Please note that due to very high demand, I have extended my fall lecture tour -
*Game of Pawns: The Middle East 2017 *
I will now be in North America from September 26 - December 6, 2017

Please feel free to CONTACT ME or +972-505-409-905. I look forward to hearing from you - and hopefully seeing you soon!

Avi Melamed.

Category: Middle East Economy.

Lebanon: No Land for Beginning Politicians

January 7, 2017 Lebanon: No Land for Beginning Politicians by Avi Melamed   On October 31st 2016, 81-year-old, General Michele ‘Aoun, former Chief of Staff of the Lebanese Armed Forces was nominated by the Lebanese Parliament as the new President of Lebanon. In December 2016, a new government was formed in Lebanon under the leadership of the Prime Minister of…

Failed Military Coup in Turkey: President Recep & Mr. Erdoğan

I am REPOSTING THIS POST IN LIGHT OF A MISTAKE IN THE PREVIOUS TITLE July 20, 2016 by Avi Melamed A military coup in Turkey (July 15-16, 2016) was oppressed and failed. Though crushed, the attempted coup, which was apparently led by some factors within the Turkish army, indicates the deep and dangerous crisis which Turkey is experiencing that stems from…

Failed Military Coup in Turkey:  President Recep & Mr. Erdoğan

PLEASE NOTE I EDITED THIS POST DUE TO AN ERROR IN THE TITLE July 20, 2016 by Avi Melamed A military coup in Turkey (July 15-16, 2016) was oppressed and failed. Though crushed, the attempted coup, which was apparently led by some factors within the Turkish army, indicates the deep and dangerous crisis which Turkey is experiencing that stems from serious…

The Gaza Strip – Mercedes Benz and iPhone 5’s

October 16 2012  by Avi Melamed On October 7, 2012 the Estelle (boat) left Naples, Italy heading for the Gaza Strip. Reportedly, the boat is carrying goods for the people of Gaza like games, musical instruments, cement, etc.  The organizers announced that their goal is to draw the world’s attention to the suffering of the people in the Gaza Strip caused by the Israeli siege. On many occasions, both in briefings as well as in articles, I have discussed everyday life in the Gaza Strip.  Each time I talk about this issue I emphasize the following: Many people in Gaza struggle economically.  However, the narrative of the “humanitarian crisis” and the “suffering of the people of Gaza” (caused by the Israeli siege) that…

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 Earth Moves Beneath the Throne

September 5, 2012 by Avi Melamed The Hashemite kingdom of Jordan is experiencing growing unrest. Jordan is grappling with many challenges – just some of which are:  a growing external debt; an unbalanced budget which is threatening to bankrupt the country’s fragile economy; a high unemployment rate; growing inflation; a severe shortage of fresh water; constant electric blackouts and brownouts; a disintegration of public order; and growing feelings of insecurity among the population. At the same time, Jordanians are also focused on two additional issues:  the exposure of what seems to be deep corruption among politicians, civil servants and people who are part of the monarchy’s inner circle – specifically the Queen; and the perennial, yet sharply escalating debate, between…

Iran: Anatomy of a Desperate Society

May 6, 2012 by Avi Melamed   In 1979 Rouhallah Ayatollah Khomeini sparked the Islamic revolution in Iran.  With that Revolution the rule of the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran came to end. The Islamic Revolution established a theocratic regime in Iran, or as the country has been called from that time on, “The Islamic Republic of Iran.” The regime that came to power envisioned the Islamic Republic of Iran to become a beacon of progress, prosperity and achievement.  In their vision “The Islamic Republic of Iran” would be the ultimate proof of Islam’s (and mostly Shiite Islam’s) moral and practical superiority. However vision is one thing and reality is another…More than 30 years after the Revolution, Iranian society in 2012…

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 confluence of particular events, the West has a unique opportunity, which, if “played correctly,” could force the Iranian regime – in a completely non-combative way – to put a halt to its nuclear military program.  In order to take advantage of this opportunity, the West must fundamentally understand what is currently happening in the Middle East that makes this moment…

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…

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…

Cautious Optimism

As we all eagerly await the anticipated release this Tuesday of Gilad Shalit I would like to share an article from May 2011 in which I expressed cautious optimism regarding the release of Gilad Shalit.  More important however, I would like to share with you what led me to that conclusion.  I hope the below piece helps you understand why, after more than five years, Hamas has decided “to make the deal.” May 2011 by Avi Melamed In May 2011 I was interviewed by the European online news portal www.Euobserver.com about the odds for a successful prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas. In this interview, I expressed cautious optimism regarding the odds of such a deal that would lead to the…

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