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.

Mere State-Building in Palestine

by Elliott Abrams Wednesday, August 28, 2013

How can a Palestinian state be built? For those who believe that the “two-state outcome” is important, and this includes the governments of Europe and the United States, that’s a critical question. Former prime minister Salam Fayyad had an answer: start building, now, under the Israeli occupation, despite the occupation, against the occupation. Get ready for independence step by step. Read more »

The Debate On Aid to Egypt

by Elliott Abrams Wednesday, August 21, 2013

In The Wall Street Journal today, I explain why I believe American law, interests, and values require a suspension of aid to Egypt. (The opposite side is taken by my friend John Bolton, in the Journal as well, here. The Journal sums up my argument this way: “By contravening U.S. law, the Obama administration is sending a dangerous message to Gen. Sisi.” Not a bad summary. Read more »

For the First Time, American Loan Guarantees for Jordan

by Elliott Abrams Thursday, August 15, 2013

Yesterday the United States announced that it would guarantee up to $1.25 billion in loans to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The announcement from the State Department said this:

The United States today re-affirmed its strong commitment to the people of Jordan by signing a sovereign loan guarantee agreement with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The United States’ guarantee makes it easier for the Government of Jordan to borrow money from international capital markets and provide critical services to its citizens as it enacts economic reforms while also hosting more than half a million refugees fleeing the violence inside Syria. The signing of this loan guarantee agreement fulfills the commitment made by President Obama in Amman, Jordan, March 22, 2013, when he announced his intention to work with Congress to provide loan guarantees to Jordan this year. This will be the first U.S. loan guarantee to the Government of Jordan. Pursuant to the loan guarantee agreement, the United States would guarantee repayment of principal and interest on the issuance of up to a $1.25 billion, seven-year Jordanian sovereign bond. Read more »

Does Freeing Murderers Bring Peace?

by Elliott Abrams Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Today Israel will free 26 murderers, a price exacted by the PLO before it would return to peace negotiations. Israel has entered into such deals before, for example freeing over 1,000 prisoners in exchange for the captured corporal Gilad Shalit. But in that case the decision was Israel’s own, and the United States rightly played no role. Weighing whether the maintenance of its policy of bringing every soldier home was worth the price was an Israeli, not an American, responsibility. Read more »

Is There a Future for Jewish Communities in Europe?

by Elliott Abrams Thursday, August 8, 2013

Is there a future for the Jewish communities of Europe?

Two-thirds of a century after the Second World War, this question remains a troubling one–above all to many Jews who live there. It is examined in depth in a brilliant new article entitled “You Only Live Twice” by Michel Gurfinkiel in Mosaic, the invaluable web site dealing with Jewish life, thought, and religion. Gurfinkiel is a French journalist and writer who for some years edited the conservative journal Valeurs Actuelles, is the founder and president of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute, and serves on the board of governors of the Consistoire, the organization representing France’s Jewish communities. Read more »

Degrading Bashar’s Air Power is Possible

by Elliott Abrams Thursday, August 1, 2013

Is there anything the United States can do to slow or stop the recent advances being made by Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria, who are getting valuable help from Iranian and Hezbollah troops?

Unfortunately, the message from the Obama administration and from the Pentagon is “no.” From those sources we hear that the only military options are hopelessly expensive and dangerous. CJCS chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey once said 700 sorties would be needed before we even start, to suppress Syrian air defenses, and billions of dollars would be spent. Sen. John McCain has rightly excoriated Gen. Dempsey and the others who are taking this misleading line. Read more »