39 thoughts on “Israeli-American Arrested in Egypt for Spying – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Let’s face it, claiming this guy is a spy is like claiming a four years old jumping from a sofa is a ninja warrior.

    1. Frankly, I don’t know what he is. He’s either extremely naive, a wannabe Mossad agent, or the real thing (though that’s unlikely). He actually reminds me a bit of Michael Totten, trotting around Beirut before the last Lebanon war spouting his American pro-Israel nonsense & getting into high dudgeon when Lebanese asked him whether he was a Mossad or CIA agent.

      1. Did it occur to you that he is an Israeli tourist in Egypt that happened to be very excited about the revolution and stayed to witness it ? Had you been single and in Egypt during that time, would not you stay to see how things develop ?
        From the pictures Egyptians have released, they have been following him everywhere he went.
        His only crime is believing in the Egyptians. A severe crime indeed…

        1. I read his Facebook Notes section. Considering his political views, it was very foolish for him to try to do what he did. Sure, if he was an entirely open minded enthusiastic fellow living in the moment & open to the revolutionary spirit flowing over the people, that would be one thing. But he’s a highly opinionated, overtly Zionist (in a classical sense) Israeli with anti-Hamas, anti-Palestinian views. Very very foolish for him to have tried to do whatever he was doing.

          1. What does his personal political views had to do with anything ?
            Does the fact that he suports Israel make him eligible for false arrest as a spy ?
            Let’s face the facts here. He was arrested to provide a story to the media to diverge the Egyptians from the real problems. It is all about Spinning.

          2. Richard, Are you are a Mossad agent?

            1. You are Jewish.
            2. Your political views might be just a cover for your real views.

            Be careful, don’t go to Egypt, all you need is:

            3. Some touristic photos
            4. Cell Phone/Laptop
            5. Make local friends

            And you might find yourself arrested waiting for a “fair trial”.
            That sounds the level of the arguments …

          3. Richard –

            As a friend of Ilan, you are completely off the mark. Anyone that knows Ilan fully understands he is absolutely not ‘anti-Palestinian’ or ‘overtly Zionist’.

  2. Obviously, it accrued to the Egyptian authorities that a spy doesn’t just hang out with his military pics in his camera. Nor that he has a well maintained and active Facebook account on his name. He is clearly a tourist enjoying the revolution spirit and feeling stupidly invincible.

    But the Egyptians authorities, very much like the Syrian regime, have not learned that their people will not buy the anti-Israeli propaganda any more. They want to see real improvement in their life, and not, yet again, nationalistic hot air. These days are over. That is the real change in the public opinion in the Arab world.

    It is hard to root practices of centuries, but I wish all Israel’s neighbors to have authorities that are solely focused on improving their people’s lives. This is the essence of the right to self-determination.

    And that goes without saying to the Palestinians and to any other nation. Down to the point that if a group of people cannot bring to power a regime that will benefit the entire group, that group of people does not deserve the right to self-determination. Only its fragments do.

  3. This may seem pedantic to some, but IMO you have reversed his description. He is not an Israeli-American but an American-Israeli. The distinction is important. Someone who migrates from Japan to America is a Japanese-American, not American Japanese, with her/his first nationality becoming an adjective to describe her/his new identity.
    There is a tendency for Israelis who migrate to other places to be regarded as Jews only and not as Israelis. As someone born here in Israel and who normally resides and participates in life as an Australian I call myself an Israeli-Australian just like my next door neighbours are Vietnamese Australians. Reversing the description inadvertently help those who deny my identity.

  4. I am an Arab of Libyan paternal heritage. I’ve also visited Israel and studied Hebrew. I say that only so you can see that what I’m about to say isn’t based on nothing.

    I don’t find this young man’s attitudes surprising. There is a glamour attached to spying among Israelis, first of all. Second, they view the Arabs as something of a toy and their knowledge of the Arab World tends to be highly superficial. His comments about Morocco not being an Arabic-speaking country are manifestly false and demonstrate that the boy doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into.

    I think that this arrogant orientalist attitude that Israelis have to the region they say they want to be part of goes some way to explain their numerous failings in diplomacy.

    I would also add that I dearly hope that this boy sees trial. I say that not because I wish anything bad to happen to him, but because it’s time the Arab world started exercising sovereignty. For too long, they have been living like dogs for their dictators and foreign interests and taking any humiliation that the Israelis provide (see Israel’s numerous attacks on Syria without any response from the so-called Arab Nationalist regime there). You might also recall that Israeli soldiers have shot and killed Egyptian border guards, without a peep from the then-Mubarak regime.

    So I hope that the new Egypt sends strong message – that they are serious people, that the Arabs are a great nation and that the days of Israelis swanning around the region like they own the place are over.

  5. @ Ya Omar
    The Moroccan dialect is totally incomprehensible for someone from the Middle East, and is very different from Modern Standard Arabic. There’s really a gap as soon as you pass further west than Tunisia where the dialect is still pretty much comprehensible for someone from the Middle East. From Algeria and westwards, the Berber languages, and to a smaller degre French, have influenced the spoken language, and these societies are based on diglossia: one or more spoken languages and another written and used in the MSM. It’s thus pretty logic not to go to Morocco to study Arabic.
    For the rest of your comment I pretty much agree: it’s time for the karâma (dignity) 🙂

    1. I was in fact sent to Morocco to study as part of my Arabic Studies BA. I spent one year in Fez, studying fusHa and darijah!

      It was the best experience of my life and I would recommend the beautiful Moroccan dialect to anyone! And Morocco has some excellent MSA scholars… though this is somewhat off-

        1. They can indeed do that inside Israel proper. Though I get the impression that their experience of Arabic cultures extends to culinary toe-dipping (hummus, falafel, pastries) and not a lot of engagement on the social or political level. What, for instance, do Arabs want? What are they angry about? Do their objections to the occupation, to the Judaizing of Jerusalem really, truly, amount to a desire to eliminate all Jews everywhere, as some right-wingers are so fond of saying?

          I would add though, that while it can seem that Israeli society is like a brick wall of right-wing madness and uncompromising racism if all you read is the Jerusalem Post and some of the nastier blogs, I met many sober and open-minded Israelis who I feel reasonably confident represent a highly significant portion of the population. I wonder if, as in the broader West, the ‘democratic’ representation provided by the Knesset is all that it’s cracked up to be.

          1. Oh, no. The Knesset is not representative of anything except a broken electoral system. It does not represent democracy. And I do tend to believe there are a core of pragmatic Israelis. But I don’t think most Israelis will move unless faced with a very stark choice between continuing their lives more or less as is while compromising territorially; or giving up everything or almost everything.

  6. This guy is a CIA agent. Israel knew all along he was a CIA agent & outed him to the Egyptians. I bet he never goes back to Israel.

    1. Dostoyevski’s “The Idiot” was indeed a very wise man. if this guy during his stay in egypt recruited one egyptian to be a sleeper-agent for israel in cairo, it would have been worth it for israel. what better than to set a temp spy as an “idiot” who after doing his temp job is laughed at as an idiot and soon released? possible? yes. probable? yes, 50/50, toss of a coin.

  7. RE: “The Israeli foreign ministry…has confused matters even further…why would you claim Facebook photos were fabricated?” – R.S.

    MY GUESS: For the same reason people (including nightclub bouncers) climb mountains; “because they are there”? I know it’s weak, but it’s the best I can do!
    Perhaps Avigdor thinks that if you lie when you don’t need to, then your lies will seem more credible when you really need to lie. Or perhaps he’s just following the old adage that “practice makes perfect”.
    Anyway, I feel certain the answer can be found somewhere in an episode or two of “The Sopranos” (which I never watched).

  8. Typically,intelligence agencies believe that candidates who are drawn to the work are unsuitable and they prefer the boring yet capable type.
    As somebody who was described by his friend as…
    “…Ilan was always seeking to reach out and experience “the other” side”… you could guess that Ilan was simply searching for himself in unlikely places.
    I find the lack of compassion,as expressed here,disturbingly yet not unfamiliar.
    Those who are the most downtrodden cannot even protest.
    Those who can protest are usually not the most downtrodden.

    People! please,this hapless individual does not need to be made an example of,when we show compassion it returns with interest.

    1. No! Compassion is available only by religion. And his religion isn’t allocated any compassion. His political views are making him a justifiable target for prosecution and basically restrict him from visiting places. Not that different than most would say about Israel. The world is a really tough place. Repairing it, starts here.

    2. Daniel, I’d agree with you. We know little about this case. But, I’d give this guy the benefit of a doubt. Whether proven innoncent or guilty, he deserves compassion simply because he’s a human being. Even if he’s proven guilty and convicted by courts, we, as fellow human beings, still can and, in my opinion, should show compassion towards him.

    3. I think this photo of Ilan Grapel in Tahrir Square is rather telling:
      Egypt has a long history of Zionist infiltrators fomenting sectarian violence (cf. the Lavon-affair aka ‘Operation Susannah) and when you know the ease the Mossad had of infiltrating Iran by ship, it gives some good points to those who saw the Mossad behind the Coptic church-bombing in Alexandria in the beginning of this year. I’m NOT saying it’s my belief but nothing surprises me any longer.

  9. When Abu-Sisi, a Hamas weapon designer, was arrested – Richard raised hell, accused Israel of torture and unjust judicial processes. Richard quoted Abu-Sisi’s lawyer, who is quite politically active. Regardless of the due process Abu-Sisi received, Richard still bashed Israel for arresting someone who is “clearly innocent”, although it appears that Abu-Sisi is far from it.

    And then, the Egyptians arrest a “Mossad agent” who posts pictures of him in IDF uniform on facebook and goes around with a Hebrew-Arabic dictionary in the streets of Cairo. For Richard, this poor guy is guilty. Why? Because he’s “overtly Zionist”. So it’s OK to falsely arrest and hold someone in custody. His only crime was that he’s a “Zionist”, the likes of which you seem to loathe to the core.

    And the comments from other people here, so unemphatic, almost gloating. The lack of compassion and hate-filled posts is truly astonishing.

    Tikun Olam? You’re just another hate-filled zealot, Richard.

    1. Abu-Sisi, a Hamas weapon designer

      “Alleged” you mean. Or did you forget Israel was an alleged democracy where even Palestinians are innocent till proven guilty. Or do you want to dispense w. the trappings of justice & just hang him?

      Regardless of the due process Abu-Sisi received

      Which was what precisely? You mean the “due process” he received at the Petah Tikva intelligence detention ctr. or the “due process” he received at Eshel, where he was tortured. Is that how Israel is defining the term due process these days?

      For Richard, this poor guy is guilty

      Lord, you can’t even read. Is it the English that’s the problem? Or are you just dense? Where did I say the guy was guilty? I said he might be a spy or might be just a plain nut. I guess nuance is lost on idiots like you.

      it’s OK to falsely arrest

      Today, Haaretz is reporting that Grapel falsely claimed he was Muslim on his travel visa application. This is what ended up getting Demanjuk arrested, tried & deported. Gov’ts tend not to appreciate visitors lying about matters like this. So once again, you’re full of it. If he lied on these documents he was properly arrested.

      the likes of which you seem to loathe to the core.

      Since I’m a Zionist too I loathe neither myself nor Zionism. But I do loathe lunacy like yours.

      The lack of compassion

      Lack of compassion for what? For an idiot who lied to the Egyptians about his religion & God knows what else? Who went there under false pretences? He was playing a dangerous game. Perhaps he didn’t realize how dangerous it was. But he doesn’t seem to have a brain in his head. The idea that this guy was accepted at Emory University’s law school for the coming yr. is scary.

      1. Richard, you are a thug. “Idiot” this, “Idiot” that. Everyone’s “dense” and “loony” for not agreeing with you, and the poor guy who arrested is an “idiot” and doesn’t have a brain. You have no derech eretz, you are a hooligan.

        This is like trying to talk with a wild-fire, or a rabid dog foaming at its mouth.

        Best of luck to you.

        1. If you actually said anything reasonable that was worth debating I would deal with substance. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Facts, rather than unfounded opinion as you offer, are excellent approaches.

          And if you wish to carry on conversation outside my blog it’s generally a good idea not to insult me since you’ll need my cooperation to do this.

      2. “…just a plain nut. I guess nuance is lost on idiots like you.”
        I can feel your hate, and I’m sorry for you.
        Arguing with you is a waste of time. your hate make you blind. I hope one day you’ll understand

    2. Shimshon,

      I’m afraid you’re wrong about Abu-Sisi. To my knowledge, there has been no credible evidence presented that Abu-Sisi had anything to do with weapon design. On the contrary, a lot of the “facts” in the accusations against him have proven to be plain lies.

      Secondly, Abu-Sisi has not received any due process. It appears he was unlawfully kidnapped from a third country, has been subject to things that amount to torture, was denied medical treatment, did not have access to a lawyer for weeks, etc. I sincerely hope you or your family never get this kind of “due process”.

      Stay human!

      1. Hi Leonid,

        I have much to say about your comments, whose attitude I disagree with. If you want, we can take this discussion to another blog/platform. Richard’s playground is suited for brawls, rather than civil discussions. I’ve passed the age where aggression gets the best of me.

        Let me know!

        1. Shimshon,

          It’s really not about my attitude, it’s about the facts about Abu Sisi’s case as I know them at the moment. If you have any other information about the case, please post it here for all of us to learn. You can still post here without engaging in brawls with Richard or anyone else if you choose so.

          All the best!

          1. You can still post here without engaging in brawls with Richard or anyone else if you choose so.

            I’d have no quarrel with Shimshon if he posted actual credible evidence to support his claims. What is it about people like that that prevents them fr. understanding that the statement, “Dirar Abusis is a Hamas rocket designer,” is a statement of opinion and not fact. And of unsupported opinion at that.

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