By Jerry Gordon, The Iconoclast, June 25, 2010
It was a glittering night on Capitol Hill at the annual Rays of Light in Darkness awards dinner Wednesday night sponsored by the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) as attested to in this The Hill, Washington Scene, report. Among the honorees with Speaker of Truth awards was “Son of Hamas” agent, Mosab Hassan Yousef ). Previous FMU honorees were Dr. Wafa Sultan and Nonie Darwish.
We had posted on Yousef’s dilemma given his DHS/ICE hearing on possible deportation next Wednesday in San Diego. Dramatically, Yousef’s Shin Bet Handler, Gonen Ben-Yitzhak has broken the rules in the Israel Security Service and has publicly decided to stand as a witness to confirm Yousef’s exploits that saved Israeli Jewish, Palestinian and American lives, chronicled in his book, Son of Hamas .
Here are excerpts from a Los Angeles Jewish Journal account, “Shin Bet Agent Breaks Protocol to Safeguard Ex-Hamas Operative” about these dramatic developments unveiled at the EMET event on Capitol Hill.
Former Shin Bet agent Gonen Ben-Yitzhak’s given name means protecting, and he is going all-out to shield a Palestinian man from deportation from the United States and, Ben-Yitzhak believes, certain death.The man, Ramallah native Mosab Hassan Yousef, worked with Ben-Yitzhak as an agent for Shin Bet within the Hamas terrorist organization, to which Yousef belonged. The intelligence helped Shin Bet (the acronym for Israel’s General Security Service) prevent attacks that saved countless Israeli and Arab lives, Ben-Yitzhak said. The two men were honored in Washington at a Capitol Hill dinner Wednesday. Yousef, who has lived in Southern California for three years, faces a San Diego hearing next Wednesday morning at the federal Homeland Security Immigration Court. The U.S. government last year turned down Yousef’s appeal for asylum, and recently initiated deportation proceedings on the grounds that Yousef provided “material support” to terrorists. It bases the case on passages in Yousef’s bestselling book, “Son of Hamas,” including descriptions of his work for Hamas while serving as a Shin Bet agent. Following the dinner, Ben-Yitzhak shook his head when asked about the U.S. government’s effort to deport Yousef.
“It’s hard for me to understand — very hard for me to understand,” he said.Former CIA director James Woolsey was less diplomatic. “My view is that the decision to deny him political refugee status was incredibly idiotic,” Woolsey said. “It’s hard to think of a worse immigration decision in history. It’s fundamentally nuts.”Because he will testify on Yousef’s behalf, Ben-Yitzhak revealed his identity at Wednesday’s event. He previously was known only as “Gimel” (“G”). The central-Israel resident left the Shin Bet following 10 years’ service in Judea and Samaria and recently graduated from law school.
Congressional honorees included Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks).Yousef and Ben-Yitzhak stand together, too, in their courage and selflessness. By going public, Ben-Yitzhak could be prosecuted under an Israeli law that prohibits Shin Bet officials from discussing their service or revealing their names within five years of leaving the intelligence agency.A few weeks ago, Ben-Yitzhak said, he was summoned to Shin Bet’s offices and told he’d be breaking the law. When Ben-Yitzhak returns to Israel next week, though, his lawyer will be on vacation in America, “so I’ll be alone,” he noted with a smile. He isn’t concerned about legal ramifications, however.“It’s my country, my land. I love the Shin Bet, and I love Israel. But I have to help my friend,” he said of the San Diego hearing. “This is my duty — to stand with him and say the truth. It’s something I need to do. He always stood beside me. In the harshest days of the second intifadah, I called and asked about his opinion because his understanding about Hamas is unbelievable.”Neither Yousef nor Ben-Yitzhak considers his actions heroic. Asked in a March interview on Israel’s Channel Two television about the book’s revelation that his intelligence uncovered assassination plots against Israel’s president Shimon Peres and former Sephardi chief rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, Yousef said, “As a Christian person who loves everybody, I’m not trying to be a hero here. It wasn’t a big deal for me. Shimon Peres and a Palestinian child in the Gaza Strip, in my eyes, are the same. … I did what was right. If it was Ovadiah Yosef or if it was anybody [who] could get hurt, I would stop it, and I don’t regret that