Elliott Abrams is Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. He served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor in the Administration of President George W. Bush, where he supervised U.S. policy in the Middle East for the White House.
Mr. Abrams was educated at Harvard College, the London School of Economics, and Harvard Law School. After serving on the staffs of Sen. Henry M. Jackson and Daniel P. Moynihan, he was an Assistant Secretary of State in the Reagan Administration and received the Secretary of State's Distinguished Service Award from Secretary George P. Shultz.
Mr. Abrams was president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., from 1996 until joining the White House staff. He was a member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom from 1999 to 2001 and Chairman of the Commission in the latter year, and served an additional term as a member in 2012-2014. Mr. Abrams served as a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, which directs the activities of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, from 2009 to 2016, and is member of the Board of the National Endowment for Democracy. He teaches U.S. foreign policy at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Mr. Abrams joined the Bush Administration in June, 2001 as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of the NSC for Democracy, Human Rights, and International Organizations. From December 2002 to February 2005, he served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of the National Security Council for Near East and North African Affairs. He served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy from February 2005 to January 2009, and in that capacity supervised both the Near East and North African Affairs, and the Democracy, Human Rights, and International Organizations directorates of the NSC.
Mr. Abrams’ latest book, Realism and Democracy: American Foreign Policy After the Arab Spring, was published in 2017.
INAF 391 US Policy and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: 2000 to Today
This seminar will examine U.S. policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Bush and Obama Administrations. We will quickly review the negotiations before the Clinton years and then examine why Clinton’s efforts failed. We will then turn to Bush policy before 9/11, and how that event changed his views and policies. Considerable time will be spent examining the policy moves that followed: endorsement of Palestinian statehood, the Quartet, the Roadmap, support for Gaza Disengagement, and the Annapolis conference. We will then turn to the first term of the Obama Administration, including the tension in U.S.-Israel relations and the contrast between Bush and Obama approaches. We will discuss “Fayyadism” and the debate over constructing a Palestinian state; continuing efforts to promote negotiations; the rivalry between Hamas and Fatah; the effects of the Arab Spring and the conflict in November 2012. We will also review how U.S. policy is formulated as a reflection of both bureaucratic power struggles and American domestic politics.