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.

The UAE Model for Arab Women

by Elliott Abrams Friday, November 20, 2015

Combating ISIS and Islamist terrorism more generally requires bullets and bombs, but it requires far more–including changing the social practices that have marginalized so many Arabs in their own countries. It is unlikely to be a coincidence that the country where women (and, it’s worth noting, trade unions) have advanced the furthest, Tunisia, is also the country that has advanced furthest politically. Read more »

Saving Middle Eastern Christians

by Elliott Abrams Tuesday, November 17, 2015

In remarks yesterday from Turkey, President Obama called a refugee policy that singled out Middle Eastern Christians for help “shameful.”

I don’t agree. Middle Eastern Christians (and other minorities, such as the Yezidis) face exceptional violence and discrimination, and deserve special treatment. That is not an argument for barring Muslim refugees, just a realistic assessment of the risks Christians face. I made the argument first in an article in The Weekly Standard a month ago entitled “Why Do We Not Save Christians?” Given the President’s comment that helping Christians would be “shameful,” I wrote in the Standard again today in an article called “Obama’s ‘Shameful’ Policy Toward Middle Eastern Christians.” Read more »

Israel, “Racism,” and “Apartheid”

by Elliott Abrams Thursday, November 12, 2015

One of the most common Palestinian attacks on Israel is that it is building a racist and “apartheid” society.

Here is a minor but standard example from Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian official who is actually chief negotiator with Israel and a reliable voice of PA propaganda: In March of this year he said Netanyahu’s election victory was based on “a campaign platform based on settlements, racism, apartheid and the denial of the fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people.” Read more »

Thinking Bureaucratically about Benghazi

by Elliott Abrams Friday, October 23, 2015

There have been many analyses of former Secretary of State Clinton’s testimony this week about Benghazi, but most are political. Here’s a bureaucratic analysis.

Mrs. Clinton’s critics claim that she should have known about the late Amb. Chris Stevens’ requests for improved security. The Washington Post said “On the matter of why the Benghazi diplomatic outpost was so poorly defended, despite requests for additional security, she said Thursday what she has said all along — that those requests never reached her desk.” Read more »

A New Middle East Policy

by Elliott Abrams Thursday, October 22, 2015

Recently a group of Republican national security experts, mostly academics and former officials, joined to produce Choosing to Lead, a volume aimed at describing what a foreign policy for a new Republican administration in 2017 should look like.  I contributed the chapter on Israel and the Arabs, and it can be found here. Read more »

Abbas, Hamas, and NIMBY

by Elliott Abrams Monday, October 19, 2015

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas was quick to denounce the violence and arson at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus. Moreover, he has instructed Palestinian Authority police to prevent a new intifada. But this is the same Abbas who has encouraged violence. He continues to spread the lie that Israel is undermining the Haram al-Sharif or Temple Mount, and said “Al-Aqsa is ours and so is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. They have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet.” He has verbally supported violence, reacting to the series of stabbings this way: “Each drop of blood that was spilled in Jerusalem is pure blood as long as it’s for the sake of Allah. Every shahid (martyr) will be in heaven and every wounded person will be rewarded, by Allah’s will.” Read more »