Haaretz has an amazing story about how Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of one of Hamas’s founders, was for years a top intelligence source for Israel’s Shin Bet security service. A convert to Christianity who now lives in California, Yousef tells his story in the upcoming book Son of Hamas. According to Haaretz, “During the second intifada, intelligence Yousef supplied led to the arrests of a number of high-ranking Palestinian figures responsible for planning deadly suicide bombings.” And according to his former handler, “none of his actions were done for money. He did things he believed in. He wanted to save lives.”
What most impressed me about the Haaretz article was Yousef’s opinion on the possibility of rapprochement between Hamas and Israel — a favorite fantasy of the “peace process” crowd in the West:
Hamas cannot make peace with the Israelis. That is against what their God tells them. It is impossible to make peace with infidels, only a cease-fire, and no one knows that better than I. The Hamas leadership is responsible for the killing of Palestinians, not Israelis,” he said. “Palestinians! They do not hesitate to massacre people in a mosque or to throw people from the 15th or 17th floor of a building, as they did during the coup in Gaza. The Israelis would never do such things. I tell you with certainty that the Israelis care about the Palestinians far more than the Hamas or Fatah leadership does.
It’s easy to dismiss such sentiments when they come from conservative Israelis. Perhaps Yousef’s view — informed by his intimate knowledge of Hamas — will carry greater weight with some naïve proponents of endless “engagement.”