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Elections have consequences, and although many Jews who supported President Joe Biden were concerned about the Democratic Party’s pull towards the radical Left, they felt their vote was a referendum on the character of President Trump.

(February 3, 2021 / Israel Hayom)

From Jewish supporters of President Biden, one often heard assurances that Joe Biden was a moderate, and would not heed the radical voices within the Democratic Party, and certainly would not allow anything to happen that would ever harm the state of Israel.

Many of our fears were assuaged when Antony Blinken appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he said that the US would return to the Iranian nuclear deal only after Iran met its commitments, and that he intended to make the deal “longer and stronger.” The secretary of state melted many hearts within the Jewish community when he spoke about his family’s history and how his step-father survived the Holocaust.

Antony Blinken sailed through his Senate confirmation with large bipartisan support.

However, in his shadows, there are two appointments in the Biden administration that do not require Senate confirmation, but for whom those in the pro-Israel community have grave reason for concern.

The first appointment is Robert Malley who will be our new “Special Envoy to Iran.” Malley has a long record of serving on the National Security Council and an equally long record of overt hostility towards Israel. He has continuously counselled Israel to negotiate with Hamas, and he, himself, has frequently met with Hamas officials.

Malley has a lengthy and proven record of overt hostility toward the state of Israel. He firmly believes that there is no terrorist or leader of a rogue regime that cannot be charmed by him just by engaging in dialogue.

In 2000, when the Camp David talks broke up between Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Chairman Yasser Arafat, President Bill Clinton firmly blamed Yasser Arafat. His disappointment in Arafat was so great that, at the end of Clinton’s administration when Yasser Arafat culled him to tell him he was a great man, President Clinton responded, “No I am not, I am a failure, and you made me one.”

Both President Bill Clinton and Dennis Ross wrote books about what happened at Camp David, putting the responsibility for the failure of these talks squarely on the shoulders of Yasser Arafat. Yet, Robert Malley was the one analyst who pinned the responsibility for that failure totally on Israel.

In 2008, when Barack Obama was running for President, he knew that Robert Malley was too much of a lightning rod to be seen in public, for fear that it would alienate his Jewish voters. However, as soon as Obama won the White House, he played a critical role in crafting the JCPOA, the Iranian nuclear deal.

Malley is so enamored with his ability to negotiate with Iran that in 2019, when President Trump was in office, he took it upon himself to directly meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, when they were in New York during the opening of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

This, by the way, is in direct violation of the Logan Act.  The Logan Act forbids private citizens from corresponding with or engaging with foreign governments, as a representative of the United States.

When announcing the appointment of Robert Malley, State Department Spokesman Ned Price said that Secretary of State Blinken, “is building a dedicated team drawing from clear eyed experts with a diversity of views. Leading that team will be Robert Malley, who brings to the position a track record of success negotiating constraints of Iran’s nuclear program. The Secretary is confident he and his team will be able to do that once again.”

It is a huge stretch of the imagination to be able to call the JCPOA a success. Perhaps only if you measure success by getting the Iranians to agree to such a sweet deal for them. The 2015 agreement contains rapidly approaching sunset clauses (one of which has already expired; the arms embargo), where missile development was off the table, and where the Iranians are able to clean up their nuclear sites in 24 days before the International Energy Administration inspectors are allowed in.

The appointment of Robert Malley has been enthusiastically met by the Tehran Times, and NIAC, which Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called, “Iran’s lobby in Washington,” headed by Trita Parsi, and of course the Quincy Institute, which aims to appear more objective than NIAC but where Trita Parsi is listed as the co-founder and executive Vice President.

Another individual whose appointment does not require Senate confirmation is Maher Bitar, who will serve as the Director of Intelligence for the National Security Council. In this position, Bitar will be able to sift through which intelligence information  President Biden will then be able to see. In this powerful role, he will not only is the gatekeeper for which information the President sees, but for which information, in the name of the President, other foreign agencies will be allowed to see.

Normally, this position would go t someone with several years of experience within the CIA. However, now it is going to an individual who clearly has a history of anti-Semitism, and has made a career of it.

As a student, Bitar brought  BDS to Georgetown University and still sits on the Executive Board of Students for Justice in Palestine. As Daniel Greenfield wrote in Front-page magazine. Bitar organized several conferences with the one goal of inflaming hatred for Israel. He chaired the panel at a conference where he discussed ways to infiltrate the Christian community to gain support for the Palestinians.

After receiving his law degree from Georgetown, he went on to Oxford, where he received a master’s degree in refugee issues. His master’s these was about the “Nakba” (or “catastrophe” of Israel’s inception).

Since leaving school, Bitar served as an attorney for UNRWA, the UN agency which perpetuates the 1948 conflict and a sense of victimhood among the Palestinians.

One cannot help but wonder how this appointment squares with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s statement during the Senate confirmation that he and President Biden are “resolutely opposed to BDS.”

There is an old saying in Washington that “personality is policy.” One needs to send a clear, unambiguous message to the Iranians, as well as to those that try to tar Israel’s reputation by making outrageous claims comparing Israel to South Africa, before the days of Nelson Mandela.

It is a very sad, but well-known fact that there are different tugs within the Democratic Party. However, it is a sadder fact still, that when one is confronted with an existential threat, not just to Israel, but to the entire region and the world, one ignores the gravity of the situation, and looks, instead, to satisfy the demands of various constituent interest groups within his political party.

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About the Author

Sarah Stern
Sarah Stern is founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

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