This is pure politics. It’s not to say that such a scenario wouldn’t have taken place if Mubarak was still the El Presidente, but in this new era of a ‘democratic Egypt’, the new reality has to be taken into consideration. Anti-Israelism on steroids is the new now. KGS
Friend of alleged Israeli spy detained in Egypt makes case for his innocence
‘Ilan was a dove at a time when the Israeli left had all but collapsed and when American Jewish immigrants to Israel expressing such views had become an endangered species.’
By Ronen ShnidmanTags: Egypt
Disbelief is the first feeling you have to overcome when you hear that your friend has been detained by Egypt’s dreaded secret police, the Mukhabarat.
That it would be someone like Ilan Grapel is perhaps the clearest sign that Egypt’s revolution may improve things for some Egyptians, but it marks an increasing strain in Israeli-Egyptian relations.
Ilan was a dove at a time when the Israeli left had all but collapsed and when American Jewish immigrants to Israel expressing such views had become an endangered species.
That a former IDF veteran − shot during the Second Lebanon War − would be so committed to peaceful coexistence with Israel’s many non-Jewish citizens and neighbors may seem surprising.
But those who knew him on a personal level wouldn’t have been surprised − Ilan was always seeking to reach out and experience “the other” side. Ilan grew up in Queens, New York, and attended the Bronx High School of Science before matriculating at Johns Hopkins University. Even in high school, Ilan’s closest friends were mostly African-American teammates from the school’s basketball team, perhaps explaining his lifelong love of underground hip-hop.
I even remember that it was Ilan who introduced me to the avowedly political Palestinian rap group DAM while we were both working at The Israel Project − an NGO that provides factual information about Israel and the Middle East to press, policy makers and the public.