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.

Algeria’s Sad Inauguration

by Elliott Abrams Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Abdelaziz Bouteflika was sworn in yesterday for his fourth term as President of Algeria, but there was no joy in Algiers or anywhere else in the country.

Reuters reported that Bouteflika took the oath “in a weak, often wavering voice” and from a wheelchair, and this was his first public speech in two years–all of this from the effects of a stroke. Read more »

Will Kerry Continue the Jerusalem-Ramallah Shuttle If Hamas and Fatah Unite?

by Elliott Abrams Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Secretary of State Kerry has put enormous effort into the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Most recently, there has been talk of a three-way deal wherein Israel releases 426 prisoners (some of them murderers, and some of them citizens of Israel), the United States releases the spy Jonathan Pollard, and the PLO agrees to stay at the negotiating table for a year. Read more »

Bouteflika’s Last Election

by Elliott Abrams Friday, April 18, 2014

Yesterday was election day in Algeria, and President Bouteflika of course won re-election. Unfortunately, it is almost unheard of for an Arab president to run and be defeated– one of the reasons the “Arab Spring” uprisings took place. Opponents of the regime are alleging irregularities in the election, which is of course accurate: it was anything but a level playing field. In any free society, with open multi-party political competition, a very sick 77-year-old would not be running for and winning re-election. Read more »

A Reminder About Hamas

by Elliott Abrams Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Every once in a while we get a useful reminder why there is no peace between Israelis and Palestinians–and the answer isn’t that Israel has put up 100 or 1,000 housing units.

This week, Palestinian terrorists attacked an Israeli family on their way to a Passover seder in the West Bank. The terrorists murdered the father of the family and left the wife and nine-year-old child wounded. Read more »

GCC Nations: Protections and Risks

by Elliott Abrams Tuesday, April 15, 2014

With the exception of Yemen, the member nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council range from prosperous to extremely rich—but they are also vulnerable to security threats from terrorists and from Iran. The gathering in Syria of perhaps 25,000 jihadis, the Iranian nuclear weapons program, and Iranian subversion are the major perils they face, but the risks associated with such challenges are magnified when their major outside ally, the United States, appears determined to reduce its role in the region. Read more »

“To You, the Court, I Have Nothing to Say”

by Elliott Abrams Saturday, April 12, 2014

In July 1978, the Soviet dissident Anatoly Sharansky was sentenced in a Soviet court for the “crimes” of teaching Hebrew, seeking emigration to Israel, and being part of the human rights movement in Moscow. He was charged with treason and espionage for these activities. His speech to the court is rightly famous: Read more »

April 4, 2002: Bush on Middle East Peace (and a Correction on Cheney)

by Elliott Abrams Friday, April 4, 2014

On April 4, 2002, twelve years ago today, President George W. Bush gave the first of two important speeches about Middle East policy. The April 4 speech challenged the leadership of Yasser Arafat, whom the administration had found to be continuing to support terrorism and lie to American officials about it. Bush said this: Read more »