Elliot Ratzman's Reviews > Son of Hamas

Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef
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's review
May 25, 2012

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Recommended for: pro-IsraAnyone with an opinion on Israel-Palestinian conflict or terrorism
Read from May 24 to 25, 2012 — I own a copy

Whatever side you are on in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there are things to learn from and things to be suspicious of in this fascinating, morally complex memoir. Mosab is the eldest son of one of the founders of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement. He became an informer for Israel, helping to undermine Hamas during its most violent phase even as Mosab emerges as one of its young leaders. At the same time, Mosab becomes attracted to Christianity! Is Mosab a truth teller or a deceiver? The Israeli occupation of the West Bank is described with all of its brutality and racism. Israelis clearly torture Palestinians and the details here of Israeli prisons are stomach turning. The Palestinian factions are also shown to be duplicitous, brutal and bullying. Mosab says he’s betraying Hamas because he wants to save lives, but his information is then used by the Israelis to conduct operations that leave hundreds dead. Still, Hamas here has a tragically human face, sketched with nuance.
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