There are many Eastern Orthodox who don't even believe that you have valid sacraments, priesthood, etc. I think its the west whom you are more akin to in this matter, as much as that pains you.
Melkites certainly know the precarious situation they occupy in the great scheme of Apostolic Christianity, and I do not think my brother Neil needs a reminder of that from anyone. Nevertheless, it does not follow that Melkites are more akin to the west than the east (wishful thinking perhaps?), your argument would have to be a lot more cogent and logical to establish that.
First, though there may be individual Orthodox who personally do not believe Melkites have a valid priesthood, it is not their place to judge these matters. In fact that is not the official stance of the church. Orthodox certainly see all Catholics as Christians, regardless of the fact that many are not in communion with us. The church is not in the business of pronouncing judgment upon other Christian bodies nor their sacraments, and neither expects nor seeks decrees of validation upon itself from outside.
Holy Orthodoxy routinely accords Roman Catholic hierachs respect, and neither endorses Roman Catholic orders nor condemns Roman Catholic orders. They are outside of the church, and are of no use to Orthodox.
Although it is not a formal practice, it is known that Melkite Catholics in Syria very often are communed in Melkite Orthodox churches as a matter of economia. I don't know if Syrian Latin-rite Catholics are accorded this same privilige. The special conditions there, as Christian minorities of a common sort, make it necessary. Many families, even whole towns, are mixed and often only one temple is allowed to be erected in a community. I know of at least one case of a temple being built specifically for use by both the Melkite Catholics and the Melkite (Antiochian) Orthodox, for separate liturgies and altars.
Because of it's more extensive network of parishes in North America, many Melkite Catholic immigrants from Syria and Lebanon worship in Antiochian Orthodox parishes, raising their children as Orthodox.
The reason, actually the only significant reason, Melkites are not in formal Communion and concelebration with Holy Orthodoxy is because the Melkites are in Communion with Rome. The issues in play are the errors Rome
teaches, and RC
attempts to assert those errors upon others. By sharing communion with the bishop of Rome and other bishops under Rome who teach these errors (out of charity no doubt, in the sense of love), the Melkite Catholics are formally cut off from the larger communion of Holy Orthodoxy.
I view this as a terrible sacrifice on their part.
In their efforts to keep the pipeline between east and west open for Rome the Melkites pay a very high price indeed, and I believe they know it. I do not think that fact is appreciated enough by most Latin Catholics nor latinized Eastern Catholics. To put it mildly it is a thankless position for them to be in.Michael