Mosab, a direct point-by-point response to your letter:
Mosab stated: Nevertheless, I want you also to know that I forgive you with all my heart
Walid’s response: 1—What sin am I in need for your forgiveness? Show me a single line I have written that was in error or any of my translation work that is not accurate and I will ask you for forgiveness?
I concluded that you simply want to end Israel’s occupation and you are in favor of a Palestinian state and contrary to what you said—you are very political.
2—Your charge that I needed to translate “the culture” has no merit and I do not believe that your case will hold water in any arbitration and I am willing to set up an arbitration are you willing to do this?
3—You “forgive” when you are in need of forgiveness yourself you state “We are both Palestinians”, and by this, you committed another offense calling me a Palestinian—I sir, am an Israeli Arab from Judea.
Mosab stated: What you and I share in Christ is much stronger than any personal, political, or national agenda.
Walid’s response: Can two “share” anything “in Christ” or have fellowship if one of the two supports any of the following “political agendas”:
“Allowing Homosexual Marriage”, “Legalizing Abortion”, “Legalizing Euthanasia”, “Legalizing Teenage Sex”, “Legalizing Marijuana”, “The Creation of a Palestinian State”, “Advocating Sharia Compliancy”.
The answer is obviously no. So what you said Mosab is a typical emergent Church argument.
Mosab stated: When we surrendered our lives to Jesus Christ, our new identity became one of unconditional love, forgiveness, and sacrifice.
Walid responds: Why then is your love for your enemy “conditional”? You want a slice of his land that reflects an ancient Roman insult called Palestine.
Mosab stated: Let me share a little of my heart with you, my brother. I am a Palestinian who spent several years in Israeli jails
Walid’s response: 1—Why do you formulate your statement with “I am a Palestinian who spent several years in Israeli jails”? Biblically, you are an Israeli Arab and not a “Palestinian”.
2—We were in jail because our tribes wanted to wipe Israel off the face of the map and we ended up in jail for it.
Mosab stated: [I] was tortured and beaten almost to death by angry Israeli soldiers.
Walid’s response: I was beaten too, many times, but I was in several demonstrations, so I was not that innocent either. I am not saying that Israelis at times do not go out of hand. But the truth is we called daily for Israel’s annihilation and you expected a bouquet of roses? But I wasn’t always beaten either. At times I have beaten them and nearly lynched one of them. What did this poor soul do to deserve this? I have been in hand-to-hand combat with soldiers, many demonstrations, violence and one bombing. Have you been through any of this? How often did you personally clash with soldiers and fought?
Mosab stated: Yet, Christ pursued me until I “found him” and accepted his challenge to forgive and love my enemies.
Walid’s response: That’s great. But when you say that you “love your enemies” may I ask—How does one love his enemies Mosab?
Does one love his enemy by saying “Israel is the enemy”?
This is what you stated on Arabic media.
Does one love his enemy by keep reminding the Jews that Judea is an Apartheid? By insisting to slice up Israel in two?
Who needs to forgive who Mosab?
Mosab stated: For nearly ten years, I worked for Israeli intelligence, dealing with cool guys and really bad guys
Walid responds: I see that you find Gonen to be this cool guy then? Perhaps he is. Perhaps he is an excellent friend. I even offered to have a dialogue with him. Through some sources I even found his email and wrote to him offering him a dialogue regarding his offense calling me a fraud and like you, he never replied.
He is a member of Greenpeace. Do you know what this group is? These are borderline terrorists. Perhaps Gonen will tell me that I know nothing about Greenpeace. Just what he says about the Maskubiyeh. Do you honestly think Mosab that I was never in the Maskubiyeh? Do you think that I can forget the very high windows? The pipe shower with the toilet? The narrow corridors? Or do you think I forget never to ask the officer to light me a cigarette while I stuck my face between the bars asking in Hebrew “Shutayr Ani Rotse Tadlikli” (Officer I need a light). I repeated some of the cuss words too. We walked in the empty square, I volunteered to do a lot check and picked cigarette butts so I can empty what little tobacco they had and roll it into a cigar, then light it up and pass it around. Officer Elias was an Indian Jew that lived in Iraq, short fellow. He was there in 1977, way before your days. We were the pioneers Mosab and you were the result of all our evil efforts. From that perspective, I do ask for your forgiveness. We raised the young to hate. I would even volunteer to do police car wash. Elias once had a conversation with me in which he said “Walid, do you know why I slapped you when you first came to prison”? “Because I am a Palestinian” I answered. “No” replied Elias, “I slapped you because your father forgot to slap you, you are on your way to suicide and self-destruct Walid. If you don’t stop your hatred of us it will sooner or later cause your fall”. I could never understand what Elias was saying. Of course, I replied with the typical “Elias, when I get out, I will never stop my hatred towards the Zionist. Elias, you are my enemy”. Indeed, when I left the prison, I vowed to kill a Jew and I vowed to blow him up. I attempted, the Jews whom I attempted to kill lived and the bomb I detonated caused little damage. I was a failure as a terrorist but quite the success as a Zionist. Thank you Jesus.
When I read your book, you too even had a Russian jailer. You said he was hunched. Could it be the same one I had? He was also Russian, gray hair and would kick you every now and then. You keep talking about torture, Well, the only tortures I witnessed were when lives were at stake. At least that was my experience. My cell mates were Mahmoud Al-Mughrabi and Muhammad Abu Sneineh and several others I do not remember their names. Ask Gonen to check the records. Ask him if I am lying. There were Jews also who were kept in cells near by, they had civil offenses. We hated these since we considered ourselves in prison for a good cause.
But we all had a bed, blanket, shared a toilet and had a pipe over the toilet in which we can take as many showers as we wanted. Sure, there were no hot-water. We all ate 3 meals a day and we all stayed up late at night telling stories and exercising till the wee hours of the night. One time we even got a spoon and unlocked the door and broke out of the cell. It was on Shabat and the guards eased up. We walked out of the narrow haul, then decided to return back. It wasn’t worth it to run since prison wasn’t as bad as many claim. Yet I remember also, and as God is my witness, that when the American Consulate General sent their investigator to interview me and asked about my condition, I told him that we ate rotten food composed of old dried piece of bread. I was the typical liar. We were mostly all liars Mosab. My family said that when Raed was shot, that the ambulance stole his heart and kidneys to sell them. I recall you said similar stuff in your book. Can you prove it Mosab? Do you still struggle with typical Arab-style exaggeration or has the Lord healed you from this?
Mosab stated: [Israel had] moderate soldiers and fanatics, humanitarians, and racists.
Walid responds: You are describing every army in the world. We have our share of fanatic soldiers in America too.
Mosab stated: Are there racist Israelis? Yes, there are, just as there are Hamas racists.
Walid responds: I am having trouble with this one Mosab. For an example; one can say “there are racist Americans”, one can never compare the two—Hamas is all racist and Americans are not. This Mosab is moral equivalency which is a lie that is always used by the liberals. Are you a liberal Mosab? Or do you consider yourself conservative?
America is a nation that complains about racism more then any other nation on earth and exercises the least amount of racism on earth, while “Palestinians” exercise more racism then any western nation, yet cry racism more then any nation on earth.
And lets assume we were Indians and the white man stole our land, then here we are 50 years later still scalping their heads on daily basis. Can we then blame the “white man” for rejecting the Indian? Yet today the Indian forgave the white man and the white man forgave the Indian and life goes on.
Yet, the Indian Mosab is the Jew that did not start the killing. He was the indigenous inhabitant of that land. This “Indian” never scalped us, we instead scalped him. When he got tired and fought back and killed some of us we complained persecution and racism. Dare a Jew raise his voice, dare he become strong, dare he defend his children, dare he try to live in peace; we killed him with his children, then we blamed him used our children as a human shield to only blame him and label him as the “killer of children”.
They died like your Jesus—naked, hungry, in prison and silent. Your Jesus Mosab became their savior by suffering the same way they suffered (Isaiah 63:7-9)
When will we ever ask the Jew for forgiveness Mosab?
You keep saying that you forgave them. You keep saying that they beat you up. Yet what about what our people did to them Mosab. When did you ask for their forgiveness? You never forgave the Jew Mosab. Had you forgiven him, you would stop reminding him that his land is your Palestine.
Mosab stated: During that time, I decided to become a follower of Jesus Christ. As you know, my home of Ramallah is a Christian town.
Walid responds: Indeed, you are from Ramallah, but it is no longer a Christian town. Bethlehem (my town) too was Christian town. Yet in Israel proper the Christian are on the increase Mosab. Why?
Is it because of Hamas?
It is because ISRAEL left and gave that land to ARABS. Lets tell the truth Mosab. The Jews were the greatest blessing to that land. It is our hard hearts that could not see God’s plan. You think I hate peace. O if you see how much I desire it. But I know better, it will never come without the Prince of Peace.
Mosab stated: My best friends were Christians, and my dad had a very good relationship with them. But most were cultural Christians who never showed me the love of Christ.
Walid responds: These were not Christian but the cult of Liberation Theology. They all complimented Islam and said that they worship the same god. Just look At Dimitri who called in on Al-Hayat and scathed you for being a collaborator. Remember that? Islam rubbed off on them. If you do not get rid of Palestinianism, you will still remain in many ways Muslim.
Mosab stated: When I was isolated, alone, poor, broken, disowned by my own family, instead of being embraced by the Church, I was oppressed by my Christian brother’s and sisters, who doubted me and questioned my faith—both in Ramallah and in California. So you can understand that I did not see a promising future with Christians of any denomination.
Walid’s response: It was the Arab Christians that rejected you the most. Not the American. American Evangelicals embraced you. You had to play the hypocrite on Al-Hayat to please Arabs. This is why I am troubled by the things you said. Why not simply dump Arabism and embrace Americanism? You will feel free at last.
Mosab states: Despite the rejection and my disappointment and discouragement, I have held onto my faith in Christ alone. He has been the only motivation for everything I have done in my life—in the Shin Bet, in my decision to leave the Shin Bet and come to America, and in everything I have done since I arrived.
Walid responds: Join the club on rejection. But time comes that you need to stop speaking about it. We Arabs are masters of gaining compassion and have self-pity. Stop the self-pity; we both did well in the end. We have been blessed to live in the greatest country in God’s green earth.
Mosab states: And I had no one to share the victories, miracles, and heartbreaks with except my Jesus. Alone with Jesus behind closed doors.
Walid responds: Your eyes are in front of your face, not on the back of your head. Yet you are looking backwards. Or is it that we seek the compassion of people? I rarely talk of my suffering; instead, I talk about my victories for the truth.
Mosab: I learned on my own, the very hard way, that extremist Israelis were no less dangerous than extremist Palestinians.
Walid: There you go again with faulty comparisons.
Mosab: Israelis are not the problem, and Palestinians are not the problem. Extremism is the problem. A racist Palestinian is no different than a racist Israeli.
Walid: O Mosab.
Mosab: Racism is the problem.
Walid: No Mosab, Islam is the problem. Islam is racist.
Mosab: Greed and corruption are the problems, not greedy or corrupt Israelis or Palestinians.
Walid: Its rare to find an uncorrupt politician.
Do not blame the politicians for being corrupt, for God appoints these in accordance of the hearts of the people. Arabs deserve their politicians.
Yet you cannot compare Israeli corruption with Arab corruption.
Mosab: Gonen and I used to talk with other Shin Bet agents, what if we swap Palestinian leaders and Israeli leaders? Will there be peace? And we all agreed that there would be no difference, because they would still fight for their selfish goals, because they were selfish and corrupt, not because they were Jews or Arabs.
Walid responds: We don’t have to switch leaders, Israel blooms and Arab controlled Judea has become a cesspool.
Mosab: We are all human. We all have the same enemies. And we all suffer from the same problems.
Walid: Yes, we all have the same problems, but the ones that use the Bible get solutions.
Mosab: My experiences caused me to question my religion, to question everything about it. And I discovered that religions are dangerous. Religion steels freedom, kills creativity, turns us into slaves and against one another. Yes, I am talking about Christianity as well as Islam.
Walid: How can Christianity be dangerous Mosab? What I think you meant is “cultural Christianity” right?
Mosab: Most Christians I have seen seem to have missed the point that Jesus redeemed us from religion. Religion is nothing but man’s attempts to get back to God.
Walid: I agree
Mosab: A week after I told Haaretz journalist Avi Issacharoff my story, he called and said I forgot to ask you about your denomination. And he was surprised when I told him I don’t have any denomination, only my identity in Christ.
Walid: Your correct, its not about denominations.
Mosab: This is why I don’t accept financial support from anyone, even when I was hungry and homeless. Yes, people sent me checks. And I forwarded every penny to churches and charities, so that no religious group or political party could impose their agendas on the bridge-building work God has given me to do.
Walid: Then you must be broke?
Mosab: You and I both escaped the bondage of a scary, dark captivity, brother Walid. Let’s be grateful for it.
Walid: Amen to that.
Mosab: We have no reason to fight one another.
Walid: I do not want to fight. I want to reason together “Come let us reason together says the Lord”…
Mosab: I personally have nothing left to lose.
Walid: Yes we do—our heads.
Mosab: I have already lost the most important things on earth.
Walid: And what is the most important thing on earth Mosab?
Mosab: And my reputation is torn apart everyday by one side that hates me because they think I am a Zionist and the other side that hates me because they think I am a Palestinian extremist.
Walid: The whole Bible is about taking sides—Christ or Antichrist, God or man, Good or evil, Fidelity or infidelity, Truth or lies, Trinity or Unitarian…
Mosab: We live in a world that is full of deception, doubt, fear, and hopelessness.
Walid: But one of us is deceived. Which one is it Mosab?
Mosab: People have enough bad news. They need hope and love.
Walid: Its all good news—God will use the bad news for good. He says so. When I lost my land in Bethlehem, God replaced it. When people called me “fraud” I began to relate to Jesus when He was called “fraud”, and when Jews turned their back on me, it reminded me of Jesus and how He was rejected by His own.
Manure is what makes fruit grow—the more—the sweeter the fruit.
Mosab: And our duty to our people in Israel, the Palestinian territories, and the rest of the world is to show them Christ’s love and give them his hope.
Walid: Yes, but how can we prove Christ to them without Israel, the land and how things will be prior to His second coming?
Mosab: Part of my message to the world is in the love between me and Sarah Stern—founder of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, former national policy coordinator for the Zionist Organization of America, and director of the Office of Legislative and Governmental Affairs of the National Jewish Congress—who calls me her son … a Jewish mother and a Palestinian son! It is the love between me and Gonen ben Itzhak—once Jewish intelligence agent/handler and Palestinian prisoner, now brothers who lay down our lives for one another.
Walid: It looks like the ones that are blessing you are Jews. Where are your “Arab” friends?
Mosab: What could bring us together? Only the love of God.
Mosab: And I pray that the love of God will bring you and me together, brother Walid.
Walid: Some of the advise on your blog is wise—we need to sit down—for a few days.
Mosab: l love you in Christ, Mosab Hassan Yousef
Walid: Amen to that.
*Click here for an archive of the discussion AND the original media that started it.