Ilan Grapel to Times of Israel: Egypt’s new regime is no different from Mubarak’s [View all]
Israeli-American, speaking a year after president’s downfall, plans to write a book about his five-month ‘spy’ ordeal in an Egyptian jail
Marking the first anniversary of Mubarak’s downfall, some Egyptians laud the historic achievement while others remain apprehensive. But one Israeli-American whose name will forever be linked with post-Mubarak Egypt is not celebrating.
Nearly four months after being released from an Egyptian prison, Ilan Grapel says the military regime that ordered his arrest is no different from Mubarak’s.
“I found that the ‘glorious’ Egyptian revolution was’t so glorious,” he says. “The revolution is almost irrelevant without serious introspection. The Egyptians are focusing on superficial issues, like their relations with Israel.”
“The goal of the military is to maintain power,” he continues. “They got rid of Mubarak as a sacrificial lamb and used my arrest to place themselves in opposition to Israel, for public consumption.”
A second-year law student in Atlanta, Grapel spent the summer of 2011 in Cairo, working for an NGO that aids refugees from Iraq and Sudan. One June morning, Egyptian security agents came knocking on his hostel door.
“I was taken to Egypt’s State Security building, where the prosecutor read out a formula accusing me of spying for a foreign state and harming Egyptian interests. He asked me if I could deny the allegations.”