the Middle East?

GLICK: The main way that Washington has done so has been by making the rapid establishment of a Palestinian state on the west bank of the Jordan River and in Jerusalem the most urgent goal of its Middle East policy. Such a state would be a racist state whose rulers demand that it be ethnically cleansed of all Jewish presence before they will even accept independence. To advance this end, successive U.S. administrations have rejected Jews’ right to own property in the historic heartland of the Jewish people in Judea and Samaria and in much of Israel’s capital city. Aside from that, the Palestinian state the U.S. seeks to establish will be led by terrorists who continue to support terrorism and indoctrinate their people with genocidal Jew-hatred marinated in anti-Americanism.

In other words, the Palestinian state the U.S. seeks to establish is an affront to the moral foundations of the United States, and contradicts all of America’s core interests in the Middle East.

But this is her best point:

The two-state-solution policy assumes not only that guilt for the 65-year Arab war on Israel lies solely or predominantly on Israel’s shoulders but that all Arab-related conflict too can be ascribed to the actions of Israel. The idea behind the policy model is that the root cause of instability in the region is the absence of a Palestinian state, and that the absence of a Palestinian state is Israel’s fault.

Former president Bill Clinton put it this way: The establishment of a Palestinian state would “take about half the impetus in the whole world — not just the region, the whole world — for terror away. It would have more impact than anything else that could be done.” And the party that most international actors view as guilty for the absence of a state of Palestine is Israel. Israel is blamed for the absence of that state because, in the common line of thinking, it refuses to give up sufficient quantities of land to the PLO to satisfy its leaders.

Now, if Israel is responsible for the terrorism — not just in the Middle East, but throughout the world — then there is no reason for anyone to think about anything that happens in the Arab world. Everything regionally and internationally will be better if Israel just straightens up and flies right. This is a shocking negation of Arab agency and humanity. If Israel is to blame, then why think about the treatment of women and girls in Arab societies? Why think about the endemic poverty, the illiteracy? Why think about jihad, and Islamic doctrines that preach it?

In other words, the two-state-solution policy, which places most of the blame for the pathologies of the Arab world on Israel, also ignores the Arab world, and so only harms the Arabs — and the U.S., which is basing its Middle East policy on pure nonsense.

Pure nonsense such as this:

“These Israelis have no belief, no principles. They are an advanced instrument of evil. They say, the Holocaust, and so on – fine, why are they doing this to us? Therefore, I believe that Allah, will gather them so we can kill them. I am informing the murderer of his death.”
[Official PA TV, March 12, 2014]

Look, I’m no independent arbiter—I’m a Glickite. But the rest of you should consider her argument.

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Wanna Buy Israeli?

There’s an app for that!

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is determined to make it easier to boycott Israeli products. To that end, it is about to launch a smartphone app that will allow users to search for a company’s links to Israel, the International Business Times reported on Thursday.

The app will include a large database of product information that is researched by voluntary staff, as well as a barcode scanner to make it easier to search for products.

The app will allow boycotters to “dynamically and quickly identify products that fall within the BDS boycott guidelines,” the International Business Times quoted Abbas Naqvi, a founder of PennBDS, as saying.

And then fill your shopping cart with them!

Attend to your vines, Galilean vintners, BTL is thirsty.


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Do You Know Me?

Ask your great-great-great-great…great-great-great grand uncle:

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With vacant sockets and jaws agape, they stare at you like the skulls of the dead. They are 9,000-year-old masks found in the Judean Desert and Hills, and they are going on display for the first time next week at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Opening ahead of the Jewish holiday of Purim, which is traditionally celebrated with masquerade, “Face to Face: The Oldest Masks in the World” features 12 limestone cult masks from the Neolithic Age that have never been displayed together before.

Weighing in at one or two kilograms apiece, each of the artifacts represents a oval visage with glaring ocular cavities, toothy maws, and a set of holes along the outer edge. They were likely painted in antiquity, but only one has remnants of pigment. Each of the 12 is unique, and possibly depicts individuals. Some of the faces are old, others appear younger. One is a miniature, the size of a brooch. They may represent ancestors venerated as part of an early Stone Age religion.

“It is important to say that these are not living people, these are spirits,” said Dr. Debby Hershman, curator of prehistoric cultures at the Israel Museum, who organized the exhibit. She was reluctant to place a mask from the exhibit over her face out of reverence for bygone traditions.

The people who created this artwork were among the first humans to abandon nomadic life and establish permanent settlements. Because the masks predate writing by at least 3,500 years, there is no record of their usage. Based on years of attribute analysis of their iconography, however, Hershman believes that the carved limestone masks were used as part of an ancestor cult, and that shamans or tribal chiefs wore the masks during a ritual masquerade honoring the deceased.

The 12 masks will be on display from March 11 until September 13 in the Israel Museum’s archaeology wing. In keeping with the Neolithic theme, Snyder compared the display to England’s Stonehenge. Twelve glass pillars arranged in a circle will hold the masks at eye level so visitors can see them from all angles.

“They are timeless treasures, priceless,” said Hershman.

So they are. And so is this map of where they were found.

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You’re damn right it’s Israel. Nice job, Daily Mail.

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Men of Steel

Finally! Obama and Kerry aren’t taking this act of naked aggression lying down.

They’re talking tough, and prepared to back it up:

According to reports, Obama plans to “forcefully and directly” press Netanyahu to accept major elements of the negotiation framework Secretary of State John Kerry is developing. According to sources, the framework agreement will state that the capital of the Palestinian state will be eastern Jerusalem, and in exchange, there will be Palestinian concessions in other matters, including borders and refugees. There will be no recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, according to the reports.

Obama will also press Netanyahu to declare a building freeze in Judea and Samaria, telling him that continued construction would “make it difficult for the U.S. to defend Israel in international forums,” a report on Israel Radio said Monday.

That sounds like a threat, doesn’t it? Netanyahu might need to get his hearing checked:

Before leaving for the U.S. Sunday night, Netanyahu said that there would be no building freeze.

“I will stand steadfast on the State of Israel’s vital interests, especially the security of Israel’s citizens,” Netanyahu said. “In recent years the State of Israel has been under various pressures. We have rejected them in the face of the unprecedented storm and unrest in the region and are maintaining stability and security. This is what has been and what will be.”

Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, who is in the U.S., said that the Prime Minister was prepared for a frank discussion with the President, but that Netanyahu needed to remain steadfast in his defense of Israel. “We cannot outsource our defense to the U.S. or anyone else,” said Bennett. “The only way to peace is through ensuring our security.”

Sounds like Israel has the right men on the job.

PS: What kind of deal does Kerry think he’s offering? The Arabs get half of Jerusalem, territory, and doesn’t have to recognize Israel as a Jewish state—and Israel gets… what? [Bleep] that. I wouldn’t even [bleep] on a deal like that.

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Get Me Rewrite!

When we’ve covered the story of poor sweet little Adele Biton, the toddler grievously injured by rock-throwing Arabs, we’ve done so with a tinge of optimism. She seemed to be getting better after her coma and long stay in a rehabilitation hospital.

Then we saw this story that things were not so rosy.

And now this:

Ten months ago, Adelle Biton, then two years old, was riding in her family’s car along with her mother and two of her three older sisters. Suddenly, the family was ambushed by a group of Palestinian Arab men, who hurled heavy rocks at the car – hitting baby Adelle, and causing a crash that injured the other girls as well.

Adelle was left critically wounded, and spent months in a coma. However, half a year after the attack doctors were optimistic, saying Adelle had made a remarkable recovery and was expected to make further progress.

Sadly, the expected improvement in her condition did not come to pass. Now, staff at Loewenstein Hospital Rehabilitation Center in Ra’anana say there is nothing more they can do for the badly handicapped young girl – and have told her parents to take her home.

“We didn’t choose for [Adelle] to be in this situation. It’s hard enough for us already. We expect the government to help us,” a relative said.

“The family’s home in Yakir is not set up for Adelle yet, not in terms of access, and more importantly, not in terms of the necessary medical equipment,” they warned.

The family turned to MK Shuli Muallem (Jewish Home), who has helped them get support from the Health Ministry.

Muallem sent a letter to the Health Ministry warning that Adelle faces immediate release from the hospital “despite agreements,” and that the family does not have what it needs to help her.

Health Ministry officials issued a statement saying that ministry staff will work to help the Biton family prepare to care for Adelle, “and to promote understanding between the hospital and the family regarding the date of release.”

Parents Rafi and Adva Biton declined to be interviewed for the report.

I have no doubt that the Biton family will receive the resources it needs to care for Adele for the rest of her life, should they need to. But I suggest that Israel deduct the money from any taxes collected on behalf of the Arab occupiers of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

Or a levy on these sort of activities:

[F]ollowing discussions between COGAT and the International aid agencies operating in Gaza, the transfer of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing will continue tomorrow. This includes 1.2 million liters of gas: 800,000 liters of diesel fuel for transportation, and 400,000 liters of diesel fuel for the Gaza power station, and another 200 tons of household gas.

Earlier today two Palestinian ambulances were rescued by IDF forces of the Judea Territorial Brigade after getting stuck in the snow on road 35 near Hebron. Another rescue mission by the Shomron Territorial Brigade took place on road 60 near Ramallah, as a Red Crescent emergency vehicle was unable to continue driving.

You never hear these stories in the press (though you do here); nor about the atrocity committed on a two-year-old girl.

Yet Israel announces the building of new houses for a growing population (thanks to a high fertility rate among Jews in Israel), and you’d think they had shelled a kindergarten. Which is what the Gazan Arabs do—but you get my point.

Adele and all the other victims of Arab terror could live as lavishly as Saddam Hussein or the recently deposed Ukraine scumbag, Victor Sonofabitch, off the proceeds of this criminal regime. If they have enough money for Qassam and Grad missiles, they can cover her physical, occupational, and speech therapies.

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