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"

Israel’s Election Timing

by Elliott Abrams

Israel will have an election next year on March 17. (St. Patrick’s Day is not widely celebrated there.)

Given the usual weeks needed to assemble a coalition, a new government will be formed only in April 2015, perhaps the end of April. It is then just a matter of weeks until the summer– and what follows the summer is the American election season. Of course, there is a tradition of late and even last minute American efforts at peacemaking: Clinton at Camp David, Bush at Annapolis. But both failed, and the clock ran out. Read more »

Business as Usual with UNRWA

by Elliott Abrams

Business as usual is nicely defined as “Persistence in the ordinary course of events despite difficulties, morality, and other hindrances.”

This month the Department of State published its “Framework for Cooperation Between the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the Government of the United States of America for 2015.”  Near the top it states that: Read more »

The British Royals, Arabs, and Israel

by Elliott Abrams

The bizarre story of the refusal of British royals to visit Israel, while they are constantly in the Arab world, continues.

I wrote about this phenomenon here, last February, when Prince Charles visited Saudi Arabia. As I noted then, the Queen has never set foot in Israel and Prince Charles set foot there briefly only once, for the Rabin funeral. Read more »

Closing Rafah: A Tale of Two Narratives

by Elliott Abrams

Think about this: Israel closes the major crossing point into Gaza. Thousands of Gazans are stranded in other countries and cannot get home.  In Gaza a thousand more people, in need of medical treatment outside, cannot get out. They are “suffering from medical problems including kidney failure, cancer and blood-related diseases [and] seek urgent treatment or further diagnosis….” A health ministry official says “If the closure continues, their health conditions will deteriorate and we may start to witness some deaths.” Read more »

Reacting to Terror: Words Matter

by Elliott Abrams

The horrifying terror attack on Jerusalem synagogue, where four rabbis were murdered during morning prayers, has elicited widespread condemnation. And yet….

The words that are used to condemn terror matter. Let us compare those of the President of the Palestinian Authority, the President of the United States, and the United States Secretary of State. Read more »

U.S. Policy, Viewed From the Middle East

by Elliott Abrams

It’s natural that in the United States we see the Middle East from our own perspective, but very useful to step away from that perspective for a moment to try and see the region as our closest allies there do. By closest allies I refer to Israel and to Arab states such as the UAE, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. Read more »

The New York Times and Israel (Again)

by Elliott Abrams

The New York Times, whose hostility to Israel is visible in both its news and its editorial pages, was at it again yesterday. In an editorial (about the symbolic vote in the UK parliament backing Palestinian statehood) entitled “A British Message to Israel,” the Times‘s editorial board unloaded yet again with a barrage of advice, opinion–and untruths. Read more »

The President and the New Housing in Jerusalem

by Elliott Abrams

In December 2012, the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee announced a major new housing project. In an area of east Jerusalem called Givat Hamatos, 2600 units would be built. Of some significance, half would be set aside for Jewish residents and half for Arab Jerusalemites.  Last week, just before the New Year’s holiday, the deputy mayor of Jerusalem signed an order described as “symbolic,” continuing official approvals of the work. Read more »

Abbas’s UNGA Speech

by Elliott Abrams

Last week Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gave a controversial speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

Reactions have been strong. The U.S. State Department said “President Abbas’ speech today included offensive characterizations that were deeply disappointing and which we reject. Such provocative statements are counterproductive and undermine efforts to create a positive atmosphere and restore trust between the parties.” The Palestinians replied by saying the American comments are “irresponsible, indecent and rejected.” What did Abbas say? Read more »