Joseph Klein: Hamas Apologist Appointed to High Mideast National Security Post

In yet another crass attempt to register its anger at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s courageous and truthful speech on Iran to a joint session of Congress last week, the Obama administration promoted an Israel basher to serve as the Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf Region.

His name is Robert Malley, who most recently has been serving as National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for Iran, Iraq, Syria and the Gulf States. Effective April 6, 2015, he will, in his new position, have responsibility for an area encompassing Israel, Palestinian territories, North Africa and the Persian Gulf.

National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice, who publicly blamed Prime Minister Netanyahu for conduct “destructive” of the historic relationship between the United States and Israel, made the appointment announcement last Friday. She called Malley “one of my most trusted advisers” and “one of our country’s most respected experts on the Middle East.”

Robert Malley’s relationship with Barack Obama goes back to at least 2007, when he served as a foreign policy advisor for then Senator Obama’s presidential campaign. However, after Malley’s Israel bashing and meetings with Hamas officials received some negative publicity, Obama’s campaign team dumped the hot potato. After his re-election, Obama decided that it was safe to bring Malley back on his team.

Malley’s previous government service was during the Clinton administration, including participating in the failed Camp David peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. In fairness, President Clinton had no reason at the time to be aware of Malley’s anti-Israel bias, which evidenced itself after Malley’s service in the Clinton administration ended. Obama does, but he is not concerned at all. Why should he, now that Obama does not have to run for office again? In fact, Obama has no compunctions about using the Malley appointment to poke Israel’s prime minister in the eye.

After Malley’s stint in the Clinton administration, he served as director of the Middle East Program at the International Crisis Group, which has received funding from the leftwing, George Soros-supported Open Society Institute. Malley felt free to go into full gear with his Israel bashing. In 2001, for example, Malley co-authored with a Palestinian activist and former advisor to Yasser Arafat, Hussein Agha, an op-ed piece for the New York Times presenting their view of the reasons for the breakdown of the Camp David talks. They refused to lay the principal blame where it belonged, on the terrorist Yasser Arafat. Instead, Malley and his Palestinian co-author claimed that Israel had not been sufficiently flexible in what it was willing to offer the Palestinians. President Clinton, who was personally involved in the summit negotiations, begged to differ. As Clinton explained during a 2004 PBS interview with Jim Lehrer:  “So a couple of days before I leave office, Arafat says, calls to tell me what a great man I am. And I just said, ‘No, I’m not. On this I’m a failure, and you made me a failure.’”

Malley did not stop with his defense of Arafat. For years he has written positively about Hamas. A Hamas-Fatah reconciliation unity government is a good idea, he opined, which the United States should support “regardless of whether Hamas recognizes Israel or formally renounces violence.” Though Malley stated in another article co-authored in 2012 with Hussein Aghathat Hamas has “never truly deviated from its original view—the Jewish state is illegitimate and all the land of historic Palestine is inherently Islamic,” he and his co-author did not see that as a problem. They claimed that “the Islamists alone offer a familiar, authentic vision for the future.” Hamas’s “true calling,” they wrote, is “its social, cultural, and religious agenda.”

Malley walked the walk, so to speak, by engaging in his own discussions with Hamas. Such actions help legitimize the jihadist terrorist group, whose “true calling” is genocide against the Jewish people and the destruction of Israel.  Here is the “true” Hamas in the words of its founding charter, which it has refused to revoke:

“…our fight with the Jews is very extensive and very grave, and it requires all the sincere efforts. It is a step that must be followed by further steps;…”(Hamas Charter, Preamble)

“The Prophet, Allah’s prayer and peace be upon him, says: “The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,’ except for the Gharqad tree, for it is the tree of the Jews.” [Recorded in the Hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim]. (Hamas Charter, Article Seven).”

In a televised 2011 rally, Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV broadcast the following exhortation to Palestinians to kill the Jews:

“You [Allah] have made our killing of the Jews an act of worship through which we come closer to you….our beloved Prophet Muhammed, You have made your teachings constitutions for us…the fire with which we harvest the skulls of the Jews.” (translated by MEMRI)

The constant barrage of hate-filled rhetoric and threats have been matched by Hamas’s launching of thousands of rockets targeted against Israeli civilians and its terror tunnels.

In addition to engaging with the Hamas jihadists whom Malley thinks are really not so bad after all, he believes that there is nothing to really worry about if Iran does get a nuclear bomb. He believes that a viable option is to simply contain them.  He wrote in a 2012 Foreign Policy article that “Israelis, not for the first time, likely are exaggerating the Iranian threat and its imminence.”  He expressed disdain for what he called “Netanyahu’s 15-year obsession” with Iran. And he praised President Obama for having “by far the better of the argument” with Prime Minister Netanyahu over how best to deal with Iran. Ignoring the Iranian regime’s long record of state-sponsored terrorism all over the world, its killing of American military forces directly or through proxies in Iraq and Lebanon, its repeated threats to annihilate Israel, and its record of deceptions regarding its nuclear program, Malley put himself in the regime’s shoes. He said that, as seen through the regime’s eyes, its “stubbornness is easy to understand.”

This is the man whom President Obama and Susan Rice, for their own good reasons, have promoted to the most highly sensitive White House national security position in the Middle East. Malley is entirely in synch with Obama’s own anti-Israel bias and his willingness to make concession after concession to Iran in the current negotiations as he continues to see the nuclear issue “through the regime’s eyes” rather than act in America’s best interests.