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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Why Secretary Kerry Should Come Home

by Elliott Abrams

Secretary of State Kerry will go to Cairo on Tuesday, it seems, but it isn’t clear why. To push a Gaza cease-fire, the press reports, but his presence there will not help.

Why not? After all, he was successful just now in Kabul in helping negotiate a deal between the two presidential candidates. That showed energy, determination, and negotiating prowess. Read more »

Strange Bedfellows…on Israeli Settlement Policy

by Elliott Abrams

A recent research project I initiated on Israeli settlement policy seems to have created an unholy alliance. After the findings were criticized by both Yesha Council and PLO representatives, a new voice now entered this debate: Lara Friedman, Director of Policy and Government Relations at Americans for Peace Now (APN). Here’s a generalization with which I am comfortable: whenever the PLO, Peace Now, and Yesha agree on anything, hold on to your wallet. Read more »

Iraqi Reality vs. Administration Predictions

by Elliott Abrams

Just days after the fall of Mosul, chaos is spreading in Iraq. The New York Times reports that:

Sunni militants extended their control over parts of northern and western Iraq on Wednesday as Iraqi government forces crumbled in disarray. The militants overran the city of Tikrit, seized facilities in the strategic oil refining town of Baiji, and threatened an important Shiite shrine in Samarra as they moved south toward Baghdad. Read more »

Narendra Modi…..and Menachem Begin

by Elliott Abrams

The new prime minister was elected to the nation’s top office in his sixties after many years in politics. He had been an opposition leader while another party, tied to the nation’s very creation, ruled most of the time and claimed to be the ‘natural’ party of government. His victory was heralded as creating a new era in politics, with the hold of the old political clique apparently broken for good. Read more »

Tourism, the Egyptian Economy–and Augusto Pinochet

by Elliott Abrams

Egypt’s next president, sure to be Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, will have a monumental task handling Egypt’s economy.

More bad news was reported yesterday regarding the tourism sector. Al Ahram reported that tourist visits were down 32 percent, but that figure actually understates the problem. Visits were also shorter, so the number of tourist visitor nights was down 43.6 percent.Tourism revenues were down 43 percent overall. Read more »