Hostage (n.): “A person seized or held as security for the fulfillment of a condition.”
More on the conspiracy paranoia about “spies” and knee-jerk displays of antisemitism in post-revolutionary Egypt can be found here. “‘Egypt mulling release of alleged Mossad spy Ilan Grapel’,” from the Jerusalem Post, October 1:
Egypt is considering granting the release of Ilan Grapel, a dual US-Israeli citizen arrested in June on suspicion of being a Mossad spy, AFP reported on Saturday, citing the Egyptian media.
“Cairo is considering the release of Ilan Grapel, a US citizen accused of spying for Israel during the 25 January revolution, especially after promises from the US of offering more political and economic support in return,” AFP quoted Egypt’s official news agency as saying.
Egypt certainly seems less concerned about what Grapel came up with in his alleged “spying” than it is interested in seeing what it can get out of a deal.
According to the report, Grapel’s parents were allowed to visit him on Saturday for the first time, along with US consul-general to Egypt, Robert Powers.
Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reported earlier on Saturday that US Congressman Gary Ackerman had called for the release of Grapel in exchange for more aid to Egypt.
Grapel interned for Ackerman, whose office is near his home in Queens, in the summer of 2002.
He later served in the IDF and was wounded in the second Lebanon War, an incident that was well publicized.
The congressman described his former intern as “very liberal” and someone who “wants to help people in Egypt,” during an interview with The Jerusalem Post in June. He said he was in the country to help refugees from nearby African countries who had fled to Egypt.
“This is like no good deed goes unpunished,” Ackerman said. “He did some things that are frankly foolish… but a spy — give me a break!”
An Egyptian court ruled to extend the remand of Grapel by 45 additional days on September 14, Egyptian daily Al Ahram reported.
Grapel was arrested at his downtown Cairo hotel by Egyptian state security officers in June on suspicion of working for Israeli intelligence to foment sectarian strife and gather intelligence on post-revolution Egypt.