Yossi Melman is one of Israel’s leading journalists and commentators. He is the security and intelligence commentator of Walla, Israel’s biggest news website. He is the recipient of the 2009 Sokolov Award – Israel’s most prestigious and highest decoration for journalists. For 27 years he was a feature writer and columnist for the Israeli daily Haaretz, and from 2007 to 2010 he was part of the Washington Post ‘s Global Post panel.
He is also the author of several books on foreign policy, strategic issues, terrorism, and intelligence.
In 1997 he was accepted to the prestigious International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which is sponsored and managed by the Washington-based Center for Public Integrity. He is the only Israeli member of the ICIJ.
Yossi Melman was born in Poland and emigrated to Israel in 1957. After 3 years of national service in an elite unit of the Israel Defense Forces, he studied history and international relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. As a full-time journalist since 1974, he worked at the IDF radio station, for Kol Israel radio, and as London correspondent for two Israeli newspapers – Haaretz and Davar in the 1980s. In 1989-90 he was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. In 1993-1994 he participated in the Michigan Journalism Fellows program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Yossi Melman co-authored a book about Iran and its nuclear program in 2008: THE NUCLEAR SPHINX OF TEHERAN: MAHMOUD HAMADINEJAD AND THE STATE OF IRAN (Carroll & Graf).
In 2002, he co-authored (in Hebrew), SPIES: ISRAEL’S COUNTER ESPIONAGE WARS (written with Eitan Haber, Yediot Aharonot Books), which for almost a full year was at the top of Israel’s best-seller lists. It sold 60,000 copies.
In 1990, he co-authored EVERY SPY A PRINCE: THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF ISRAEL’S INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY (with Dan Raviv, published by Houghton Mifflin). It was a New York Times best seller for four months, as well as a bestseller in Israel, Germany and Poland. The book was translated and published in dozens of countries.
In 1994, they wrote FRIENDS IN DEED: INSIDE THE U.S.-ISRAEL ALLIANCE (Hyperion). Earlier, Yossi Melman wrote four other books on terrorism, secret diplomacy and Israel.
As a playwright, he penned The Good Son, based on a somewhat fictional espionage case, staged at Tel Aviv’s Cameri Theater in 2006-07.
Yossi Melman is the recipient of the 1994 “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.
In 2003 he shared in an award for an ICIJ project, “Making a Killing: The Business of War,” on worldwide arms dealers and oil and diamond merchants in Third World countries. In 2007, he was part of an ICIJ investigation, Collateral Damage: Human Rights and Military Aid After 9/11. The project was a finalist in the Online News Association Awards. See: http://journalist.org/awards/archives/000773.php
Two of his stories (on Iran’s nuclear program and on the Israeli attack on the Syrian nuclear facility) were selected among the top ten most read stories in 2007 on the Haaretz website.
Yossi Melman has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Moment Magazine, Boston Globe, (London) Sunday Times, The Guardian and other international newspapers. His television appearances include Israel’s channels One, Two and Ten, CBS’s 60 Minutes, NBC’s Today Show, CNN, BBC and many other radio and TV shows in countries in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America.
He speaks and writes fluent Hebrew and English and speaks Polish. He is an enthusiastic runner and triathlete; having run 30 marathons. He organized and participated in ironman competitions, too.
He lives in Tel Aviv with his wife, Billie Melman, Professor of Modern History at Tel Aviv University, and their son and daughter.