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Pressure Points

Abrams discusses U.S. foreign policy, focusing on the Middle East and democracy and human rights.

Latest Post

“Like-Minded” Dictatorships and the United Nations

The United Nations General Assembly is about to open, with the traditional lead-off speech by the president of Brazil followed by the president of the United States. The speeches and activities this year will, as usual, be a mix of the interesting and the dull, the consequential and the useless, the honest and the hypocritical. Read More

September 8, 2017

Israel
Israel's Bombing of a Weapons Factory in Syria: What Comes Next?

This week Israel bombed a site in Syria, from Lebanese air space. This was the so-called Scientific Studies and Researchers Center in Masyaf, a city in central Syria, and it was hit because it is a military site where chemical weapons and precision bombs are said to be produced. Israel had made clear in a series of statements in the last six months that such a facility in Syria producing such weapons for use by Hezbollah against Israel would not be tolerated.

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September 5, 2017

Israel
Israeli Foreign Aid to American Jews

It was bound to happen, sooner or later. With the rapid increase over the years in Israel's GDP and in its population, Israel is no longer a poor country that needs the philanthropy of American Jews to survive. And the balance between the American Jewish population and the Israeli Jewish population has shifted as well. Depending on exactly how you count, there are more Jews in Israel today than in the United States--or if not, there will be soon. 

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August 17, 2017

Iran
"Reform" in Iran

During June’s presidential election in Iran, many Westerners strongly hoped for a Hassan Rouhani victory. Rouhani, the incumbent president, was a “moderate,” the argument went, and during the campaign he had criticized the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and promised to have women and minorities in his cabinet. Now it is mid-August, and it is already evident that there will be no reform, and that Rouhani’s promises were meant only to attract votes—not to bring about any change, liberalization, or reform in Iran.

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