A Harvard-trained lawyer and Rhodes Scholar, Robert Malley is the Middle East and North Africa Program Director for the International Crisis Group (ICG), which receives funding from the Open Society Institute (whose founder, Obama supporter George Soros, serves on the ICG Board and Executive Committee).
Prior to joining ICG, Malley served as President Bill Clinton’s Special Assistant for Arab-Israeli Affairs (1998-2001); National Security Advisor Sandy Berger’s Executive Assistant (1996-1998); and the National Security Council’s Director for Democracy, Human Rights, and Humanitarian Affairs (1994-1996).
Malley’s father, Simon Malley, was a key figure in the Egyptian Communist Party. Rabidly anti-Israel, Simon Malley was a confidante of the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat; an inveterate critic of “Western imperialism”; a supporter of various leftist revolutionary “liberation movements,” particularly the Palestinian cause; a beneficiary of Soviet funding; and a supporter of the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
In a July 2001 op-ed, Robert Malley alleged that Israeli -- not Palestinian -- inflexibility had caused the previous year's Camp David peace talks (brokered by Bill Clinton) to fail. This was one of several controversial articles Malley has written -- some he co-wrote with Hussein Agha, a former adviser to Arafat -- blaming Israel and exonerating Arafat for that failure.
Malley’s identification of Israel as the cause of the Camp David failure has been widely embraced by Palestinian and Arab activists around the world, by Holocaust deniers like Norman Finkelstein, and by anti-Israel publications such as Counterpunch. According to American Thinker news editor Ed Lasky, Malley “was also believed to be the chief source for an article [dated July 26, 2001] 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.”
In 2007 Malley became a foreign policy advisor to presidential candidate Barack Obama. In 2008, however, the Obama campaign severed its ties with Malley after the latter told the Times of London that he [Malley] had been in regular contact with Hamas as part of his work for ICG.
To view a comprehensive profile and numerous supplemental resources about Robert Malley, click here.
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