Avi Melamed.

Tag: politics

Countdown to an Attack on Syria: Tomahawks and Smoke Signals

August 27, 2013 by Avi Melamed As a Western coalition (including Turkey) military strike, led by the USA, targeting the Assad regime in Syria seems inevitable, a delicate and complex process of “message exchanges” is taking place between the West and the Iran–Assad axis. As strange as it may sound, the purpose of this process is to come to a kind of unwritten, unspoken understanding – a “deal” if you wish – between the sides regarding the scale and magnitude of the West’s military strike in Syria that will reflect both sides’ interests – as well as restrictions – in the current situation. What are the interests and restrictions of the Iran-Assad axis? Two main factors guide the Iran-Assad axis: a)     The…

On The Edge of The Cliff

******* Intelligence Bulletin Information Date:     August 23, 2013 Event Date:     August 23, 2013 Information Item:     Lethal Attacks on Sunni Mosques in Northern Lebanon Information Platform:     Various Source:     Varied Source Reliability:     Confirmed Spring:     Varied Spring Reliability:     Reliable Relevant Information:     Two explosions occurred on Friday, August 23 in the city of Tripoli, the largest city in the northern part of Lebanon. The targets of the attacks were two major Sunni mosques. As of now, 45 people are reported dead and more that 500 injured. So far no one has claimed responsibility for the attacks. The city of Tripoli, with a population of some half a million people is predominately Sunni. There is, however, a group of Alawites who reside in one of…

Just Back From Nigeria

Avi Melamed in Office of DIA Commander Avi Melamed just returned from Abuja, Nigeria. Avi was invited by the Nigeria Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA)*.to a National Security Conference to speak about the Middle East from an Intelligence and Geostrategic Perspective. The sponsors of the Conference, the Center for Strategic Studies* in Nigeria held the program at the DIA Academy. For two full days – March 7 and 8, Avi briefed the top Intelligence, Governmental and Military officials in Nigeria on the current challenges and developments in the Middle East and the short term and long terms ramifications of the current events. The Conference’s goal was to expand the Nigerian security, military and government leaders’ understanding of current security issues; to…

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…

Inside Hezbollah’s Private Dominion

February 14, 2012 by Avi Melamed The southern quarter of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, is known by the name Al Dahya Al Janobiya.  Since the 1980’s Al Dahya has been primarily populated by Shiites most of whom came to Beirut from the southern part of Lebanon and the  Beqa’a area (a 120 km long and narrow valley in the center of Lebanon). Al Dahya is also the nerve center of  Hezbollah.  Al Dahya is the home of Hezbollah’s central headquarters as well as their main offices, thousands of Hezbollah members live there, including its senior leadership.  Al Dahya, like southern Lebanon and the Beqa’a area, is completely under the control of Hezbollah.  Practically speaking, the State of Lebanon has…

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…

Almost a Suicide Bomber: The Story of Amal Juma’ah

December 8, 2011  by Avi Melamed In October 2011, a deal was struck between Hamas and Israel. Over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners were exchanged for the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit that was abducted by Hamas in June 2006. You can read more about the prisoner swap deal in my article: Israel – Hamas Prisoner Swap Deal: Arab Perspectives. Amal Juma’ah was one of the Palestinian female prisoners released by Israel. Following her release, Amal Juma’ah was hospitalized in a Palestinian hospital in Nablus with an undisclosed sickness. There has been talk of her being transferred to a Jordanian hospital. The Palestinian President, Mahmud Abbas, ordered the Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, to make sure that all costs for her medical treatment…

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…

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…

Calls For an Uprising of The Arab Population in the District of Hozastan, Iran

April 14, 2011 by Avi Melamed  As the eyes of the world are all turned to events in Libya and Syria, a fire may erupt soon in one of most strategically sensitive areas in the Middle East:  The district of Hozastan in Iran. Hozastan is a huge district stretching along the eastern shore of the Arab Gulf.  The majority of the population in the district is Shi’ite, yet there is a big Sunni population as well.  The accurate number of the Sunnis in Iran is not clear – apparently around 10 million people (Iran’s total population is about 74 million).  The largest sect in Iran is the Shi’ites yet they are not the majority.  Iranian is a multi-ethnic society. The…

From Japan to Iran: Something to Think About

March 16, 2011 by Avi Melamed As the world closely and anxiously watches the nuclear drama unfold in JapanI would like to share with you the following thought provoking story, which clearly has much relevance. A couple of weeks ago a series of massive explosions rocked the city of Kum in Iran. That was not a terror attack.  The blasts were caused by gas leaking from the huge gas system infrastructure located in the area.  The reason for the explosions was simply the poor and deteriorating conditions of the massive Iranian gas infrastructure.  The Iranian President was alarmed; he knew that this time the regime was lucky, because there were no fatalities.  If such event repeats itself, and causes fatalities, it…

Jordan: Long Live the (wise) King!

February 13, 2011 by Avi Melamed The following story allows the West to have a glimpse into Middle Eastern Politics. It’s always good to learn something… Mrs. Randa Habib is the Correspondent of the French Agency News (FAN) in Jordan.  She knows everything that there is to be known about what is going on in Jordan.  She has direct access to theRoyal Court. A couple of days ago she published an interesting report.  Thirty-six senior figures from the Bedouin Tribes in Jordan published a petition criticizing the Jordanian Queen Rania. Queen Rania’s is from the Yasin family, a very wealthy Palestinian family originally from the city of Nablus on theWest Bank.  Rania was born in Kuwait, where her father had…

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