The Obama transition team is working to distance itself from a controversial negotiator who has been negotiating with Israel’s enemies.
Robert Malley, Middle East director of the International Crisis Group, a think tank that has traditionally been critical of Israel, has been holding discussions with the leaders of Syria, Egypt and Hamas.
Recent reports from the Israeli media, reflected in a recent Bulletin report, had indicated President-elect Barack Obama had sent Mr. Malley to the Middle East on his behalf. This was despite his having quit as an “informal adviser” to the campaign in May after his ties with Hamas became public and a political liability for the Obama campaign.
Mr. Malley had, according to the reports, presented himself as a liaison for President-elect Obama.
The Obama transition team told The Bulletin, in an official letter, that Mr. Malley does not work for the president-elect. And it said if Mr. Malley presented himself as a liaison for Mr. Obama, it was done without authorization from Mr. Obama or by anyone else in the Obama transition team.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org