Barack Obama's real thinking about Israel and the Middle East continues to be an enigma. The words he chose in an address to AIPAC create a different impression than the composition of his foreign policy advisory team. Several advisors have evidenced a history of suspicion and worse toward Israel. One of his advisors in particular, Robert Malley, clearly warrants attention, as does the reasoning that led him to being chosen by Barack Obama. [Note: "Malley" here appears to be an Arab name, not an Irish name. His father was a Syrian] ...
Robert Malley's writings strike me as being akin to propaganda. One notable example is an op-ed that was published in the New York Times (Fictions About the Failure at Camp David ). The column indicted Israel for not being generous enough at Camp David and blamed the failure of the talks on the Israelis.
Malley has repeated this line of attack in numerous op-eds over the years, often co-writing with Hussein Agha, a former adviser to Yasser Arafat (see, for example, Camp David: The Tragedy of Errors ). He was also believed to be the chief source for an article by Deborah Sontag that whitewashed Arafat's role in the collapse of the peace process, an article that has been widely criticized as riddled with errors and bias.
Malley is a revisionist and his views are sharply at odds with the views of others who participated at Camp David, including Ambassador Dennis Ross and President Bill Clinton. Malley's myth-making has been peddled in the notably anti-Israel magazine, Counterpunch and by Norman Finkelstein, the failed academic recently denied tenure at DePaul University. Malley's Camp David propaganda has also become fodder for Palestinians, Arab rejectionists, and anti-Israel activists across the world....
Malley has written a range of pieces over the years that reveal an agenda at work that should give pause to those Obama supporters who truly care about peace in the Middle Peace and the fate of our ally Israel.
Playing Into Sharon's Hands: which absolves Arafat of the responsibility to restrain terrorists and blames Israel for terrorism. He defends Arafat and hails him as ..the first Palestinian leader to recognize Israel, relinquish the objective of regaining all of historic Palestine and negotiate for a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 boundaries. And he remains for now the only Palestinian with the legitimacy to sell future concessions to his people.
Rebuilding a Damaged Palestine: which blames Israel's security operations for weakening Palestinian security forces (absurd on its face: terrorists filled the ranks of so-called Palestinian security forces-which, in any case, never tried to prevent terrorism) and calls for international forces to restrain the Israelis
Making the Best of Hamas's Victory: which called for international aid to be showered upon a Hamas-led government and for international engagement with Hamas (a group that makes clear in its Charter, its schools, and its violence its intent to destroy Israel). Malley also makes an absurd assertion: that Hamas' policies and Israeli policies are mirror images of each other.
Avoiding Failure with Hamas: which again calls for aid to flow to a Hamas-led government and even goes so far as to suggest that failure to extend aid could cause an environmental or health catastrophe-such as a human strain of the avian flu virus!
How to Curb the Tension in Gaza: which criticizes Israel's for its actions to recover Gilad Shalit who was kidnapped and is being held hostage in the Gaza Strip. He and co-writer Gareth Evans call Israel's actions `collective punishment" in "violation of international law".....
Robert Malley also testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in February, 2004. In that appearance he called for the Road Map to be cast aside because incremental measures intended to build trust were unworkable. He advocated that a comprehensive settlement plan be imposed on the parties with the backing of the international community, including Arab and Moslem 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.
This is merely a sample of Malley's views -- which are focused on disengaging from our ally Israel (whose lead America should not "follow") and engaging with and, in some cases financially supporting, the likes of Syria, Moqtada al-Sadr, Hezbollah and Hamas. His ideology is radically at odds with American foreign policy as it has been practiced by two generations of Presidents -- both Democrats and Republicans -- over the years. This is the type of advocacy Robert Malley has been pursuing in the years since the end of the Clinton Administration and from his perch at the International Crisis Group -- an organization that may share his agenda.
The International Crisis Group
Robert Malley is the Director of the Middle East/North Africa Program at the International Crisis Group (ICG). Given the impressive title of the group, one might expect it to have along and impressive pedigree -- say long the lines of the well-regarded Council of Foreign Relations. In fact, the group is rather small and it has a short pedigree. More importantly, it has ties to George Soros. Soros is a man who has supported a wide variety of groups that have shown a propensity to criticize America and Israel; a man who has made clear his goal is to break the close bonds between America and Israel ; supported the views of Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer whose work on the issue of the "Israel Lobby" has been widely criticized for factual inaccuracies, shoddy research, and has been called "anti-Semitic" in the Washington Post; a man who has taken steps to counter the supposed political influence of the pro-Israel community in America; a man who has also been a key financial backer of Senator Obama's; and a man who can activate a wide variety of 527 (c) and other activist groups for any politician he supports.....
Why would Barack Obama have on his foreign policy staff a man who has been widely criticized for a revisionist history of the Middle East peace process sharply at odds with all other accounts of the proceedings? Why would Barack Obama give credibility to a man who seems to have an agenda that includes empowering our enemies and weakening our friends and allies? How did Robert Malley, with a record of writing that reveals a willingness to twist facts to serve a political agenda, come to be appointed by Obama to his foreign staff?
Was it a recommendation of Zbigniew Brzezinski to bring on board another anti-Israel foreign policy expert? What role did the left-wing anti-Israel activist George Soros play in placing Robert Malley (or for that matter, Brzezinski himself) in a position to influence the future foreign policy of America? What does it say about Senator Obama's judgment that he appointed a man like Malley to be a top foreign policy advisor? Or does it speak more to his true beliefs?
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