The ‘Damascus Road’ story of the Son of Hamas.
by Charles Gardner.
A former Hamas activist has lashed out at the United Nations for failing to condemn the organisation that sparked Israel’s latest war with Gaza.
Addressing the Mission of Israel to the UN, Mosab Hassan Yousef said: “I don’t know why it’s not obvious… that they (Hamas) are a bunch of rapists, worse than animals.”
And referring to the deal being cut over the release of hostages, he said: “They want mass murderers to go back to the streets.”
Known as the Son of Hamas – his father was founder of the terror group – Mosab grew up causing trouble in the West Bank but later switched sides after being sickened by the hypocrisy and deceit he witnessed.
Then, after having a ‘Damascus Road’ experience which led him to embrace Christianity, he became a wanted man among his fellow Arabs and was forced to flee to America.
Speaking in New York from personal experience of his childhood indoctrination focused on the need to destroy Israel, he said it turned him into a “violent savage”.
Referring to Hamas, he said: “They care about nobody but themselves, and the world has been empowering them.”
Failure to completely defeat Hamas this time will increase their legitimacy, threatening the rest of the world, he added.
“Democracies should be united in fighting such savages who want to sacrifice thousands of children so Israel can take the blame – gambling with children’s blood for political gain. If Israel fails in Gaza, all of us will be next.”
In his book, Son of Hamas, published by Tyndale Momentum and co-authored by Ron Brackin, he writes: “There is hope for peace in the Middle East, but it does not begin with political solutions or negotiations; it begins with the changing of individual hearts.”
Mosab was just 18 when he was first arrested by the Israelis who found him in possession of weapons (that turned out not to work). After being severely beaten during interrogation, he succumbed to the lure of being a collaborator.
Although hating the Jews, he persuaded himself that he was a ‘double agent’ with the ultimate intention of killing his new masters. But as he witnessed fellow inmates being tortured by their Muslim ‘brothers’ on the flimsiest evidence of being informers, he was increasingly nauseated by the insincerity of those among whom he mixed, both in and out of jail. They pretended their cause was for the love of their people but, in reality, cared little for anything but lining their own pockets and giving full expression to their hatred of the ‘enemy’.
Ironically, his famous father was a loving family man caught up in political intrigue he did not fully understand. At the same time, Mosab was developing a close friendship with his contact for Shin Bet, the Israeli secret service, whose kindness was in sharp contrast to the brutal dealings of his Muslim colleagues.
Mosab ended up working for Shin Bet for ten years – with the codename Green Prince (as heir apparent to the green-flagged Hamas) – during which time he witnessed many gruesome scenes, including the aftermath of suicide bombings and the bloodbath often ensuing from a clash between the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) and some of those he ‘shopped’.
Though at constant risk to his own life, he became a vital cog in Israel’s spy network and there is no doubt that many innocent lives were saved as a result.
In the midst of these shadowy activities, he had a literal ‘Damascus Road’ experience. He was walking past the imposing Damascus Gate leading into Jerusalem’s Old City when he was invited to a Bible study at the YMCA where he was introduced to the New Testament, and to Jesus.
He was powerfully impacted by the words of Jesus – especially his ‘Sermon on the Mount’ and his call to “love your enemies” – which greatly affected his ongoing surveillance work; at times he even managed to persuade his bosses simply to arrest, rather than assassinate, dangerous men suspected of plotting mass murder.
He eventually broke away entirely from his Islamic roots and fully embraced Jesus as the Son of God. But his full, amazing story could not be told until he was safely in America, where the courts initially wanted to send him back – to almost certain death – because they would not believe his testimony.
Following his conscience, and his faith, has cost him dearly – his family, to whom he is devoted, have disowned him. Such is the price many with Mosab’s Muslim background have had to pay as disciples of Jesus.
Son of Hamas now includes a new chapter on his U.S. court hearing.