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 "Middle East"

What’s the Palestinian Contribution to Peace?

by Elliott Abrams

The Trump administration’s Middle East policy is developing, and most recently a key adviser to the President, Jason Greenblatt, visited Jerusalem and Ramallah.

The full content of his talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials is secret, as it should be. Still, it is clear that the President would like to move the parties forward toward a peace agreement. According to various press reports there was a good discussion of how Israeli settlement activities might be limited, and of steps that might be taken to improve the Palestinian economy. Read more »

The United Nations Resolution on Israel

by Elliott Abrams

Since the adoption last week the Security Council resolution on Israel, I’ve had my say in The Weekly Standard and The Washington Post condemning the Obama administration’s decision to allow the resolution to pass. The resolution rewards the PLO for refusing to negotiate and adopts its tactic of replacing serious, face-to-face negotiations with useless dramas in New York. It is a danger to Israel. And by refusing to veto, the Obama administration abandoned the usual American practice of defending Israel from what Jeane Kirkpatrick called “the jackals” at the United Nations. Read more »

Netanyahu, Sisi, Obama and the United Nations Resolution on Israeli Settlements

by Elliott Abrams

The United Nations Security Council was scheduled to vote today (Thursday, December 22) on an Egyptian-sponsored resolution on Israeli settlement activity.

Egypt, the Arab representative on the Security Council right now, pulled the resolution this morning, so there will be no vote. There are several mysteries here, including why Egypt did that, and how President Obama planned to vote: yes, abstain, or veto. Read more »

The United Nations General Assembly, the Golan, and Theater of the Absurd

by Elliott Abrams

This past week the United Nations General Assembly commemorated once again the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” and took the occasion to pass six anti-Israel resolutions.

Ranging from the despicable to the absurd, these resolutions of course have nothing to do with reality in the Middle East, nor do they bring peace one minute closer. Let’s take a look at one–the resolution entitled “The Syrian Golan.” Read more »

Kerry Drums Up Business for Iran While Treasury Warns Against It

by Elliott Abrams

On October 31, Secretary of State Kerry continued his remarkable campaign to drum up business for Iran. Speaking at Chatham House in London, here is part of what he said:

Iran deserves the credit of having met its part of the bargain, and it’s important for us and the rest of the world to meet ours, to make sure that the lifted sanctions are in fact not still impeding the ability to be able to do business, and to grant that Iran gets the benefit of the bargain that they made. And that is just plain, simple, good faith in international relations Read more »

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 »

Assad Bows to Iran, Even in Clothing

by Elliott Abrams

Check out these two photos of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad, celebrating the Eid al-Adha in 2012 and 2016. The men to his left and right are the same people, dressed the same way. But Assad is now affecting Iranian style: ties are for the hated Western imperialists and colonialists, and Assad here renouncing them here just as Iranian officials always do. 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 »