Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

A Reminder About Hamas

by Elliott Abrams Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Every once in a while we get a useful reminder why there is no peace between Israelis and Palestinians–and the answer isn’t that Israel has put up 100 or 1,000 housing units.

This week, Palestinian terrorists attacked an Israeli family on their way to a Passover seder in the West Bank. The terrorists murdered the father of the family and left the wife and nine-year-old child wounded. Read more »

GCC Nations: Protections and Risks

by Elliott Abrams Tuesday, April 15, 2014

With the exception of Yemen, the member nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council range from prosperous to extremely rich—but they are also vulnerable to security threats from terrorists and from Iran. The gathering in Syria of perhaps 25,000 jihadis, the Iranian nuclear weapons program, and Iranian subversion are the major perils they face, but the risks associated with such challenges are magnified when their major outside ally, the United States, appears determined to reduce its role in the region. Read more »

“To You, the Court, I Have Nothing to Say”

by Elliott Abrams Saturday, April 12, 2014

In July 1978, the Soviet dissident Anatoly Sharansky was sentenced in a Soviet court for the “crimes” of teaching Hebrew, seeking emigration to Israel, and being part of the human rights movement in Moscow. He was charged with treason and espionage for these activities. His speech to the court is rightly famous: Read more »

April 4, 2002: Bush on Middle East Peace (and a Correction on Cheney)

by Elliott Abrams Friday, April 4, 2014

On April 4, 2002, twelve years ago today, President George W. Bush gave the first of two important speeches about Middle East policy. The April 4 speech challenged the leadership of Yasser Arafat, whom the administration had found to be continuing to support terrorism and lie to American officials about it. Bush said this: Read more »

Praise the Lord and Pass the MREs

by Elliott Abrams Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It’s getting to be a habit. For the Ukrainians facing Russian aggression, we shipped MREs: meals ready to eat.

For Syrian rebels facing Hezbollah, Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and Assad’s armed forces, we are shipping ambulances and medical kits. To be more exact, Foreign Policy reports that “The State Department is about to begin delivering tens of millions of dollars worth of new assistance into Syria, including ambulances, communications gear and Toyota pickup trucks for the country’s beleaguered rebels. The so-called non-lethal assistance effort for rebels has included buses and pickup trucks, blankets, 550,000 packaged military meals and, just last month, about 1,000 medical kits.” Read more »

Still Vacant: The Post of Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom

by Elliott Abrams Tuesday, March 25, 2014

In January, I noted the vacancy in the post of Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. As I wrote then,

When the Obama administration began, the post of Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom was vacant. This post, at the State Department, was established by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 because Congress wanted State, and the entire Executive Branch, to pay more attention to the issue of religious freedom. (The act also established the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, of which I am a  member.) Read more »