John Kerry and His Palestinian Collusion Problem

While the case for the President colluding with Russia has come to be seen by most Americans as a witch hunt with very little legs, another issue of collusion seems to be creeping up.

The former Secretary of State, John Kerry has been reportedly working behind the scenes with the “Palestinian” leadership or let’s say it appropriately, colluding with the Palestinian Authority in hopes of obstructing the sitting President’s attempt at brokering a peace deal.

A report in Maariv, which was quoted by the Jerusalem Post said the following:

Kerry asked Agha to convey a message to Abbas and ask him to “hold on and be strong.” Tell him, he told Agha, “that he should stay strong in his spirit and play for time, that he will not break and will not yield to President Trump’s demands.” According to Kerry, Trump will not remain in office for a long time. It was reported that within a year there was a good chance that Trump would not be in the White House.

Kerry offered his help to the Palestinians in an effort to advance the peace process and recommended that Abbas present his own peace plan. “Maybe it is time for the Palestinians to define their peace principles and present a positive plan,” Kerry suggested. He promised to use all his contacts and all his abilities to get support for such a plan. He asked Abbas, through Agha, not to attack the US or the Trump administration, but to concentrate on personal attacks on Trump himself, whom Kerry says is solely and directly responsible for the situation.

According to the report, referring to the president, Kerry used derogatory terms and even worse. Kerry offered to help create an alternative peace initiative and promised to help garner international support, among others, of Europeans, Arab states and the international community. Kerry hinted that many in the American establishment, as well as in American intelligence, are dissatisfied with Trump’s performance and the way he leads America. He surprised his interlocutor by saying he was seriously considering running for president in 2020. When asked about his advanced age, he said he was not much older than Trump and would not have an age problem.

While everyone has the right to their opinion, it escapes me why John Kerry’s actions do not constitute a crime, especially since he is actively pursuing a 2020 run.

Can One Man Make a Difference? Just Ask Israel

Donald Trump has been President for just over 5 weeks. Yet on many fronts there is little doubt a new era has been birthed. One of the most obvious is relations with Israel compared to the previous 8 years under Barack Obama.

From the beginning of the Obama administration he was determined to put the US on a different path with regard to the Muslim world. Indeed, the first foreign leader he called was Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority. Obama even made a point of telling Abbas his was the first call to a foreign leader, emphasizing his intent to signal a new direction for the US.

Obama furthered his effort at a new direction by making his first international speech in Cairo. During his address he lamented about how the Palestinians suffer “daily humiliation under occupation,” and criticized Israel for building “settlements.”

Plus, throughout his two terms, it was clear Obama did not like Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Right up to the bitter end the Obama administration went out much like it began, with a slap at Israel. The final kick in the stomach was UN resolution 2334, which singled out Israel’s construction of “settlements” as the main obstacle to peace.  The US was intimately involved in the language of the resolution, yet not a word was mentioned about ongoing Palestinian terrorism and murder of innocent Israeli civilians. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the US has veto power and could have killed the resolution. However, knowing this would be his last opportunity to make a statement against Israel, Obama directed the US to abstain from the voting, thus allowing it to pass, cementing his legacy as the most anti-Israel US President.

One Door Closes, Another Opens

Contrast this against the early stages of the Trump administration. Throughout his campaign he made it clear that the US had treated (Israel) its best Middle East ally terribly.  Since taking office the difference can only be described as startling.

For example, he has called the Iran nuclear deal “the worst deal ever negotiated,” and has already imposed new sanctions on Iran.

His Secretary of State Rex Tillerson criticized former Secretary of State John Kerry for how he handled Israeli-Palestinian issues. “Israel is, always has been, and remains our most important ally in the region” according to Tillerson. He characterized UN resolution 2334 as an effort to “coerce” Israel to change course, further stating, “that will not bring a solution.”

Trump’s Ambassador the UN Nikki Haley has already come out swinging against the overwhelming anti-Israel sentiment which dominates the organization. After attending her initial Security Council meeting and witnessing the absurd obsession it has with Israel she said “the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore. “ Additionally she stated “the United States is determined to stand up to the UN’s anti-Israel bias.” She went on to say “we will never repeat the mistake of resolution 2334 and allow one-sided Security Council resolutions to condemn Israel.” Haley called the UN’s double-standards “breathtaking.”

In fact President Trump is so upset at how unfairly Israel is treated by the UN, there is some discussion that the US may be considering withdrawing from the UNHRC. Could anyone imagine Obama doing this?

Trump has also indicated he will move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. However, this is still under discussion.

In another clear effort to demonstrate US-Israel relations have changed Trump invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to a meeting at the White House. (He also invited Netanyahu to his inauguration)The chemistry between the two of them was obvious and in stark contrast to the strained relations with former President Obama.

Let the Parties Decide for Themselves

During a press conference Trump moved the peace process in a heretofore new direction by backing off the long-standing US policy pushing for a two-state solution. He made it clear the position of the United States is to have the two parties negotiate a solution between themselves, saying “I want the one both parties want,” referring to a deal.

This doesn’t suggest the US is against a two-state solution, because Trump has indicated he would be fine with it.  However, in a clear departure from the Obama administration’s attempts to strong arm Israel, the Trump administration is saying let the two sides negotiate their own deal.

Such a stand by the US sends a blunt message to the Palestinians that Israel has every right to expect them to come to the table without pre-conditions, and has the freedom to tell the Palestinians what their conditions are for a resolution to the conflict, without being bullied by the US. Abbas has made it known he isn’t happy about this by stating his commitment to a two state solution and demanding the world recognize Palestine. In my view Abbas missed a golden opportunity to demonstrate some flexibility and strike a deal during the 8 years of the Obama administration, which was clearly more favorable toward the Palestinians.

For example, he could have urged Abbas to amend the charter of his Fatah Party by eliminating the language requiring Israel’s destruction, as a gesture toward being a genuine peace partner. Moreover, he could have cut off US aid because Abbas uses US money to pay huge salaries to terrorists who have murdered Israelis. These are just two examples of how Obama could have been more even handed with the Palestinians. He did neither of these.

On several occasions Obama tried to almost force Israel to accept a two state solution. He showed more interest in promoting self-determination and dignity for the Palestinians, than understanding Israel’s obvious need for security and a genuine peace partner willing to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

While it is still very early in the administration of Donald Trump, there is little doubt as Bob Dylan once sang “the times they are a-changin’.

View more of Dan Calic’s articles on his Facebook page.



A leftist administration’s cruelty toward the Jewish state.

JERUSALEM FIGHTS BACK: John Kerry Keeps Attacking Israel While It Freezes $6M To The UN

Israel has decided to retaliate against the UN over UNSC 2334 by freezing $6 million of its annual $40 million dues.

“It is unreasonable for Israel to fund bodies that operate against us at the UN. The UN must end the absurd reality in which it supports bodies whose sole intent is to spread incitement and anti-Israel propaganda,”  Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN said.

Given that the UN is gearing up for more anti-Israel resolutions, Israel’s move to cut money is just the first of many measures prepared in the coming weeks to fight back against the international community’s assault on the Jewish state.

Kerry: Moving US Embassy could cause ‘explosion’ in Middle East

Along with the the UN, the outgoing US secretary of state John Kerry has attacked Donald Trump’s planned move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“If all of a sudden, Jerusalem is declared to be the location of our embassy, that has issues of sovereignty, issues of law that would deem to be affected by that move and by the United States acquiescing in that move and that would have profound impact on the readiness of Jordan and Egypt to be able to be supportive and engaged with Israel as they are today,” Kerry said.

With January 20th just around the corner, both the US administration and the UN are working together to prepare the groundwork for one last diplomatic push that could permantently harm Israel.  This political pressure is exactly what the Republicans in the congress rebuked and censured in their Thursday vote against the UNSC.

[watch] Journalist Rips Obama For Attacking Israel With Weeks To Go In The White House

Eli Lake has often times defended Obama’s moves with Israel. Now he is out front in slamming Obama and his attacks on Israel.  Watch the interview below:

Lake created a storm with his Tweet before Kerry’s speech

Lake’s column on Bloomberg has been unrelenting in its attacked on Obama and Kerry:

No longer bound by official restraints, Kerry said things in public that U.S. diplomats usually say only behind closed doors.

But Kerry’s speech in a deeper sense was that of a man trapped in the past. Like Republicans and Democrats since the Oslo Accords of the 1990s, Kerry is a prisoner of a peace process from a bygone time.

In this respect he is not alone. Since George H.W. Bush, U.S. presidents have pushed and prodded the two sides to agree that there should be two states for two peoples. Kerry’s speech hit familiar notes. Palestinians must end incitement. Israel must stop building settlements. Time is running out. Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton’s second secretary of state, could have given the same speech in 1999.

 But 2016 is not 1999. In the 1990s and the 2000s, the Middle East had plenty of problems. But its governments remained largely in charge, even after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Back then the establishment view was that a two-state solution was the key to unlocking stability for the region. The late Israeli leader Shimon Peres used to call this the “new Middle East,” where collaboration replaced conflict. Arab allies would finally cooperate with the U.S. if the Palestinians and Israelis could just share Jerusalem.

Nobody believes this anymore. Today the Middle East is coming unglued. Syria is no longer much of a state at all. Wars rage in Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Iran is meddling. Russia has entered the region for the first time since the 1970s. The jihadist Islamic State has suffered setbacks, but it still has its caliphate in Raqqa. These conflicts are complex, but they have nothing to do with settlements in the West Bank.

With more and more Americans and a majority of Congress attacking Obama and his team over Israel, the final few weeks of his Presidency is creating everything, but a positive legacy.


John Kerry is Dead Wrong about Israeli Settlements

United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which describes Israel’s settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as illegal, should never have passed last week. But the U.S. refused to use its veto power, in part because, as Secretary of State John F. Kerry explained in a speech on Wednesday, the Obama administration believes settlements are an obstacle to peace in the Middle East. In the outgoing administration’s view, extreme criticism is, conversely, necessary to advance the peace process.

This argument is dead wrong. Still, let’s examine it.

Although administration officials have been reluctant to explain the precise reasoning behind their last-minute series of attacks on Israel, as near as I can tell it rests on three assumptions.

The first, as Kerry outlined in his speech, is that a freeze on Israeli settlement growth makes it easier for Palestinian negotiators to make painful compromises at the negotiating table. It supposedly does this by easing Palestinian suspicions that Israel either won’t make major territorial concessions at the negotiating table, or won’t implement these concessions once made.

The main impediment to compromise is Palestinian unwillingness to accept the existence of a Jewish state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put this assumption to the test in November 2009 when he imposed a 10-month moratorium on new housing construction (East Jerusalem excepted) at the urging of the Obama administration.

What happened? Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas refused to return to talks until the very end of the moratorium and remained every bit as intransigent as before.

The main impediment to Palestinian compromise is not Palestinian suspicion; it is the fundamental unwillingness of Palestinian leaders across the spectrum to accept the existence of a Jewish state alongside their own.

Some settlement growth makes it easier for Palestinian moderates to build public support for compromise.

What’s more, a strong case can be made that some settlement growth actually makes it easier for Palestinian moderates to build public support for compromise by underscoring that a continuation of the status quo is untenable and injurious to Palestinian national aspirations in the long run.

The Obama administration’s second assumption is that pressure from the international community or from the United States will bring about this supposedly desirable settlement freeze.

However, by collapsing the distinction between East Jerusalem and bustling Israeli towns just inside the West Bank — which no major Israeli political party will contemplate abandoning — and the remaining settlements, most of which Israelis are willing to give up, this policy does the opposite.

“It is a gift to Bibi Netanyahu, who can now more easily argue to Israelis that the bad relationship with America these last eight years wasn’t his fault,” notes the writer Jonah Goldberg.

Finally, even if it were true that a settlement freeze would make it easier for Palestinian negotiators to trust Israel and that international pressure would increase the willingness of Israeli leaders to accept such a freeze, these effects would be far overshadowed by the problems created by branding Israeli claims outside the 1949 armistice line illegal and invalid.

Palestinian leaders will have double the trouble compromising now that the UN has endorsed their maximalist demands.

Since Palestinian leaders already have trouble justifying to their people the abandonment of territorial claims to Ma’ale Adumim, the Jewish quarter in Jerusalem, and so forth, they will have double the trouble now that the United States has endorsed these demands. What Palestinian leader can sign away territory to which Washington and the Security Council have declared Israelis have no legitimate claim?

Kerry stated plainly that Israel is to blame for the demise of the two-state process, and that — unless its leaders listen to counsel — Israel will not survive as both a Jewish and a democratic state. Now that the administration’s views are crystal clear, pundits should spare us the back and forth on whether its eleventh-hour obsessions are good for peace – no one as smart as Obama or Kerry can possibly believe that it is.

The more interesting question, sure to be the focus of congressional hearings next year, is why the administration used its last few weeks to damage relations with Israel.

Originally Posted in the Los Angeles Times.


Was Donald Trump Behind Theresa May’s Searing Attack on John Kerry?

The day after John Kerry essentially blamed Israel for almost everything to do with the century old conflict in the Land of Israel, Theresa May, Britain’s PM took him to task, essentially breaking diplomatic protocol in a searing attack on John F. Kerry.

“We do not believe that it is appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically elected government of an ally,” he said. “The government believes that negotiations will only succeed when they are conducted between the two parties, supported by the international community.”

Of course, May had to make her own excuse of what prompted her to vote in favor of UN Resolution 2334.

“We continue to believe that the construction of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is illegal, which is why we supported UN security council resolution 2334 last week.

“But we are also clear that the settlements are far from the only problem in this conflict. In particular, the people of Israel deserve to live free from the threat of terrorism, with which they have had to cope for too long.”

Why Is May Changing Her Tune After 2334?

One word: Trump.

None of the countries that voted for the resolution expected such a strong negative response from Trump, the US Congress, or the Israeli government. In fact millions of Israel supporters around the world immediately made it clear to their governments that they did not approve of Resolution 2334.

May cannot take back the Resolution, but knowing she will have to deal with a very assertive US President, one who owes no allegiances to anyone means her actions will be in check from now on. May wants to be on the right side of Donald Trump’s Middle East moves and if that means castigating Kerry, then so be it.

The White House Attacks Back

May’s attack was not lost on the outgoing administration. The State Department issued a statement:

A spokesperson said: “We are surprised by the UK Prime Minister’s office statement given that Secretary Kerry’s remarks—which covered the full range of threats to a two state solution, including terrorism, violence, incitement and settlements—were in-line with the UK’s own longstanding policy and its vote at the United Nations last week.”

The statement also said: “We are grateful for the strongly supportive statements in response to Secretary Kerry’s speech from across the world, including Germany, France, Canada, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and others.”

May’s attack is a precursor to what many sources are saying, will be a sustained attack from the incoming Congress against the Obama’s administration’s parting attack on the only Jewish State.



What Kerry Should Have Said

When Sec. of State John Kerry delivered his comprehensive statement on the Arab-Israel conflict in front of a safe audience at the State Department, he took over an hour to defend the decision of the United States to in essence allow passage of the recent UN anti-Israel resolution by abstaining from it, rather than adhering to the long standing policy of the US to veto such resolutions.

The general thrust of his message was to chastise Israel for building “settlements” on land defined as “occupied Palestinian territory,” as the main obstacle preventing a two-state solution.

In addition to focusing attention on criticizing Israel Kerry failed to mention some critically important points which are clearly more central to why a two state solution has failed to materialize.

For example, the most obvious is the fact that Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, who is also seen by most of the world as a moderate, has steadfastly said he will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state. As I see it, this alone is the single biggest non-starter for a two state solution. While Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s  consistent commitment to accepting a Palestinian state, demonstrates his desire for mutual recognition, Mr. Kerry conveniently omitted Abbas’s destructive statements on refusing to accept Israel’s right to exist.

How realistic is a two state solution when one side won’t even recognize the other’s right to exist?

Mr. Kerry emphatically stated the US opposition to terror and incitement. However, empty statements like this have been made on numerous occasions by the American administration. What good are such statements if they are not backed up by tangible action?

The PA receives hundreds of millions of dollars in financial aid from many countries, most of it from the US. The PA in turn uses a portion of international aid to line the pockets of terrorists who have murdered Israeli’s with huge salaries. This financial windfall allows their families a living standard which is 5 times greater than the average Palestinian. Did Mr. Kerry say or even hint that the US would suspend all financial aid to the PA to demonstrate how strongly they feel about the need to stop terrorism? He did not. Actions speak louder than words Mr. Kerry.

The constitution of Abbas’s Fatah party explicitly calls for the destruction of the “Zionist entity,” which in plain words means Israel. Did Mr. Kerry make any mention of this? Moreover, one can only imagine what he might say if Israel’s constitution called for the destruction of a Palestinian state. Heaven forbid!

The official emblem of the Fatah party shows one state, not two. The one state covers the entire area of Israel, and shows every square inch of land as one state of “Palestine.” Their emblem also includes weapons of war, suggesting their goal is to destroy Israel through violence. Again Kerry is silent.

If Mahmoud Abbas wants to be seen as a serious peace partner, would it be too much to suggest that he publically condemn the plethora of terror attacks the Palestinians have perpetrated against innocent Israeli civilians? Not only has Abbas failed to condemn such attacks, he and his party have continuously glorified these murderers.

Kerry also downplayed the US role in the anti-Israel UN resolution, suggesting the US was not involved in composing, or sponsoring it. Yet, by abstaining the Obama administration knows full well, it was as if they voted for it, because they chose not to use their veto power, which allowed it to pass.

With its passing the Obama administration has intentionally left the door wide open for the UN to take further action against Israel.  

With only days remaining in the current administration, the timing of Kerry’s speech was more about punctuating the anti-Israel tenor of the Obama administration with one last trumpet blast about land for peace. However, all one needs to do is look at what happened when Israel evacuated the Gaza Strip after 38 years. They were rewarded with 3 wars and 20,000 rockets.

If the Obama administration is truly as concerned about Israel’s security as Kerry states, their failure to hold the Palestinians accountable for their wanton terror renders any statements about understanding Israel’s need for security meaningless.

Since the UN resolution cannot be reversed, the Obama administration has knowingly done two things-
1. They have put the incoming Trump administration in a difficult position.
2. Obama has placed a nail in the coffin of his relationship with Israel. With the door now open for further punitive UN action against Israel, his administration will go down in history has the most anti-Israel administrations ever.

One doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to recognize the two sides of the conflict have entirely different agendas. Israel desires to have peace, while the Arab Palestinians goal remains p-i-e-c-e, every piece of the land of Israel to be theirs. For not recognizing this and blaming Israel for being the obstacle to peace, the Obama administration has reduced itself to being hypocrites by ignoring their own oft stated commitment to Israel’s security.


Obama and Kerry Cannot Stop the Redemption

The light of Hanukkah is shining.  Its light cannot be contained because unlike other light, its light is drawn from the first light of Creation.  The light of Hanukkah is the Light of Redemption.

John Kerry told us we have to choose between being Jewish or Democratic. He means to say that in order to”save ourselves” we have to give up our traditions and beliefs for the world’s greater good. This, in his mind is the stumbling block to peace.

We have seen this show before. When the Maccabees revolted against the Greeks and their Jewish allies, Israel was being told to become Greek or else. We said no and the impossible happened. The Maccabees defeated the Greeks and the Hellenized Jews that fought with them. They cleaned the Temple and lit the Menorah.  The light of Redemption burst forth forward into history.

The Zionist movement did not begin in the 20th Century.  In a way it began when the Maccabees picked up arms and liberated the Jewish homeland from the Greeks.  In fact, Shimon the Maccabee said the following to Antiochus when the latter asked the Jews to pull back from the Lands they occupied in the war:

“We have not taken strange lands, nor are we ruling over foreign territory. We have returned to our ancestral inheritance, from which we had been unjustly expelled by our enemies. And now that we have been blessed with the opportunity, we will hold onto our ancestral land.” – 1 Maccabees ch. 15

Over a century and half ago Jews from all over the world began to come home to Israel and join the fledgling communities found in Jerusalem, Tiberius, and Tsfat. This movment of Jews grew and drew non-observant Jews. The masses of Jews yearned to be home and it was this yearning and crying that lit the flame of redemption in each of them.  The movement kept growing until it burst forth and could not be contained.

As World War 2 came to an end and the UN was created the global elite knew they had to find a way to contain the Jewish liberation movement. So they partitioned the Holy Land and with teary eyes the movement seemed to stop. With the light contained the world order would be safe.

19 years later the light of redemption burst forth again with the complete liberation of Israel by the Jewish Nation in six days.  The light was uncontrollable and no vessel could contain it.  The Jewish Nation was not ready for its mission and the light was used by the counter culture, leftists, socialists, and globalists. It was bent and harnessed for evil.

It is 50 years later and now the light is about to make its final push back to its original purpose, redemption. The light of Hanukkah cannot be contained.  Not by the UN, not by John Kerry, and not by Obama. The Creator wants to fulfill his promise to his children and return them home.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov likens redemption to the game of dreidal played during on Hannukah. We have no control over the spinning.  Only the Creator knows when it will stop and what letter it will land on. Sometimes the letter is favorable and other times it is not.

Redemption is about understanding how to latch onto the light and go with it; being ready just in case the dreidel of redemption lands on your letter.

The world is surrounding us, ganging up on us one last time, yet it is Hanukkah and the light of redemption wants to return home.  When our enemies tell us to choose between their culture and being Jewish the light rises within us, drawing us to our destiny.  This cannot be stopped; not by Obama and not by John Kerry.

We were not stopped by the Turks nor the British. We could not be stopped by the five Arab nations that attacked us in 1948 or the UN which divided us. We burst forward and now we are home. We  have built and inspired., changed the world and led a hi-tech revolution and a spiritual rebirth. No one or no nation can prevent the Almighty’s light from shining.

Every Hanukkah we say: Praised are You God, Source of Life, who performed miracles for our ancestors in their day at this season. 

Hanukkah does not stop. Its light is forever.  Those miracles are for then and for now.

The Redemption cannot be stopped, it is upon us.

Get ready the dreidel of redemption has spun…



Congress Readies for War with Obama Over Israel Vote

The Washington Free Beacon is reporting that Congress is quietly preparing a string of measures when they come back in session next week as a counterpunch to Obama and Kerry’s onlaught against the State of Israel.

Some of the actions reportedly being considered are:

  • Freezing funds to the UN
  • Expelling Palestinian representatives from the USA
  • Scaling back ties with foreign nations that voted in favor of the controversial measure

“The disgraceful anti-Israel resolution passed by the UNSC was apparently only the opening salvo in the Obama administration’s final assault on Israel,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) told the Free Beacon. “President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Ambassador Power, and their colleagues should remember that the United States Congress reconvenes on January 3rd, and under the Constitution we control the taxpayer funds they would use for their anti-Israel initiatives. The 115th Congress must stop the current administration’s vicious attack on our great ally Israel, and address the major priorities of the incoming administration.”

Ted Cruz and other Senators are aware that Obama, Kerry, and Powers plan on continuing with harsher resolutions against Israel in the days to come, with a possible declaration of final borders of a Palestinian State just before Trump takes over.

Can Obama Be Stopped?

Yes.  If the congress goes as far as withdrawing funds from the UN, it would lack the ability to function.  According to Fox News the USA covers 22% of the UN’s budget.

In 2015, 35 countries will be charged the minimum regular budget assessment of 0.001 percent which works out to approximately$28,269 each. Twenty countries will be charged the minimum peacekeeping assessment of 0.0001 percent or approximately $8,470 apiece.

By contrast, the U.S. is assessed 22 percent of the regular budget (approximately $622 million) and over 28 percent of the peacekeeping budget (approximately $2.402 billion).

Put another way, the U.S. will be assessed more than 176 other member states combined for the regular budget and more than 185 countries combined for the peacekeeping budget. Who says America isn’t exceptional!

Right now congressmen are quiet, but if some of the rhetoric being leaked is an indication of anything, expect some serious salvos thrown at the outgoing administration in the weeks ahead.