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SIMON MALLEY Printer Friendly Page
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By Wes Vernon
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  • Important figure in the Egyptian Communist Party
  • Political journalist
  • Founded the bimonthly journal Afrique Asie
  • Pro-Soviet
  • Passionately anti-Israel, anti-West
  • Close friend of Yasser Arafat



key figure in the Egyptian Communist Party, Simon Malley was born in May 1923 to a Syrian family in Cairo. After high school, he became a political journalist and was later dispatched by an Egyptian newspaper to cover the United Nations in New York, where he met his wife, a native New Yorker named Barbara Silverstein. (At the time, Miss Silverstein worked for the UN delegation of the National Liberation Front, the leftist, anti-American political party that led the independence movement in Algeria in the 1950s and early 60s, and thereafter ruled the country.)

Simon Malley supported the 1952 revolution of Gamal Abdul Nasser, who would serve as Egyptian President from 1956 to 1970. Nasser appointed Malley to be the New York representative of the Egyptian daily newspaper Al Goumhouria.

According to American Thinker news editor Ed Lasky, Simon Malley “participated in the wave of anti-imperialist and nationalist ideology that was sweeping the Third World [and] … wrote thousands of words in support of struggle against Western nations.”

After immigrating to Paris in 1969, Malley co-founded (with his wife) the bimonthly journal Afrique Asie. This publication, whose readership of nearly 120,000 was based mostly in Africa and Latin America, supported various leftist revolutionary “liberation movements,” particularly the Palestinian cause, as well as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. According to an October 4, 1980 New York Times report, Afrique-Asie commonly “criticized moderate African and Middle Eastern leadership and denounced Israel.” An Associated Press report from that same period stated that the magazine also supported “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 [1978] Camp David agreements.” By contrast, Malley, whose publishing enterprise was funded by the Soviet Union (as well as by Romania, Libya, and Algeria), passionately denounced “western imperialism.”

In 1980 Simon Malley and his family were expelled from France for what French officials described as “political activities which do not correspond with, and even run contrary to, French interests in certain countries.” An October 3, 1980 United Press International report stated: “[French] Interior Minister Christian Bonnet told the Assembly that some articles written by Malley were ‘genuine appeals to murder foreign chiefs of state...’”

Among those to publicly protest the French government’s expulsion order was Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasir Arafat. According to Alex Safian, Associate Director of CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America), Malley and his wife “were rabidly anti-Israel and counted Yasir Arafat as a personal friend.” “Indeed,” writes Safian, “Arafat was among those ‘leaders’ (for want of a better word) who intervened with the French government to readmit the Malley family to France after they had been expelled for their radical activities.” Adds Ed Lasky: “Simon Malley loathed Israel and … spent countless hours with Yasser Arafat and became a close friend of Arafat.” According to Daniel Pipes, Malley was a sympathizer of the PLO during the height of its terrorism activities against the West.

With Francois Mitterrand’s election as French President in 1981, the expulsion order against Simon Malley was lifted, and he returned with his family to France. He later resurrected his magazine, under the title Le Nouvel Afrique Asie, in which he published (in December 1989) a lengthy interview with Yasir Arafat. That same edition also featured a copy of Arafat’s personal letter congratulating Malley on being permitted to return to his home.

Simon Malley died on September 7, 2006. His son, Robert Malley, formerly served as President Bill Clinton’s Special Assistant for Arab-Israeli Affairs (1998-2001), and is currently the Middle East and North Africa Program Director for the International Crisis Group.

 

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