Once, Robert Malley was too radical for the Obama campaign, or for the White House. The Middle East scholar, widely seen as anti-Israel, reportedly met with the terrorist group Hamas and encouraged the United States to do the same.
Then, in February, President Barack Obama appointed Malley as a senior director at the National Security Council. Today, Malley is advising Secretary of State John Kerry in Lausanne, Switzerland as he negotiates with Iran over a nuclear deal.
A photograph released by Agence France-Presse shows Malley with his back to the camera, looking serious as Kerry enjoys a laugh with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.
Throughout the talks, Israel–which is not involved–has expressed concerned that international negotiators are leaving it open to threats from Iran.
The fact that Malley is at the table, in the only delegation that might consider Israel’s welfare, will not be reassuring to Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.