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March 8, 2015 10:53 am

White House Names Israel Critic Robert Malley to Top National Security Council Post

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President Obama meeting with top national security advisers. Photo: NSC/Twitter.

JNS.org – Senior director at the National Security Council (NSC) Robert Malley, who was dismissed from President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign team when it was revealed that he met with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, has been named Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf Region.

A former Middle East advisor for President Bill Clinton, Malley has a history of controversial statements that have criticized Israel. In a 2001 article for The New York Review of Books, he took aim at those who blame only Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for the failure of the prior year’s U.S.-brokered peace talks at Camp David.

“For a process of such complexity, the diagnosis is remarkably shallow,” Malley wrote. “It ignores history, the dynamics of the negotiations, and the relationships among the three parties. In so doing, it fails to capture why what so many viewed as a generous Israeli offer, the Palestinians viewed as neither generous, nor Israeli, nor, indeed, as an offer. Worse, it acts as a harmful constraint on American policy by offering up a single, convenient culprit—Arafat—rather than a more nuanced and realistic analysis.”

Also in The New York Review of Books, Malley wrote regarding Israel’s 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, “A war Israel fought without a clearly defined purpose has left the country without any tangible achievement.”

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  • JOHN TRAIN

     His intercepted communications advised Hamas to stay under the radar in their attacks on Israel and that with this tactic they could continue their low level, stress provoking campaign against Israel. Much of the misery that Israel absorbed from rockets fired by Hamas is the direct responsibility of Robert Malley
    His advice was also communicated to Hezbollah.
    His actions should raise the fury of every Israeli and every American.
     
    YET ANOTHER ENEMY OF ISRAEL POISED TO JOIN US FOREIGN POLICY TEAM
    By: Lori Lowenthal Marcus
    Published: June 26th, 2013

    Robert Malley, buddies with Hamas, may be joining Secretary of State Kerry’s foreign policy team

    For people who pay close attention to what is happening in the world of U.S. government diplomacy and the players not just on the field, but those on deck, Robert Malley is a name that rings a bell.  For those who care deeply about the security of Israel, the bell that is rung has an ominous, if familiar, tone.

    Rumors have been circulating for about a week that Robert Malley will soon be named by Secretary of State John Kerry for a senior advisory role with a portfolio that focuses either on Syria or on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

    According to various sources Malley is “under serious consideration” or the decision to appoint him is already “a done deal,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.

    So what’s wrong with Malley?  He couldn’t possibly be as bad as Samantha Power, or John Kerry or Chuck Hagel, could he?

    Well, that depends who you ask.

    Robert Malley is so offensive, he was actually kicked off (despite the lipstick smear called “resignation”) the Obama election committee in 2008 for meeting with the terrorist organization Hamas, although he had been one of Obama’s closest advisors for Middle East issues until his affinity for Hamas became public.

    Malley is a Harvard-trained lawyer who currently works at the George Soros-affiliated International Crisis Group.  There are those Israel supporters who see Malley as an international crisis all on his own – his father, Simon Malley, was a virulently anti-Israel member of the Egyptian Communist Party and a close confidante of Yassir Arafat.  (Malley’s mother, who raised him, is named Barbara Silverstein – we’re not going there.)

    Robert Malley blamed Israel for the failure of the Camp David Peace Talks in an op-ed in the New York Times.  AsEd Lasky pointed out in an on-point article  in 2008, Malley’s recollections of what went wrong at Camp David was in direct contrast to every other major player present, including President Bill Clinton and Clinton’s Middle East Envoy, Dennis Ross.

    In another op-ed from the same era, Malley revealed his strong support for the Syrian regime, and scoffed at the idea that Assad should be treated as a pariah.

    This past fall Malley explained why he believes it is not only likely, but essential for Hamas and Fatah to unite.
     I think at this point it’s inconceivable that Fatah will eliminate Hamas, and I can’t see that Hamas is going to eliminate Fatah, so the only solution if what you want — if what people want — is to see a meaningful negotiation between an empowered Israeli government, a representative Israeli government, and an empowered and representative Palestinian national movement, the only way to do that is for Palestinian ranks to unify.

    And as Adam Kredo at the Washington Free Beacon pointed out, Malley even criticized U.S. President Barack Obama for taking off the table the concept of containing a nuclear Iran – in other words, allowing Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, and then asking the Islamic regime to pretty please not use them was a reasonable position Malley resented Obama’s failure to consider.

    So, will Malley be the worst person in the U.S. administration with a foreign policy portfolio that could have a significant impact on Israel?  Maybe not the worst, but as an addition to a group which already have raised serious concerns, if Malley is selected by Kerry it is certain to make things even worse.

  • Ron

    No less than a JStreet guy to manage this delicate relation with Israel. The White House is throwing its gauntlet on Israel.

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