President Biden’s embattled U.S. special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, who was suspended last year and is under investigation by the FBI, is slated to teach a course about the Israel-Palestine conflict at Yale.
Malley will teach a class called “Contending with Israel-Palestine” this semester, which will take “an in-depth look at important questions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” according to a report from Yale Daily News.
The class is limited to 18 students, according to the outlet, and is available to both undergraduate and graduate students. Students reportedly had to arrange a meeting with Malley and take part in an interview prior to their enrollment for the course, which will consist of 13 weekly discussions and assigned readings.
“In the wake of Oct. 7, I questioned whether it still made sense or whether it would be best to wait,” Malley said, according to the school newspaper. “Ultimately, I concluded, in coordination with the School, that it had become even more important to try to create an environment where students could learn more about this topic and engage with others in thoughtful, respectful conversations.”
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Readings for the course, as reported by the outlet, will include “excerpts from Theodor Herzel, Mahmoud Darwish, John Mearsheimer, Benjamin Netanyahu and others, while primary source documents include excerpts from Israeli law, the Religious Zionist party platform, the Palestinian National Charter and the 2017 Hamas charter.”
In teaching the course, Malley said he is “well aware of how polarized and even toxic debates around Israel-Palestine can be” and noted that he is “well aware of the fact that we all have biases and prejudices, myself included.”
“I’m trying to take steps as best I can to address that. [Students] don’t need to conceal or change their own – just to listen and try to understand their peers,” he added.
Malley, who has served as the special envoy to Iran since January 2021, is currently on leave from his position while under investigation by the FBI for allegedly mishandling classified documents. He was placed on leave by the State Department last June amid an investigation into his security clearance.
Malley played a significant role in the Biden administration’s efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. In 2018, then-President Donald Trump opted to kill the deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran.
Asked about the status of the investigation, a State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital in an October statement that “Rob Malley remains on leave, and we have no further comment. The Department does not comment on individual security clearances.”
Malley also has a history of being sympathetic to the way certain terrorist groups — including Hamas and Hezbollah — operate, and encouraged the U.S. to engage in talks with the groups.
BIDEN’S IRAN ENVOY ROBERT MALLEY PLACED ON LEAVE AMID SECURITY CLEARANCE INVESTIGATION
After working in the Clinton administration, and prior to his service with Biden, Malley spoke with officials from Hamas and also penned a 2006 Time Magazine piece, “The U.S.’s policy in the Middle East is flawed. Here’s how to fix it,” in which he wrote, “Today the U.S. does not talk to Iran, Syria, Hamas, the elected Palestinian government or Hezbollah. . . . The result has been a policy with all the appeal of a moral principle and all the effectiveness of a tired harangue.”
The U.S. government has classified Iran’s regime as the world’s worst international state sponsor of terrorism and designated Hamas and the Lebanese-based Hezbollah movement as terrorist organizations. Iran’s regime aided Hamas, according to Israel’s government, in its slaughter of Israelis and Americans in southern Israel on October 7.
In a 2009 documentary interview, Malley said that it was “a mistake to only think of them in terms of their terrorist violence dimension,” referring to Hamas, Hezbollah and the Sadrist Movement in Iraq, noting that they “are social and political movements, probably the most rooted movements in their respective societies.”
“There’s so much misinformation about them. . . . I speak to them, and my colleagues speak to them [Hamas], and now we may disagree with them, but they have their own rationality . . . none of them are crazies,” Malley said in the film, titled “Cultures of Resistance.” Malley was the program director for the Middle East and North Africa division of the International Crisis Group.
He also said Hamas “has a charity organization, a social branch; it’s not something you can defeat militarily either, and people need to understand that.”
When Fox News Digital asked the State Department spokesperson last fall whether Malley had defended or promoted Hamas, they responded, “The United States government designated Hamas as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997.”
The foreign espionage allegations against Malley and his Iran team have elevated concern about his contacts with Hamas due to its coordination with Iran to launch a scorched earth war against the Jewish state.
Dan Diker, the president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, has criticized Malley by saying he “is a fellow traveler of the Iranian regime and a loyalist of the Iranian regime and defends Hezbollah and Hamas.”
Diker added, “Malley led us into this ISIS-like alley that the Jewish people have not seen since the Holocaust.”
Fox News’ Benjamin Weinthal and Andrea Vacchiano contributed to this report.
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