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.

Abbas Spurns Rivlin’s Hand–and Peace

by Elliott Abrams Friday, June 24, 2016

Since leaving the White House in January, 2009, I’ve been telling audiences that Palestinian president and PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas will never, never sign a peace agreement with Israel–no matter what its content.

Those still in doubt might reflect on the events of this week. Abbas and Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, were both in Brussels, and European President Martin Schulz thought it would be nice to get them together. Rivlin’s post is ceremonial, but that’s all the more reason for a ceremonial gesture toward reconciliation. Abbas simply refused. Rabin could shake the hand of the terrorist Arafat, but Abbas could not shake the hand of the ex-parliamentarian, now president, Rivlin. Read more »

Bahrain Slips Further into Repression

by Elliott Abrams Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Project on Middle East Democracy sums up the week in Bahrain:

First, “A Bahraini court ordered the suspension of all activities by al-Wefaq, the island-nation’s largest opposition party. The Justice and Islamic Affairs Ministry, which asked the court to issue the order, said al-Wefaq’s shuttering was needed to “safeguard the security of the kingdom….” Read more »

The Violent Extremism that Dare Not Speak Its Name

by Elliott Abrams Friday, May 27, 2016

The Department of State and USAID have just issued a report entitled the “Joint Strategy on Countering Violent Extremism.”

There are some ideas in this “strategy” for what is now called CVE, but at bottom it is hopeless. If this is really the United States’s strategy, we are in even bigger trouble than we thought. Read more »

American Jews and Israel

by Elliott Abrams Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Are American Jews and Israel drifting apart? In an article and a podcast I examine the theories and two recent books on the subject.

The article is the monthly essay at the web site Mosaic, and can be found here. There are very interesting responses as well from several distinguished commentators: Profs. Jack Wertheimer, Martin Kramer, and Daniel Gordis. Read more »

Nicaragua and the Russians–Again

by Elliott Abrams Monday, May 16, 2016

According to USAID, “with a per capita income of $1,239 in 2011, Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.” Moreover, “the average number of years of schooling in Nicaragua is 5.8, the second lowest in the sub-region” and in Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast region, “45 percent of school age boys and 40 percent of girls are not in school, and 25.6 percent of girls and 25.2 % of boys are illiterate.” Read more »