‘The only democracy in the Middle East’ is determined to prove its detractors correct, as it continues the attack on anyone, in particular but not exclusively Palestinians, who challenge its naked racism. Ameer Makhoul and Omar Sa’id are but the latest victims.
Those who argue for Ghandian-style passive resistance forget that Israel is prepared to use whatever violence is necessary to ensure that the Zionist dream of an ethnically pure Jewish state, with Arabs as mere guests, takes shape.
Those who perpetuate the idea that the ‘peace process’ can ever lead to any meaningful settlement, still less a state, are simply aiding Israel’s use of negotiations as a camouflage. And those who spread the idea that the Palestinian Authority is anything other than Israel’s henchman are demobilising support for the Palestinians.
It is fitting therefore to start off with an article by Ameer Makhoul.
Israel's repression of its Palestinian citizens unites us in struggle
Ameer Makhoul, The Electronic Intifada, 6 May 2010
Israel is increasingly oppressing Palestinian leaders in Israel, like Member of Knesset Mohammed Barakeh, pictured here at a Land Day demonstration in Hebron, March 2009. (Mamoun Wazwaz/MaanImages)
Ameer Makhoul, director of Ittijah and chairman of the Popular Committee for the Defense of the Political Freedoms, was arrested by Israeli forces today during a raid of his home, two weeks after a travel ban was imposed on him by the Israeli Ministry of the Interior. Police have also raided the offices of Ittijah and confiscated equipment and documents. Makhoul, a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, submitted the following op-ed to The Electronic Intifada prior to his arrest:
Last month, when I travelled from Haifa to the land border between Jordan and Israel, the Israeli border police prevented me from leaving my country. The police handed me an order issued by the Israeli Minister of the Interior Eli Yishai prohibiting me to leave Israel for two months. The travel ban imposed on me is part of an increased campaign to intimidate and to spread fear among Palestinian civil society. The repression is meant to divide us, but it has had the opposite effect. We Palestinians in Israel, the West Bank, Gaza and the diaspora are only more determined and united to claim our rights and to build a nation where we can live in freedom and have equal rights.
The Israeli minister of the interior holds the opinion that my travel outside the country "poses a serious threat to the security of the state," according to article 6 of the 1948 emergency regulations. I am the director of Ittijah, Union of Arab Community-Based Associations and the chairman of the Popular Committee for the Defense of Political Freedoms, which is a sub-committee of the High Monitoring Committee of Arabs in Israel. All three bodies unite Palestinian Arabs in Israel and we jointly decided not to appeal my travel ban at the Israeli high court.
Any meeting in the Arab world or with any Arab person anywhere in the world arouses the suspicion of the authorities. The accusations against me are made on the basis of secret evidence that I am not allowed to see, and the high court merely acts as an extension of the Israeli General Security Services (GSS), or the Shin Bet. Israel does not need to prove that there is reason for suspicion; instead, I have to prove that there is no need for their suspicion. The Israeli legal system is far from fair for Palestinians.
Israel is intimidating Ittijah and the Popular Committee for the Defense of Political Freedoms because we are reasserting our community's stake in the Palestinian struggle. Twenty years ago few considered the Palestinians in Israel as a part of the Palestinian people or the Palestinian cause. During the Oslo process of the 1990s, we were considered an internal problem for Israel to deal with, but our networking, advocacy and lobbying has changed this. Israel is increasingly repressing us to divide Palestinians from each other and isolate us from the outside world.
The repression and persecution of Palestinians in Israel is not new. Since 1948 Israel imposed a policy of control under the guise of security. In 2007, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin introduced a new policy targeting the whole Palestinian community as a security risk to thwart democratic efforts such as the issuing by Palestinian civil society in Israel visions of a state for all its citizens.
Repression has increased dramatically since then and more than 1,000 Palestinian youths in Israel were interrogated by the Shin Bet after the Gaza massacre of winter 2008-09. Leaders of the Palestinian civil society, like myself, are under attack. Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic movement, is being persecuted for his involvement in the protection of Jerusalem from ongoing Israeli colonization and extremist settlers. Palestinian member of the Israeli parliament (Knesset) Mohammed Barakeh was shot in the leg with a sound bomb when he tried to protect protesters from the aggression of Israeli forces in the West Bank village of Bilin. MK Said Nafa was stripped of parliamentary immunity because of his visit to Syria, while former MK Azmi Bishara found himself in an imposed exile since three years for the same reason. One year ago, the Shin Bet ordered me to come to their offices and they interrogated me for one day in an attempt to silence my protest of the Israeli massacre in Gaza.
Israel applies a multi-track approach to attack our struggle: the authorities repress and persecute Palestinians while they prohibit foreign solidarity activists, organizations and journalists from visiting the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Additionally, right-wing groups within Israel commit public violence against Palestinian families in places like Acre and Jaffa, with total impunity. One week ago the right-wing group Im Tirtzu published posters inciting violence against individual members of Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights.
Palestinian civil society protests Israel's repressive policies of intimidation but at the same time resolves to continue our struggle. We have achieved unity, and it is important for us to protect this. We will not allow Israel to isolate members or parts of our community. We have become more influential in the Arab media and we will use this influence. We have built our international networks and we call on them to support us. The attacks that are meant to divide us have had the complete opposite effect. Injustice unites us; we are all together in this struggle.
The Secret Empire that has decided to Criminalize Minority Dissent in Israel
May 12th, 2010,Assaf Oron
No, this story does not come from the Occupied Territories, where residents are under a 43-year military rule and where wee-hour arrest raids are a routine occurrence. This comes from right inside Israel.
Dr. Omar Sa’id, A Palestinian citizen of Israel and resident of Kafr Kana near Nazareth, was arrested by Israel’s secret police (known in English as Shin Bet and in Israel as Shabaak) two weeks ago. He is still in custody without access to a lawyer. Per Shin Bet request, the courts issued a gag order, with which the Israeli MSM complied. The Hebrew blogosphere has learned of the story a few days ago and ignores the gag. The gag was partially lifted Monday.
This joins the better-known story of Ameer Makhoul, director of the Ittijah human rights group. The Shin Bet raided his Haifa home in the wee hours of May 6, kidnapped him, wreaked havoc and confiscated the family’s computers. He, too, is held incommunicado. That story, as well, has been gagged and the Israeli MSM doggedly obeys. Only on Monday, after a blogosphere frenzy led by the indomitable Richard Silverstein, did the Israeli press release oblique stories. A few hours later, shortly before a demonstration against the arrest took place in Haifa, the court partially lifted the gag and admitted that the two arrests are related.
More about the Arrested Men
Dr. Omar Sa’id, A Palestinian citizen of Israel and resident of Kafr Kana near Nazareth, is a pharmacologist and entreprenur, co-founder and CEO of Antaki Center for Herbal Medicine. On April 25, en route to Jordan, he was arrested by Shin Bet. After interrogation he was transferred to police custody, where he is still held without access to a lawyer.
Ameer Makhoul is director of the Ittijah organization, a coalition of Israeli-Palestinian civil society groups. Apparently he is also the brother of current Knesset Member Issam Makhoul (who survived a right-wing assassination attempt in 2004). Ameer Makhoul has been recently involved with the boycott-divestment-sanctions (BDS) movement, attempting to bring an end to the Occupation via nonviolent means.
2010: A Slew of Israeli Spook Scandals
What’s up with Israel’s Secret Empire this year – and how much lower can Israel’s “Free press” sink? In January, the Mossad liquidates Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai. As world media place Mossad atop the suspect list, the Israeli media, that doggy-watch-dog of our “only democracy”, celebrates the feat. But – without saying Mossad did it. Only “the foreign press reports…”, a common refrain in Israeli MSM whenever they really want to gossip about something, but don’t want to get in trouble with the Secret Empire. So they sucked up to the immaculate execution and speculated wildly (and optimistically) about the great benefits to Israel and its fabled “deterrence power” that this assassination had restored.
A few days pass, and the Dubai police rolls out pictures of 11 suspects, all with ties to Israel, and places them on the Interpol list. Friendly governments learn their passports have been forged. Israeli dual citizens learn their personal passports have been abused, placing them under direct threat of revenge. Then another 15 pictures released, with additional damaging details. The media celebration in Israel turns into a scapegoat-seeking and CYA exercise (“whose fault is this? We said it was a sloppy job from the start” etc.) Yet, I’ve heard several credible reports that on Purim this year, the most popular costume among Israeli teens and college gals was “Gail”, the assassin-assistant whose pretty passport picture circulated around the world.
This brings us to March, when a new spook affair surfaces: rumors circulate in the Israeli blogosphere that Anat Kamm, a young journalist, is under house arrest with a gag order. I hear about it from fellow Seattelite and fellow progressive I-P blogger Richard Silverstein, who calls to seek my advice. He explains that Kamm is being indicted for stealing secret documents during her military service, and passing some of them after her discharge to an Israeli investigative journalist (for no payment). Silverstein feels she is a whistleblower who is being framed as a traitor via the way the Secret Empire treats her, including the gag order. The Israeli MSM obey the gag order; progressive bloggers post about it here and there, but here’s the catch: Kamm herself contacts them personally asking them to respect the order! The bloggers initially oblige, and one by one remove the story.
At this point (mid-March) Richard feels that 1. Contrary to the perceptions of Kamm and her lawyer, respecting the gag actually makes her court prospects worse not better, and 2. The story itself – and the question whether Kamm is a whistleblower or a traitor – is a public issue, and the public should know about it. He calls me asking for my advice. Given that most of the details were total news to me, and that I was packing up to go to Israel on a Bar-Mitzva-laden visit, I couldn’t do much more than mumble lamely.
Fortunately, Richard did what his heart told him, which was the right thing: he went out with the story and ultimately led to the gag’s implosion within a few weeks, even inside Israel. Right now, Kamm’s prospects still seem dim; the Shin Bet successfully framed her as a “traitor”, even though the documents she leaked were of the whistleblower kind: they showed how the IDF in the West Bank pissed all over Israel’s High Court ruling and continued to assassinate Palestinian targets even when a bloodless arrest was possible. The Israeli MSM, which towards the end of the gag complained loudly about it even as they obeyed, immediately turned to collaborate with the framing of Kamm, rather than open a debate about the true scandal. To be precise, the electronic media collaborated, while the printed press was split with two right-wing tabloids inciting against her, against the journalist (Uri Blau, arguably Israel’s top investigative journalist with a special knack for embarrassing the “security” Establishment) and even against his newspaper Haaretz, and with the centrist tabloid Yediot taking a more ambivalent stand.
Blau himself is now in London; the Shin Bet will arrest him if he lands in Israel, an arrest that would violate a deal they struck with him and Kamm during the latter’s interrogation. Many speculate that Kamm herself was really the small fry, and that neutralizing the perennial scandal-finder Blau was the main goal.
Anyway, in the aftermath of the Kamm story, one unanimous conclusion in the Israeli MSM conventional-wisdom was that gag orders on arrests have proven futile and only an idiot would try them again.
Well, whadayaknow. A few weeks pass by, and not one, but two simultaneous arrests (not house arrest, real arrest) and gag orders. And not against a young person who prima facie did engage in wrongdoing (making illegal copies of secret documents) – but of well-known figures, an economic leader and a civic leader of the Palestinian-Israeli public. And the media obey yet again.
What is this? A deliberate campaign by Shin Bet, to prove that indeed Israel is an Apartheid police state as its worst critics claim? I thought we Jews were supposed to be smart. I mean, forget for a second the human-rights, democracy and free-press teeny details. In many ways, it’s DAH STUPID that is scary here. What part of “Rebrand Israel” do these arrests fall under? And more importantly: Who the crap runs Israel nowadays?
The Secret Empire that Snuggles Israel
Israel is a pretty tiny nation, with a h-u-g-e secret apparatus:
- The Shin Bet, which runs the show in the West Bank and (to a lesser degree, but still more than you’d think) in Gaza – while keeping a friendly open eye on Israelis as well.
- The world-famous Mossad, whose “long hand” was what the Israeli MSM celebrated during these short happy days between the Dubai hit job and the appearance of pretty-Gail-passport-pics.
The list doesn’t end there:
- The IDF toys with its own Shin-Bet-like operation in the West Bank (and formerly also in Lebanon). Known as Unit 504, its officers go around in civvies, recruit collaborators, etc. I escorted some of these creeps while serving in Lebanon in 1986.
- Our nuclear arsenal is of course, secret and off-limits, off-scrutiny to the common Israeli citizen or Israeli media. Under whose control? The military? A special unit directly reporting to the PM? I don’t know. But here are two agencies related to our little nuclear thingie one way or another:
- The Israeli outfit that recruited Jonathan Pollard was neither Shin Bet, nor Mossad. It was the “Bureau for Science Contacts”, a spook agency hardly anyone heard of till the Pollard affair broke out.
- Another less-known, but still notorious and extremely powerful secret agency, is known in Hebrew as MLMB (“Director of Security of the Defense Establishment”). This is essentially a one-man fiefdom, with the first director serving for nearly 40 years, and setting the agency’s trademark vindictive style. The MLMB played a key role in the Vanunu affair, and especially in Vanunu’s persecution since serving his “espionage” sentence.
- and I bet there are more…
Add to this the lack of a constitution (mistakenly seen by some pro-status-quo commenters as a “triviality”), the inter-connectedness of the executive and legislative due to the parliamentary system (a mixed blessing: the check-and-balance becomes the power of coalition members to break it, but increasingly parties are bought off with ridiculously large numbers of ministerial posts), and last but not least, the fact that much of the judiciary began its career as military prosecutors and military judges – and the “democracy or not” debate is pretty much over. The Secret Empire wants an operation, it will get its operation regardless of what the government thinks. The Secret Empire wants a gag order, it will get its gag order no matter how outrageous. At least in the Kamm case, both judges who approved the gag and its extension were products of the military “justice” system.
Consider also this: while, say, the CIA is under some sort of scrutiny however limited, and a large chunk of the CIA are publicly-known and publicly-accessible bureaus – the Israeli spooks are above the law and beyond reach. Until the late 1990’s we didn’t even know the name of the heads of Shin Bet and Mossad, let alone anyone else (unless you knew them personally; I personally know at least one Mossad agent, and a few more who seriously considered ;) . The 1995 assassination of PM Rabin, a huge Shin Bet flop, led to the practice of making the heads’ names public and (supposedly) a bit more accountable. But they still take no one’s orders.
Rather, as the years go by and our politicians become lamer and more corrupt, the head of Shin Bet is often the one dictating policy to the government rather than vice versa. A case in point is Yuval Diskin, the current Shin Bet chief. A few years ago he started a campaign framing civil-society groups of Israeli Palestinians as the enemy within. Going as far as stating that even actions which are considered legitimate in a democracy (lobbying for equality on a communal basis and not just a personal one; in truth our Arabs get neither), even such actions undermine the state.
The arrests of Dr. Sa’id and Mr. Makhoul are a direct manifestation of Diskin’s world-view. Please make sure to contact your nearest Israeli embassy or consulate, and give them an earful of what you think about this. Oh, and join the Facebook group for Makhoul’s and Sa’id’s release.
The gag and the MSM’s cowardice, though issues to deal with as well, pale in comparison to this escalating campaign to criminalize the leadership of Israel’s Palestinian citizens.
Israel Arrests its Own Citizen, a Human Rights Director
Ittijah General Director Ameer Makhoul Arrested by Israeli Authorities Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Condemn Arrest as Arbitrary and Seek Immediate International Intervention
[Ramallah, 6 May 2010]
This morning at 3:10 a.m., Israeli Security Agency (GSS) agents accompanied by Israeli police raided Ameer Makhoul’s family home in Haifa and arrested him. Mr. Makhoul is a human rights defender and serves as the general director of Ittijah – The Union of Arab Community-Based Associations and as the Chairman of the Public Committee for the Defense of Political Freedom in the framework of the High Follow-up Committee for the Arab Citizens of Israel.
The 16 ISA agents and police officers immediately separated Mr. Makhoul from his family, including wife Janan and daughters Hind, 17 and Huda, 12, and conducted an extensive search of the home. According to Janan, the police confiscated items including documents, maps, the family’s four mobile phones, Ameer and Janan’s laptops, the hard drives from the girls’ two
desktop computers, a camera and a small tape recorder containing un-transcribed oral histories Janan collects as part of her work. At one point during the police search, Janan says, one officer violently restrained her, twisting her arm and pushing her when she attempted to leave the home’s living room to observe the confiscations. The security forces also refused to identify themselves and showed her a warrant authorizing Mr. Makhoul’s arrest only after she repeatedly insisted. The order was signed on 23 April 2010 and cited unsubstantiated “security” reasons as the grounds for Mr. Makhoul’s arrest.
Meanwhile, approximately 40 minutes after their arrival, a group of the security forces left with Mr. Makhoul in custody. At around the same time, the Israeli authorities raided the Ittijah office and confiscated documents and the hard drives from all of the organization’s computers.
A hearing in Mr. Makhoul’s case was held at the Petah Tikva interrogation center later this morning, and his detention was extended for six days. Reports also indicate that Mr. Makhoul has been banned from meeting with an attorney for at least two days.
This arrest comes shortly after Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai signed an administrative order prohibiting Mr. Makhoul from exiting the country for a two month period. In the order, which was signed on 21 April and is based on Article 6 of the 1948 emergency regulations, Yishai states, “I have reached the conviction that the exit of Ameer Makhoul from the country poses a serious threat to the security of the state, and therefore I issue this order to prevent him from leaving the country until the 21st of June, 2010”.
However, Mr. Makhoul’s case is only one example amidst a recent escalated campaign by Israeli authorities against Palestinian human rights defense and civil resistance. In addition to arbitrary arrest and detention, Israeli authorities have met Palestinian human rights activism in recent months with a variety of measures, including raids, deportations, travel bans, visa denials and media attacks against NGOs. Moreover, Palestinian communities involved in grassroots human rights defense efforts are frequently levied with collective punishment measures in the form of curfews, sieges, and destruction of property, threats to individuals and the community as a
whole, beatings, the use of lethal and “non-lethal” ammunition, including 40mm high velocity tear gas canisters, denial of permits, tear-gassing, army incursions and intentional injury and killings.
The undersigned organizations view these measures as deliberate violations of fundamental freedoms, particularly freedoms of movement, expression, association and non-violent assembly, and of the special protections owed under international law to human rights defenders. Furthermore, as Mr. Makhoul’s arrest warrant and travel ban order are based on emergency
regulations and “secret” information that is never disclosed to the defense, the undersigned consider them to be arbitrary political actions in violation of fundamental due process principles and human rights standards.
The undersigned organizations therefore strongly condemn Mr. Makhoul’s arrest and travel ban and call for his immediate release and the ban’s immediate suspension.
The undersigned also call upon the international community to take a strong stand in opposition to the Israeli campaign against human rights defenders, and to intervene with Israel for:
- Ameer Makhoul’s immediate release and the lifting of the travel ban against him;
- An end to the Israeli practice of arbitrary detention and deportation of human rights defenders; and,
- Full adherence to and respect for relevant international standards, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Declaration and EU guidelines on Human Rights Defenders, as applied to the Palestinian population in the OPT and Israel.
Sahar Francis, General Director, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights
Ingrid Jaradat Gassner, Director, BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian
Residency & Refugee Rights
Shawqi Issa, Director. Ensan Center for Democracy & Human Rights
Shawan Jabarin, General Director, Al-Haq
Rifat Kassis, Director, Defence for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI-Palestine) •
Two More Arrests of Activists, One is a Teenager
From the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee
Two residents of Ni'lin were arrested by the Israeli Army tonight, during a night-time raid on the village. Their arrest follows the two similar arrests last week, and may signal a renewed increase of anti-Wall arrests.
A large military force, including a plain-clothed snatch squad, raided the village of Ni'lin at 2:30am tonight, arresting Sa'id Amirah and 17 year old Mohanned Srour, two anti-Wall activists from the village. The arrest of the two and of two others last week, comes after a significant decrease in night raids and arrests recently.
The arrest of protesters in Ni'ilin is part of a broad campaign Israel is recently waging in an attempt to contain grassroots protest against the Occupation and quash the Palestinian popular struggle across the West Bank. As part of this campaign more than 30 Wall-related arrests have been carried in the village of Ni'ilin alone since December 16th, 2009. Similar arrests waves, which accompany Israel's diplomatic and media assault on the popular struggle, as well as an increase of violence on the ground, have also taken place in the villages of Bil'in, Budrus, Beit Duqqu, Jayyous and most recently, Nabi Saleh, a 500 people community were 26 people have been arrested in the past 5 months.
Israel began construction of the Wall on Ni'lin's land in 2004, but stopped after an injunction order was issued by the Israeli High Court of Justice (IHCJ). Despite this previous order and the 2004 ruling from the International Court of Justice declaring the Wall illegal, construction of
the Wall began again in May 2008. Following the return of Israeli bulldozers to their lands, residents of Ni'lin have launched a grassroots campaign to protest the massive land theft, including demonstrations, strikes and direct actions.
The original route of the Wall, the one Israel began constructing in 2004, was ruled illegal by the IHCJ, as was a second, marginally less obtrusive proposed route. The most recent path, now completed, still cuts deep into Ni'lin's land. It was planned and built to include plans, not yet approved by the Army’s planning authority, for a cemetery and an industrial zone for the illegal settlement Modi'in Ilit.
Since the Wall was built to annex more land to the nearby settlements rather than in a militarily strategic manner, demonstrators have been able to repeatedly dismantle parts of the electronic fence and razor-wire surrounding it. Consequently, the army has erected a 15-25 feet tall
concrete wall, in addition to the electronic fence. The section of the Wall in Ni’lin is the only part of the route where a concrete wall has been erected in response to civilian, unarmed protest.
As a result of the construction of the Wall, Ni’lin has lost 3,920 dunams, roughly 30% of its remaining lands. Originally, Ni’lin consisted of 15,898 dunams (3928 acres). Post 1948, Ni’lin was left with 14,794 dunams (3656 acres). After the occupation of the West Bank in 1967, the illegal
settlements and infrastructure of Modi'in Ilit, Mattityahu and Hashmonaim were built on village lands, and Ni'lin lost another 1,973 dunams. With the completion of the Wall, Ni’lin has a remaining 8911 dunams (2201 acres), 56% of its original size - see
Ni'lin is effectively split into 2 parts (upper and lower) by Road 446, which was built directly through the village. According to the publicized plan of the Israeli government, a tunnel will be built under road 446 to connect the upper and lower parts of Ni’lin, allowing Israel to turn Road
446 into a segregated-setter only road. Subsequently, access for Palestinian vehicles to this road and to the main entrances of upper and lower Ni’lin will be closed. Additionally, since the tunnel will be the only entryway to Ni’lin, Israel will have effective control over the movement of Palestinian residents.
Israel commonly uses tear-gas projectiles, rubber-coated bullets and live ammunition against demonstrators.
Since May, 2008, five of Ni’lin's residents were killed and one American solidarity activist was critically injured from Israeli fire during grassroots demonstrations in Ni'lin.
- 5 June 2009: Aqel Srour (36) was shot in the chest with 0.22 caliber live ammunition and pronounced dead upon arrival at a Ramallah hospital.
- 13 March 2009: Tristan Anderson (37), an American citizen, was shot in the head with a high velocity tear gas projectile. He is currently at Tel Hashomer hospital near Tel Aviv with uncertain prospects for his recovery.
- 28 December 2008: Mohammed Khawaje (20) was shot in the head with 5.56mm caliber live ammunition. He died in a Ramallah hospital 3 days later on 31 December 2008. - 28 December 2008: Arafat Khawaje (22) was shot in the back with 5.56mm caliber live ammunition and pronounced dead upon arrival at a Ramallah hospital. - 30 July 2008: Yousef Amira (17) was shot in the head with two rubber coated steel bullets. He died in a Ramallah hospital 5 days
- later on 4 August 2008. - 29 July 2008: Ahmed Mousa (10) was shot in the forehead with 5.56mm caliber live ammunition and pronounced dead upon arrival at a Ramallah hospital.
Israeli armed forces have shot 40 demonstrators with live ammunition in Ni'lin. Of them, 11 were shot with 5.56mm caliber live ammunition and 29 were shot with 0.22” caliber live ammunition.
Since May 2008, 119 arrests have been made in relation to anti-Wall protest in the village, 32 of them since mid December 2009. The protesters arrested by the army constitute roughly 9% of the village's male residents aged between 12 and 55. The arrests are part of a broad politically motivated Israeli campaign to suppress grassroots resistance to the Occupation.