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.

Who Will Speak Up for Lebanon?

by Elliott Abrams Friday, September 28, 2012

Lebanon’s sovereignty and its territorial integrity were for decades violated by Syria, during the years of Syrian occupation: 1976 to 2005. After the occupation ended, the Assad regime in Syria continued to intervene in Lebanon, but less openly–for example by secretly arranging the murders a long series of Lebanese leaders and journalists who opposed Syrian interests. Read more »

What Do Syrian Rebels Want?

by Elliott Abrams Thursday, September 27, 2012

What do Syrian rebels want? “The vast majority of Syrian opposition activists, according to a new, systematic survey of more than 1,000 of them, express relatively moderate views about Islamic issues. They also voice support for many key democratic values — and most look to the West and other democracies for inspiration and protection.” Read more »

Obama, Judaism, and the Holocaust

by Elliott Abrams Tuesday, September 25, 2012

In June 2009, President Obama addressed the Muslim world in a speech in Cairo.  About Israel, he said this:

America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied. Read more »

Riots, Rage, Videos, Politics, and Free Speech

by Elliott Abrams Monday, September 24, 2012
A combination picture shows protesters shouting slogans before (L) and after pulling down an American flag in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo September 11, 2012. Egyptian protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo on Tuesday and some pulled down the American flag during a protest over what they said was a film being produced in the United States that was insulting to the Prophet Mohammad, witnesses said. (Courtesy REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh). A combination picture shows protesters shouting slogans before (L) and after pulling down an American flag in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo September 11, 2012. Egyptian protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo on Tuesday and some pulled down the American flag during a protest over what they said was a film being produced in the United States that was insulting to the Prophet Mohammad, witnesses said. (Courtesy REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh).

How should Americans, and the U.S. government, react when some statement (in a book, video, tweet, or whatever medium) is made that insults a religion–and violence follows?

Even this soon after the events of the last two weeks some conclusions can be drawn. Read more »

Several Questions on Cairo and Benghazi

by Elliott Abrams Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I commented this morning at the National Review web site on the attacks in Cairo and Benghazi.

My questions include, on Cairo: Why was police protection not provided until it was too late, given that the protests were planned and known in advance; Where is Egypt’s new president, Mohammed Morsi? Why has he not gone on Egyptian TV to express outrage?  And at the American end, what did the State Department say to our embassies around the world, and particularly in the Islamic world, about risks and protective steps? Did State learn the lessons of the Danish cartoon crisis, or did it fall down on the job? Read more »

The PLO and the UN

by Elliott Abrams Friday, September 7, 2012

Palestinian president and PLO chairman Mahmoud Abbas has announced that he will seek to upgrade the PLO’s status at the UN when the General Assembly meets this month.

Previous efforts to attain full UN membership were blocked by the United States in the Security Council. But the General Assembly can elevate the PLO’s status from “observer” to “non-member observer state.” This is the status the Vatican has, and others—such as Austria—have held this status in the past before joining the UN. Read more »