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A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

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Former IDF intelligence official visiting St. Louis to talk next stages in Israel-Hamas war

Avi Melamed is a distinguished Geopolitical Middle East Expert, Intelligence Analyst, Author, Educator, and Founder and CEO of Inside the Middle East Intelligence Perspectives

Since Oct. 7, former Israeli intelligence officer Avi Melamed has been a busy man, working to give more people context and a full understanding of the Israel-Hamas war.

Melamed, the founder of the organization Inside the Middle East, will be in St. Louis Feb. 28, speaking at the Jewish Community Center. His goal is to help educate St. Louisans about the war and provide what he says is more context for the conflict.

Melamed says there is a common misconception he’s hoping to clear up.

“Unfortunately, within some Western circles, Hamas is viewed as freedom fighters or something of that sort,” said Melamed in a statement. “This is totally not the case. We are looking at a very radical terror organization designated by Western powers, including the United States, as a terror organization. We just saw on Oct. 7 that Hamas is no different than ISIS.”

During his visit, Melamed will give an overview of the war as a defining moment in the Middle East.

“We are all flooded with information. But do we really understand what this war is all about? How we got here? What does it all mean? Where are we going? And what does “the day after” look like,” said Melamed.

Who is Avi Melamed?

Melamed, former Israeli senior official on Arab affairs and former intelligence official and educator, now works as an independent Middle East strategic intelligence analyst, regional expert and lecturer specializing in the current affairs of the Arab and Muslim world and their impact on Israel and the region.

Melamed has most recently been appointed the Fellow of Intelligence and Middle East Affairs for the Eisenhower Institute in Washington, D.C. Among other responsibilities, he leads a year-long program called Inside the Middle East – Intelligence Perspectives, designed to ensure that the next generation in positions of influence in the United States will have a more intimate understanding of the Middle East and will apply methods of critical thinking. The outcome, hopefully, will result in a more accurate reading of the Middle East and will better serve the West’s interest.

As part of his job, Melamed provides intelligence analysis, briefings and tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policymakers, and international media outlets as well as a wide variety of organizations and private clients on a range of Israel and Middle East affairs.

Fluent in Arabic and Israeli, with a unique understanding of Arab society and culture, Melamed spent almost 30 years living in Arab cities and communities throughout the region, often in high-risk positions at sensitive times. He held various intelligence and counterterrorism field positions on behalf of the Israeli Defense Forces, the Israeli government and Israeli security and intelligence services including the Mossad, Shabak and 8200.

During the first Intifada, he was appointed the youngest-ever deputy advisor on Arab affairs to the Mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek, and later he served in the Ehud Olmert administration as senior advisor. He was instrumental in developing Israeli policy in and around Jerusalem and represented the city in local and international forums.

What: Israel at War with Avi Melamed
When: Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.
Where: The J’s Staenberg Family Complex, 2 Millstone Campus Dr.
How much: Free
More Info: Online registration is required.


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Jordan Palmer
Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer
Jordan worked at KSDK from 1995 to 2020. Jordan is a three-time Emmy award winner who produced every kind of show from news to specials during his tenure, creating Show Me St. Louis, The Cardinal Nation Show. He started ksdk.com in 2001 and won three Edward R. Murrow Awards for journalistic and website excellence in 2010, 2014 and 2020. Jordan has been married for 25 years and is the father of two college students. He is an avid biker, snowboarder, and beer lover. He created the blog drink314.com, focusing on the St. Louis beer community in 2015. Jordan has an incredible and vast knowledge of useless information and is the grandson of a Cleveland bootlegger.