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"

Kerry’s Fantasy Egypt

by Elliott Abrams

The Under Secretary of State for “Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights,”  Sarah Sewall, is today in Egypt. She might as well have stayed home.

Because today, Secretary of State Kerry did a joint press appearance with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and showed that he has zero interest in “Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights” in Egypt. Read more »

The “Stabbing Intifada” Gets Worse (But Not on CBS)

by Elliott Abrams

The stabbing attacks that have plagued Israel in the last several months have generally been “lone wolf” attacks. That is, as bad as the attacks were, they have been actions by single individuals. Yesterday that situation changed.

In Jerusalem, at the Damascus Gate to the Old City, three Palestinians attacked when they were approached by border police, killing an 18 year old border policewoman and wounding another. The three terrorists were armed not only with knives, but also with automatic weapons and explosive devices. It seems obvious they were planning a larger event, with many fatalities. So this was no lone wolf attack, but a planned conspiracy to inflict mass casualties. Read more »

Lebanon’s “Worthless” Government and the Fight Over the Presidency

by Elliott Abrams

It is rare for the prime minister of any country to call its government “worthless,” but Prime Minister Tammam Salam of Lebanon just did. For 19 months Lebanon has been unable to elect a president, and its government is largely paralyzed. Even collecting the garbage has been a problem, leading to the creation of a protest group called “You Stink” whose name reflects what happens when refuse is left in the streets. Read more »

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 »