Full Text Israel Political Brief March 6, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speeches & Videos of Canada/US Trip — AIPAC Speech, President Obama White House Meeting & Press Conference with PM Stephen Harper

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PM Netanyahu’s visit to Canada and the USA – March 2012

Source: PMO, 3-2-6-12

Document presented by PM Netanyahu at his AIPAC speech in Washington
PM Netanyahu writing his speech at the guest house in Ottawa, Canada
Meeting of PM Netanyahu With Canadian PM Stephen Harper in Ottawa, Canada
Meeting of PM Netanyahu with secretary of state Hillary Clinton
PM Netanyahu’s Speech at AIPAC Policy Conference 2012
PM Netanyahu and His Wife Sara on Their Way to Canada
PM Netanyahu with US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta
PM Netanyahu speaking to the Jewish community in Canada
Meeting of PM Netanyahu With Governor David Johnston in Ottawa, Canada
PM Netanyahu is welcomed at the airport in Washington DC by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren
Meeting of PM Netanyahu with US President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington DC

 

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Israel Political Brief March 2, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu & Canadian PM Stephen Harper Press Conference on Iran Transcript Excerpts

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Iran a ‘grave threat,’ Netanyahu tells Canada, but Harper talks peace over pre-emptive strikes

REUTERS/Chris Wattie

REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Prime Minister Stephen Harper walks down the Hall of Honour with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Friday.

Source: National Post, 3-2-12

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began his meeting with Stephen Harper in Ottawa on Friday with a public declaration that Iran poses a “grave threat” to global security — adding that Israel is prepared to “defend” itself if necessary.

“The warnings that I and others have been giving over the years will materialize unless Iran is stopped. And that’s why I say the international community must do everything it can to stop it. And the danger is not only to Israel — it is obviously a danger to Israel — but I think it’s a danger to the whole world,” Mr. Netanyahu said.

The Israeli Prime Minister arrived in Canada against a backdrop of growing fears that Israel could unilaterally strike suspect Iranian nuclear facilities to delay or destroy that country’s nuclear capabilities.

“They hang gays, they stone women. This what they’re doing today without nuclear weapons and imagine what a regime like this would do if they had atomic weapons,” Mr. Netanyahu said.

In recent weeks, countries such as the United States and Britain have made it clear that that they are not in favour of such a military move by Israel — arguing it is not yet necessary, and fearing it would spark a much larger conflict in the Middle East.

U.S. President Barack Obama, in advance of his own meeting early next week with Mr. Netanyahu, was blunt in an interview released Friday, saying a premeditated Israeli attack would be “unacceptable.”

In some of his toughest comments yet on Tehran’s nuclear drive, Mr. Obama also warned that Israel and Iran should take seriously possible U.S. action against Iranian nuclear facilities if sanctions fail to stop the country’s atomic ambitions.

“I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don’t bluff,” Obama told the Atlantic Monthly magazine in remarks published Friday.

“I also don’t, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. But I think both the Iranian and the Israeli governments recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say.”

Tehran insists its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only but Western nations suspect the Islamic republic is leading a covert program to develop a nuclear weapons capability and is not far from achieving its goal.

In recent weeks, it has not been clear where Canada — which has become a major ally of Israel under the Harper government — stands on the question of a premeditated attack on Iran.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only but Western nations suspect the Islamic republic is leading a covert program to develop a nuclear weapons capability and is not far from achieving its goal.

Netanyahu’s government has maintained that all options remain on the table with regard to action on Iran, whose firebrand leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has questioned Israel’s right to exist.

As he shook Mr. Harper’s hand before their meeting, Mr. Netanyahusaid he wanted to discuss with Mr. Harper “the remarkable turbulence that is shaking the Middle East, and of course Iran’s relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons.

“I know from many conversations that we’ve had that you share my view: That this is a grave threat to the peace and security of the world,” he said.

“And I think it’s important that the international community not allow this threat to materialize. For Israel, like any sovereign country, we reserve the right to defend ourselves against a country that calls and works for our destruction.”

He added that it was “particularly gratifying to be among such good friends here in Ottawa.”

For his part, Mr. Harper said Canada’s position on a pre-emptive strike on Iran was “very clear.”

“We of course recognize the right of Israel to defend itself as a sovereign state, as a Jewish state. That said, we want to see a peaceful resolution of this issue. And we want to see every action taken to get a peaceful resolution of this situation.”

Earlier, in the nearby House of Commons chamber, the government appeared to reveal a reluctance to endorse military action against Iran.

Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae asked Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to clarify Canada’s position on the issue. He asked Mr. Baird if Canada supports countries such as the U.S. and Britain in their concern about a “unilateral” attack by any nation against Iran.

“We obviously don’t want to see any military action,” Mr. Baird replied.

“That’s why we’re working hard with the United States and the European Union, with the United Kingdom and others to take every single diplomatic effort necessary to try to ensure that Iran doesn’t achieve nuclear weapons status.”

“We believe right now the best course to take is every single diplomatic action. And that’s exactly what Canada is doing.”

Earlier, at a news conference, Mr. Rae said that his party shares the deep international concern about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and horrific human rights record.

But he said any action taken should be done on a multilateral basis — not just by one country.

“This is not a subject which affects Israel alone. It’s a question that touches countries around the world. None of us want to see a nuclear-armed Iran. None of us want to see an increase in tensions and conflict in the Middle East. I think it’s very important that we look at this not simply as an issue between Israel and Iran, but understand that it’s an issue that has much broader implications for the world.”

This is the Israeli leader’s second visit to Canada in three years.

The last time he was in Ottawa, in May 2010, Mr. Netanyahu was forced to cut his trip short to deal with the fallout of an Israeli commando raid on a Turkish ship bound for Gaza. Nine activists died in the highly controversial boarding and several others were wounded.

This time, Iran’s nuclear ambitions will likely be the top issue, with Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Harper expected to brainstorm ways to encourage and co-ordinate more international action against the Islamic republic.

This will likely include discussing a strategy to encourage the Obama administration to take a tougher stand, particularly an overt threat of military action, should Iran continue moving ahead with its nuclear program.

There has been a growing sense in recent months that Israel is on the verge of attacking Iran, as the latter continues to defy the international community and move ahead on its nuclear program, which many fear is aimed at building an atomic arsenal.

Mr. Harper and Mr. Netanyahu have developed a close personal relationship over the years as the Conservative government has made Canada one of Israel’s strongest international supporters. Mr. Netanyahu will publicly thank Mr. Harper for his “principled” support of Israel.

Mr. Netanyahu is also expected to meet with Gov. Gen. David Johnston during the visit.

According to the Ottawa-based Centre for Israel and Jewish Advocacy, Mr. Netanyahu will speak at a Jewish community breakfast Sunday before leaving for the United States later that day.

Canada wants ‘peaceful resolution’ on Iran

But Netanyahu rejects idea of talks and wants all options on the table

Source: CBC, 3-2-12

Canada wants a “peaceful resolution” to prevent further development of Iran’s nuclear program, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said during a press conference in Ottawa with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Harper’s counterpart, however, said “all options” to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons should be on the table.

Instability in the Middle East, including the situation in Syria, topped the agenda when the two leaders began meeting on Parliament Hill on Friday.

But among the “sea of troubles,” the most disturbing is Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, Netanyahu told reporters during a brief news conference.

“The international community must do everything it can to stop it,” he said.

Netanyahu’s government has recently been suggesting that Israel is considering launching a military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

“I think there is agreement right now on the main powers that Iran should not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons and that all options should be left on the table in order to assure that that doesn’t happen,” he said.

Harper was asked whether Canada would support a pre-emptive strike on Iran, and he said the country’s intentions and capabilities remain “a serious concern” to Canada.

“In terms of hypothetical situations, I think as the prime minister is aware, Canada’s position is very clear. We of course recognize the right of Israel to defend itself as a sovereign state, as a Jewish state. That said, we want to see a peaceful resolution of this issue and we want to see every action taken to get a peaceful resolution of the situation,” Harper said.

The two leaders had a brief meeting after Netanyahu arrived on Parliament Hill, greeted by a military honour guard, and they are continuing their talks over a working lunch. Later Friday, Netanyahu will meet with Gov. Gen. David Johnston….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief March 2, 2012: Iran a ‘grave threat,’ PM Benjamin Netanyahu tells Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Israeli prime minister thanks Harper for warm reception

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Iran a ‘grave threat,’ Netanyahu tells Harper

Israeli prime minister thanks Harper for warm reception

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, right, walks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Parliament Hill Friday. The two leaders were discussing growing tensions with Iran over its nuclear program.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, right, walks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Parliament Hill Friday. The two leaders were discussing growing tensions with Iran over its nuclear program. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

Israel has the right to defend itself against a country that wants to destroy it, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today as he began a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper that is expected to focus heavily on Iran.

After arriving on Parliament Hill and being greeted by a military honour guard, Netanyahu said he wanted to talk to Harper about the “remarkable turbulence that is shaking the Middle East” and about Iran’s “relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

“I know from many conversations that we’ve had that you share my view that this is a grave threat to the peace and security of the world and I think it is important that the international community not allow this threat to materialize,” Netanyahu said to Harper as they held a photo opportunity in Harper’s office. “As for Israel, like any sovereign country, we reserve the right to defend ourselves against a country that calls and works for our destruction.

“On that note, I can say that it is particularly gratifying to be among such good friends here in Ottawa on a cold day with warm friendship.”

The two leaders are having a short meeting, then will speak to the news media. Harper will then host a working lunch with the Israeli prime minister and Netanyahu will also meet Friday with Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall….READ MORE

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Canada, Harper and Israel, Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrives with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, March 2, 2012. (Fred Chartrand / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, March 2, 2012. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Israel Political Brief March 2, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu upon arrival in Canada says Israel is allowed to defend itself against Iranian nuclear threat

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Netanyahu: Israel has right to defend itself

Upon arrival in Canada, prime minister says Jewish State is allowed to defend itself against Iranian nuclear threat

Source: YNet, 3-2-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel has the right to defend itself against Iran, which he said calls and works for Israel’s destruction. He also stated that Iran should dismantle its underground enrichment facilities.

Netanyahu made the remarks Friday in a photo opportunity before meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa.

Related stories:

The prime minister dismissed the idea of renewed international negotiations with Iran aimed at preventing the country from building a nuclear weapon.

“It could do again what it has done before, it could pursue or exploit the talks as they’ve done in the past to deceive and delay so that they can continue to advance their nuclear program and get to the nuclear finish line by running up the clock, so to speak,” Netanyahu said after concluding his meeting with Harper.

The Netanyahus arrive in Ottawa

“I think the international community should not fall into this trap,” he said.

Netanyahu will meet with President Barack Obama on Monday, and Iran will be a major concern….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief March 2, 2012: Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in Canada ahead of US talks

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Israel PM arrives in Canada ahead of US talks

Source: AFP, 3-2-12

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Canada on Friday ahead of White House talks next week expected to focus on halting Iran’s controversial nuclear drive.

Shortly after his arrival, Netanyahu met privately with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a keen backer of Israel. He was to travel on to Washington on Sunday.

“Among the things I’d like to discuss with you is the remarkable turbulence that is shaking the Middle East, and of course, Iran’s relentless pursuit of a nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said to Harper as the two leaders sat down for talks in Harper’s parliamentary office.

“I know from many conversations we have had that you share my view that this is a grave threat to the peace and security of the world, and I think it is important that the international community not allow this threat to materialize.

“As for Israel, like any sovereign country we reserve the right to defend ourselves against a country that calls and works for our destruction.”….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief October 6, 2011: Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird mounts vigorous defense of Israel in address at the United Nations (UN)

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Baird mounts vigorous defense of Israel at UN

Source: CJN, 10-6-11

“Canadian tradition is to stand for what is principled and just, regardless of whether it is popular or convenient or expedient.”

John Baird addresses the UN General Assembly on Sept. 26.

So said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird just before launching into one of the most vigorous defences of Israel the United Nations General Assembly has heard by someone other than a representative of the Jewish state.

In his Sept. 26 speech in New York City, Baird praised the founding principles of the UN, but said that Canada, at least as governed by the Conservatives, will no longer “go along to get along” with the world body on any number of issues, particularly with respect to Israel.

“We supported the aspirations of those peoples who sought for themselves and their countries brighter futures during the Arab Spring that just passed,” he said. “But we will not go along with the unilateral actions of the Palestinian Authority.”

He called on the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table to reach a peace deal with Israel, saying it’s the only way to achieve statehood.

Baird then cemented Canada’s position on Israel.

“We uphold Israel’s right to exist. We uphold its fundamental right, like any member state, to defend innocent civilians against acts of terrorism. Just as fascism and Communism were the great struggles of previous generations, terrorism is the great struggle of ours.

“And far too often, the Jewish state is on the front line of our struggle and its people the victims of terror,” he said.

Baird added: “Canada will not accept or stay silent while the Jewish state is attacked for defending its territory and its citizens. It was accommodation and appeasement that allowed fascism to gather strength [prior to World War II]. As Winston Churchill said: ‘An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.’”

He then castigated the UN for consistently failing to live up to its founding vision and principles and urged its members to look at the continuing human rights violations worldwide that remain unaddressed and unsolved by the world body.

He cited the plight of women, Christians, Baha’i and other victims of persecution in Iran, as well as Roman Catholics, priests and “other Christian clergy, and their laity, driven to worship underground in China.”

Baird also noted the predicament of Christians being driven out of Iraq by Al Qaeda and Copts who are “being assaulted and killed” in Egypt.

“In Burma, the regime discriminates against several forms of Buddhism and restricts the activities of Muslims. In other places, the Ahmadiyya community faces violence,” Baird said. “Gays and lesbians [are] threatened with criminalization of their sexuality in Uganda.”

All of this, according to Baird, leads Canada to question “the relevance and effectiveness” of the UN at this time in world history.

“The challenges faced by this organization extend beyond financial probity and operational effectiveness,” he said. “This organization is a forum for debate and dialogue, but it must also be a force for positive action to make the world a better place. The UN’s relevance and effectiveness are imperiled when the founding principles are observed in word but not in deed.

“So it is when… Iran, which mocks the values of this organization through outrages such as refusing to allow entry to UN observers on human rights, is permitted to seek leadership roles, such as a vice-presidency of the General Assembly and a spot on the Commission on Population and Development. The greatest enemies of the United Nations are those who quietly undermine its principles and, even worse, those who sit idly, watching its slow decline. We cannot sit idly.”

Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), said his organization was “impressed and appreciative” of the speech.

“This was an important framing of what the overall Canadian orientation is [to Israel and the UN]. That is, we are going to pursue a transparently principled position on each issue that came up… and not accept complicity,” he said.

Fogel also thanked Baird for putting Canadian support for Israel within a “larger context.”

“We were extremely gratified at [Baird’s] courage and forthrightness. We think that will resonate strongly with likeminded countries within the international community and remind them of the imperative for them to adopt a similar approach.”

Israel Political Brief September 21, 2011: Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thanks Canadian PM Stephen Harper for Supporting Israel at UN Meeting

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Israeli PM Netanyahu thanks Harper for support


Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, shakes hands with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a bilateral meeting at the United Nations Wednesday, September 21, 2011.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Source: The Canadian Press, 9-21-11

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has thanked Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his support for Israel.

The two leaders met at the United Nations on Wednesday as Harper wound up a two-day New York visit.

During a brief photo op, the two men both said the solution to the Israel-Palestinian impasse lies in a resumption of two-way peace talks, not a United Nations declaration of statehood for Palestine.

Harper, an outspoken supporter of Israel, opposes efforts by the Palestinians to win United Nations recognition of statehood. He says that move won’t help the Middle East peace process….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief September 21, 2011: Alan Dershowitz, Irwin Cotler applaud Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Israel Position

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Dershowitz, Cotler applaud Harper on Israel

Source: The Montreal Suburban, 9-21-11
Lawyer and rights activist Alan Dershowitz said last week at Westmount’s Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue that he has been a lifelong Democrat and would never vote Republican.

And Mount Royal MP Irwin Cotler is well-known as a member of the Liberal Party who has resisted urgings from members of the community to join the Conservatives.

Yet, both men cheered Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his support of Israel, the topic of the event that attracted 1,000 people to the synagogue last Thursday.

“I publicly commend Prime Minister Harper for his support of Israel,” Cotler said.

Dershowitz joined the audience’s loud applause, and said: “He has truly been Israel’s best friend.”

“And on this issue, there are no differences between us,” Cotler added.

Dershowitz was the keynote speaker at the Steinberg lecture series event, in which he spoke about this week’s Palestinian attempt to unilaterally declare independence at the UN and the “irrational hate” of Israel, especially on college campuses. He blasted Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa as an “anti-Semite” and heavily criticized former U.S. president Jimmy Carter.

Then, in a conversation format, Dershowitz and Cotler exchanged views on several issues, including the crisis now faced by Israel.

“I have to say,” Cotler told his longtime friend Dershowitz, “I have never been as concerned as I am now. There has been a dramatic change this summer, with a critical mass of threat the likes of which Israel has not faced before.”

The MP cited threats emanating from terrorists in Egypt’s Sinai, from which a recent attack took place; Gaza becoming a base for many terrorist groups; Egypt itself, where the 1970s Camp David peace treaty is “hanging by a thread;” increased arms possessed by Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon; and tensions with Turkey.

Dershowitz said many blame Israel for the hostility emanating from Egypt and Turkey.

“That’s an absolutely false accusation,” he said. “Turkey has an agenda, and its prime minister, years ago, has been looking for excuses. The best proof they would be doing exactly the same thing, even if there had been no flotilla [in 2010]; no response by Israel in Egypt where, tragically, some Egyptian policemen had been killed — just look at Jordan. Israel hasn’t done a thing to provoke Jordan, and now there are all kinds of demonstrations and attacks on the Israeli embassy as well.”

Dershowitz said Israel should prepare its military “for the next decades in which there will be no effective peace treaty with Egypt, and no effective alliance with Turkey.

Israel Political Brief September 21, 2011: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper opposes Palestinian’s bid for statehood at UN — Restates Support for Israel

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Harper opposes Palestinians’ bid for statehood at UN

Source: Canada.com, 9-21-11

Prime Minister Stephen Harper called on Palestinians Tuesday to get back to the negotiating table with Israel and declared that their bid for statehood at the United Nations could hamper hopes for peace in the Middle East.

Harper made his comments at a news conference at the UN, where he was attending a meeting of world leaders known as the “Friends of Libya”.

This week, the United Nations General Assembly is holding its annual meeting — drawing leaders from around the globe — and this year’s session is gripped by a bid by the Palestinians for statehood recognition.

The Palestinians have been actively lobbying the international community to support their request – a move which they say would be a major step toward the actual creation of a Palestinian nation.

By achieving such official recognition, they believe they would have a greater international profile and more leverage in their negotiations with Israel.

The United States has indicated it will oppose the request at the UN – expected to come Friday when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivers an address to the UN General Assembly.

Canada has already indicated it will oppose this move. On Tuesday, Harper spoke strongly about why he thinks the proposal is wrong-headed.

“I think there’s no likelihood of this initiative by the Palestinian Authority doing anything to further the peace process,” said the prime minister.

“I think its possible that it could be counter-productive. But I would say if the Palestinian Authority is serious about establishing a sovereign state, the method to do that is not a declaration here at the United Nations. It’s to get back at the negotiating table and negotiate peace with Israel.”

Those comments went further than the remarks Harper made on the subject last Friday.

At that time, he spoke more diplomatically in saying Canada will oppose the move,  which he described as a “unilateral action” that was “regrettable” and would not be “helpful” to long term peace.

Harper will not deliver an address to the General Assembly of the UN — he has done so twice, in 2006 and 2010 since taking power. Instead, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will speak to the Assembly on behalf of Canada early next week…. READ MORE

Israel Brief August 23, 2011: Canada’s restructured Jewish advocacy agency named the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs

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Canada’s restructured Jewish advocacy agency gets name

Source: JTA, 8-23-11

Canada’s newly restructured Israel and Jewish advocacy agency finally has a name: the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

The name was announced last week by the organization’s branding committee, which reportedly surveyed preferences from among a select group of stakeholders and interested parties. The new agency oversees and coordinates the work of the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Canada-Israel Committee, Quebec-Israel Committee, National Jewish Campus Life and the University Outreach Committee.

The restructuring of Canada Jewish and Israel advocacy organizations was an 18-month-long process conducted largely behind closed doors. The restructuring also resulted in the firing of nine employees, six of them formerly with the Canadian Jewish Congress.

All along, some community members expressed concerns that the consolidation of agencies would result in the demise of the 92-year-old Canadian Jewish Congress. After the announecment, Frank Bialystok, the CJC’s Ontario region chair, said his organization has not disappeared.

“The national executive of Congress is still intact,” Bialystok told the Canadian Jewish News. “We have no budget so we can’t operate. But we own the name. We own the logo. And only we can decide to fold up.”

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