Yossi Melman

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Yossi Melman

Yossi Melman (Hebrew: יוסי מלמן, born December 27, 1950) is an Israeli writer and journalist. He was an intelligence and strategic affairs correspondent for the Haaretz newspaper, and in 2013 he joined The Jerusalem Post and its Hebrew sister paper Maariv in a similar, more analytical role covering also military issues.


Yosef (Yossi) Melman was born in Poland. The family immigrated to Israel in 1957, when he was six years old.[1] He graduated from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. From 1969 he served for three years with "Shaked", a reconnaissance and Special Forces unit in the Israel Defense Forces.

Since 1974, Melman has worked in various capacities in the Israeli media. He has worked for 27 years in the Israeli Haaretz daily as a senior correspondent on national security, intelligence and strategic issues. Melman was involved in several legal and public battles to lift gag orders issued by Israeli courts and censors.

He wrote ten non-fiction books on Israeli Intelligence Community, security, terrorism and nuclear issues which were published in more than 40 countries in 15 languages. One of his books, "Every Spy a Prince", co-authored with former CBS News reporter Dan Raviv, was a New York Times best-seller for 12 weeks. He also wrote a play in Hebrew, "The Good Son", staged by the Tel Aviv Cameri Theater in 2006.

In 2016 he was a consultant and protagonist in Alex Gibney's documentary "Zero Days" which won the Peabody Award.

In 2017 he created with director Duki Dror a 4 part TV documentary called "The Mossad Cover Story".[2] The series got good reviews by the Israeli media.[3]

Melman is an avid runner and triathlete who ran 35 marathons in Europe and the US, six ultramarathons of 50 to 75 km and four Ironman Triathlons. He is the initiator and founder of "Israman" (Israel's Ironman). In 2009, eighty days after suffering a heart attack, he returned to run a full marathon. One of his books in Hebrew is called "Autobiography of Running". In December 2016 he ran 66 km to mark his 66th birthday.[4]

In 1976, Melman married Billie Rozensweig, a Tel Aviv-born Israeli historian.They have two children: Yotam and Daria.

Views and opinions[edit]

Melman has stated that he considers himself a left-wing Israeli, and that Israel must abandon the occupied territories to live in peace with a Palestinian state. However, he has also said that the Palestinians should not be given the right of return, as that would defeat the idea of a two-state solution in Israeli minds.[5]

While supporting the peace process with the Palestinians, Melman believes that Israel must retain its strong military capabilities, including its nuclear deterrence.

Melman was described by WikiLeaks in February 2012 as an "information mule" who had "channeled tips to the Mossad", assertions that were contested by Melman in his review of his relationship with Julian Assange, whom he believes has made anti-Semitic statements.[6]


Yossi Melman was twice (in 1994 and in 2017, together with Dan Raviv) the recipient of the Simon Rockower Award for Excellence in Jewish Journalism and of the 1995 Boris Smolar Award of Excellence in International News or Feature Reporting, on behalf of the American Jewish Press Association.[7]

In 2003 together with a few other members of the ICIJ investigative team he has received a special award for their coverage "Making a Killing: The Business of War", a project of 11 feature articles on worldwide arms dealers, oil and diamond merchants in Third World countries.

In 2004 survey among Haaretz readers, Melman was selected as the Most Outstanding and Interesting Writer.

In 2007 participated together with ICIJ reporters Michael Bilton, Prangtip Daorueng, Ignacio Gomez, Andreas Harsono, Alain Lallemand, Mutegi Njau, Paul Radu, Gerardo Reyes and Leo Sisti in an investigatory project Collateral Damage: Human Rights and Military Aid After 9/11. The project was nominated for the Online News Association Awards.

In 2008, Melman won an award from the Investigative Reporters and Editors Association (IRE) for his report on a Jordanian Palestinian held illegally by American, Israeli and Jordanian security services.[8]

In 2009 he received the Sokolov Award, Israel's foremost award for journalism, on account of his investigative work and breaking news about the Israeli security establishment.

Published work[edit]

External video
Booknotes interview with Melman and Dan Raviv on Every Spy a Prince, August 5, 1990, C-SPAN


  1. ^ Booknotes interview with Melman and Dan Raviv on Every Spy a Prince, August 5, 1990 Archived November 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ part one of the series
  3. ^ article in Haaretz (in Hebrew)
  4. ^ Yossi Melman, Run for a lifetime, The Jerusalem Post, January 5, 2017
  5. ^ "We cannot have them back", The Guardian, September 20, 2002. Retrieved November 2, 2006.
  6. ^ Yossi Melman (28 February 2012). "Assange's Chutzpah". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  7. ^ http://www.ajpa.org/general/custom.asp?page=2017Rockower
  8. ^ Carmel, Asaf (July 1, 2008). "Haaretz journalist wins investigative reporting award". Haaretz. 

External links[edit]