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Pressure Points

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

Latest Post

Is Israel's International Isolation Growing or Diminishing?

The lopsided December 2017 vote on Jerusalem in the UN General Assembly gave the impression that Israel's international isolation may be growing. In fact, the opposite is true--and UN votes are a misleading indicator. I tell the story in a new Council on Foreign Relations "Expert Brief," found here on the CFR web site. Especially in Asia, and even in the Arab world, Israel is forging new relationships. The Brief concludes this way: Read More

January 17, 2018

Palestinian Territories
Trump Gets UNRWA Right

The Trump administration has announced a large cut in U.S. payments to UNRWA, the UN agency that handles Palestinian “refugees.” The United States has been giving UNRWA about $150 million a year (for its regular budget), and the next tranche of $125 million has been cut back by $60 million. Needless to say, this decision has been greeted by a good deal of hand-wringing, teeth-gnashing, and plain opposition. But it was the right decision.

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December 29, 2017

Iran
The Iran Protests -- and The New York Times

In the last few days there have been anti-government protests all over Iran. The BBC reports this as of Friday night, in a story entitled “Iranian cities hit by anti-government protests.” Anti-government demonstrations that began in Iran on Thursday have now spread to several major cities. Large numbers reportedly turned out in Rasht, in the north, and Kermanshah, in the west, with smaller protests in Isfahan, Hamadan and elsewhere.

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December 26, 2017

United States
The Trump National Security Strategy

President Trump delivered a new “National Security Strategy of the United States of America” last week, and it elicited a mountain of comment. I thought I’d wait a week to let the dust settle, and then add my own.

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