The AP reports that Mosab Hassan Yousef will "be granted U.S. asylum after he passes a routine background check, an immigration judge ruled Wednesday." The hearing lasted 15 minutes and, according to the report, "Attorney Kerri Calcador gave no explanation for the government's change of heart."
This is great news, and it will save American tax payers some money -- and much embarrassment.
Yousef has an op-ed in today's Washington Post, co-written with his Shin Bet contact Gonen ben Itzhak. The Israeli and Palestinian argue that their friendship should serve as an example of how Israelis and Palestinians can mend the rift and repair the relationship:
Ours is an unlikely friendship. One of us (Gonen ben Itzhak) is an Israeli, the son of a retired Israel Defense Forces (IDF) general who was in charge of defeating the first intifada some 20 years ago. One of us (Mosab Hassan Yousef) is a Palestinian, the son of a founder of Hamas whose father was one of the leaders of that intifada. The Palestinians' goal for the intifada was to elevate their cause. Israel sought to keep violence down and protect its citizens. Today we are sacrificing everything -- possibly even our lives -- to build a bridge of peace between our peoples.
As detailed in the book "Son of Hamas," published this year, we became partners in the fight against terrorism; Mosab became an undercover agent for the Shin Bet, Israel's security service; Gonen became his Shin Bet handler. In the nine years we worked together, the two of us, once sworn enemies, embraced mutual recognition and rejected the mind-set of revenge.
All the efforts of Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization failed to achieve the goals of the intifada. All the efforts of the IDF failed to stop the hate that fueled the intifada.
Mosab observed firsthand the craziness of the cycle of violence. Mosab began to question who his real enemies were: the Hamas leaders who tortured their fellow Palestinian prisoners, or the Shin Bet, who arrested and imprisoned him. Over the 16 months that Mosab was in prison, the answer became clear, and this persuaded Mosab to go undercover for the Shin Bet. Gonen, whose code name was "Captain Loai," became Mosab's handler. Mosab's reports led to the arrests of several high-ranking Palestinian figures. As we worked together to prevent the deaths of hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians, the two of us became friends.
We believe that friendships like ours are key to eliminating hate and promoting the liberty that both our peoples so desperately desire.
Read it here.