Inside the Middle East with Avi Melamed
In Order to Understand Israel You Must Understand the Neighborhood
A Three-Week Sh’ma: Listen! Speaker Series in Conjunction with the Israel Center
August 9, 16, and 23
August 9: Opening Briefing
10-11:30 am – Changing the Lenses: A New Framework for Discussion
Israel is becoming a divisive issue within the American Jewish community. Many young people (and not so young) are distancing themselves from Israel. This process damages the connection between American Jews and Israel, compromises the fabric of the American Jewish Community, causes tensions within individual families, and threatens the future of the Jewish people. Why did this happen? What can be done to address the issue? How can we make Israel a uniting and not dividing issue within the American Jewish community? This lecture explores the underlying issues. And offers a new framework for a constructive, apolitical, and respectful discussion that will strengthen American Jewry’s societal fabric and reaffirm a robust and sustainable connection to Israel and ensure Israel’s place as a unifying entity for the American Jewish Community.
August 16 and 23: Mini-Seminar
10-11 am – Israel’s Northern Front & the Shi’ite Crescent: A Geostrategic Analysis & A Personal EncounTour
Part One: Providing the Knowledge & Building the Database
In December 2004, King Abdullah II of Jordan warned about the dangers of the Iranian Shi’ite Crescent and Iran’s hegemonic vision. In the first two decades of the 21st century, Iran has made significant progress toward fulfilling its goal of being the dominant regional superpower. The backbone of Iran’s Shi’ite Crescent is a network of armed agents and proxies, including dozens of thousands of non-Iranian Shi’ite militants from across the region.
For the last 10 years, Iran has been working on building an Iranian-Controlled Corridor from Iran through Iraq through Syria through Lebanon to the Mediterranean Sea. Iran’s corridor is the most significant military threat Israel is facing. Therefore, Israel has vowed it will do whatever it takes to prevent Iran from securing the passage. How did Iran build this infrastructure? What threat does is hold for Israel and the region? What must be done to ensure the Corridor and the Crescent do not materialize
Part Two: The Northern Border IntelEdventure | The Places You Go & the People You Meet
This Zoom briefing will combine custom footage from the Lebanese border and the Syrian border. And two people from the region will join the Zoom call live.
Avi Melamed, Middle East Expert & Strategic Intelligence Analyst
Avi Melamed is a Strategic Intelligence Analyst and an expert on the current affairs in the Arab and Muslim World and their impact on the Middle East and Israel.
He is the Founder and CEO of Inside the Middle East: Intelligence Perspectives (ITME). ITME is an empowering educational program teaching critical analysis in an innovative and engaging fashion. Avi’s distinct curriculum provides an apolitical, non-partisan education about the contemporary Middle East and uses intelligence methodology to teach critical thinking and media literacy. Through the ITME praxis, Avi transforms students and practitioners into knowledgeable and media-literate critical thinkers.
ITME began as an undergraduate initiative and now includes workshops and seminars from high schools to communities to Capitol Hill. Avi’s goal is to ensure that the next generation of leaders will be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and tools to independently and accurately decipher the Middle East — and accurately predict the direction of future events. Through ITME, Avi has directly impacted the perspectives, educational path, and career trajectory of more than 200 current and future leaders. To quote Avi’s students and alumni – ITME doesn’t tell you what to think; ITME teaches you HOW to think.
As an author, educator, expert, and strategic intelligence analyst, Avi provides intelligence analysis, briefings, and geopolitical tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policymakers, global media outlets, and a wide variety of international businesses, organizations, and private clients on a range of Israel and Middle East Affairs.
Avi is a former Israeli Intelligence Official and Senior Official on Arab Affairs. In his public service, he held high-risk government, senior advisory, intelligence, and counter-terrorist intelligence positions in Arab cities and communities throughout the region – often in very sensitive times – on behalf of Israeli government agencies.
He has co-authored Separate and Unequal: Israel’s Rule in East Jerusalem and wrote Ubrusi: The Novel. His newest book, Inside the Middle East: Making Sense of the Most Dangerous and Complicated Region on Earth is a GPS to help you navigate the dramatically changing Middle East. The book offers a unique insight into the Arab world, challenges widely accepted perceptions, provides a guide to make sense of the unfolding events in the region and provides an out of the box idea that could lead to a positive breakthrough in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
An Israeli Jew, fluent in Arabic, English, and Hebrew, with a unique understanding of Arab society and culture, Avi has his finger on the pulse on the Arab world. He has a proven record of foreseeing the evolution of events in the Middle East and their impact on a local and regional level.
Through all of his efforts, as an analyst, educator, entrepreneur, and writer, he is a bridge-builder. He dedicates himself to enhancing the Arabic, English, and Hebrew speaking audience’s comprehensive understanding of the Middle East and each other.
This event has ended. For information about a recorded link, please contact Karen Rader at KRader@JFedSTL.org.