April 14, 2011, - 4:54 pm

Rabbi Joseph Krakoff: Synagogue Bans Schlussel, Hosts HAMASnik/Israel Boycotter

By Debbie Schlussel

Why did a Detroit area synagogue ban me for passing out pamphlets on the proud HAMAS/Hezbollah supporter and Israeli boycotter it hosted in its main sanctuary?  Because some people are uber-hypocrites and still mentally slaves in Egypt seeking to please Jew-hater masters. Apparently, there is a “real terrorist,” and it’s me, Debbie Schlussel. My “act of terrorism” is not setting off a bomb or even harming a fly. It’s . . . wait for it . . . passing out a pamphlet at a synagogue.

That Was Then . . .


This Is Now . . .


Meet Rabbi Joseph Krakoff, OberKapo

Since Passover begins next week, I thought this would be a great time to tell you about what happened to me at Congregation Shaarey Zedek a couple of months ago, when the synagogue hosted and sponsored the appearance and speech of Ismael Ahmed on the stage of its main sanctuary.  (Tonight, the synagogue hosts Obama Middle East adviser, Daniel Kurtzer, one of the most anti-Israel, self-hating Orthodox Jews on the planet.  HAMAS couldn’t have found a better man, so the Ahmed invitation is not surprising.)  The synagogue and its lying, unethical fraud of a rabbi, Joseph Krakoff, constantly hold pro-Israel rallies and make pro-Israel sermons, but it’s all a fraud.  Talk is cheap.  When it comes to actions, Krakoff and Shaarey Zedek are in lockstep with those who seek Israel’s and the Jews–and America’s!–destruction.

When I learned that HAMAS/Hezbollah and Israel boycott supporter Ahmed was speaking at the synagogue, I went there and silently passed out pamphlets about who the man is.  For that “crime,” I was banned by the synagogue and am not allowed on the premises, after I was escorted off like a terrorist.  This is the same synagogue and Rabbi which allowed Muslim protesters from Dearbornistan with anti-Semitic swastika, HAMAS, and Hezbollah signs to protest on its front lawn during the Israel-Hezbollah war in 2006, because the synagogue and rabbi wanted to show how open and tolerant they are.

Ahmed, as I’ve pointed out over the years, founded the Muslim welfare agency, ACCESS–the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, to get auto unions to boycott Israel in the ’70s.  In the 1990s and beyond, he openly supported Hezbollah and HAMAS and opposed Bill Clinton’s counterterrorism laws making it illegal to donate to these Islamic terrorist gropus that murdered Americans and Jews.  In 2002, Ahmed wrote a check to help sponsor the Divestment Conference against Israel at the University of Michigan, where convicted Islamic terrorist and Islamic Jihad founder Sami Al-Arian was the keynote speaker.  Organized Arabic chants of “Annihilate the Jews!” were frequently shouted at the conference events.  Ahmed told a reporter that this was a “great cultural experience” for Arab kids.  While he headed ACCESS, Ahmed gave job training, including for commercial driver’s licenses and hazardous material hauling certificates to the Islamic terrorists in the Detroit terror cell.  He told the media that being in Al-Qaeda and/or being a terrorist is a mere “political credential” that makes no difference to him.


Ismael Ahmed: Extremist Muslim, Medicaid Defrauder & Hezbollah/HAMAS Cheerleader

Ahmed also organized an ongoing scam in which his organization brought tens of thousands of pregnant Muslim illegal aliens from around the world to the U.S. to have their babies here, giving them U.S. citizenship.  His agency enlisted several Muslim nurses at Oakwood Hospital and a Muslim doctor, Jouhaina Maleh, to help the women obtain phony Social Security numbers so they could defraud Medicaid to have you pay for the deliveries.  There is a reason why more than 40,000 of the million Palestinian Muslim residents of Ramallah have U.S. citizenship.  And they vote here and receive entitlement checks from the U.S. there.

When, despite his billions in Medicaid fraud, Ismael Ahmed was appointed by Governor Jennifer Granholm to head the Michigan Department of Human Services, which oversees Medicaid, I was the only person who testified against him at his hearing.  I drove up there and subjected myself to ridicule and attacks because it was the right thing to do.  On the other side, several members of the liberal, unelected organized Jewish community, including the then-head of the Jewish Community Council, traveled to Lansing to praise this piece of garbage, alongside his Muslim extremist cheerleaders. And I was apparently in for more of the same.

When I learned just a few hours before the Jewish Sabbath on Friday, January 21st, that Ismael Ahmed would be speaking at Shaarey Zedek, I knew it would be too late to get any of the wimps at this spineless, dying synagogue to stop the event.  I read in both the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press that the synagogue and the Detroit Jewish Community Council (another self-hating pan-Muslim politburo) were sponsoring Ahmed in a speech on helping the poor of Michigan, which is interesting, since Ahmed spent decades ripping them off and funneling Michigan taxpayer funded Medicaid and welfare to Muslim illegal aliens he helped bring here.

I quickly typed up a three-page pamphlet with the bullet points from articles I’ve written about Ismael Ahmed over the years and ran off 100 copies at FedEx Kinko’s.  It’s what my late father would have done. My pamphlet (read it here) had the basic stuff.  I didn’t include, for example, the fact that Ismael Ahmed’s first wife mysteriously “fell” down an elevator shaft at a New York construction site, during the trip Ahmed took her on after she asked him for a divorce.  (I always visit construction sites on trips to New York, don’t you?)  On Saturday,  I walked in 15 degrees below zero weather and a ton of snow for the mile and a half it takes to get from my home to Shaarey Zedek, with my bag of pamphlets. 

(Orthodox Jews are normally not allowed to carry things on the Jewish Sabbath as Jewish law prohibits it, but there is a set of strings, wires, and poles that are designated by the rabbis as an “eruv,” a kind of gated area that allows carrying on the Sabbath within its borders.  My walk to the synagogue was within the eruv.)

Shaarey Zedek is a very liberal, Conservative [not conservative politically, but the “Conservative” branch of Judaism] Jewish synagogue, and most of its congregants voted for Obama and were part of “Jews for Change.”  Its spineless rabbi, Krakoff, was an intern in the Bill Clinton White House.  He is Monica Lewinsky minus the thong, and the guts.  When I arrived at the synagogue, the parking lot was full, as there was a Bar Mitzvah or something like that going on.  Unlike observant Jews, most of its congregants drive on the Jewish Sabbath, in violation of Jewish law.  That the lot was full was unusual, as the synagogue is dying, hemorrhaging members and usually struggling to fill even its small chapel.

I entered the synagogue hall and began passing out my pamphlets to straggling congregants who were coming out of the services.  I was accosted by a 50-something woman dressed like a hooker, who identified herself as Lori Blumenstein-Bott, the executive director of the synagogue.  She asked me to pass out my pamphlets inside the synagogue double doors leading outside.  I complied.  Suddenly, a 50-something year old with the hair color and make-up of Ronald McDonald accosted me, demanding I stop passing out my pamphlets.  I replied that the synagogue was hosting a HAMAS and Israel-boycott supporter and that the synagogue executive director said I could pass them out.

Ronald McDonald:  “Well, I’m Mary Knoll, and I’m the Vice President, and I don’t want to read your brochure and I don’t want you passing it out.  I’m not even gonna read it.

Me:  “Well I don’t have a chart of the hierarchy of your synagogue, and I’m going to keep passing them out.  Don’t you want to know about the horribly anti-Semitic, anti-Israel person you are hosting here?”

Ronald McDonald:  “Well, I’m the Vice President.  And I don’t want you passing them out.  And I don’t care what the brochure says.  You’re not allowed to pass them out on the Sabbath.”

Me:  “You could be the Vice President of the Hair Club for Men, for all I know.  You don’t care that a HAMAS and Israel boycott supporter will be speaking in your main sanctuary?  Since you seem to be an expert in Jewish law, can you please cite me the particular Halachah [Jewish law] that forbids passing out pamphlets on the Sabbath?  By the way, did you drive here?  That is, FYI, against Jewish law.  I was told by an official of your synagogue that I could pass these out and I’m going to keep passing them out so your members know who you are hosting here with their membership dollars.  Why is it that you don’t want them to know this information?”

Ronald:  “That’s it!  I’m getting the rabbi.”

Me:  “Please do.  I’d like to ask him why he’s hosting a HAMAS and Israel Boycott supporter here.”

Just so you know, Ronald a/k/a Mary Knoll, is now the president of the synagogue.   Yup, the same woman who refused to read a pamphlet about the HAMAS and Israel boycott supporter she hosted.  The same one who cites me non-existent “Jewish law” about passing out pamphlets on the Sabbath.

Enter Rabbi Joseph Krakoff.  Rabbi Krakoff, in his late thirties and extremely ignorant of Jewish law and history, is a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary.  But he’s well loved by the mindless liberals who barely populate his dying synagogue because he utters liberal platitudes, smiles a lot, and I’m told by people who left the synagogue because of him, he’s changed the melodies of the prayers to some funky new tunes, some of them resembling hip-hop.

Rabbi Krakoff knows me because I met with him a couple of years ago or so to ask him why he shared the stage with two Hezbollah-agent, openly anti-Semitic Detroit area imams, Imam Hassan Qazwini and Imam Mohammed Ali Elahi, at an event hosted by Detroit’s then-new Catholic Cardinal.  Rabbi Krakoff’s unsatisfactory response at the time was that if he doesn’t go, then “the Jews won’t be represented.”  Yup a cop-out.  Some people still think they are in the camps.  The proper response would have been, “Cardinal, I’m sorry but I can’t attend an event at which you’ve invited supporters of Islamic terrorist groups and defenders of the killing of innocent Jews and Americans.”  But this rabbi has no testicles.

Rabbi Krakoff:  “Hi, what are you doing?  Why are you passing out pamphlets?”

Me:  “Because you are hosting a HAMAS, Hezbollah, and Israel boycott supporter at your synagogue, tomorrow, and I want your members to know what you are doing and who you are hosting.  You can deliver all the pro-Israel sermons and host all the pro-Israel rallies in the world, but they are meaningless and phony, when you host people like Ismael Ahmed at your synagogue.”

Rabbi Krapkoff:  “I didn’t know anything about it.”

Me:  “Um, you are the rabbi here.  Don’t you know what’s going on in your synagogue?  It was advertised in both Detroit papers as being hosted by your synagogue in your main sanctuary, sponsored by your synagogue, and it’s on your synagogue’s website calendar of events.”

Rabbi:  “Well, we have nothing to do with that.  We sponsor anything that people pay us money to rent our facilities.  We don’t have any part of it.”

Me:  “Huh?  Rabbi, it is on the stage of your main sanctuary.  It is IN YOUR synagogue.  You are sponsoring this and your synagogue’s name is on all of the event’s publicity.  Maybe I should tell David Duke to rent your facilities to hold his next meeting here.”

Rabbi:  “Well, I’d never allow that.  If I would have known about this, it would never have happened.”

Me:  “What is the difference between David Duke and Ismael Ahmed, other than that Ismael Ahmed’s Jew-haters get results?  You are the rabbi.  You don’t pay attention to what goes on at your own synagogue?”

[The rabbi is reportedly paid nearly $300,000 in annual salary, but for some mysterious reason and contrary to the law, Shaarey Zedek’s tax returns (which would confirm his salary) are not publicly available, as is required for all non-profits. What are they trying to hide?]

Rabbi:  “Well, please, don’t pass these out.  It’s the Sabbath.”

Me:  “Rabbi, what’s the Jewish law against passing out pamphlets on the Sabbath?  Please tell me.  Also, what’s the Jewish law about driving and using cell phones on the Sabbath, as most of your congregants are doing today? The biggest sin here is that you are hosting a Jew-hater in your synagogue. Don’t you have any sense of perspective?”

Rabbi:  “Well I’ll tell you what.  If you promise to stop passing these out, I promise you after Shabbat [the Sabbath], I will call Robert Cohen [the far-left bimbo who heads the Jewish Community Council, the co-sponsor of the event], and I will tell him Ismael Ahmed won’t speak here on Sunday.  I promise you Ismael Ahmed will be canceled from the event.”

Me:  “Rabbi, if you promise me, I will stop passing these out and go home, as I’ve achieved my goal.”

Rabbi:  “I promise you Ismael Ahmed will not be speaking here.”

But as I walked home in the freezing cold, I had a feeling this Rabbi was gonna screw me and not keep his word. I made a tactical error. Had I continued to pass out the brochures, were they going to have the guard kick me out? Then, I’d pass them out in the parking lot. They wouldn’t dare call the police and have me arrested on the Sabbath in front of all the congregants for the “crime” of passing out a pamphlet about a HAMAS supporter they hosted, would they? Now, I had nothing. They could host Ahmed, and there is nothing I could do to embarrass them out of it. I concluded this wimpy, ignorant, sorry excuse for a rabbi wouldn’t keep his word. And I was right. It gets worse. Much worse.

The next day, I sent a friend to the event. His instructions were to call me at 1:30, when the event started, and to let me know if Ahmed was speaking. At 1:30 I got the call. “Debbie, he’s here. He’s speaking. That rabbi lied to you. They screwed you.” I immediately drove to the event.

But when I tried to enter the synagogue, two hulking security guards stopped me. “She’s here! She’s here! Stop her!” I heard them shouting into their cellphones and walkie talkies. One of them was there the day before when I tried to pass out my pamphlets. He told me that they were hired by Shaarey Zedek to look for me and stop me from entering the event. Yup, I’m the real terrorist for handing out pamphlets, not the HAMAS, Hezbollah, and Israel-boycott supporter on stage. Not the guy who runs the Muslim Medicaid fraud anchor baby ring.

I asked them to get the rabbi. They told me the rabbi wasn’t there and they got the synagogue Executive Director, instead. Lori Blumenstein-Bott, the 50-something year old from the day before arrived dressed like a slut and with a scowl on her face. Wearing what appeared to be just tights (you could see her entire butt and the explicit outlines of her frontal vaginal area) and a shirt, she held a walkie talkie and repeatedly stated, “You’re banned from the Shaarey Zedek premises. You must leave immediately.” When I asked why the rabbi lied and why HAMAS and Israel boycott supporter Ismael Ahmed was speaking, she repeated that statement. When I asked why the event was advertised as open to the public and yet I can’t attend and hear the speech, I was read the same statement.

I told Ms. Bott that I was disgusted that a HAMAS and Israel-boycott supporter was being hosted and I was banned. I also told her I’d be writing about this and that she should be ashamed. Then, treated like a terrorist, the guards escorted me out. They copied down my license plate and the description of my car. They followed me out of the driveway to make sure I left. It was humiliating. (Ms. Blumenstein-Bott is no longer at the synagogue. I do not know the circumstances surrounding her departure a month ago.)

When I got home, I called the rabbi’s home (his number is listed), and he answered the phone.

Me: “Rabbi Krakoff, you promised me that Ismael Ahmed would not be speaking at your synagogue. And not only did he speak there today, but I was banned from the premises. Apparently, for you, the Ten Commandments is only nine, and thou shalt not lie is deleted. I find this disgusting. This is how you treat a Jew for the ‘crime’ of passing out pamphlets exposing the HAMAS supporters you host?”

Rabbi Krapkoff: “Well, as I told you, we have nothing to do with this.”

Me: “Rabbi, no that’s not what you told me at all. As you well know, you promised me that if I stopped passing out my pamphlets about Ismael Ahmed, you would cancel his appearance at your synagogue. You did not keep your word. You lied to me. And your synagogue has everything to do with this because you hired two security guards and had them and your synagogue executive director escort me from the premises. Your synagogue banned me so it has everything to do with the synagogue. Don’t lie to me.”

Rabbi: “Well I don’t know anything about you being banned. And I have nothing to do with this.”

Me: “Huh? It’s your synagogue. You are the head rabbi. You have everything to do with this. You treated the HAMAS and Hezbollah Muslims with their swastika signs better than me, a Jew whose crime was passing out a pamphlet about your HAMAS and Israel-boycott supporting guest speaker. Don’t you remember when you allowed them to protest on your front lawn because you wanted to show how liberal and open you are? I guess that only extends to Muslims who openly hate Jews. Rabbi, didn’t you learn the story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza at the Jewish Theological Seminary? Did you learn nothing from that?”

Rabbi: “What’s that? I’m not familiar with it.”

The story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza is probably the most famous Talmudic story in all of Judaism. It is considered the reason why the Second Temple was destroyed. Anyone who doesn’t know the story has no business putting “rabbi” in front of his name. The Cliff’s Notes version is that a rich guy was hosting a party but his servant accidentally invited his sworn enemy, “Bar Kamtza,” instead of his friend, “Kamtza.” When the man walked into his own party and saw his enemy sitting at the table, he demanded the man leave and forced him to depart, despite the man’s offer to pay for his food, the party, etc. He embarrassed the man and humiliated him in front of all the top rabbis and leaders of Israel, and they said nothing, allowing this to go on. G-d punished the Jewish people with the destruction of the Temple because of the horrible way Jews treated other Jews as at this party.

But “Rabbi” Krakoff didn’t know the story because he knows nothing about Judaism and thinks it’s about voting for Obama and ostracizing pro-Israel Jews like me in favor of Jew-haters like Ismael Ahmed.

Me: “Rabbi, I’m disgusted by you. The way you lied to me and threw me under the bus to pander to extremist Muslims who hate Israel and the Jewish people is truly sickening. All of your pro-Israel sermons and rallies are a fraud. You are a phony and a liar. And you know nothing about Judaism.”

Rabbi: “Well, this would be better resolved in a meeting in my office rather than over the phone.”

Me: “What? It’s too late. It can’t be resolved. It’s done. You hosted Ismael Ahmed on the stage of your main sanctuary. You had a chance to change that. But you lied and you have no courage. No guts. No principles. You know, Rabbi, I know your synagogue is dying. You are losing members on a regular basis and your synagogue can barely afford to heat or cool the place and keep it going, much less pay your high salary. You rely on Orthodox Jews to pay to hold events and parties at your synagogue, and I’ll spread the word about how you host HAMASniks and Jew haters. Both my sisters had their weddings at your synagogue. People read my website, and I’m going to publicize this and what you did.”

Rabbi: “Well what do you want me to do now?”

Me: “I want you to call over to your synagogue and tell them to unban me and allow me in to hear your new friend Ismael Ahmed’s speech.”

Rabbi: “Okay, I’ll tell them. Give me five minutes. And then you can go back.”

I gave him ten minutes. I drove to Shaarey Zedek, where one of the guards was blocking the driveway with a big black SUV. He shook his head in anger at me. I rolled down my window and I could hear him saying into his cellphone, “She’s back, just like he warned us.” It was clear he was talking about Rabbi Krapkoff. I said, “The rabbi said I could come back. He said he’d tell you to lift the ban and allow me in.” The man shook his head and said, “No, he warned us you were coming and told us not to let you in. He told us to look out for you.”

I said, “Okay,” turned around, and drove home. I called the rabbi, and predictably, he didn’t have the cojones to answer the phone, that lying fraud. I left him a message telling him how disgusted I was with him and that I’d be writing about the “rabbi” with no balls.

My mother has taught at the Shaarey Zedek’s absolute joke of a Hebrew school for over 40 years, and we had a family membership there. I went to Shaarey Zedek Nursery School. My family has paid to hold parties there several times. My late grandfather, Irving Wolf Schlussel, even though he was Orthodox, taught at Shaarey Zedek Hebrew School and occasionally prayed there. Today, he is turning over in his grave.

I’ve told many people about what happened at Shaarey Zedek, including two close friends of mine–a gentile woman and an Arab man who worked for the Israelis in South Lebanon–whom I invited to see Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speak there. Both are as digusted with what happened as I am and are especially disturbed that this happened just a few years after they heard Netanyahu speak at the same place. I also called several friends and relatives who were members there. But none of them still belong, as the synagogue is dying, and with how they treated me, they can write Shaarey Zedek’s epitaph with it. The late Detroit Pistons owner Bill Davidson left some of his billions to the Synagogue, after the rabbi performed his wife Karen’s quickie “conversion” to Judaism. But she is reportedly holding the money up. Crocodile tears from me. Shaarey Zedek is one of Michigan’s oldest synagogues, and this year, it is celebrating its 150th anniversary. It was originally founded as an Orthodox synagogue, but regardless of its current level of religiosity, I am sure its founders are turning over in their graves at the disgusting self-hatred with which its current “leadership” behaves.

I told my Holocaust survivor neighbor, who belongs to the synagogue, about what happened. She was in tears, as it reminded her of the Jews who pandered to the Nazis before everyone was rounded up and sent to the camps. When I asked her if she would say something to the rabbi, she cowered, saying that she was afraid he’d treat her like the kapos did in the camps. After what he did to me, I cannot blame her for feeling that way.

Others responses were disappointing. Most of the officers of Shaarey Zedek, whom I contacted, either ignored me or screamed at me and hung up. Janet Pont, the synagogue director of membership, a longtime family friend who attended my Bat Mitzvah and who claims to be so pro-Israel, ignored my letter and phone call to her. Sad.

When I called Joseph and Diane Savin, who lead the local Zionist Organization of America (which my late grandfather once headed and in which my late father was active), they said they’d continue to hold ZOA events at Shaarey Zedek “because they are nice to us.” Mr. Savin once plagiarized my work on Ismael Ahmed for a letter to the editor complaining about him to the Detroit Jewish News. But talk is cheap, and even basic courage and principles are rare. When it comes to a synagogue that hosts Ismael Ahmed, he and the ZOA continue to support and enable the place. As long as they do this, the synagogue will continue to host people like Ismael Ahmed.

Shaarey Zedek means the “Gates of Justice” in Hebrew. But what I found at that synagogue has nothing to do with justice, not even close. More like “Shaarey HAMAS.” In Judaism , there is the concept of the “Erev Rav,” forces of chaos–infiltrators who arrive to confuse people in every generation of Judaism. I think I found the modern version in Rabbi Krakoff and Shaarey Zedek.

On Passover, we read the Haggadah at the Seder dinner.  In it, we read how in every generation, there are those enemies who come to destroy the Jewish people.

How sad that in this generation, those enemies come from within and they include Rabbi Joseph Krakoff and Shaarey Zedek.

That’s not a new thing, as I’ve noted that in ancient times, the Maccabees had to slay more Jews than they did Greeks.  Sadly, there are no Maccabees around anymore.

That’s why scum like Rabbi Joseph Krakoff and his ignorant congregation get away with impunity and have no qualms about hosting HAMAS and Israel-boycott supporters.

And they have no qualms about banning me for peacefully handing out brochures . . . and treating those who march around with Hezbollah and swastika signs with far more respect.

They are the reason why the Second Temple was destroyed, and they are the 80% of Jews who refused to leave Egypt when the rest of the Jews left slavery.

And they are worse than any anti-Semites I’ve yet to encounter.

E-mail Rabbi Joseph Krakoff, and let him know how despicable he is. Do the same via snail-mail to the synagogue officers, listed below. Clearly, their mirrors–and their consciences–aren’t functioning correctly.

Last year, I drove my Holocaust survivor neighbor to Yom Kippur services at Shaarey Zedek before I left for my synagogue.  I noted several police officers and their police cars directing traffic inside the synagogue parking lot, which appears to violate the very strict Article I, Section 4 of the Michigan Constitution, a provision far stricter than the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause separating church and state.  The very wealthy congregants of Shaarey Zedek can apparently hire two security guards to stop “terrorist” Debbie Schlussel from attending a speech.  Clearly, they can afford to pay private parking attendants in a city rife with crime that cannot afford to waste police resources on a synagogue parking problem.

All of the Shaarey Zedek members reading this (including the rabbi) should note that I and my lawyers are looking into this issue.  I have no problem with keeping a HAMAS-enabling synagogue from violating the separation of church and state.

Shaarey Zedek might as well be a mosque, as far as I am concerned.  Same difference.  It’s just that mosques are more honest about what they stand for.

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57 Responses

Since when is mocking the same hair color as Ronald McDonald a valid criticism? Since it was leveled against a Jewish person, I have to assume it was self-hating anti-Semitism at work. What a riveting article. I’ve read it several so I can savor the tedious chronology and self-righteous fury over and over again. Aren’t Arabs Semites as well? Well, Hitler thought so, apparently. The Arabs were next on his list. And when are you going to pick sides on the Sunni/Shi’a conflict? The Saudi Foreign Minister is in Tel Aviv this week. How does that figure into your worldview? You are bashing one of Israel’s new allies. No more cocktail parties with Netanyahu for you, young lady!

Family Friend on December 27, 2013 at 12:02 pm

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