Avi Melamed.

Category: Egypt.

Emerging Axis Signaling a More Pragmatic Hamas?

October 17, 2012 The Emirate of Qatar formally announced its intention to invest $254,000,000 in the Gaza Strip.  The money will be used to build a new hospital, new residential projects, new roads and new physical infrastructure.   The investment is expected to generate thousands of job opportunities for the people of Gaza who struggle with a 30% unemployment rate.  There were rumors that the Qatari Emir and/or his wife, Princess Moza, were supposed to have visited Gaza this week, but the trip was postponed.  This explains the fact that Gaza Streets were recently lined with huge billboards and posters of the Qatari Emir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani with word “shukran” (“thank you” in Arabic).  Rumors of the supposed visit…

Riots in Egypt

October 13, 2012 by Avi Melamed Egypt’s turmoil continues. Yesterday Cairo witnessed violent clashes between different political groups. Please read my article “The Arab Awakening: An Era of New Slogans” ( published November  8,2011). In that article you will find the explanation for the current – and yet to come – turbulence in Egypt, as well as other parts of the Arab world.

The Iranians and the Mossad are in Cahoots and Other Assorted Distortions…

October 6, 2012 by Avi Melamed The violent events in the Arab and Muslim world sparked by the movie “Innocence of Muslims” do not reflect the majority of Muslims.  In fact, it is doing them a disservice because the truth is that the majority of Muslims reject extremism. That being said, the events do reflect the deep feelings of frustration and inferiority which are rampant today in the Muslim and Arab world.  These feelings stem from the fact that the Arab and Muslim world today is by and large an “underachieving” society – socially and economically – plagued by suffocating poverty, high rates of unemployment, ever-growing corruption, paralyzing illiteracy, lack of civil and personal rights, and escalating violence. The events that…

The Muslim Brotherhood Belly Dancing

September 22, 2012 November 8, 2011 Avi Melamed writes an article The Arab Awakening: An Era of New Slogans  “…The Arab world is in flux and the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt, is now in unfamiliar territory – they are finally in the driver’s seat.   Therefore, they will have to bridge the gaps between their ideology and the need for pragmatism…I think it is quite reasonable to assume that the policy of the Muslim Brotherhood will be characterized by a permanent inner-tension that stems from their need to bridge their rigid ideology and their need for pragmatism.  And it is likely that this tension will create turbulence that will inevitably impact the region.”  September 22, 2012 an article published in L.A…

The Egyptian President’s Brilliant Move

September 1, 2012 by Avi Melamed Many people in the Arab world didn’t understand why Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi went to Iran to participate in the Non-Alignment Meeting (NAM). The Arab world loathes the Iranian regime which:  supports Assad as he butchers Syrian citizens; dominates large portions of Iraq and Lebanon through proxies; is involved in espionage and terror activity throughout the Arab world, including in Egypt; and threatens its neighbors, the Arab Gulf States. It is no wonder then, that Morsi’s move was criticized by different factors in the Arab world. Yet, Morsi knew exactly what he was doing.   He went to Iran for one purpose.  To position himself and Egypt as the leader of Sunni Arabs who…

The Sinai Peninsula: A Growing Strategic Threat

August 30, 2012 by Avi Melamed According to a one senior Egyptian analyst, the Rafah terror attack was planned over the course of three months by six  Jihadist and Takfir groups. One of the groups also involved, according to one senior Egyptian official, was a Palestinian terror group based in the Gaza Strip named Jeish Al Islam (Islam’s Army). The groups involved in the attack are not part of Al-Qaida.  However, they are inspired by its ideology.  Al-Qaida has announced the establishment of an Islamic Emirate in the Sinai Peninsula and as far back as December 20, 2011, Al-Qaida announced the presence of its military wing in the Sinai Peninsula, called Ansar Al Jihad. Some of the militants that perpetrated…

Egypt’s Game – “Good Cop, Bad Cop” ?

                August 22, 2012 by Avi Melamed   It seems as if Egypt is practicing a somewhat schizophrenic policy in the domestic and foreign arena.   On the one hand, senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt officially express a hard line which reflects the movement’s intolerant ideology regarding various social and political issues including: the rights of minorities, women’s rights, liberalism, civil rights, relations with Israel, etc. On the other hand, Muhammad Morsi, the President of Egypt, who ran for president as the candidate of the “Freedom and Justice Party” – the political party of the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt – advocates for a moderate and tolerant policy on the exact same topics.   So, the Muslim…

Egypt’s New Foreign Policy

July 30, 2012 February 3, 2012 Avi publishes an article Is the Israel Egypt Peace Treaty in Jeopardy?  in which he accurately foresees the foreign policy of Egypt’s new rule. Here is an excerpt from the article: “… the current Saudi-Egyptian alliance is crucial for Egypt…and Egypt is keenly aware of its dependence on Saudi support…the Saudis expect Egypt to restore their sovereignty in the Sinai Peninsula – the sooner the better – and to avoid events that could endanger the Saudi’s interests  …Egypt’s dependence on the support of the international community, and mostly the US, is deepening  …some African states are demanding that the agreement concerning the split of the water from Nile River be revised in a way…

Is War in the Middle East Inevitable?

February 25, 2012 by Avi Melamed The Iranian nuclear military program and the possibility of a massive military collision in the Middle East are clearly occupying the world’s attention. These concerns are not groundless.  However, is military confrontation inevitable? In this article, I would like to bring your attention to the fact that at this specific moment, due to the…

Hamas’ Kingdom of Crime

January 23, 2012 by Avi Melamed From its inception in the 1980s, Hamas has portrayed itself as a movement deeply rooted in Islamic principles and dedicated to the teachings of the Quran. Concentrating its attention on building a power base in the Gaza Strip, Hamas has proclaimed as its primary purpose the development of programs intended to improve the lives of the Palestinian people. In January 2006 Palestinians voters registered their support for Hamas’ stated goals by electing a majority of the organization’s slate of candidates to the Palestinian parliament, thereby constituting a strong opposition to the block of delegates representing the views of the Palestinian Authority. Eighteen months later, in June 2007, Hamas mounted a bloody coup that wrested…

The Arab Awakening: An Era of New Slogans

November 8, 2011 by Avi Melamed In my video and accompanying article on the “The Arab Awakening” (published last month), I presented my thoughts regarding the recent events in the Arab world, labeled by many, as “The Arab Spring.” One of my observations was that these events marked the beginning of an era of new slogans in the Arab world and a departure from the old ones. One of the slogans I discussed was “Islam is the Solution” – the motto of the Muslim Brotherhood movement since its establishment in Egypt in the late 1920’s.  You can see this phrase written on walls, printed on bumper stickers and plastered on street signs all over the Arab world. Following the downfall of the…

Israel – Hamas Prisoner Swap Deal: Arab Perspectives

  October 30, 2011 by Avi Melamed About 3 years ago, Khaled Mashal (also known as Abu Walid) the leader of Hamas in Damascus, received a phone call from Omar Suleiman, the head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service. “I have some good news, Abu Walid,” said Suleiman, “Israel has agreed to release one thousand Palestinian prisoners in return for (the Israeli soldier that was abducted by Hamas in June 2006) Gilad Shalit.” Mashal was ecstatic! “Great news!” he said “You have the green light from me to close the deal.” Omar Suleiman informed Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s president at the time, and Mubarak in turn, informed Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria. Assad was furious. “Mashal is not in a…

Gilad Shalit Released

May 30, 2011 Avi is interviewed about the Israeli abducted soldier, Gilad Shalit. Here is what Avi said in an interview published at Euobserver.com : “I am cautiously optimistic.  Today Hamas has to refigure its situation in the newly-shaped region. It is enjoying a warming-up of relations with Egypt and the support of the Muslim Brotherhood. But these actors may need Hamas to become more flexible so that they can gain face with the West…Post-revolutionary Egypt – which is a mediator in the Shalit talks – is likely to put pressure on Hamas to free the 24-year-old soldier in order to gain credibility for itself with the EU and US.”  October 18, 2011 Gilad Shalit was released.

Is the Israel Egypt Peace Treaty in Jeopardy?

September 1, 2012 by Avi Melamed The calls in Egypt today to revise and even to abolish the Israeli-Egyptian Peace Treaty have grabbed the headlines.  Is the Treaty in danger?  Will it be abolished?  From my analysis the answer is no.  What follows is my reasoning. The main characteristic defining the atmosphere in Egypt today is what I have labeled “political fever.”  More than 20 Egyptians have announced their intention to run for president and dozens of political parties have been formed in the wake of the Mubarak government’s demise. At the same time contemporary Egypt faces enormous challenges.  The most important of these involves their anemic economy which is on the verge of bankruptcy.  It is not at all clear…

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