Not a new book but a very timely one
On Monday, the U.S. officially moved its embassy to Jerusalem. Palestinians reacted with violence along Israel’s borders. Palestinians were killed, including children. Israel was blamed in the media. Just another page out of the Hamas playbook.
Americans generally do not understand the Arab-Israeli conflict, despite that fact that it has been going on since the inception of the state of Israel in 1948. That’s where the book Son of Hamas can provide the needed remedy.
Mosab Hassan Yousef is the oldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of the seven founders of Hamas. He is probably the least likely person to have collaborated with the Israeli Shin Bet intelligence service or to have become a follower of Jesus. Yet he did. It is perhaps this improbability that saved him while working undercover for six years.
I am a child of Islam and the son of an accused terrorist. I am also a follower of Jesus. – from the Preface
It would be impossible—and counterproductive—to recount his story in a short review. His story is unique. He grew up the son and grandson of highly respected imams and he wanted to be just like them. He also grew up hating the Israelis and thinking that throwing stones was just a game. Yet through his unlikely recruitment by Shin Bet and his cooperation with them he began to see Israelis in a human light. Finally, through a chance encounter, he began a study of the Bible that led him to understand the shortcomings of Islam and opened him to the love of Jesus Christ.
Few understand the clash of cultures in the Middle East as he does. (One of those few is Brigitte Gabriel who grew up in southern Lebanon.)
In 1995 Congress approved the funding and relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem by 1999. But the law included a stipulation allowing presidents to sign waivers to stall the relocation. Clinton, Bush and Obama all did sign waivers. President Trump finally did not, fulfilling a campaign promise.
The resulting violence is orchestrated by Hamas, just as they did in previous intefadas as described in Yousef’s book. Pictures of slain children are what Hamas wants in media throughout the world to build sympathy for their cause and—not a secondary goal—to help them raise millions in funding.
Hamas has come a long way since Sheikh Hassan Yousef founded it as a social welfare organization.
Read this book for the insights it gives into the seemingly intractable conflict in he Middle East. Read it for the gripping personal story of one man’s journey. Read it to place the current Hamas-inspired violence in context.
On September 9th his story will come to theaters as The Green Prince, his Shin Bet codename.
Yousef continues to write and speak and maintains a blog. His is a voice worth listening to.
Yousef, Mosab Hassan. Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices . Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition. 2011.