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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The Gaza War and the Feeble PA

by Elliott Abrams

The Gaza war took a new turn today, when Hamas violated a cease-fire in order to kill and capture IDF soldiers. The reasonable conclusion to draw is that Hamas’s agreement to the cease-fire was a ruse, meant to give them this opportunity.

That action has several effects beyond destroying the cease-fire itself and prolonging the war. It certainly solidifies Israeli public backing for the war, which was extremely high anyway. The nature of the enemy is made even clearer. The contemptible nature of so much of the criticism of Israel around the world is also made clearer, coming from voices that appear indifferent to the nature and conduct of Hamas, to Israeli deaths, and to the deaths of Arabs anywhere else—in Syria, for example—as long as Jews are not responsible for those deaths and if there’s no opportunity to criticize Israel. Read more »

GCC Nations: Protections and Risks

by Elliott Abrams

With the exception of Yemen, the member nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council range from prosperous to extremely rich—but they are also vulnerable to security threats from terrorists and from Iran. The gathering in Syria of perhaps 25,000 jihadis, the Iranian nuclear weapons program, and Iranian subversion are the major perils they face, but the risks associated with such challenges are magnified when their major outside ally, the United States, appears determined to reduce its role in the region. Read more »

Common Sense on the Palestinian “Refugee” Issue

by Elliott Abrams

In my last post I noted that PLO chairman Abbas had made, and then withdrawn, a sensible statement about Palestinian “refugees.”  To recap, at first Abbas said he saw Palestine as the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, and added that while he would like to visit the city of his birth, Safed, which is now in Israel, he had no right to live there. When criticized he retracted these comments, saying “The right of return is holy and no one can deny it,” later adding that he had only meant that he personally would not return to Safed. “What I said about Safed was my own personal position, and it did not mean giving up the right of return. No one can give up the right of return,” Abbas said. Read more »