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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Our New Ally Iran?

by Elliott Abrams

Will the crisis in Iraq lead to a rapprochement with Iran? Will the effort to strike a nuclear deal expand into a broader agreement?

That is the nightmare of many of our allies in the Middle East, including the Gulf Arab states, Jordan, and Israel. My colleague Max Boot in his blog today explains why it is a dangerous idea to think that we have common interests with the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.  At the Commentary Magazine web site, Max has written “Getting Fooled by Iran in Iraq.” Here is an excerpt: Read more »

The New Palestinian Government

by Elliott Abrams

In this week’ s edition of  The Weekly Standard, an article entitled “Dangerous Unity,”  I discuss the new Palestinian government. Here’s the basic argument:

The new PA government is a non-party, “technocratic” cabinet– and not a Hamas government or one with Hamas participation. For that reason I think the Israeli official reaction is a mistake: it treats this government exactly as it would treat a true coalition government of Fatah and Hamas, where Hamas held seats in the PA parliament and held ministerial or vice-ministerial positions in the government. Read more »

Still the Palestinian Authority Glorifies Terror

by Elliott Abrams

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 »

Aid to the Palestinians: Why Rand Paul is Wrong

by Elliott Abrams

Senator Rand Paul has tried to attain some pro-Israel credentials by introducing S. 2265, the “Stand With Israel Act of 2014.” The bill would cut off every cent of aid to the Palestinian Authority unless various conditions were met. As Paul put it, “Today, I introduced legislation to make all future aid to the Palestinian government conditional upon the new unity government putting itself on the record recognizing the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state and agreeing to a lasting peace.” The bill covers “the Palestinian Authority, or any affiliated governing entity or leadership organization.” Read more »

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

by Elliott Abrams

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 »