The Mosab Yousef Saga: Did Hamas ‘Defector’ Dupe All of Us?
Listen to what the former Israeli spy and Son of Hamas author says when he speaks Arabic: it’s clear he’s more double agent than turncoat.
May 5, 2011 - 12:00 am
While a prisoner of Israel in 1996, Mosab Hassan Yousef — the son of Sheik Hassan Yousef, a founding member of Hamas — was approached by Shin Bet agents who looked to recruit him to spy within Hamas. He agreed. Mosab’s information soon had Shin Bet calling him “the most reliable source in the Hamas leadership,” and Israeli lives were undoubtedly saved as a result of Mosab’s collaboration.
Despite this success, Yousef has since revealed himself to be more double agent than turncoat.
During the initial contact within Israel’s Maskubia (Jerusalem’s central prison), Mosab agreed to collaborate in exchange for Israel not targeting his father. After years of providing valuable intelligence, in 2007 Mosab declared his conversion to Christianity, moved to California, and went public with his story. His tale was a sensation, drawing attention and praise from U.S. pro-Israel organizations. But his tale has since been revealed to be a “long con,” the evidence coming from when he speaks publicly in Arabic.
Mosab did not convert to what the West would recognize as Christianity, but to a fiery, Palestinian brand of the faith that is vehemently anti-Israel. According to Mosab, his main goal in coming to the U.S. is to infiltrate the main source of international support for Israel: the American church. From an interview with Al-Arabiya:
During my tours in universities and even churches, [I found] the real support for Israel stems from the church in the West. … We need to understand the difference between “revenge” and “resistance” and once the Palestinians do, we will have our victory against Israel.
Activists like Mosab know very well that Western media rarely translate their doublespeak. He continues:
Israel is the problem and as an occupation it needs to end. … There are many ways to do this besides the coward explosive operations.
Mosab’s formula? Infiltrate the West with his book:
This will be the first time in history that a Palestinian book will find success so that the Western reader can see for himself the reality of what goes on over there. People in the West do not know what happens over there.
With a balanced approach I discuss the life of the Palestinian child under the Israeli occupation, of course my life suffered under all the problems of murder and the criminal operations that were carried out by the Israeli occupation against my people, my family, myself, and against humanity.
To Mosab, the Palestinian struggle was lacking: while he praises Hamas leaders as “heroes and glorious defenders,” he instructs them to enlist more educated political defenders like himself:
With regret, our great leaders and mighty heroes and glorious defenders over there did not realize that instead of spending their wealth and monies on silly issues, they needed to enlist in their ranks writers and educated individuals in order to reverse the image of the Palestinian struggle.
Mosab stated that he is only against Hamas methodology, but not their agenda:
It appeared at first that my desire was to seek revenge against Hamas. … How could I do such a thing … revenge [against] my own father? He is one of the leaders of Hamas.
Perhaps the most shocking revelation: Mosab asks Arabs not to report terrorist activity. The host of Daring Question asked a caller:
If you were in Mosab’s position and have two choices: either someone from Hamas will be killed, or school children in a bus will be killed, will you report it?
The Arab Christian caller vacillated, then Mosab spoke:
If I was in your shoes, you should not report it to Israel. I do not encourage anyone to give information to Israel or collaborate with Israel. If anyone hears me right now and they are in relation to Israeli security I advise them to work for the interest of their own people — number one — and do not work with the [Israeli] enemy against the interest of our people. They should collaborate with the Palestinian Authority only.
Most in the West do not understand the Arab “Christian” position when it comes to Israel. Witness the Daring Question host Rasheed, a Christian convert from Islam himself, pardoning Mosab from any wrongdoing: the pardon is not for Mosab’s connection to Hamas, but for his collaboration with Israel. To Rasheed, Mosab’s collaboration was during his Muslim life, while he was still unforgiven:
Mosab’s book Son of Hamas — published in English — does not express Mosab’s views as openly as his Arabic statements do, and the book is additionally littered with factual errors and exaggerations.
For example: Mosab portrays the Jerusalem prison as a center for torture and persecution of Palestinians. The reality is much kinder; each inmate has his own bed and an in-the-cell shower as well.
I know this — I was a prisoner there myself.
We ate three full meals a day, and drank tea or sweet punch. And Mosab fails to mention that the Maskubia had Jewish inmates as well, who received the same treatment as the Palestinians and ate out of the same menu. Yes, you were beaten by security when lives were at stake: I witnessed first-hand Israeli soldiers in the corridor beating an inmate who attempted to kill his cellmate (I was selected to clean the mess afterward). What was so shocking to me at the time? The attempted murderer was a Jew.
I have never heard of Israelis killing Palestinians in prison. Yet Palestinian prisoners do kill each other, as Mosab himself describes. Palestinian inmates killed my landlord Muneer Abu-Sayb’a from Bethlehem, yet his death was blamed on Israel. My friend Basem Hanuneh was brutally murdered — his privates removed and stuffed in his mouth — which was also blamed on Israel.
Mosab is now touring churches to end Israel’s lifeline. Many Jews and Christians in the West are unable to determine friend from foe in the Mideast; they are not able to read what is said in Arabic. They must seek translations, and must be aware of double agents like Mosab.