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.

The Syria Red Line, Three Years Later

by Elliott Abrams Tuesday, August 30, 2016

It was three years ago, Labor Day weekend in 2013, that President Obama reversed himself and refused to enforce his “red line” against use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.

What’s the outcome of that decision? In July, 2016, former Obama administration official Derek Chollet wrote an article in Politico with this subtitle: “The offhand remark spurred a massive success in Syria. Why does the foreign policy establishment consider it a failure?” Read more »

Deja Vu and the Coming Palestinian Elections

by Elliott Abrams Monday, August 29, 2016

Municipal elections are scheduled for October 8th in the West Bank and Gaza. Hamas has reversed its previous position and is now participating, and may win–not as Hamas, per se, but by putting forth “fellow traveler” candidates known to be close to Hamas. The elections will likely be close. Read more »

The Lutheran Church Attacks Israel, Again

by Elliott Abrams Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, or ELCA, is a church in decline–but whose enthusiasm for attacks on Israel never wanes.

The decline is very clear in the numbers. The ELCA when formed in 1988 had over 5 million members, but is now down to about 3.8 million– down over a fourth. The number of member churches is similarly in decline. Read more »

Foreign Aid for Hamas

by Elliott Abrams Wednesday, August 10, 2016

I’ve written about a half dozen times in the past about UNRWA, the UN agency that deals with Palestinians: here in 2014 and here in 2015, for example. Simply put, UNRWA has long had employees who were sympathetic to Hamas, and who engaged in acts of anti-Semitism, but it has overlooked their actions and indeed often protected them. That appears to be the culture of the place. Read more »

War Crimes in Syria: the Lives We Did Not Save

by Elliott Abrams Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A few items in today’s news give an accurate portrait of the disaster to which Obama policy in Syria has led.

First there is the bombing of hospitals by the Assad regime: “A hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders and specializing in pediatrics in a rebel-held northern Syria province has been destroyed in a series of airstrikes over the weekend that killed 13 people, including four staff and five children, the international medical charity said Monday…. two of four airstrikes directly hit the hospital in Millis, in the northern province of Idlib and put it out of service. Six other hospital staff members were wounded in the broad daylight airstrikes Saturday. The bombing of the hospital that serves as a reference centre specializing in pediatrics also destroyed the operating theatre, intensive care unit, pediatric department, ambulances and a generator, the charity said.” Read more »

Cuba and the American Bar Association

by Elliott Abrams Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The motto of the American Bar Association (or ABA) is “Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice.”

It should perhaps be revised to “Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice, and Travel to Cuba.”  Right now the ABA is sponsoring at least two trips to Cuba–but neither one has anything to do with liberty or justice. Read more »