Mosab Hassan Yousef Update

The National Review Online has an editorial on the case of Mosab Hassan Yousef:

Mosab Hassan Yousef must have encountered nearly everything on his unlikely journey. But surely he never ran across anything as stupid as the American immigration bureaucracy.

As has been widely reported,  Yousef is threatened with deportation due to his past links to Hamas – even though he was spying for Israel:

…The department bases its argument on Yousef’s autobiography, Son of Hamas. In it, he reports that when Shin Bet agents showed him pictures of Hamas members who were suspected of involvement in a March 2001 bombing, he told the agents that he’d driven some of the members to safehouses. Of course, this is the kind of thing that spies do routinely — assist the enemy when asked, especially in small ways, so as not to blow their cover. Common sense indicates that our material-support rules don’t apply to support that’s provided — at the behest of a U.S. ally — within a broader attempt to bring down a terrorist organization.

If Yousef returns to the West Bank, he risks execution. Obviously, DHS doesn’t believe he’s a threat, or it would detain him; in fact, the FBI has advised DHS that Yousef is not a threat. He has converted to Christianity and has become vocal critic of Islam.

This is a reasonable assessment of what’s probably going on – various other commentators, though, are suggesting that the deportation threat is coming directly from “the Obama administration” as part of a pro-Muslim conspiracy.

But (as I asked previously) why would he be returned to “the West Bank” even if he is deported? Surely he would simply arrive at Tel Aviv? There’s something of an elephant in the room here  – and there’s a piece of evidence from the Israeli right that would perhaps assist Yousef’s case for remaining in the USA. The Jerusalem Post reported the following in April:

Thousands of Palestinian collaborators who have moved to Israel in search of protection live here without basic human rights, financial assistance or adequate social benefits, according to a first-of-its kind report on the living conditions of those who have risked their lives for the Jewish state.

Published last month by the Legal Forum for Eretz Israel, the report highlights the plight of more than 6000 individuals and their families who are either not officially recognized, or only partially recognized, as being collaborators with Israel, and who are basically left to fend for themselves after being deemed traitors by the Palestinian authorities.

“There are literally thousands of threatened people who have been living in Israel for more than ten years with a special [temporary] permit but who are not allowed to work and do not receive health benefits,” said [Michael] Teplow [var. Michael Tupelow], explaining that many are employed on the black market for very low pay and under terrible conditions. “These people go through serious mental anguish every three months when their permit has to be renewed. They never know if they might be suddenly arrested [by the Israeli authorities] and returned across the border.”

Perhaps this isn’t surprising – while Yousef was motivated by humanitarian concerns, many other Palestinian collaborators were coerced by Israel; the BBC noted last month that

Some do it for money, some are compromised sexually, others may do it for the promise of medical treatment unavailable in the Palestinian territories.

It is unlikely that Israel is going to care about such Palestinians’ long-term interests. However, this context does not feature in any of the discussion about Yousef’s case. It appears that Israel’s support for him has not gone further than a letter of recommendation, although his Shin Bet handler has broken the rules to speak on his behalf.  If Yousef faces a “death sentence” if deported, it’s because Israel either cannot or will not look after its collaborators – but this doesn’t seem to be a subject that anyone wants to talk about in any detail. Is the USA to take in all collaborators under threat, or just those who convert to Christianity and link up with conservative “anti-jihad” pundits?

Meanwhile, among those supporting Yousef is Walid Shoebat, who promotes the conspiracy-theory version of the situation on OneNewsNow:

Like Yousef, Walid Shoebat is a former Muslim who converted to Christianity and became an outspoken critic of Islam. He says authorities are trying to find something in Yousef’s book that would allow them to accuse him of terrorism.

…”We have an administration that basically wants to fight against repentant terrorists while they want to release the real terrorists in Gitmo [Guantanamo Bay, Cuba],” he notes. “I think the reason is because Mosab Hasan Yousef speaks against Islam openly. He talks about the Koran and Islam as being evil. They don’t like this kind of thing, and they want to extradite him.”

Although Shoebat is keen to endorse Yousef,  Yousef would be wise to keep some distance: Shoebat’s own story is far less impressive – and is coming under renewed scrutiny with the recent humilitation of Ergun Caner. Caner is being demoted by Liberty University after discrepencies in his story of being an ex-jihadist came to light; the Religious News Service reports that:

Other terrorists-turned-Christians have invited scrutiny as well, including U.S. citizens Walid Shoebat, author of Why We Want To Kill You, and Kamal Saleem, who has worked for Focus on the Family, and recently wrote The Blood of Lambs. Like Caner’s book, their books purport to be insider explorations of radical Islam.

…Skeptics point out Shoebat and Saleem claim to have carried out their terrorist activities in the 1960s and 1970s, long before modern Islamic radicalism emerged in the 1980s. They also question why, if their terror claims are true, they’ve been able to retain their U.S. citizenship.

In Shoebat’s case, he’s a birth American on his mother’s side, but he and Saleem do seem to have rather an easy time of it when compared with Yousef’s current difficulties.

10 Responses

  1. It is true that the life of a Palestinian collaborator living in Israel is tough and often unfair. But it’s not only because of a lack of basic rights. They still need to stay somewhat underground due to the fact that radical Muslims and Hamas sympathizers also live in Israel and Israeli citizens. About 20% of Israelis are Arabs and some of them are Palestinian nationalists. I wonder if DHS would move against Mosab if he was still a Muslim. It is despicable that his conversion to Christianity and resulting change of ideology are being used against him. Certainly there is an agenda here. Meanwhile. fanatic Muslims are laughing at American stupidity.

  2. It is despicable that his conversion to Christianity and resulting change of ideology are being used against him.

    Evidence?

    • The evidence is strongly implied by the obvious fact that his deportation would scream as a betrayal of historic American values(see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/noa-tishby/deporting-the-son-of-hama_b_630647.html). There is an obvious hidden agenda here. As Shoebat says, Barack Obama has gone out of his way to placate Muslims, even calling the Koran Holy and Islam a “revealed” religion (ostensibly divinely)–despite the fact that it denounces the crucifiction and resurrection of Jesus and declares God has no begotten son. Mosab has embraced a biblical view of God and rejected an Islamic one. His change of character and ideology is obviously much more in line with historic American values than what he believed and endorsed before. But this is very uncomfortable for Obama and his version of Christianity. It is ludicrous to imagine it would be in America’s best interests to force Mosab back into the den of Hamas. At the very least, it certainly wouldn’t encourage any other young muslim zealot with martyr fever to embrace a better way. What does America stand for?

      • So, the evidence is a conspiracy theory. Do you really think that Obama has even heard of Yousef, let alone sent out a secret order that he must be deported to “placate” Muslims? How did Obama communicate his wishes to the DHS without arousing suspicion? How could he be sure DHS officials would go along with his command?

  3. Do I think Obama has heard of Yousef? Absolutely–as have had most of Congress. Do I believe he has personally intervened? I have no way of knowing this. But he is he head of an administration that follows his lead. It is reasonable to suspect that some kind of pressure has come from somewhere–including Muslim sources. Obama has set the tone that favors this kind of thinking. I am not into conspiracy theories but I certainly recognize that behind the scenes maneuvering greatly influences most of what happens in this area.

    • I must add that I don’t think Yousef will be deported in the end. There is too much that already has come to light. The DFS would look totally foolish to press this through. Moreover, the appeal process will work in Yousef’s favor because his life is at stake. Even Obama cannot force this to happen.

  4. Good news: “Judge agrees to grant asylum to ex-Israeli spy” http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hrgjmmb3eX8TDEIAXEcp-TOfWpnAD9GLNJ180

  5. Good news, indeed.

  6. It is not a religion thing – Any traitor in any culture, time or universe would be dealt with absolute punitive actions, execution being the best to stop any others. Having betrayed his closest and dearest, whats the likelyhood of him doing the the same to others he barely knows!! So best kept at a distance, US are right to try and have him packed up…to…..’Isreali open arms’ – think not

    • There’s no reason to think he was motivated by any other reason than a wish to save lives. If Hamas acted more decently, Palestinians such as Yousef, who does not favour Israeli occupation, would not be put in such a situation.

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