Supporters of Israel have strongly criticized President Barack Obama for appointing veteran anti-Israel diplomat, Robert Malley, as White House coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region. Malley is an Israel-basher, an advocate of U.S. recognition of major, unreconstructed terrorist groups Hamas and Hizballah, and a proponent of the containment of Iran (i.e., not preventing them from attaining nuclear weapons).
Robert Malley’s record includes the following:
- Served as a Special Assistant dealing with Middle Eastern and South Asian issues under President Bill Clinton during 1998-2001 and was one of President Obama’s closest advisers for Middle East issues until his affinity for negotiating with Hamas became public in 2008.
- A Harvard-trained lawyer who worked, until his appointment to the National Security Council last year, at the International Crisis Group, a body affiliated with anti-Israel billionaire George Soros. His father, Simon Malley, was a virulently anti-Israel member of the Egyptian Communist Party, a close confidante of Yasser Arafat, and an enthusiast for violent Third World “liberation” movements.
- In a July 8, 2001, opinion piece in the New York Times and in an August 8, 2001 essay in the New York Review of Books, the latter co-written with Hussein Agha, Malley blamed Israel and exculpated Yasser Arafat for the failure of the Camp David Peace talks, contrary to the accounts of all the other Americans and Israelis involved the negotiations, including U.S. Middle East negotiator Dennis Ross and President Bill Clinton himself. Malley’s argument was dissected and debunked in 2002 by Saul Singer, then head of the project on U.S.-Israel Relations at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, in the Middle East Quarterly.
- In February, 2004, in an appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Malley called for the 2003 Road Map peace plan, which called for Palestinians to take various pro-peace steps to be cast aside and a comprehensive settlement plan be imposed on the parties with the backing of the international community, including Arab and Muslim states. He anticipated that Israel would object with “cries of unfair treatment” but counseled the plan be put in place regardless of such objections; he also suggested that waiting for a “reliable Palestinian partner” was unnecessary.
- In an April 2007 Los Angeles Times op-ed, Malley advocated for negotiations with Syria, despite his own admission that Syria would not “cut ties with Hezbollah, break with Hamas or alienate Iran as the entry fare for peace negotiations” and contended without evidence that there was reason to believe Syria would actually do these things if Israel signed a Peace treaty giving Syria the Golan Heights (along with the adjacent Israeli territory illegally seized by Syria in 1948). He also claimed, contrary all experience, that Syria would not continue to sponsor terrorist groups, when in fact it has sponsored continuously the Kurdish PKK, al-Saiqa, Asbat-al-Ansar, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and of course, Hizballah in Lebanon.
- In a February 15, 2011 opinion piece in the British Guardian, following the fall of the Mubarak government in Egypt, Malley welcomed the fact that new, upcoming Arab governments would be less aligned with Washington and that these “Governments will have to change their spots; their public will wish them to be more like [viciously anti-Semitic, anti-Israel Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist regime in] Turkey and less like [Mubarak’s] Egypt.”
- In November 2012, Malley argued that an Israeli/Palestinian peace actually requires Mahmoud Abbas Fatah/Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the terrorist group which calls in its Charter for the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and the global murder of Jews (Article 7), to unite.
- Malley has referred to Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria as “colonies,” writing, “A political opening (immediate concessions of Israel on the colonies or a transfer of the territories and resumption of the peace process) is essential.”
- Malley has advocated in favor of containing a nuclear Iran, even criticizing President Obama because he “took containment of a nuclear-armed Iran off the table.”
- A Congressional aide has said of Malley that, “He sees political groups, not terror groups, and political agendas that can be resolved through negotiations where we see hardened killers who need to be defeated.”
- Robert Malley has been a harsh critic of Israel for decades, even attacking Israel during his college years at Yale by writing anti-Israel articles in the Yale student newspaper.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “How exactly does someone, who is dropped as an adviser because he advocates recognition of, and meets with, the genocidally-inclined terrorist organization Hamas, now became a senior adviser to the President, unless President Obama has all along agreed with much of what Malley thinks and advocates?
“It goes without saying that we are deeply opposed to this appointment. It is also one in a long line of Obama appointees and advisers — Israel-basher and Iran containment advocate Chuck Hagel; Palestinian terrorism apologist and a veteran Israel enemy Chas W. Freeman; advocate of massive military intervention against Israel Samantha Power; shoot-down-Israeli-planes-attacking-Iran advocate Zbigniew Brzezinski; advocate of appointing the anti-Israel Jimmy Carter and James Baker as U.S. mediators in Israeli/Palestinian talks Susan Rice, to name just a few — that belies President Obama’s hollow claims of support for Israel.”