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 "Palestinian Authority"

Israel to Head UN Committee for the First Time: So Much for Isolation

by Elliott Abrams

The argument that Israel is becoming increasingly isolated in the world took another blow this month when–for the first time in the history of the United Nations and of Israel–the Israeli ambassador was elected to head one of the UN’s permanent committees.  This the Legal Committee, also called the “Sixth Committee,” and its covers the United Nations’ international law operations–which include matters related to terrorism and to the Geneva Conventions. Read more »

Abbas Spurns Rivlin’s Hand–and Peace

by Elliott Abrams

Since leaving the White House in January, 2009, I’ve been telling audiences that Palestinian president and PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas will never, never sign a peace agreement with Israel–no matter what its content.

Those still in doubt might reflect on the events of this week. Abbas and Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, were both in Brussels, and European President Martin Schulz thought it would be nice to get them together. Rivlin’s post is ceremonial, but that’s all the more reason for a ceremonial gesture toward reconciliation. Abbas simply refused. Rabin could shake the hand of the terrorist Arafat, but Abbas could not shake the hand of the ex-parliamentarian, now president, Rivlin. Read more »

Abbas, Hamas, and NIMBY

by Elliott Abrams

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas was quick to denounce the violence and arson at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus. Moreover, he has instructed Palestinian Authority police to prevent a new intifada. But this is the same Abbas who has encouraged violence. He continues to spread the lie that Israel is undermining the Haram al-Sharif or Temple Mount, and said “Al-Aqsa is ours and so is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. They have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet.” He has verbally supported violence, reacting to the series of stabbings this way: “Each drop of blood that was spilled in Jerusalem is pure blood as long as it’s for the sake of Allah. Every shahid (martyr) will be in heaven and every wounded person will be rewarded, by Allah’s will.” 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 »