Grapel flies home to freedom after Israel-Egypt swap

By Jennifer Lipman, October 27, 2011

An American law student who had been held as a Mossad spy in Egypt since June is on his way to freedom.

Ilan Grapel has been released by the Egyptian authorities in return for 25 prisoners who were being held in Israeli jails. He is being flown to Israel in the company of two Israeli Knesset members, who reported that he appeared fine and was smiling.


More joy as Egypt frees 'spy' Grapel

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 27, 2011

American-Israeli Ilan Grapel is to be released this weekend from prison in Cairo, four months after being arrested on charges of "spying" for Israel.

Mr Grapel, a student at Emory University in Atlanta, spent several years in Israel and served in the Paratroopers Brigade. He is to be released in exchange for 25 Egyptians held in Israel on smuggling charges.


Arab Spring turns to cruel winter

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 26, 2011

Did you, perchance, notice the Arab Spring? This singular phenomenon, like some deceptively beautiful carnivorous plant, lived but a very short time upon this earth, but then died a violent death, eagerly devouring many of its children in the process.


Deal to free US student held as Egyptian 'spy'

By Jennifer Lipman, October 25, 2011

A US student being held as an Israeli spy in Egypt is expected to walk free in the coming days after Israel agreed to a prisoner swap.


Egyptian Shalit interviewer defends 'shocking' questions

By Jennifer Lipman, October 19, 2011

The Egyptian journalist who questioned Gilad Shalit shortly after he was released from captivity has defended her technique.

Shahira Amin interviewed the sergeant, who looked pale, thin and tired and at points even gasping for breath, even before he had returned to Israeli soil and seen or spoken to his family.


How seething Egypt surprised the world and sealed the deal

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 19, 2011

On October 9, in the most violent demonstrations in Egypt since the revolution, the Christian Coptic minority took to the streets to protest.

Twenty-four civilians and soldiers were killed on that day. But throughout the rioting and the bloody reprisals by the military, Major General Murad Muwafi, director of Egypt's feared Mukhabarat intelligence service remained closeted away.


Panetta gets peace pledge in Cairo

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 6, 2011

The Egyptian leadership this week promised the US Secretary of Defence, Leon Panetta, that there were no plans to change the peace treaty with Israel.

Mr Panetta's visit to Egypt on Tuesday came amid uncertainty regarding the future of Egypt's ties with Israel, following the violent attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo last month.


Powerful writing

September 22, 2011

Bicom chief executive Lorna Fitz-simons told 400 supporters of the Leeds Lobby Network at Etz Chaim Synagogue: "The most powerful tool in our democracy is writing a letter."

The former Labour MP praised the reaction of David Cameron when the Israeli embassy in Cairo was attacked. "Our PM was one of the first world leaders to say: 'This is outrageous.


Lulav trade hit by Israel-Egypt spat

By Anna Sheinman, September 19, 2011

Egypt has announced it will not export lulavs this year, due to worsening relations between Egypt and Israel.

The lulav, a palm frond, is one of the four species used in prayers on the festival of Succot.

Egypt has in previous years exported around 700,000 palm fronds to Israel, amounting to some 40 percent of annual demand. Another 700,000 are normally sent to Jews in the Diaspora.


Israelis offer 'peace and love' at Egypt embassy

By Jessica Elgot, September 16, 2011

Young Israelis took part in a demonstration of love and peace outside the Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv, in response to the violence against Israel's embassy in Cairo.