A putrid pedigree: Robert Malley

While in Paris with President Obama for the recent climate summit, White House press secretary Josh Earnest slipped a small detail into a briefing: the President, he said, had promoted Robert Malley, the National Security Council Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, to the position of Senior Advisor to the President for the Counter-ISIL Campaign in Iraq and Syria.

Who is Robert Malley? Born in 1963, he’s the son of two fiercely anti-Western, anti-democratic radicals. His mother, American-born Barbara Silverstein Malley, worked for the Algerian FLN’s delegation to the UN. His father, Simon Malley, was an Egyptian Jew, a leader of the Egyptian Communist Party, a friend and confidante of Yasir Arafat, a supporter of various terrorist groups (Algeria’s FLN) and dictators (Nasser, Nkrumah, Touré, Castro), and a rabid enemy of Israel. The family lived in France from 1969 to 1980, at which time Malley’s dad, who was suspected of engaging in clandestine pro-Soviet activities, was ordered to leave the country by then President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.

French Interior Minister Christian Bonnet described some of the elder Malley’s articles as “genuine appeals to murder foreign chiefs of state.” Simon Malley published a magazine, Afrique-Asie, that “supported the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan, the Cuban intervention in Angola and Ethiopia, the seizure of American hostages in Iran, the Algerian-backed guerrilla war in southern Morocco, and the Arab opposition to Israel and the Camp David agreements.” The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America has offered the following summing-up: “The world in which Robert Malley grew up was one in which Yasir Arafat, Fidel Castro, Leonid Brezhnev and Todor Zhivkov were heroes, any American leader — even Jimmy Carter! — was villainous, and Israeli leaders were veritable demons.”

Having been marinated in his parents’ extremist views, Robert Malley went to Yale, then Oxford. He attended Harvard Law at the same time as Obama. He then worked in the Clinton administration. Later — often in collaboration with former Arafat lackey Hussein Agha — he wrote a long series of flagrantly dishonest articles about the Middle East. In two 2001 op-eds, he blamed the failure of the previous year’s Camp David summit, in which he had played a key role, on Israel, not the Palestinians. This was a total lie — thoroughly rejected by other summit participants, including Bill Clinton and Ehud Barak — but his privileged position gave that lie legitimacy, and pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli activists were quick to parrot it, giving it a currency that it still enjoys. In later articles Malley heaped praise on Arafat while arguing that Israel was ultimately responsible for Palestinian terror.

But all that was mere prelude. We’ll get around to the really dark stuff tomorrow.

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