Reprinted from Wallwritings
Bethlehem, Palestine, was once a small village where Jesus was born. Today, it is a city surrounded by what is essentially a 30-foot high concrete prison wall.
In less than two weeks, Christians around the world will once again celebrate only half of the scene in the painting above. They will sing, clap and enjoy seeing their children dressed like the shepherds shown above in the work by British graffiti artist Banksy.
This Christmas, few churches and few clergy leaders, will focus on the wall in Banksy's prophetic vision because it shouts into Bethlehem's quiet night what President Obama's newly-appointed ISIS czar, Rob Malley, said in a different, but highly relevant context, this week in a New York conference:
"'resolving the Israel Palestine conflict is necessary to defeating Islamist extremists' because [ISIS] 'extremists refer constantly to the situation of Palestinians.'"
Malley, now the senior advisor to Obama "for the Counter-ISIL Campaign in Iraq and Syria" and White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, told the conference, co-sponsored by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and the New Israel Fund:
"ISIS would lose a recruiting tool if the matter were resolved. And the failure to resolve the conflict makes it 'very difficult' to get 'the kind of open cooperation that we really need to get changes on the ground.'"
Who is this man who states the truth with such clarity?
As a start, it helps to know that he is a man intensely disliked by the government of Israel and Israel's minions in the U.S.
NBC News reported his latest appointment as "controversial," the media code word for "that with which Israel is not pleased."
Under the headline on her December 1 report that described Malley as "Obama's New ISIS Czar Trusted Controversial Pick," NBC's Elizabeth Chuck reported:
"President Obama has a new weapon in the fight against terror: a longtime security adviser he has promoted to be his new ISIS czar. National Security Adviser Susan Rice refers to Rob Malley as one of her 'most trusted advisers' and 'one of our country's most respected experts on the Middle East.'"
Chuck traces Malley's career in the White House which "started under the Clinton administration, first as executive assistant to the national security adviser in 1996 and then as Special Assistant to the President for Arab-Israeli Affairs."
After his Clinton assignment, Malley moved to the respected non-profit International Crisis Group to serve as Middle East and North Africa program director, a role he kept until 2014 when he came to the Obama White House.
Alarmed over Malley's friendship with Obama since Harvard days, the U.S. Israeli minions went into action. NBC's Chuck recalls, in a paragraph inevitable in any mainline Malley story:
"He ran into his first firestorm in 2001 when he co-wrote an article about a Camp David summit on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which had ended in failure the year prior. In the article, Malley said it was unfair to blame only Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat -- who most observers argued was the reason the talks fell apart -- and pushed for 'a more nuanced and realistic' analysis showing Israeli leader Ehud Barak was partially responsible, too."