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.

Understanding the Human Rights Assaults on Israel

by Elliott Abrams Monday, November 7, 2016

Given that Israel is the freest nation in the Middle East, and the only stable democracy there, the steady assault on Israel by human rights groups and by enemies of Israel using human rights language has always been particularly reprehensible. But it has also been hard to understand: why attack Israel precisely where its record is in fact exemplary by any international standard? Read more »

Kerry Drums Up Business for Iran While Treasury Warns Against It

by Elliott Abrams Thursday, November 3, 2016

On October 31, Secretary of State Kerry continued his remarkable campaign to drum up business for Iran. Speaking at Chatham House in London, here is part of what he said:

Iran deserves the credit of having met its part of the bargain, and it’s important for us and the rest of the world to meet ours, to make sure that the lifted sanctions are in fact not still impeding the ability to be able to do business, and to grant that Iran gets the benefit of the bargain that they made. And that is just plain, simple, good faith in international relations Read more »

What Are Israelis and Palestinians Thinking?

by Elliott Abrams Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What are Israelis and Palestinians thinking about their own situations, about each other, and about peace? Two new October polls give us additional insight.

Tel Aviv University has just put out its “Peace Index.” There we learn that Israeli Jews favor renewing peace negotiations with the Palestinians (66% to 31%) but don’t believe anything will come of them. Twenty-five percent believe the negotiations will lead to peace “in the coming years,” and 71% do not. Read more »

Assad Bows to Iran, Even in Clothing

by Elliott Abrams Saturday, October 15, 2016

Check out these two photos of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad, celebrating the Eid al-Adha in 2012 and 2016. The men to his left and right are the same people, dressed the same way. But Assad is now affecting Iranian style: ties are for the hated Western imperialists and colonialists, and Assad here renouncing them here just as Iranian officials always do. Read more »

Who Supported the Shameful UNESCO Vote on Jerusalem?

by Elliott Abrams Friday, October 14, 2016

There is little to be added to the scorn rightfully shown in the United States and in Israel (which has cut all ties to UNESCO) toward the UNESCO vote this week that in essence wipes out Jewish and Christian history in Jerusalem by referring to it only in Muslim terminology. UNESCO’s own Director General Irina Bokova criticized the vote, saying “Jerusalem is the sacred city of the three monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. To deny, conceal or erase any of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim traditions undermines the integrity of the site….” Read more »

Reading The Jerusalem Post in Riyadh

by Elliott Abrams Saturday, October 8, 2016

It is easy to exaggerate the opening that is occurring between Israel and several Gulf states, but it’s easy to underestimate it too.  The most recent change: Saudi Arabia has stopped blocking access to Israeli newspapers on line.

As Al Akhbar in Beirut reported in a story entitled “Saudi Arabia Lifts Ban on Israeli Press.” Here’s a part of the story: Read more »