Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of Hamas founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef, spoke at the AIPAC conference on Sunday, telling the crowd how Christianity helped him find peace during his transition from terrorist to close ally of Israel.
"Sometimes I try to rationalize what a son of a Hamas leader is doing in a big Jewish event like this,” Yousef joked. “And the only way to see it, I came up with a theory. I think maybe I was in a previous life a very bad Jew. Then I was reincarnated in the house of a Hamas leader to work out my karmas."
Yousef was born in Ramallah as the son of a Hamas Leader, in a family with deep ties in the Muslim Brotherhood. He says he grew up in what he called “a state of delusion,” in which he believed that Israel and the United States were the greatest evils. As his father's eldest son, he was seen as his apparent successor in the Hamas regime.
“Practically you saw people dying on a daily basis. But it was very hard to see through the lens of a child and make the connection that all the Palestinian leaders...were sending children to die at checkpoints. I could not see that the real enemy was the leadership of the Palestinians. I blamed everything on Israel.” Yousef said while speaking of his early years living in Ramallah.
While being held by the Shin Bet in 2006, Yousef agreed to become an Israeli informant. Originally, he said that he agreed to become an informant because he had a deep hatred for Israel and believed that he could penetrate Israeli intelligence through his work with the Shin Bet.
Soon his goals changed after he realized that the Israeli army’s “intention was not to kill Palestinians.” He said that he then had a choice: to listen to the truth the Shin Bet presented about Israel or to keep his “head in the sand.”
Yousef served as an informant from 1997-2007, helping the Shin Bet thwart numerous terrorist attacks, including a 2001 plot to assassinate then Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. He found Christianity in 1999 while serving as a double agent for Israeli Intelligence .
“When I was first introduced to Christ consciousness I learned to love my enemy unconditionally and that was the core of my motive,” Yousef stated. “And that’s what put me on this crazy experiment, irrational experiment with truth.”
Yousef also stated that Christianity helped him find the beauty in Israel after growing up surrounded by terror.
“Israel to me is not just only a political regime, Israel is light, Israel is philosophy, Israel is values and ethics,” he said from the podium. “And I cannot imagine the world without Israel. To see the love and unconditional support now truly lifts me up. For years I thought I was alone and that was a lie.”
sign up to our newsletter