Avi Melamed.

Category: The Gulf States.

Saudi Arabia: New King, Old Dance

January 25. 2015 Saudi Arabia: New King, Old Dance by Avi Melamed King Abdullah Bin Abd-Alaziz, the sixth king of Saudi Arabia, died on January 23, 2015 at age of 91. King Abdullah Bin Abd-Alaziz, ruled Saudi Arabia for ten years from 2005 to 2015. He was the twelfth son, out of 36 sons and an unknown number of daughters, of the founder of the Saudi Arabia Kingdom Abdul Aziz Al-Saud (1932-1953). Following King Abdullah’s death, Crown Prince Salman was announced the new King of Saudi Arabia. King Salman is 79 years old. He was appointed the Crown Prince following the death of two of his brothers – Prince Sultan who died in 2011 and Prince Nayef who died in…

Sixty-Six Egyptian Fishermen, Yemen and Instability in the Middle East

 October 24, 2014 Sixty-Six Egyptian Fishermen, Yemen and Instability in the Middle East Pay attention to the recent developments in Yemen, an Arab State with a population of 23,000,000 people. Yemen is located on the strategic Bab-el-Mandeb Strait (sometimes called the Mandab Strait) which flows between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula and Djibouti and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa, and connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. Yemen chronically suffers from weak governments, endless violence and enormous economic and social challenges. Yemen is a member of a “not so complementary” club of the poorest nations in the world. Yemen’s society is based on tribes and demographically it is 60% Sunni and 30% Shiite. All the above factors…

Hamas Breathes a Sigh of Relief

August 3, 2014 Hamas Breathes a Sigh of Relief   by Avi Melamed The next line will probably astonish many people. When Israel formally announced that the IDF kidnapped Officer, Hadar Goldin, was pronounced dead – Hamas breathed a sigh of relief. This sentence seems totally crazy; it doesn’t make any sense. After all, Hamas’ strategic objective was, and is, to abduct an Israeli – preferably a soldier – that will be a bargaining chip for the release of Palestinians imprisoned in Israel. Hamas wishes to recreate the case of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who was abducted and held in captivity by Hamas for more than 5 years (2006-2011) who was released in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.…

Bewildering American Move – Operation Protective Edge

Why was US Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest cease fire proposal rejected by Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Saudi Arabia? Another misstep on the part of the US Administration stemming from a misreading of the Middle Eastern Map, results in the US government scrambling to do damage control. As the Middle East goes through increasing turbulence, stemming from the enormous challenges the region is confronting, it is critical that the West, especially the United States, understand how to foster and cultivate stability in the face of those that are determined to foment instability.   Avi Melamed, former Israeli Senior Official on Arab Affairs and former Intelligence Official and educator, is today an Independent Middle East Strategic Intelligence Analyst,…

The War in Syria – A Mutual Chokehold

May 7, 2014   The War in Syria – A Mutual Chokehold By Avi Melamed Pay attention to the Syrian town of Tfail. Tfail is a Lebanese enclave located in the Al-Kalmun mountain range in Syria about a mile away from the Lebanese border. It is a town of about 5,000 people – all Lebanese citizens (though the town is located inside Syria) – the majority of whom are Sunnis. Reportedly, following the recent battles in the region, dozens of thousands of Syrians fleeing the war in Syria found refuge on the outskirts of Tfail. Hezbollah argues that these refugees are not civilians, but rather Syrian rebels who fled following the recent fighting in the area of the Al-Kalmun. Reportedly,…

Avi Melamed US Lecture Tour Spring 2014

A New Middle East Requires a New Understanding. Events of an historic scale are rocking the Middle East. I have spent many years of my life in the streets of the Arab world.  I have watched the Arab Awakening evolve and erupt from the inside. The Middle East in changing before our very eyes, the landscape is shifting and changing every day, and can drastically change any minute now. My upcoming US lecture tour will help you understand the present and navigate the future. Egypt, the biggest and most important Arab State, is embroiled a fierce battle over its identity. Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen are disintegrating in a bloody and violent process. Lebanon, once known as the Paris…

Soldier on the Chessboard

January 9, 2014  by Avi Melamed Lebanese authorities announced that Majid Al-Majid (his full name is Majid bin Muhammad Majid al-Qahtani), the leader of the Abdullah Azzam Brigade Jihadist group and the top Al-Qaeda commander in Lebanon – died after being arrested. The Abdullah Azzam Brigade is a Sunni Islamic militant group affiliated with the Global Jihad movement and Al-Qaeda with cells in countries throughout the Arab world. It was created in 2009 by a Saudi militant named Saleh bin Abdullah Al-Qar’awi AKA Al-Seif Al-Bater (“The Cutting Sword”). In Saudi Arabia they operate under the name of The Companies of Yusuf al ‘Uyayri (or Al-Ubeiri), named after an Al-Qaeda senior leader who was killed in Saudi Arabia in 2003. The…

Secret of the Spinning Wheels

November 12, 2013 The Secret of the Spinning Wheels The Middle East is a complex structure of wheels which spin one another. Normally, a small wheel spins a bigger one.  In the Middle East however, sometimes it is the opposite. Sometimes a big wheel spins a smaller one. The following story demonstrates that well. The story begins in May 2012 when a group of eleven Lebanese Shiites described as “Pilgrims” were kidnapped in Syria on their way back to Lebanon from Iran. According to accumulating information evaluated as reliable, among the kidnapped were senior military and political activists of Hezbollah (read more about that incident in my article “Nasrallah Gets a Taste of his own Bitter Medicine” published on June…

Where is the Leader of Jabhat Al-Nusrah in Syria? INTELLIGENCE BULETIN

******* Intelligence Bulletin Information Date:                October 26, 2013 Event Date:                            October 25, 2013 Information Item:                 Leader of Jabhat Al- Nusrah killed in Syria? Information Platform:         Varied Source:                                    Vary Source Reliability:                 Unknown Spring:                                     Syrian National TV Network Spring Reliability:                  Unknown Information Validity:            Unconfirmed Relevant Information:         The Syrian TV News network (SANA) associated with the Assad regime, reported that Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani, the leader of the Jabhat Al-Nusra organization, which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda in Syria, was killed on October 25, 2013. Jabhat Al-Nusra rushed to deny the report, announcing that Al-Joulani, as well as Abu Anas Al-Sahabh, another senior leader of the organization, were safe and sound. It should be mentioned that the news item was removed from SANA’s website shortly after it was published. It also…

Did Assad’s Mother Die?

Intelligence Bulletin Did Assad’s Mother die? Information date: 2/18/2013 Information: Assad’s mother Amina Mahluf dies in Belhoul Specialty hospital in Dubai. Source: Neutral information platform Source reliability: Unknown Information validity: Unconfirmed Relevant information: According to different sources, Assad’s mother moved to the Gulf area few months ago. Her exact whereabouts are not clear. This information evaluated as reliable. Assad’s mother is member of the powerful Mahluf Alawite family. A teacher by profession, Amina Mahluf is often described as the “Iron lady” who rules her family with an iron fist. Reportedly, she had significant influence on almost all state matters in Syria. If the information regarding Amina Mahluf’s death is accurate, it could be meaningful for two major reasons; one, reportedly…

The King of Bahrain to visit the Gaza Strip This Week?

October 29, 2012 by Avi Melamed According to reports in the Arab media – which have been denied by official Bahraini spokesmen – the King of Bahrain will visit the Gaza Strip by the end of this week. Such a visit, should it take place, would be another indication of the Gulf States willingness to reward Hamas following its detachment from the Iranian-Syrian axis. A visit by the King of Bahrain, following last week’s visit of the Emir of Qatar to the Gaza Strip is a clear sign of support of the Gulf monarchies for the pragmatic wing of Hamas. The visit is also a signal from Saudi Arabia.  Qatar’s tendency to conduct independent foreign policy and to promote its…

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…

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…

Nasrallah is finished in the Arab World

August 14, 2011 Avi wrote an article The Middle East:  Where Rhetoric is Rarely Reality on the impending crash of Hezbollah’s image in the Arab world.  “…The growing intervention of Iran in the internal affairs of Arab States; the public and practical support that Iran and Hezbollah provide the Assad government that brutally oppresses the uprising of the Syrian people; the increasing threats that Iran makes towards its Arab neighbors in the Gulf area; and of course the Tribunal’s report – all these events increase the feelings of resentment among Sunni Arabs towards the Shiites, and the animosity of Arab states toward Iran and its proxy Hezbollah.”  May 1, 2012 the president of Tunisia in a formal interview declares that Nasrallah…

AVI'S NEW BOOK

"Inside the Middle East:
Making Sense of the Most Dangerous and Complicated Place on Earth"

Scroll down to learn more

Newsletter X

Join my mailing list to be the first to know about my appearances, events and lecture tours!

Join my mailing list to receive my Intel Briefs straight to your inbox!