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Monday, June 13, 2011

They call this guy a spy?

There are more details out about Ilan Grapel, the American immigrant (yes, really) who is alleged to be an Israeli spy in Egypt.
Ilan Grapel, the alleged Mossad agent arrested on Sunday in Egypt, is an American citizen who served in the IDF Paratrooper’s Brigade during the Second Lebanon War and interned last summer at the Israeli Supreme Court.

Grapel, originally from New York, moved to Israel after graduating from John Hopkins University in the US and enlisted in the IDF.

He was wounded during fighting against Hezbollah guerillas in the southern Lebanese town of Taibe in August, 2006. In an interview to the New York Daily News in 2006, Irene Grapel said her son decided to enlist in the IDF since he "didn't want a boring life" and craved some adventure before enrolling in graduate school.

A friend of Grapel’s told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that he had worked as an intern at the Israel Project – an Israel advocacy organization - in 2008 and had studied Arabic and even lived for short period of times with Druse communities in northern Israel. He frequently traveled throughout the Arab world.

In recent years he was a student at Emory Law School and even interned at the Israeli Supreme Court, according to the Emory Law School website.

“You could call him something of an Arabist,” one friend said. Another friend said Grapel was “very pro-Arabic” and liked “hanging out in Egypt.”

In his Facebook account, Grapel cited “preaching” at Azhar University in Egypt as his job, likely a joke.

“He probably went there for an adventure and to see Tahrir Square,” the friend said. “He is very left-wing and has been in Cairo before for months at a time.”
Here's a video that was shown on Egyptian television on Sunday night. Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Arutz Sheva).

Haaretz reports that they interviewed Grapel in 2006 after he was wounded in the Second Lebanon War.
In that interview, 23-year-old Grapel spoke of his decision to immigrate to Israel three years before the war. He studied in Ben Gurion University in Be'er Sheva for one academic year, and during that time he decided to enlist in the Israeli Defense Force.

"I was drafted in March 2005," Grapel said in the interview while lying in the orthopedic ward of Rambam hospital. He said that he decided to aim for the most combat-oriented unit possible, but despite passing the tests for Sayeret Matkal (the general staff’s elite special-operations force) he was disqualified for his poor Hebrew level. Eventually he enlisted in the paratroopers unit.
Grapel was arrested on Sunday in a hotel in central Cairo.

But the most telling part about the Ilan Grapel story is that not only do the Israelis deny it, the Egyptians don't believe it (Hat Tip: Blake Hounshell via Twitter).
When students and workers took to the streets in Alexandria, November 1968, denouncing the Nasserist regime, the state-run media announced the arrest of Israeli spies who were involved in the agitation for the protests (Arab Report and Record, 1-15 December 1968: 399).

My mother, who took part in the 1971-2 student protests against Sadat, recalls how the Central Security Forces were beating them with sticks while denouncing the students as “Israeli agents.”

During the 18 day uprising, a young woman journalist appeared on TV “confessing” she was trained by the Mossad to foment those “riots” in Tahrir. And of course it turned out to be a big lie.

And now, the government has announced it caught another Israeli spy gathering information about the protests and fomented chaos with the intent “of harming political, economic and social interests and negatively impacting the course of the revolution”… and “prosecutors suspect he paid protesters to cause friction with the military and to foment Muslim-Christian tensions.”

Seriously what a soap opera.

By this latest case, the Mukhabarrat is trying to pull together a cheap move, so that any public criticism against the military would be depicted immediately as the work of Israeli spies. More importantly, the Mukhabarrat is trying to convince the public it’s a vital agency, in charge of protecting the country of any “foreign plots”, so as not to receive the same treatment as State Security Police.
Indeed. As Ehud Yaari of Channel 2 points out, "
I can't imagine that there will be any Israeli reactions, but anyone who knows even a little bit about these things knows that you don't have an Israeli with an Israeli passport sitting in a foreign capital collecting things."
Of course not.

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At 12:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Egyptian secret police are still trying to locate the shark he reported to.

At 4:32 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I wonder if the Mossad vulture passed back home secret messages.



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