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.

Narendra Modi…..and Menachem Begin

by Elliott Abrams Monday, May 19, 2014

The new prime minister was elected to the nation’s top office in his sixties after many years in politics. He had been an opposition leader while another party, tied to the nation’s very creation, ruled most of the time and claimed to be the ‘natural’ party of government. His victory was heralded as creating a new era in politics, with the hold of the old political clique apparently broken for good. Read more »

Tourism, the Egyptian Economy–and Augusto Pinochet

by Elliott Abrams Thursday, May 15, 2014

Egypt’s next president, sure to be Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, will have a monumental task handling Egypt’s economy.

More bad news was reported yesterday regarding the tourism sector. Al Ahram reported that tourist visits were down 32 percent, but that figure actually understates the problem. Visits were also shorter, so the number of tourist visitor nights was down 43.6 percent.Tourism revenues were down 43 percent overall. Read more »

Baha’i Leaders in Iran Mark Six Years in Prison

by Elliott Abrams Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Today, May 14, marks six years in prison for the seven leaders of the Baha’i community in Iran. Their biographies can be found here, and they are citizens whose only crime is their religion.

They were arrested in 2008 and in 2010 were sentenced to terms of 20 years in prison for non-existent crimes against the state, nonsense like spreading “corruption” and engaging in espionage. Read more »

Will the Army Save Egypt’s Economy?

by Elliott Abrams Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The success of the most likely winner of the Egyptian presidential election, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, will in the medium- and long- run depend on his ability to revive the Egyptian economy. It’s already clear that the Army wishes to crush all internal opposition–not just from the Muslim Brotherhood, but from the liberal, secular, moderate, and democratic forces within the society. So the Army does not plan to win popularity through respecting citizens’ rights and their dignity. Does it plan to win popularity through rapid economic growth? Read more »

Still the Palestinian Authority Glorifies Terror

by Elliott Abrams Monday, May 5, 2014

It is Israel’s Memorial Day today, a good context in which to note that still now–in 2014, and after months of negotiations led by Secretary of State John Kerry–the Palestinian Authority refuses to stop glorifying terror.

Palestine Media Watch reports on the latest of the endless series of PA actions that do this. On August 9, 2001, at about 2 pm, a suicide bomber named Izz Al-Din Al-Masri blew himself up in the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem, killing 15 people–7 of them children, as might have been predicted in a pizza parlor–and wounding 130. It’s hard to think of a better definition of a merciless terror attack than this. Al-Masri’s remains were transferred from Israel to the PA last week, so what did the PA do?  Read more »