Robert Malley and the Anti-American Establishment

After a variety of ambiguous reports, the State Department clarified on June 29 that the special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, has been placed on indefinite leave, apparently pending a review of his security clearance. Malley had resigned from his role as an advisor to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008 due to his contacts with Hamas. The incident didn’t prevent him from being appointed to the National Security Council in 2014, or from serving as a lead negotiator in the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

Malley is the son of an Egyptian Jewish Arab-nationalist intellectual with close ties to Gamal Abdel Nasser and Yasir Arafat. The elder Malley was, as the Endowment for Middle East Truth explains, an enthusiastic member of the “Third Worldist” movement, informed by the works of Frantz Fanon, that saw Western imperialism as the world’s great evil and admired all revolts against it, especially that in Algeria. Yet, while the younger Malley was very much shaped by that upbringing, he represents a distinct phenomenon:

After college, Malley became a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, a Supreme Court clerk, and a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. . . . Malley is a fully credentialed member of America’s most prestigious institutions, and he represents a new rising progressive America that largely internalized the anti-imperialist image of the United States’ global power.

The recent news that Robert Malley has been put on leave from his position as the special envoy to Iran had many—including many Iranian dissidents and activists—hoping that the man who oversaw the empowerment of the Middle East’s leading criminal regime is finally leaving the picture for good. But this hope could prove to be misguided. Whether Robert Malley stays involved with the U.S. government or retires and spends his remaining days fishing in the Bahamas, it won’t make much difference. Malley is merely one person, but the way of thinking he represents has already taken over, irreversibly, many American institutions.

Robert Malley is not part of a global America-hating conspiracy. He is not taking orders from Tehran and is not a fifth column for the ayatollah. He is not a self-hating Jew who is secretly plotting the destruction of Israel with Hamas and the PLO. Such populist and obsessive language is one of the main reasons that Robert Malley, and the American socio-historical development he represents, gained the upper hand.

In the epilogue of his book The Call from Algeria, Malley spoke of his relationship with the [Third Worldist] ideology in the past tense. He made it clear he is no longer a true believer. . . . However, what Malley does represent is a new America that is hellbent on undoing its own power.

Read more at Endowment for Middle East Truth

More about: Algeria, anti-Americanism, Iran, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy


Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University