Ex-classmate of accused Israeli spy Ilan Grapel: He “was a standard campus pro-Israel…type”

Accused Israeli spy Ilan Grapel in Egypt's Tahrir Square

Accused Israeli spy Ilan Grapel in Egypt's Tahrir Square

I received the following from a friend who says he was personally acquainted with Ilan Grapel, the man Egyptian authorities are accusing of having spied for Israel:

knew the guy as we all worked for the security department at johns hopkins. the school provided these shuttles taking students/faculty/employees within a mile radius or so of campus, for safety. he was a dispatcher if i remember right, i was a driver of the vans. i’d say we were friendly acquaintances, the drivers would come into the office a couple times a night on the shift, drink slurpees with the other employees, that kind of thing. they used to call him screech, came from queens if i remember right.

was a fairly standard campus pro-israel rally attendee type in those days, when those groups were a lot louder than they are now. not really remarkable, same canned lines and the whole lot back then. other friends knew him a bit better. i don’t think bragging about wanting to join the israeli army some day was remarkable back then or even now.

last i heard about him from a friend was he got shot in the shoulder during the lebanon war in 2006 and couldn’t raise one of his arms over his head anymore, may have gotten some kind of compensation for that. there were a couple of kids i knew who had aspirations to go to the middle east in the future to learn arabic, to help “understand the enemy” in hopes of being of some use to israeli society.

i don’t want to misrepresent myself as someone close to him, i knew him casually and found him mildly interesting, but that’s about it, and it was more than 7 years ago. i think it’s entirely plausible that he was indeed motivated by nothing other than pro-israel romaticism, going to egypt for whatever reason, to talk up israel or do something that he thought would help that cause of his in some way.

3 thoughts on “Ex-classmate of accused Israeli spy Ilan Grapel: He “was a standard campus pro-Israel…type”

  1. jonj

    See also: http://www.globalpost.com/webblog/egypt/spy-our-revolution

    The hasbara trainers The Israel Project, affirmed he was a summer intern in 2008. He also wrote for the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council during which he attacked Australia’s Green Left Weekly http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/41965 ; The Australian article is no longer on the Australian website blogger Dave Riley has it: “A willing ally to Hamas’s hatred” http://leftclickblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/what-you-miss-not-reading-arabic-and.html

  2. chayma100

    Richard Silverstein’s take,

    Israeli-American Arrested in Egypt for Spying

    His Facebook account claims his job status is “preaching” at Azhar University in Cairo, which if true would be an exceedingly strange choice for an Israeli. I presume it’s meant as a joke, though a strange one. In fact, one of his Facebook photos shows him allegedly “preaching Zionism” at Azhar. The kid (he looks quite young) seems very confused at the least.

  3. biorabbi

    Max, as a disclaimer: I am a zionist. I wish you hadn’t posted these details. Israel would obviously not use such a person as an agent. He wouldn’t act in such a manner(or have such a public pro-Israeli background). My take is he is a confused orientalist searching for adventure. It’s extremely weird. Now he is being used as a tool by showing the anti-Israeli credentials of the new regime(army), showing they are no longer of the Mubarak ilk. I just want him released. Again, picking a confused, apparently zionist, kid as a Mossad spy is beyond ludicrous.

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