Mike Pence’s Middle East Tour: Outright Pressure and Threats as Foreign Policy Tools

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Written by Peter Korzun; Originally appeared at strategic-culture.org

Jordan’s King Abdullah II wants Washington to “rebuild trust “after US President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The king believes that East Jerusalem must be the capital of Palestine. According to him, from now on the US has a “major challenge to overcome”. “Friends occasionally have disagreements,” Mike Pence said ruefully in his comments on the outcome of the talks. The disagreement came into the open.

The vice president was making his Middle East trip (Jan.19-23) to include three states: Egypt, Jordan and Israel. The Palestinian Autonomy leaders refused to meet him. Egypt was the first country he arrived in to hear that Cairo does not support the US move.

Mike Pence’s Middle East Tour: Outright Pressure and Threats as Foreign Policy Tools

Jordan and Egypt are a special case. They are the only Arab nations to have diplomatic ties and peace accords with Israel. Both are threatened by Islamist militants and would be potential key mediators if peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians were ever revived.

Despite the fact that Jordan is a key member of the US-led coalition formally created to fight the Islamic State (IS), the kingdom has strongly opposed the US administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel announced by President Trump on Dec. 6. Protests have been held in front of the US embassy in Amman ever since. King Abdullah has led intensive diplomatic efforts to build a stronger Arab front and rally international support behind it.

According to Debka, the vice president warned Egyptian and Jordanian leaders of painful times ahead if they don’t stop opposing the US policy. Washington can revise its plans to continue providing economic and military assistance. Besides, Vice President Pence asked them to convey a message to Palestinians that Washington “would block Palestinian Authority access to funding from Western and international institutions”.

Before that, the US had threatened to cut funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the international body responsible for the welfare of roughly five million registered Palestinian refugees. Jordan provides refuge to about two million of the refugees from Palestine. So, the menace is real and the United States makes no bones about its plans.

Riyadh has joined the US efforts to press Amman but it stood tall. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are pressing Jordan to abandon its stance on Jerusalem and suspend the ties with Turkey and Qatar. King Abdullah of Jordan provocatively placed his religious role on a par with that of the Saudi royal family on Dec. 31, proclaiming himself the Servant of the First Qibla and Third Holy Mosque (Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem). It was an obvious challenge to Saudi Arabia – the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques located in the city of Mecca. The move was made a day after three senior Jordanian princes were taken into custody charged with clandestine contacts with Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman did not set much store by the US Jerusalem declaration preoccupied with the alleged menace coming from Iran and the need to expedite fundamental reforms at home, where the US has a large role to play. Saudi King Salman was reported to press Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to end the campaign against the President Trump’s Jerusalem move and become more responsive to the American proposals on handling the Palestinian issue.

Jordan receives about $1.6 bn a year in aid from America. A $400m grant from the United States is part and parcel of Jordan’s 2018 budget. The kingdom is a privileged partner and enjoys the status of major non-NATO ally (MNNA) granted to several states closely cooperating with the Pentagon while staying outside NATO. Jordan hosts US and British military. It holds regular exercises with American forces. Anti-Assad militant groups go through training on its territory.

In August, Germany moved its aircraft from Turkey to Jordan’s Al-Azraq air base after the Turkish government had refused to allow its lawmakers to visit Incirlik – the base were six German Tornado fighter jets and a tanker were stationed to contribute into the ongoing international anti-terrorist effort.

The United States and Saudi Arabia are close allies joined by a common goal: to counter the Iran’s influence in the region. Last May, US President Donald Trump authorized a nearly $110bn arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth $300bn over a ten-year period.

Both kingdoms are members of US-led anti-IS coalition. Both are concerned over Iran. True, they voted against the United States on Jerusalem at the UN General Assembly but it was understood from the start that these American partners, as well as Egypt, do it only to save their faces and avoid political upheavals at home. After all, the General Assembly has always been a release valve for angry anti-US and anti-Israel sentiments. But it’s not votes on non-binding resolutions that really matter but deeds, including behind-the-certain activities.

Clearly, Washington needs to engage its Arab allies as silent proxies on issues pertaining to the Palestinian- Israeli new peace initiative. The US scheme reportedly involves an independent Palestinian state with Gaza Strip and West Bank without East Jerusalem as capital. It does not envisage the return of Palestinian refugees displaced during Israel-Arab conflicts. Washington is pushing a plan pretty vague about details and is doing it without its Middle East strategy defined.

It says the main goal is fighting the IS but the group is almost defeated and does not play any significant role neither in Syria nor Iraq. It’s hard to imagine how the recognition of Jerusalem-a move opposed even by close Washington’s allies-can contribute into the fight against terror.

Amman is being hard pressed into becoming more pliant or else. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) allies, such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kuwait, did not renew a five-year financial assistance program with Jordan worth $3.6bn that ended in 2017.

Member of Jordanian Parliament Wafa Bani Mustafa told Al-Jazeera that they are trying to strangle Jordan economically until it becomes more malleable.

If Amman refuses to bow, the United States-led Arab alliance needed to oppose Iran will split to weaken the America’s standing in the Middle East. It’ll be a major setback to negatively affect the whole US Middle East policy. So, the US vice president resorted to outright pressure and “warnings” to make Jordan dance to Washington’s tune. Intimidation has become a foreign policy tool normally used by the US to impose its will on other nations, including America’s privileged allies.

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  • 1691

    I can’t wait for a new Nuremberg Court where the World will press charges against the leaders of the global terrorist organization. Just imagine what would it look like if americans go back home and stop instigating wars, conflicts, color revolutions!

    • Rodger

      The US cheered when Germany convicted a bookkeeper and a mechanic, both over 90, for war crimes while they never even shot at anybody or commanded anything. Those US veterans should start to get worried.

    • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

      Nuremberg was based on hearsay testimony and no real evidence and should have been called the Nuremberg Court of Lies.To the Victors the spoils and the victors write their own version of what happened.

  • Tudor Miron

    It is interesting to see how long Arabs will tolerate their “leaders” supporting Israel against Palestinians (their supposed “brothers”). Interestingly it is evident that most extrimist sects (wahhabi,takfiri, salafi) tolerate Israel very well :)

    • Rodger

      Not very long at all I think. Even shorter if there is economic hardship. It will be Black September again in Jordan pretty soon.

  • Barba_Papa

    >>“Friends occasionally have disagreements,” Mike Pence said ruefully in his comments on the outcome of the talks.<<

    Translation: Deal with it because we don't give a fuck what you think!

    And if I were in charge of Egypt or Jordan, and being told to comply, or else….., I'd be on the first plane to China. I'm sure the Chinese love nothing more then to jump in and become their newest bestest buds. The days that the US could bully nations economically are over, as in that area at least there are alternatives.

    • Rodger

      Egypt is already going that way for almost a year. They are still smiling and try to be friendly with the US but all major deals they make are with Russia and China. Jordan has very little it can offer those countries however and will probably be the next country to go down in flames in a ‘civil’ war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. This is all the more likely because of the inept US foreign policy.
      Foreign troops in Saudi Arabia is unacceptable to the clerics and population so it would be a huge win for Iran if it could deny Jordan as a base for these troops. Pretty soon there won’t be a country left the US can use as a practical staging place for an Iranian invasion.
      As soon as Syria is secured their veteran pro-government Palestinian fighters will start to make trouble for the Jordanian government because of its Israel ties.
      The Jordanian government can’t strongly oppose the Jerusalem move because of the money but they can’t accept it even more because of their people. The US did that to them. Friends indeed! :’)
      And the king is no Assad. I think he’ll be out of the country as soon as someone says ‘Booo!’.

      • Tudor Miron

        “The US did that to them. Friends indeed! :’) ” (c) With such friends there’s no need for enemies :)

        • Rodger

          That’s the ‘funny’ part. Jordan had no real enemies before the US made a mass grave out of Syria. Now it’s training the very terrorists that terrorize the Palestinians in Syria. Syrian Palestinians that have loads of family ties with the Jordanian Palestinians who make up around 50% of Jordan’s population. Jordanian Palestinians who will soon endure financial hardship unlike any they’ve ever known so pretty angry Palestinians with not much left to lose.
          I don’t see any way this is not going to erupt in mass violence in Jordan.
          And when Jordan is in civil war the entire Eastern border of Israel is no longer secured for Israel. Then the US or NATO will have to intervene in Jordan because Israel can’t.
          Trump’s Jerusalem move is the worst thing that has happened to Israel in a long long time.

          • Eisenherz

            There are not only pl refugees fighting on the side of the syiran government but also against the government as well. Very sad but true. The stupid hamas did this stupid move to back stap syria for the money from golf kingdoms.

          • FlorianGeyer

            It is also somewhat amusing that the Orwellian named ‘ Free Syrian Army and Syrian Democratic Forces’ now fighting each other and both gangs were /still are trained by the US/NATO forces and also armed and funded by the US/NATO + Gulf States who are illegally operating in Syria.

            The British government stated that UK ( special forces and elite combat )troops were only training the FSA in battlefield 1st aid :)

            The UK is a large exporter of Humanitarian Aid to the Saudi’s as well. Humanitarian bombs , missiles and weapons systems :)

          • Pave Way IV

            “…And when Jordan is in civil war the entire Eastern border of Israel is no longer secured for Israel…” Well, Israel can’t have that now, can they?

            “…Then the US or NATO will have to intervene in Jordan because Israel can’t…” Only partially correct. Israel would absolutely love the opportunity for a little more land theft – they would race across the Jordan River to take all the farmland on the east bank. Both sides of the Jordan River Valley were part of Hebrewistan 3,000 years ago, so it all belongs to Israel (in their feeble comprehension). That means the EAST bank, from the Golan to the Red Sea. Jordan’s Eastern Range overlooking the valley is also a threat to Israel, so they’ll take that as well. It’s the only way to guarantee Israel’s security if Jordan is chimping out. Israel will also take all the fresh water on the eastern bank, thank you very much. Yes, everyone will complain… just like they did about the Golan. The settlements will go up within days while Jordanians are busy killing each other. http://atlanticsentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Israel-map-600×400.jpg

          • Bob

            Jordan have been facilitating the US and Gulf State proxy war against Syria, but the Jordanian leadership have seemingly not considered something rather obvious about it. They have been an accessory to US covert aggression first hand – but have failed to recognize the alarm bell this activity actually represents. Jordanians are currently complicit in US attempts to tear down Syria as part of broader US strategy to re-order the region, but Jordanians are failing to grasp that being an accessory to US aggression at present, doesn’t mean they are themselves immune from being on receiving end of US aggressive attentions at a later date. All of the same strategies used against Syria can be used against the Jordanians themselves – from economic sanctions to sudden outbreak of domestic terrorism.

        • FlorianGeyer

          You may have seen this Tudor but if not it is yer another example of ‘friends’ that bow to the USA.

          http://nrt24.ru/en/news/gross-human-rights-abuses-afghanistan-including-child-rape-us-troops-and-afghan-forces-sexually

          • Tudor Miron

            Never seen it. This is extremely terrible. I believe that kiiling a human is a bad thing but I would personally kill such a scum – not humans anyway. I will tell you that if that kind of people (child abusers) ever get into Russian prison they would soon start asking for quick death.

          • FlorianGeyer

            There is an RT documentary about the Dancing Boys in Afghanistan . It is a very old tradition of sexual abuse with children and young men.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM-xe6wHjnw

            The ‘You Know Who’s’ also are often involved in this perversion wherever they are.

            https://politicalvelcraft.org/2011/04/07/remember-call-boy-barney-frank-connection-homosexual-prostitution-and-pedophile-criminal-acts/

          • Tudor Miron

            Dirty scum of this planet. Abusing innocence has symbolic and weird religious meaning for them.

          • FlorianGeyer

            This video will interest you I think Tudor. It is well worth listening to the whole video.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cAFpi4tHMM

          • Tudor Miron

            Many thanks for this link.

          • AM Hants

            Here is another that goes with it, this time Ukraine.

            The Dark Truth About The OSCE and Brothels In The Ukraine Controlled Sverodonetsk… http://www.stalkerzone.org/dark-truth-osce-brothels-ukraine-controlled-severodonetsk/

          • FlorianGeyer

            Thanks for that AM. Will this insanity end in the short term or will it drag out for years ?

            Todays exposure of the disgraceful behaviour by a group of the ‘Great and Good’ at a charity do where young women were treated like cattle is another nail in the government coffin I think.

            I am more angry than shocked at the arrogance of it all, especially in the current ‘sexual identity’ climate. Common sense alone would dictate that the party was not a sensible place to linger in.

          • AM Hants

            It is like there are two worlds. One where manners mean something and actually show your class, whatever level of society you are from. The other, just embraces ignorance, arragance and stupidity. All I want to do is sit back, munch on the popcorn and see where the social experiment ends.

          • FlorianGeyer

            I am doing the same. There will be a time when ones skills, such as they are, will become necessary for ones own survival and /or sanctioned by the state that is losing control of events as rival gangs of warlords compete for plunder.
            I am uncertain if our leaders in the UK realise just how close Chaos and Insurrection is in Europe today.

          • AM Hants

            Out leaders are fully aware and encouraged the problem for personal gain. My belief.

      • Rob

        For as long as the Jordan’s King Abdullah II, receive blood money from Zionists in US he will not open his mouth against Zionists and he will be part of problems against Muslims.
        ——————————————————————————————————————-

    • hhabana

      Well said! I thought same thing. Being the pet of USA comes with obeying the master and getting whipped when don’t. I truly believe this embassy move is to stir trouble and unrest in Middle East to destabilize them and further advance US and Zionist objectives. The CIA idiots just can’t get it i their heads that they are pushing Russia and China closer and countries that borderline are becoming wary of US policy. Thus, looking at other allies-Russia and China.

  • RichardD

    The Gulf Arabs fear the Zionists a lot more than they fear Iran. They don’t want the Arab spring turned on them. The CIA Mossad tag team of trouble isn’t something that they want to deal with.

  • Pave Way IV

    Hmmm…. Let me see if I got this right:

    – Poor disenfranchised Sunni in Jordan soon becoming even more miserable
    – Saudi Wahhabi mosques as ‘gifts’ to the Jordanians and Palestinian + Syrian refugees
    – US SF trainers / CIA constantly ‘working’ the refugee death camps for new recruits
    – Disobedient US/Saudi/Israeli vassal state Jordan financially threatened by Mike “Christian Wahhabi” Pence, AKA The Weasel of Death

    I think we can all see where this is going in Jordan:
    “Fake ISIS. Paging fake ISIS – please pick up the white courtesy phone in the lobby for a regime change.”

    • zman

      While there are many in the US who think they would welcome Trumps impeachment, most have no clue whatever about end-timer Pence. He would be the US/worlds worst nightmare. Whereas Trump has been led by the nose by his controllers, to the detriment of his credibility, Pence needs no such steering. This article shows how well he takes to his role as ‘enforcer’…like a duck to water. While I have no use for Trump, Pence is a very scary alternative. I had always thought that it was likely that he would get the Agnew treatment, be forced to resign and then the Senate would elect his replacement, which would be the one TPTB really wanted and Trump either impeached or assassinated (for an excuse to attack whoever-Iran). Now I think it is entirely possible that Pence was the choice all along. He is also being investigated over shenanigans in Indiana (ala Agnew/Maryland)…at this point, there is no telling what the real plan is, but this little arm twisting adventure is enlightening. Jordan has more influence than most think, in my opinion. Although he would receive the Assad treatment, he could throw a great big wrench in the monkey works if he so chooses. A Jordanian change of direction would irreparably damage the Syrian/Iranian/Iraqi terrorist campaign, cost the west/Israel a valuable pawn that is irreplaceable and possibly cause a rejection of western/Israeli/KSA collusion throughout the ME/Africa. Although this is not exactly likely, King Abdullah may have to fish or cut bait soon. It would be better in the long run for Abdullah to cut ties now and make a play to China/Russia/Iran/Iraq and derail the Zionist plans while/if he may still be able. His biggest challenge will be the withdrawal pains from the US/KSA money train. A co-operative move by China/Russia/Iran might possibly be able to help push him in this direction.

      One thing is for sure…a continuation of falling in line with the criminal cabal will be the end of Jordan…whether it is sooner or later…and this little wake-up call is but a taste of what is to come…an untenable situation.

  • Solomon Krupacek

    And after impeachment this … thing … wiil be the POTUS.

  • RichardD

    To the best of my knowledge, the US veto at the UN can be bypassed and Palestine admitted as a full UN member using the 67 borders via a UNGA 377 A Resolution. This is what I think needs to be done.

    UNGA 377 A Resolutions can also be used to circumvent a UNSC P5 veto or vetos and authorize military action. As the Egyptians did:

    “The Assembly’s first emergency special session was instigated by a procedural vote of the Security Council on its Resolution 119 of 31 October 1956,[33] as a result of the Suez Crisis, which commenced 29 October 1956. France and the United Kingdom were the only two Council members to vote against the adoption of Council resolution 119, and were likewise, along with Israel, the principal antagonists in the conflict with Egypt; a conflict that the United States wanted to end. The session’s meetings were held between 1 November and 10 November 1956.

    On 7 November 1956, the Assembly adopted resolution 1001,[3] thereby establishing the United Nations Emergency Force I (UNEF I) to “secure and supervise the cessation of hostilities”. The Assembly, by its own resolutions, not only established UNEF I, but also called for “an immediate cease-fire”, and recommended “that all Member States refrain from introducing military goods in the area”, thereby authorizing military sanctions.”

    – United Nations General Assembly Resolution 377 –

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_General_Assembly_Resolution_377

  • RichardD

    It would be a stretch to say that a dejudified planet would be heaven on earth. But it would be a lot better than a planet with Jews.

    A planet without Jews is a better planet. No more Jew pedophile rape cultists, and no more baby raper scofflaw crime state.

    https://userscontent2.emaze.com/images/3ab5194a-710b-4456-b75a-3d3189999927/cd6f41fb-0044-45dc-be5d-a8c5e5e3d652.jpg

  • Robert Ferrin

    Lol normal U.S. bluster if you go against we will take names and bomb you back to the stone age>>.

  • RichardD

    US supported racist Jews attacking a Palestinian:

    http://www.kawther.info/wpr/wp-content/uploads/settlers-attack-1.jpg

  • RichardD
  • RichardD
  • Rob

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuHne9vsVbg
    Israeli terrorists broke into Masjid Al Aqsa

    Under the occupation of European migrants till this time hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians of Palestine have been violently persecuted with constant severe brutality. Their complete villages and towns have been completely demolished, erased and instead of these new unknown buildings have been erected there. These Israeli terrorists shoot innocent civilians directly in their heads. Israeli terrorists wants to do these hostilities and provocative actions on innocent civilians that they react with anger and then they loose their mind that how to get ride of these illegal European migrants from their land.

    Peaceful protests with flags, banners and placards against European migrants is the legal right of all civilians. Anger eat wise. Anger are the signs of failure and frustration. Palestinian youths should not react with stones and knives but become calm and be organized. I wish that Palestinian nation soon free from these beasts. For a strong nation Education, unity, journalism and justice is very important.
    ———————————————————————————————————————————–

  • Rob

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuHne9vsVbg
    اقتحم إرهابيون إسرائيليون المسجد الأقصى

    وفي ظل احتلال المهاجرين الأوروبيين حتى هذا الوقت، تعرض مئات الآلاف من المدنيين الأبرياء في فلسطين للاضطهاد عنيف وبوحشية شديدة مستمرة. وقد هدمت قرىها ومدنها بالكامل، وتمحى بدلا من أن أقيمت هذه المباني الجديدة المجهولة هناك. هؤلاء الإرهابيون الإسرائيليون يطلقون النار على المدنيين الأبرياء مباشرة في رؤوسهم. ويريد الإرهابيون الإسرائيليون القيام بهذه الأعمال العدائية والأعمال الاستفزازية ضد المدنيين الأبرياء الذين يتفاعلون مع الغضب ومن ثم يفقدون عقولهم كيفية الحصول على ركوب هؤلاء المهاجرين الأوروبيين غير الشرعيين من أراضيهم.

    إن الاحتجاجات السلمية التي تحمل أعلاما ورايات ولفتات ضد المهاجرين الأوروبيين هي الحق القانوني لجميع المدنيين. الغضب يأكل الحكمة. الغضب هي علامات الفشل والإحباط. يجب على الشباب الفلسطيني ألا يتفاعلوا مع الحجارة والسكاكين بل يصبحون هادئين وينظمون. وأتمنى أن تتحرر الأمة الفلسطينية قريبا من هذه الوحوش. لأمة قوية التعليم والوحدة والصحافة والعدالة مهم جدا.
    ————————————————– ————————————————– —————————–

  • Rob

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuHne9vsVbg
    Israeli terrorists broke into Masjid Al Aqsa

    Since 1917 to 1920 Palestine was under British occupation. Then on 1 July 1920 the British regime handed over the control of Palestine to the Herbert Samuel the Zionist minister in the British cabinet and the first high commissioner to Palestine.
    Then in 1948 the British regime handed over Palestine to the illegal European migrants called Israel. So Palestine never got independence from foreign occupation. In 2018 Palestine is still under the occupation of illegal European migrants.

    Mahmoud Abbas should immediately withdraw from the recognition of Israel which is the state of illegal European migrants, build on the homeland of Palestinians. For Palestine the recognition of state of Israel is like to put whole nation of Palestine under occupation of illegal European migrants.

    Mahmoud Abbas should protest to the all world leaders that why you have recognized Israel which is the state of illegal European migrants in the homeland of Palestinians. Tell to all of them to immediately withdraw from the recognition of Israel. Once they withdrew from the recognition of Israel then Palestine will liberate itself.

    The world leaders will listen to Mahmoud Abbas because his whole nation is suffering under occupation. Mahmoud Abbas should not tell to any leader to recognize Palestinian state. If Mahmoud Abbas is looking for two states solution and prefer Israeli state on the homeland of Palestinians then even one inch part of Palestine cannot be freed.
    ———————————————————————————————————————————

  • Rob

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuHne9vsVbg
    اقتحم إرهابيون إسرائيليون المسجد الأقصى

    منذ 1917 إلى 1920 كانت فلسطين تحت الاحتلال البريطاني. ثم في 1 يوليو 1920 سلم النظام البريطاني سيطرة فلسطين إلى هربرت صموئيل الوزير الصهيوني في الحكومة البريطانية وأول مفوض سام إلى فلسطين.
    ثم في عام 1948 سلم النظام البريطاني فلسطين إلى المهاجرين الأوروبيين غير الشرعيين الذين يطلق عليهم اسم إسرائيل. فلم تحصل فلسطين أبدا على الاستقلال عن الاحتلال الأجنبي. في عام 2018 لا تزال فلسطين تحت احتلال المهاجرين الأوروبيين غير الشرعيين.

    يجب على محمود عباس أن ينسحب فورا من الاعتراف بإسرائيل، وهو حالة المهاجرين الأوروبيين غير الشرعيين، وأن يبني على وطن الفلسطينيين. بالنسبة لفلسطين، فإن الاعتراف بدولة إسرائيل يكمن في وضع أمة فلسطين بأكملها تحت احتلال المهاجرين الأوروبيين غير الشرعيين.

    يجب على محمود عباس أن يحتج على زعماء العالم بأن سبب الاعتراف بإسرائيل هو حالة المهاجرين الأوروبيين غير الشرعيين في وطن الفلسطينيين. وأخبرهم جميعا بالانسحاب الفوري من الاعتراف بإسرائيل. وبمجرد انسحابهم من الاعتراف بإسرائيل، ستحرر فلسطين نفسها.

    وسوف يستمع زعماء العالم إلى محمود عباس لأن أمة بأكملها تعاني من الاحتلال. ولا ينبغي أن يقول محمود عباس لأي زعيم يعترف بالدولة الفلسطينية. إذا كان محمود عباس يبحث عن حل الدولتين ويفضل الدولة الإسرائيلية على وطن الفلسطينيين، فلا يمكن إطلاق سراح جزء واحد من فلسطين.
    ————————————————– ————————————————– —————————–

  • AM Hants

    It might have worked in the past. Then along came Russia, in Syria and China with trade.