What’s the full story about the Shalit trade?

By Ted Belman

When the Shalit deal was announced, I asked Did the US force Bibi to accept the Shalit trade

    The US government wanted to remove Hamas from the Iranian/Syrian camp and place it in the Egypt/Muslim Brotherhood camp. Was achieving their goal contingent in getting Israel to accept the release of 1000 terrorists, or would it have taken place regardless, If the latter, it was a window of opportunity. If the former, Bibi was forced into accepting the deal.

This question came to mind as a result of a DEBKA article. It seems there was much more to support the theory than I thought. Prior to this deal being announced, Iran released two American/Israeli hikers who “strayed” into Iran and afterwards the Egyptians released Ilan Grapel, an American/Israeli, that Egypt arrested for allegedly spying. Both Israel and America had denied that they were spies. They still do. But suspicions abound.

Lee Smith in Tablet Mag reports

    Yes, the Queens native served in the Israeli Defense Forces in the 2006 war, where he was injured fighting Hezbollah. Yet the fact that Grapel, a law student at Emory University in Atlanta, had taken a job in Cairo in May with St. Andrew’s Refugee Services, a Christian organization that mostly provides legal aid for Sudanese refugees, is perhaps what first attracted the attention of Egyptian authorities. African refugees—Christians and Muslims—are a sensitive issue for the Egyptians, not least because their mistreatment in Egypt has caused many of them to flee to friendlier vistas across the border in Israel.

He is either a spy or a leftist idiot. Probably the latter. But what makes this so stranger was that Israel paid the ransom to get an American released.

Stranger still is the story behind the three arrested in Iran. One of those arrested, Joshuah Fattel, had a Jewish Iraqi father who had emigrated to Israel before emigrating to America.

CS Monitor reports

    In an ironic twist, Iran appears to have arrested a trio of passionate young Americans who espouse some of the same causes as Iran itself, particularly taking a stand against United States and Israeli aggression.

Mr. Bauer, an Arabic-speaking journalist, had previously exposed pitfalls in the US strategy in Iraq. His fiancée Sarah Shourd was teaching Iraqi refugee children in Syria, where an estimated 2 million Iraqis fled during the US-led war in their country. And their college friend Josh Fattal had fought to get military recruiters off United States campuses.

Just weeks before the three were taken captive, says Mr. Meckfessel, they were in Israel to visit another friend, US activist Tristan Anderson. Shortly after taking photos during a demonstration against the Israeli separation barrier, Mr. Anderson was shot with a teargas canister in the head by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and hospitalized in Israel for a year.

Ironic isn’t it. These progressives think that they are looked upon as friends but in reality they are considered “useful idiots”.


From Elder of  Ziyon


Report: Israel dropped opposition to F16 sale for Grapel, Tarabin

From YNet:

The Palestinian Maan news agency reported Thursday that the United States has agreed to sell Egypt several F-16 fighter jets in order to facilitate the release of Israeli-American Ilan Grapel. Israel had opposed similar sales in the past.

Grapel, who was arrested in June on espionage charges, is slated to be released later on Thursday. Israel will release 25 Egyptian prisoners in return.

According to the Ma’an report, Israeli Bedouin Ouda Tarabin – imprisoned in Egypt for a decade – was a large factor in the Grapel negotiations.

Originally, there were reports that Israel would trade all 81 Egyptian prisoners but Isrsel told Egypt that Grapel simply was not that important to them – but Tarabin was.

Under the previous Egyptian regime, Mubarak refused to deal Tarabin, claiming that Egyptians would rise up against him if he would.

Israel had been opposed to the F-16 deal for security reasons, and as part of this deal Israel is dropping its objections. In addition, the report says that Israel will also drop its Camp David demands of a limited Egyptian army presence in the Sinai. Israel’s apology to Egypt for the deaths of several Egyptian soldiers during a terror attack in August also came into play in this deal, according to the report.

What this all comes down to is that Grapel, and Tarabin, are not prisoners. They are hostages. And while the price is not as high as in the Shalit deal, Israel is rewarding Egypt for acting like a terrorist group. (I cannot say that the US is doing the same, as it appears that America wanted to sell the F-16s to Egypt for a while and it was Israeli opposition that stopped it.)

It would be the height of folly for anyone with Israeli citizenship, or even for Jews with Israeli relatives, to visit Egypt.



Israel Matzav writes

US paying for Grapel too… an F-16; UPDATED: SEVERAL F-16’s

If this report turns out to be correct, I take back everything I said about the US not negotiating with terrorists and not paying ransom for its citizens who are being held hostage. As much as I think that it’s absurd that Israel is turning over terrorists to bring anarchist Ilan Grapel back to the US, this is downright shocking.

According to a Maan report cited by the JPost, the United States is GIVING Egypt an F-16 fighter jetas jizya for releasing American-Israeli anarchist Ilan Grapel so that he can go back to law school in the United States.

The United States is set to give Egypt an F-16 fighter jet as part of the deal to release dual US-Israeli citizen Ilan Grapel, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported Thursday.

Ma’an quoted Egyptian military expert General Sameh Sayf al-Yazal saying that the United States was called into the negotiations to help Egypt exact the best possible deal for Grapel’s release.

According to the report, Israel refused to release all 81 Egyptian prisoners in Israel for a deal that included both Grapel and Ouda Tarabin, an Israeli Bedouin who, like Grapel, is being held in Egypt on spying charges.

There are ongoing negotiations to free Tarabin, whose family lives in Israel, and who has been held without charges for eleven years.

But let’s go back to that F-16 for a minute. Iran must be kicking themselves for not asking for a few for those ‘hikers’ they released recently. And other American ‘allies’ like Pakistan and Afghanistan and Turkey must be licking their lips at the prospect of finding ‘spies’ like Grapel who can be exchanged for top line military equipment.

What could go wrong?


YNet reports that you can make that several F-16’s, although they have it that the US is selling the F-16’s and Israel, which has objected to such sales in the past, is not objecting.

October 27, 2011 | Comments »

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