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.

Israel’s Election Timing

by Elliott Abrams Thursday, December 4, 2014

Israel will have an election next year on March 17. (St. Patrick’s Day is not widely celebrated there.)

Given the usual weeks needed to assemble a coalition, a new government will be formed only in April 2015, perhaps the end of April. It is then just a matter of weeks until the summer– and what follows the summer is the American election season. Of course, there is a tradition of late and even last minute American efforts at peacemaking: Clinton at Camp David, Bush at Annapolis. But both failed, and the clock ran out. Read more »

Alan Gross, Year Six

by Elliott Abrams Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Today Alan Gross will begin his sixth year in a Cuban prison. His “crime” was to deliver to the minuscule Cuban Jewish community some communications equipment supplied by the United States.

The Cuban government’s crime in keeping him imprisoned is vile, but unsurprising. The Castro regime remains a brutal and vicious dictatorship, and the way Gross is being treated is the way Cubans are normally treated if they oppose the regime. Read more »

“Terrorism” in Egypt

by Elliott Abrams Monday, December 1, 2014

There are acts of terror in Egypt, and there are terrorists–including some linked to Al Qaeda and ISIS.

But the government of President Sisi has decided to call every opponent, dissident, critic, and political activist a terrorist. Such a move makes the fight against terrorism much harder and ought to draw loud U.S. protests. Read more »

Business as Usual with UNRWA

by Elliott Abrams Friday, November 28, 2014

Business as usual is nicely defined as “Persistence in the ordinary course of events despite difficulties, morality, and other hindrances.”

This month the Department of State published its “Framework for Cooperation Between the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the Government of the United States of America for 2015.”  Near the top it states that: Read more »

The British Royals, Arabs, and Israel

by Elliott Abrams Thursday, November 27, 2014

The bizarre story of the refusal of British royals to visit Israel, while they are constantly in the Arab world, continues.

I wrote about this phenomenon here, last February, when Prince Charles visited Saudi Arabia. As I noted then, the Queen has never set foot in Israel and Prince Charles set foot there briefly only once, for the Rabin funeral. Read more »

Closing Rafah: A Tale of Two Narratives

by Elliott Abrams Sunday, November 23, 2014

Think about this: Israel closes the major crossing point into Gaza. Thousands of Gazans are stranded in other countries and cannot get home.  In Gaza a thousand more people, in need of medical treatment outside, cannot get out. They are “suffering from medical problems including kidney failure, cancer and blood-related diseases [and] seek urgent treatment or further diagnosis….” A health ministry official says “If the closure continues, their health conditions will deteriorate and we may start to witness some deaths.” Read more »

Reacting to Terror: Words Matter

by Elliott Abrams Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The horrifying terror attack on Jerusalem synagogue, where four rabbis were murdered during morning prayers, has elicited widespread condemnation. And yet….

The words that are used to condemn terror matter. Let us compare those of the President of the Palestinian Authority, the President of the United States, and the United States Secretary of State. Read more »

How Safe Are the Jews of Europe?

by Elliott Abrams Sunday, November 16, 2014

A new study by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (a London-based research organization, which conducted the survey on behalf of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU) is “the first in a series of reports looking at the perceptions and experiences of antisemitism among Jews in different EU Member States.” Read more »

Obama and Human Rights Violations: See No Evil?

by Elliott Abrams Monday, November 10, 2014

Last week The Cable reported that

The U.S. State Department plans to cut its entire $500,000 in annual funding next year to an organization dedicated to sneaking into abandoned Syrian military bases, prisons, and government facilities to collect documents and other evidence linking Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and its proxies to war crimes and other mass atrocities…. Read more »