Ackerman In Israel to Bring Grapel Home
by Maxine Dovere
Upon his release from captivity in Egypt, Ilan Grapel will be met not only by his parents and government dignitaries but by U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman who has traveled to Israel to bring Ilan Grapel back to New York.
Grapel, whose parents reside in Oakland Gardens, Queens, was an intern at Ackerman’s Bayside, Queens congressional office during the summer of 2002. He has served in the IDF, was wounded in the 2006 Lebanon war and is now a student at Emory University School of Law. Grapel holds dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship. He was arrested in Egypt last June, accused of spying for Israel. He is expected to be released tomorrow afternoon.
The date and time of the arrival in New York is not yet known.
Ackerman said he had been assured by the highest levels in Israel that Grapel was not a spy. The Congressman claims that he worked to secure his release through personal intervention with the Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the Prime Minister of Israel and the U.S. State Department.