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.

Protests About Palestinians

by Elliott Abrams Tuesday, December 31, 2013

There were protests this week about some construction notices issued by the Government of Israel. In tandem with the release of murderers from Israeli prisons–something the United States has indefensibly pushed–the Netanyahu government has sought to appease complaints within Israel by announcing new construction in settlements. Mind you, whether the construction will actually take place, or when, is unclear; the protests come nevertheless. Read more »

Arafat and al-Jazeera: Manufacturing Trouble

by Elliott Abrams Thursday, December 26, 2013

This week Russian experts added their voices to those of French experts who had examined Yasser Arafat’s remains to determine if he was poisoned.

“French experts have ruled out a theory that Yasser Arafat was killed by poisoning,” AFP reported several weeks ago. Now BBC reports that “Announcing its conclusions on Thursday, the head of Russia’s Federal Medical-Biological Agency (FMBA), Vladimir Uiba, said ‘Yasser Arafat died not from the effects of radiation but of natural causes.’” Read more »

Egypt Ends the Year With Prison Sentences

by Elliott Abrams Tuesday, December 24, 2013

On December 18, Egyptian security forces raided the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR), a leading think tank.  The timing is extraordinary, because foreign diplomats and human rights activists were still in town after the December 16-17 meeting of the “Forum for the Future.”  The Forum was a G-8 Initiative established during the Bush years to promote closer cooperation between governments and civil society organizations in the Middle East, and thereby help promote human rights and democracy. The full story is told by Michele Dunne and Amy Hawthorne here. Read more »

NSA: These Are the Dots

by Elliott Abrams Friday, December 20, 2013

If there was one consensus conclusion after 9/11, it was that we had failed to “connect the dots.” That phrase had two meanings. First, government agencies should stop the “stove piping” that prevented them from sharing critical information. Second, officials had to be aware of critical information, and connect the many and varied pieces imaginatively to determine what the terrorists were up to. Read more »

The Need to Fire Falk

by Elliott Abrams Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories of the United Nations Human Rights Council is an extremist named Richard Falk. Falk is an embarrassment to the Council and the UN whose only activity is to use violent and extreme language in denouncing Israel–most recently for “a criminal intention that is genocidal.” Read more »

Tunisia: The Last Hope of the Arab Spring

by Elliott Abrams Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The “Arab Spring” has not brought the spread of peace, democracy, and human rights in the Arab world, which was the original hope. Neither Egypt, nor Syria, nor Libya have attained the conditions for which everyone in the United States hoped, nor has reform spread to the Gulf monarchies. But in Tunisia, there is still hope. Read more »