4:04 PM, Aug 4, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
On CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday, frequent WEEKLY STANDARD contributor Elliott Abrams debated Palestinian journalist Rula Jebreal over the issue of how the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has been covered by the media. Watch the clip below:
Be sure to read Abrams's recent story for TWS on the "long war against Hamas." Here's an excerpt:
Hamas has stated its own war aims (perhaps a strategic error, but unavoidable when starting a war), and they are far more extensive than Israel’s. Hamas rejected Egypt’s early proposal for a “mere” cease-fire because it did not include the gains Hamas seeks in exchange for all the suffering it has caused the people of Gaza. Hamas has a long list, including freeing all the Hamas terrorists released from prison in exchange for Gilad Shalit but arrested again recently; opening the border crossings to Egypt and Israel; allowing a seaport and airport; expanding the offshore fishing zone; and easing conditions for permits to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
At bottom what Hamas wants is an end to the squeeze that was making it increasingly unpopular in Gaza and even threatening its rule there. While Israel has not over the last few years changed its conduct toward Gaza and Hamas, Egypt has. Cairo’s military rulers see the Muslim Brotherhood at home and Hamas (a part of the Brotherhood) in Gaza as its enemies, and they have closed off the Gaza-Sinai border and shut the smuggling tunnels that provided Hamas with much of its revenue and Gazans with much of their economy. Hamas could not meet its own huge payroll in Gaza—43,000 people—nor could it give any hope that economic conditions would improve. Meanwhile, Hamas’s oppressive rule alienated more and more Gazans. That’s why Hamas took the risk in June of agreeing to join a technocratic or nonparty government under the Palestinian Authority, had the “ministers” in its government in Gaza resign their posts, and appeared ready for some role in Gaza for the PA (something it had prevented since its coup in Gaza in 2007). That ploy failed when the PA refused to take on the huge burden of all those additional salaries, and there was no change in the economic situation in Gaza. Hamas then turned to war as a way to shake things up.
Apr 21, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 30 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
In his Senate Foreign Relations Committee testimony last week, Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Israel for the breakdown in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He argued that an Israeli announcement of 700 new housing units for a neighborhood in Jerusalem were what did in the talks. “Poof, that was sort of the moment,” Kerry said. “We find ourselves where we are.”
Fortune favors the boldJan 27, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 19 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
What would Arik have done? The death of former prime minister Ariel “Arik” Sharon last week has evoked this question for Israelis, who face chaos and jihadists in Syria, Hamas in Gaza, instability in Egypt, and above all a potential nuclear threat from Iran.
There is an alternative to Obama diplomacy. Sep 30, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 04 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
Christian Whiton occupied several posts at the State Department during the administration of George W. Bush, all of them at the juncture where realpolitik meets ideology. Or would meet, anyway, if the department were able to recognize the importance of ideas in international politics. Whiton served under Jay Lefkowitz when Lefkowitz was Bush’s special envoy for human rights in North Korea, where he learned what the department can do to corner and undermine a foreign body it views as dangerous.
Tehran pulls out all the stops to win in SyriaJun 3, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 36 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
Grasping the realities of the Middle East is never easy. This is not primarily because they change quickly, but because so much time, effort, and money is spent to prevent reality from breaking through. Fifteen Saudis kill 3,000 Americans on 9/11, so the Saudis spend even more millions to persuade Americans they are friends and allies. Egypt under Hosni Mubarak presents itself as the very model of stability.
Hosted by Michael Graham.4:45 PM, Mar 22, 2013 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with Elliott Abrams on the president's Middle East trip and his piece "Obama in Jerusalem." Hosted by Michael Graham.
Dinner with Mahmoud Abbas.10:05 AM, Jul 15, 2010 • By GABRIEL SCHOENFELD
If Israel and its neighbors are ever to arrive at a stable and genuine peace, Palestinian incitement of hatred –and its predilection for murderous acts – must cease. It is an elementary proposition, and one to which the Palestinian Authority has unambiguously agreed.
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