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 "Turkey"

Gaza: More Negotiations

by Elliott Abrams

With Ban ki-Moon and John Kerry arriving in Cairo today, there will be lots of talk about a cease-fire deal. It is important that the United States keep Egypt in the forefront, and keep using the term “cease-fire.”

As to Egypt, it is not only that the Egyptian government shares our own view of Hamas as a terrorist group whose influence and military capabilities must be fought. That alone is a reason for the United States to want Egypt, not Qatar or Turkey, to be central. It is also that Egypt has genuine national security interests at stake here because it is a neighbor to Gaza. Terrorist activities in Gaza and Sinai matter to Egypt in a way that they do not to Qatar or Turkey. Any agreement that improves Hamas’s chances of importing more weaponry harms Egypt’s security, and the Egyptians have a right to a say in this. Read more »

Why Did Hamas Provoke a War?

by Elliott Abrams

The current battles between Israel and Hamas were provoked by Hamas. Why?

When increased levels of rocket fire began about a week ago, Israeli prime minister Netanyahu responded with restraint. He sent clear messages to Hamas in public statements, and via Turkey, Jordan, and Egypt, that he wanted no war, and no incursion into Gaza; if the rocket attacks ended, this confrontation would be over. Read more »

Israel: BDS in the West, Integration in the Middle East?

by Elliott Abrams

Efforts continue in Europe and the United States to boycott Israel or at least Israeli goods “tainted” by their production in settlements in the West Bank, and to disinvest in Israeli companies or in U.S. firms doing business there. Most recently, the Presbyterian Church USA joined in, voting that it would divest its shares in Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions because of their sales in Israel. Read more »

Turkey and Hamas

by Elliott Abrams

Is Turkey purchasing Hamas from Iran?

One recent report says “a high-ranking Hamas official told the Al-Sharq newspaper on Thursday” that “Turkey has agreed to carry out a project to support Hamas and rebuild Gaza. According to the official, Hamas will open an official office in Turkey in the coming weeks.”  I have seen other reports suggesting that Turkey has replaced Iran as the largest donor to Hamas, pledging $300 million over the coming year. Read more »

Human Rights in Turkey: the Decline Continues

by Elliott Abrams

In the past year, Turkey has often been held up as a democratic model for Arab countries that have thrown off long-serving dictators. The problem is that with each passing month Turkey is a less democratic country itself.

First there is the diminishing freedom of the press. As The Economist has said, Turkey “is a dangerous place to be a journalist.” In the “Reporters Without Borders” index, Turkey ranks 138 out of 178 countries, just a whisker above Russia. Read more »