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The Freed "Hiker" Josh Fattal's Israeli Roots

Updated September 27, 2011

"The only reason we have been held hostage is because we are American," Josh Fattal (left) said after he was released from Iranian custody. Although Fattal is also an Israeli national with an Israeli father, a connection which most likely played a role in his bizarre decision to "hike" across the Iraqi border into Iran, it is never mentioned in the controlled media.

Joshua Fattal (left) with his father, mother, and brother Alex. His father, Jacob S. Fattal, is an Israeli citizen and Josh visited Israel just before he went "hiking" in Iraq near the Iranian border. Did his Israeli connection play a role in his decision to hike near the Iranian border?

After the Iranian authorities released Joshua Fattal and Shane Bauer, two of the three American "hikers" who were arrested after allegedly crossing into Iranian territory while hiking in Iraq in 2009, the Jewish Exponent of Philadelphia felt the time was right to release the story about Joshua's hidden Jewishness. See "The Untold Story of Josh Fattal"

This is what the Jewish Exponent wrote about his father's Israeli roots:

But one aspect of the story that has largely gone unreported is the fact that Fattal is Jewish.

Josh's father, Jacob Fattal, was born in Iraq and moved to Israel before ultimately settling in the United States. Josh Fattal became a Bar Mitzvah at Rodeph Shalom's suburban campus. He traveled to Israel several times, the last time just before meeting up with his friends in Syria and going on to Iraqi Kurdistan, where they crossed the border to Iran and were arrested.

The fact that Joshua Fattal is Jewish is not as important as the fact that his father Jacob is an Israeli who was born in Basra, Iraq in 1947*. This would make Joshua an Israeli national by virtue of the fact that his father is an Israeli citizen. (The Fattal family name is well known in Israel. Fattal's hometown of Elkins Park also happens to be the hometown of Douglas Feith and Benjamin Netanyahu, when he lived in the United States.)

Joshua also travelled to Israel immediately before he went to Damascus to meet his fellow hikers. This raises the question whether Fattal's Israeli connection played a role in his ill-advised decision to hike in a war zone on the border of Iran? Was it part of a Zionist plan to provoke a reaction that would put Iran in a bad light? How could his Jewish/Israeli parents let him go off hiking in a war zone? Whose stupid idea was this foolish and provocative act?

Joshua Fattal and his mother, Laura Felleman Fattal.

Iran was criticized for having arrested the "hikers" who entered Iran illegally. How would the U.S. have treated Iranians in a similar situation?

Video Link -
Joshua Fattal - Israeli/American rapper in Kurdistan 2 days before "hiking" to Iran

* Jacob Fattal's Israeli roots are no secret. has the following information about him from his father-in-law, Carrol A. Felleman (my notes in parentheses):

Name: Jacob FATTAL
Sex: M
Birth: 28 DEC 1947 in Basra, Iraq
Occupation: Publisher of an electronics trade paper 1
ADDR: 405 Shoemaker Road / Elkins Park, Pennsylvania 19027 /
Death: in Israeli 1 (this is confusing, perhaps it means previous citizenship)
Marriage 1 Living FELLEMAN (Laura Rachel Felleman Fattal)
Living FATTAL (Alexander)
Living FATTAL (Joshua)
Title: Personal Correspondence from Carroll Alfred Felleman to Robert Teitelbaum, 27 Febuary 2003


"The Untold Story of Josh Fattal" by Bryan Schwartzman, The Jewish Exponent, 22 September 2011

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