Today is the day that Mosab Yousef has his day in court before an immigration judge who will decide if he will be deported back to the Middle East where he is subject to two death sentences imposed by Muslims, one for spying for Israel in an effort to prevent murders by Hamas and the other for converting from Islam to Christianity.
From the comments we have been getting here and from searching the Internet, I know that there’s a lot of prayers being offered for this brave young man.
Many bloggers have taken up Mr. Yousef’s cause [some are listed in our sidebar]; here’s one example. Some members of the Congress have, as you will see by reading our other postings on this site, made efforts to get Homeland Security to come to their senses.
Here are just some of the comments I have collected this morning…
-We have this, as reported by The Jerusalem Post:
…Former CIA Director James Woolsey says his deportation would discourage other potential spies.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that such an action would set us back years in the war on terrorism,” Woolsey wrote in a letter released by Yousef’s attorney. “Mosab’s deportation would be such an inhumane act it would constitute a blight on American history.”
-Another AP article reports:
Former CIA Director James Woolsey calls him a “remarkable young man” who should be commended for “extraordinary heroism and courage.”
–Carl In Jerusalem comments:
Someone on Twitter actually asked me why Israel doesn’t give Yousef asylum. I said it was Yousef’s choice to live in the US. If you had the choice between living 9 miles or 9,000 miles away from people who really, really want to kill you (as opposed to all other people they’d like to kill at random), which would you choose? The answer seems obvious to me.
–The Libertarian Advocate compares Mr. Yousef’s case to another notable one from recent weeks:
If [Obama’s Aunt] Zeituni even just barely cleared the political asylum hurdle (which is typically set quite high) then Mosab Hassan Yousef certainly sails over that barrier with several feet to spare. Yet, Department of Homeland Security has already denied Mosab Yousef asylum on the grounds that he provided material support to a Terrorist Organization (Hamas) even though DHS knows that (a) Yousef was an Israeli penetration agent within the organization and (b) Yousef is subject to a death sentence in Gaza as a traitor and apostate Muslim. We all now know to well just how grizzly Islamist beheading executions are.
I notice this morning that a good many media outlets are publishing some form of the AP story by Elliot Spagat that was released in the early morning hours of today.
Here are several interesting tidbits from The Jerusalem Post article linked above:
Israel has not commented on Yousef’s claims, though members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee wrote him this month to thank him and recognize his work for Shin Bet.
His attorney, Steven Seick, said Shin Bet will not have a representative address the immigration judge but that the now-retired officer who recruited and supervised him, Gonen Ben-Itzhak, is expected to testify.
Ben-Itzhak wrote that hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians owe their lives to Yousef for preventing violence. The officer is identified only by a pseudonym, Loai, in court documents.
The government does not plan to call witnesses, Seick said.
Yousef’s attorney wanted an FBI agent to support Yousef’s claim that he gave information about Hamas and terrorism. The FBI refused but said it would not object if Yousef testifies he met twice with agency personnel.
So, Israel thanks the man and the FBI, under some pressure no doubt from the pro-Muslims in The White House, sends a subtle message that acknowledges Mr. Yousef’s claims. Why then is this insanity proceeding?
In that excerpt just quoted, Mr. Yousef’s Shin Bet handler is mentioned again. As reported here, at great risk to himself Gonen Ben-Itzhak has come out of the shadows to stand by his friend Mosab Yousef at his hearing.
Gonen Ben-Itzhak and Mosab Yousef
[Photo courtesy of Carl In Jerusalem]
But that is not all: the two men have penned an op-ed that was published by The Washington Post this morning. [Kudos to TWP] I quote it in full:
Why deport a friend to Middle East peace?
By Mosab Hassan Yousef and Gonen ben Itzhak
Wednesday, June 30, 2010; A17
Ours is an unlikely friendship. One of us (Gonen ben Itzhak) is an Israeli, the son of a retired Israel Defense Forces (IDF) general who was in charge of defeating the first intifada some 20 years ago. One of us (Mosab Hassan Yousef) is a Palestinian, the son of a founder of Hamas whose father was one of the leaders of that intifada. The Palestinians’ goal for the intifada was to elevate their cause. Israel sought to keep violence down and protect its citizens. Today we are sacrificing everything — possibly even our lives — to build a bridge of peace between our peoples.
As detailed in the book “Son of Hamas,” published this year, we became partners in the fight against terrorism; Mosab became an undercover agent for the Shin Bet, Israel’s security service; Gonen became his Shin Bet handler. In the nine years we worked together, the two of us, once sworn enemies, embraced mutual recognition and rejected the mind-set of revenge.
All the efforts of Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization failed to achieve the goals of the intifada. All the efforts of the IDF failed to stop the hate that fueled the intifada.
Mosab observed firsthand the craziness of the cycle of violence. Mosab began to question who his real enemies were: the Hamas leaders who tortured their fellow Palestinian prisoners, or the Shin Bet, who arrested and imprisoned him. Over the 16 months that Mosab was in prison, the answer became clear, and this persuaded Mosab to go undercover for the Shin Bet. Gonen, whose code name was “Captain Loai,” became Mosab’s handler. Mosab’s reports led to the arrests of several high-ranking Palestinian figures. As we worked together to prevent the deaths of hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians, the two of us became friends.
We believe that friendships like ours are key to eliminating hate and promoting the liberty that both our peoples so desperately desire.
Mosab converted to Christianity in 2005 and moved to California in 2007. America has a vision of a world where liberty reigns. When Mosab brought terrorists to justice while working undercover for the Shin Bet, he was American at heart, fighting for liberty and justice.
Mosab has lived in this country for more than two years. We were shocked when, in 2009, the Department of Homeland Security opposed his request for political asylum, all the more so when it threatened to deport Mosab in the name of protecting American security. If this decision is upheld, it will signal to the world that America does not stand by those who sacrifice to oppose terrorism. If America wants liberty to prevail in all places, it must not abandon those who share the ideals of freedom.
Gathering human intelligence in the war against terrorism will become impossible if the United States does not protect those who risk their lives on behalf of American values.
Mosab was born a son of Hamas, but he rejected his violent destiny and found the strength to choose a different path. But having left revenge behind, he faces possible deportation as payback for embracing the ideal of loving his enemy.
When an immigration judge in California decides about Mosab’s future on Wednesday, the ramifications will be much greater than whether he is sent back to certain death anywhere in the Middle East. It is a decision about the future of liberty and about the best path to peace.
Whatever happens in San Diego, we hope that our story can be a bridge to peace. Peace is a state of mind and heart before it is a political reality. Our friendship is proof that hating hearts can change — and that changed hearts are the only hope for liberty.
I can add nothing to that except: if you’re the praying kind, do it now.
UPDATE at 0937…
The Lonely Conservative has embedded the video of the Fox News report on the case here and has an excerpt from and link to the National Review Online Editorial supporting Mr. Yousef’s request for asylum.