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.

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Showing posts for "Israel"

What Are Israelis and Palestinians Thinking?

by Elliott Abrams

What are Israelis and Palestinians thinking about their own situations, about each other, and about peace? Two new October polls give us additional insight.

Tel Aviv University has just put out its “Peace Index.” There we learn that Israeli Jews favor renewing peace negotiations with the Palestinians (66% to 31%) but don’t believe anything will come of them. Twenty-five percent believe the negotiations will lead to peace “in the coming years,” and 71% do not. Read more »

Who Supported the Shameful UNESCO Vote on Jerusalem?

by Elliott Abrams

There is little to be added to the scorn rightfully shown in the United States and in Israel (which has cut all ties to UNESCO) toward the UNESCO vote this week that in essence wipes out Jewish and Christian history in Jerusalem by referring to it only in Muslim terminology. UNESCO’s own Director General Irina Bokova criticized the vote, saying “Jerusalem is the sacred city of the three monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. To deny, conceal or erase any of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim traditions undermines the integrity of the site….” Read more »

Reading The Jerusalem Post in Riyadh

by Elliott Abrams

It is easy to exaggerate the opening that is occurring between Israel and several Gulf states, but it’s easy to underestimate it too.  The most recent change: Saudi Arabia has stopped blocking access to Israeli newspapers on line.

As Al Akhbar in Beirut reported in a story entitled “Saudi Arabia Lifts Ban on Israeli Press.” Here’s a part of the story: Read more »

Prince Charles and Israeli Funerals

by Elliott Abrams

Prince Charles attended the funeral of Shimon Peres last week, in Jerusalem. This was not his first visit: he also attended the Yitzhak Rabin funeral in 1995.

In the 21 years since then he has visited Arab countries repeatedly, but Israel has remained on the blacklist. No official visit, no tourism, sum total of visits there = two visits to Mount Herzl Cemetery. Read more »

Shimon Peres

by Elliott Abrams

The last American founding father, James Madison, died in 1836, 60 years after independence had been declared. Today, in the 68th year of its independence, Israel experienced the loss of its own last founding father. Shimon Peres was the last statesman who had been a force in Israeli life from independence in 1948 through all of its wars and all of its peace treaties, and served as Israel’s president until 2014. Read more »

A Candid Speech from President Abbas

by Elliott Abrams

There have been many attacks on aspects of Palestinian President Abbas’s speech to the UN General Assembly last week, but it had one saving grace: candor.

Let’s take just two examples. First, Mr. Abbas said this about the Temple Mount: Israel must cease its aggression and provocations against the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque,” and Israel “continues to commit aggressions and provocations against our Christian and Muslim holy sites, especially Al-Aqsa Mosque. The continuation of the Israeli aggressions against our Muslim and Christian holy sites is playing with fire.” Read more »

Deja Vu and the Coming Palestinian Elections

by Elliott Abrams

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

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

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 »