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.

Iran Is Cheating on the Nuclear Deal

by Elliott Abrams Monday, July 11, 2016

The greatest imminent danger in last year’s nuclear deal, the JCPOA, was always that Iran would cheat–taking all the advantages of the deal, but then seeking to move forward more quickly toward a nuclear weapon–and that the Obama administration would be silent in the face of that cheating. Read more »

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

by Elliott Abrams Tuesday, June 28, 2016

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 Friday, June 24, 2016

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 »

Bahrain Slips Further into Repression

by Elliott Abrams Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Project on Middle East Democracy sums up the week in Bahrain:

First, “A Bahraini court ordered the suspension of all activities by al-Wefaq, the island-nation’s largest opposition party. The Justice and Islamic Affairs Ministry, which asked the court to issue the order, said al-Wefaq’s shuttering was needed to “safeguard the security of the kingdom….” Read more »

The Violent Extremism that Dare Not Speak Its Name

by Elliott Abrams Friday, May 27, 2016

The Department of State and USAID have just issued a report entitled the “Joint Strategy on Countering Violent Extremism.”

There are some ideas in this “strategy” for what is now called CVE, but at bottom it is hopeless. If this is really the United States’s strategy, we are in even bigger trouble than we thought. Read more »