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"

The UAE Model for Arab Women

by Elliott Abrams

Combating ISIS and Islamist terrorism more generally requires bullets and bombs, but it requires far more–including changing the social practices that have marginalized so many Arabs in their own countries. It is unlikely to be a coincidence that the country where women (and, it’s worth noting, trade unions) have advanced the furthest, Tunisia, is also the country that has advanced furthest politically. Read more »

A New Middle East Policy

by Elliott Abrams

Recently a group of Republican national security experts, mostly academics and former officials, joined to produce Choosing to Lead, a volume aimed at describing what a foreign policy for a new Republican administration in 2017 should look like.  I contributed the chapter on Israel and the Arabs, and it can be found here. Read more »

UNRWA, the State Department, and the Uses of English

by Elliott Abrams

Just a few days ago I wrote here about “Leopoldo Lopez, John Kerry, and the Uses of English.” My point was that the State Department’s tepid reaction to the outrageous and farcical “trial” of the Venezuelan political leader (and thirteen year sentence) was embarrassing. As usual the State Department, in this case the Secretary himself, said this was “troubling,” of “concern,” and other words no normal human being uses–and that were wholly inappropriate for this vile fake “trial.” Read more »

Accountability in Bahrain

by Elliott Abrams

The continuing crisis in Bahrain is leading to bipartisan Congressional efforts to bring American pressure to bear–and to keep the United States away from involvement in repression there.

Senators Marco Rubio and Ron Wyden, a Republican and a Democrat, have introduced S. 2009, which would bar selling or giving to Bahrain materiel that could be used not for national security but for internal repression: “(1) Tear gas, (2) Small arms, (3) Light weapons, (4) Ammunition for small arms and light weapons, (5) Humvees, (6) Other items that could reasonably be used for crowd control purposes.” Read more »

“Pantomime of Outrage:” Obama and Syria

by Elliott Abrams

I’ve called attention to the writings on Syria of Amb. Fred Hof in several blog posts (here’s one). Hof, after a career in the U.S. Army, became the State Department’s resident expert on Syria and the Obama administration’s “Special Adviser” on Syria policy. He left the administration and joined the Atlantic Council, where he continues to write about  Syria. Read more »

Did Mahmoud Abbas Just Resign?

by Elliott Abrams

There’s a bit of confusion about the recent “resignation” of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. What actually happened?

Abbas wears three hats, as his predecessor and mentor Yasser Arafat did: head of the Fatah Party, president of the Palestinian Authority, and chairman of the PLO. Abbas just organized the resignation of ten members of the PLO Executive Committee, including himself, and he resigned as its chairman. The purpose is not to walk away, go home, and retire, but to force a meeting of the PLO’s “legislative body,” the Palestine National Council, to elect a new Executive Committee. This will allow Abbas to push off the Committee individuals whom he doesn’t like or who are political opponents of his. Read more »