Bring Him Home: Gary Ackerman Gets A Great Photo-Op

It's not often that a politician gets to bring home a constituent who had been imprisoned in an unstable Arab country. But JTA reports that's just what Queens and Long Island Rep. Gary Ackerman is set to do.

The carnation-sporting Democrat, who has been in office as long as anyone can remember, went to Israel late Wednesday to bring home Ilan Grapel, the dual Israel-American citizen held under nebulous circumstances in Egypt, where what passes for a government has accused him of being a spy.

Ackerman worked closely with Grapel's Queens-based parents, who are his constituents, to fight for Ilan's release. The Egyptians are getting back 25 criminals — supposedly non-terrorists — in exchange for the unlucky tourist, who will no doubt be shopping for a literary agent in the near future.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.