Robert Malley, Who Was Fired From Obama's Campaign for Meetings With Hamas, Is Probably Back On Obama's Team.
Earlier this year Barack Obama's Middle East policy advisor was terminated only after 10 days due to admitting meetings with Hamas, after making the Obama campaign look bad. Well, according to several articles, that person is back on Obama's team, and was within hours of Obama winning the Election. And being dispatched last week to the Middle East.
Could this be the "missing link" between Hamas stating they have been in communication with Obama aides, yet Obama's team states it is a lie? And is it just a "play" on words again, like so often from Obama teams, aides, etc? Could Obama's statements of never communicating with Hamas now be "changed"? And did Ben LaBolt lie stating that Malley would "not play any role in the future"?
From the Obama Campaign website view Obama and Biden's "Full Israeli Fact Sheet". [PDF]
Is Robert Malley Back?
Sunday, November 9th, 2008 From Arutz Sheva:
According to a report on Middle East Newsline, President-elect Barack Obama has dispatched his "senior foreign policy advisor", Robert Malley to Egypt and Syria to outline Obama's policy on the Middle East.
Malley reportedly relayed a promise from OBama that the United States would seek to enhance relations with Cairo and reconcile differences with Damascus.
"The tenor of the message was that the Obama administration would take into greater account Egyptian and Syrian interests," an aide to Malley was quoted as saying. The aide said Obama plans to launch a U.S. diplomatic initiative toward Syria. Malley met both Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad "to explain Obama's agenda for the Middle East."
Monday, November 10th, 2008 From Israel Today:
"Robert Malley, a top Middle East advisor that US President-elect Barack Obama promised months ago would play no role in his administration due to ties to Hamas, has reportedly been sent out on the next administration's first diplomatic mission.
According to a report in Middle East Newsline, Obama dispatched Malley to Egypt and Syria late last week with a message that he intends to mend and bolster relations with both nations, and to give greater weight to their concerns regarding regional conflicts than did President George W. Bush.
During the Democratic Party primaries, Obama was lashed by critics for having Malley on his team after the latter admitted to being in regular contact with Hamas as part of his work with the International Crisis Group.
Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt quickly responded at the time that Mally had provided "informal advice to the campaign in the past," but insisted that he had "no formal role in the campaign and he will not play any role in the future."
Tuesday, November 11, 2008. From FrontPage Mag:
History will record that Barack Obama's first act of diplomacy as America's president-elect took place two days after his election victory, when he dispatched his senior foreign-policy adviser, Robert Malley, to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - to outline for them the forthcoming administration's Mideast policy vis-a-vis those nations. An aide to Mally reports, "The tenor of the messages was that the Obama administration would take into greater account Egyptian and Syrian interests" than has President Bush. The Bush administration, it should be noted, has rightly recognized Syria to be not only a chief supporter of the al Qaeda insurgency in Iraq, but also the headquarters of the terrorist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the longtime sponsor of Hamas. ... Yet unlike President Bush, Obama and Malley have called for Israel to engage in peace negotiations with Syria.
"...Mally has advised nations around the world to establish relationship with, and to send financial aid to, the Hamas-led Palestinian government in Gaza."
"... Malley contends that it is both unreasonable and unrealistic for Israel or Western nations to demand that Syria sever its ties with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or Iran. Rather, he suggests that if Israel were to return the Golan Heights to Syrian control, Damascus would be inclined to pursue peace with Israel."
"It is notable that six months ago the Obama campaign and Malley hastily severed ties with one another after the Times of London reported that Malley had been meeting privately with Hamas leaders on a regular basis - something Obama had publicly pledged never to do."
"But indeed, within hours after Obama's election victory, Malley was back as a key player in the president-elect's team of advisors - on his way to Syria."
November 11, 2008. From Newsbusters:
"News services in Israel are on fire with talk that Barack Obama has just sent a supporter of the terror group Hamas as his envoy to Syria and Egypt to relay news of his policies to come. " [...]
"As mentioned back in May, Malley reported that he held "regular meetings" with the Palestinian terror group Hamas causing Israelis quite a lot of heartburn. To appease Israel's supporters in the U.S. at that time, the Obama camp threw Malley under the bus." [...]
"Yet despite claims that Malley would not have a "role in the future," now word has emerged that Malley was just sent to Egypt and Syria this week as an envoy for Barack Obama causing at least one harshly worded report in Israel to claim that Obama "lied" about Malley earlier this year. [...]
This should also make one wonder if Obama was telling the truth back in May? And, if Malley has been hauled up from under the bus, does this make all the others Obama rolled over on his way to the White House suddenly back in the clear? [...]
So, can we or can we not believe a word that Obama said about any of those he felt obliged to distance himself from during the election? Will we soon see a William Ayers touring the White House as a guest instead of a murderous bomber? Will uncle Rev. Wright suddenly be back on the Christmas party invite list so he can see for himself where the AIDS epidemic to kill all blacks was planned?
May 09, 2008
According to a Times Online article, Barack Obama's Middle East policy advisor disclosed yesterday that he had held meeting with the militant Palestinian group Hamas - Obama promptly fired him.
Robert Malley told The Times that he had been in regular contact with Hamas, which controls Gaza and is listed by the US State Department as a terrorist organization. "I've never hidden the fact that in my job with the International Crisis Group I meet with all kinds of people," Malley stated.
From the Chicago Sun-Times, Ben LaBolt stated, "Sen. Obama strongly opposes talking to Hamas, a terrorist group committed to Israel's destruction. As president, he will work to isolate Hamas and target its resources, and rejects any dialogue until Hamas recognizes Israel, renounces terrorism, and abides by previous agreements."
Obama visited Israel and the West bank in July, meeting Israeli leaders and Abbas and traveling to an Israeli town that had been hit by Hamas rockets from Gaza.
August 05, 2008
Chicago attorney Mazen Asbahi, the Muslim-outreach coordinator to the Obama presidential campaign, after being appointed to the position for Muslim American affairs on July 25, was forced to resign from his volunteer position when questions arose over his alleged involvement in an Islamic investment fund that was believed to have links to Hamas.
The problem, reported by The Wall Street Journal on August 6 started when the WSJ emailed inquiries about Asbahi's background and then Asbahi tendered his resignation. The inquiries were based upon an internet newsletter "Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report" noted that: "Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama has named Mazen Ashahi, a Chicago lawyer with ties to a financial organization close to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, as National Coordinator for Muslim American Affairs for his campaign." The newsletter noted that Asbahi was listed as one of six trustees of Allied Asset Advisors Fund in a May 4, 2000 SEC filing.
Via ABC, according to Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report, that group was a "subsidiary of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) and adviser to the Down Jones Islamic Fund, both affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)," referring to its own February 2007 report [PDF], "EXTREMISM AND THE ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA (ISNA)."
Part of that report details the role NAIT played in an ideological struggle in a Bridgeview, IL, mosque, and the fundamentalist imam, Jamal Said, who ultimately won that battle. Said served along with Asbahi as a trustee of Allied Asset Advisors Fund.
Said was also one of the many listed as an "unindicted co-conspirator or joint venturer" named in the US government's unsuccessful racketeering trial The US vs. the Holy Land Foundation, which ended in a mistrail, formerly the largest Muslim charity in the US, which the US government accused of being a front-group to fundraise for Hamas.
Obama had no apparent ties to Said. Obama named Asbahi to do Muslim outreach for his campaign, and Asbahi had ties to Said - and to the Islamic Society of North America, which was also named as an "unindicted co-conspirator or joint venturer" in the Holy Land Foundation case.
Additionally, the newsletter also asserted that Asbahi had been listed as a speaker for ISNA and has spoken at ISNA conferences.
Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
According to World Net Daily:
"The Hamas terrorist group believes the election of Sen. Barack Obama is an "historic victory" for the world and an opportunity to change U.S. foreign policy toward engagement with America's foes, Ahmed Youself, Hamas' chief political adviser in the Gaza Strip, told WND.
Youself, speaking by cell phone from Gaza, said Hamas is drafting a letter of congratulation to be sent tomorrow directly to Obama. He said the current draft of the letter praises the president-elect as "another John F. Kennedy, or great Roosevelt." ...
"This is a historic day, a turning point. I think this is the very first time in history that one country's election concerned everyone everywhere all over [the] world," said Youself. "Everybody is looking forward to Obama's change, for a change in the U.S policy, particularly in the Israeli-Palestinian equation, which is the mother of all conflicts."
Youself told WND he believes an Obama administration will be more willing to engage in dialogue with Hamas.
Friday, November 7th, 2008
Hamas Gaza strongman Mahmoud Zahar said he hoped Obama's victory would open a new page in relations between the U.S. and the Muslim world. But he said he did not expect the U.S. to talk to Hamas immediately.
Saturday, NOVEMBER 8th, 2008
In an AP report, Hamas was stated to be ready to open talks with Barack Obama the group's leader said in an interview broadcast on Saturday. Khaled Mashall said that Hamas is ready for dialogue with Obama and his new administration "on the basis that the American administration respects our rights and our options." "The American administration, if they want to deal with the region, Palestine and the Arab-Israel conflict, they have no other option than deal with Hamas because we are a real force on the ground, effective," Mashall told Sky News from Damascus, Syria.
Denis McDonough, senior foreign policy advisor to Obama, said Hamas had to change its policies before it could engage in any talks. "President-elect Obama said throughout the campaign that he will only talk with Hamas if it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel's right to exist and agrees to abide by past agreements," McDonough said.
Tuesday, November 11th, 2008
From Al Bawaba:
Dr. Ahmad Yousef, a political adviser to the prime minister of the Hamas-led government, Ismail Haniyah, revealed Tuesday that prior to the US president elections, a secret meeting was held between senior officials from the Palestinian movement and President-elect Barack Obama's advisors in the Gaza Strip.
"We were in contact with a number of Obama's aides through the Internet, and later met with some of them in Gaza, but they advised us not to reveal this information as it may influence the elections or become manipulated by McCain's campaign", Yousef said in an interview with London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat, published Tuesday.
According to Yousuf, Hamas' contact with Obama's advisors was ongoing, adding that he personally had friendly relations with a few of Obama's advisers whom he had met when he lived in the US. "Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh will draft a congratulatory letter to Obama for his victory in the elections," added Yousef.
"The policy Obama will instate in the Middle East will differ from that of his predecessor George W. Bush, although it is clear that the region and the Palestinian issue will not be at the top of his agenda," Yousef told Al-Hayat, "[Obama] will focus more on the economic crisis, Iraq and Afghanistan."
From Globe and Mail:
Speaking from Gaza, today, Ayman abu Leilah, a spokesman for Mr. Yousef, confirmed these statements as true, adding that the most recent meeting took place in early October "one month before the election." He said Mr. Yousef had first met Obama people some years ago when he was studying in the United States.
Mark Regev, foreign press spokesman in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office, said the government had "absolutely no confirmation" that such a meeting ever took place, and said he would not comment on what they considered only a hypothetical situation.