The peace that dare not speak its name: untold story of Arab-Jewish reconciliation
By Charles Gardner, Special to ASSIST News Service (Writer’s Opinion)
DONCASTER, UK (ANS – October 5, 2017) – A shaft of fresh revelation dawned on me after watching the extraordinary YouTube clip featuring former terrorist Mosab Hassan Yousef berating Palestinian delegates at the UN for betraying their own people and fanning the flames of the conflict with Israel.1
I can see now that British and other Western media – by censoring what is not on their agenda – are partly responsible for the continuing violence in the Middle East. Let me explain.
Yousef, son of Hamas founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef, switched allegiance to Israel’s Shin Bet security service after witnessing the torture of fellow prisoners by their own (Arab-Muslim) people. He discovered, to his great surprise, that his Israeli interrogators were friendly and caring.
And later, in the midst of working undercover on their behalf, and saving many lives in the process by tipping off police about planned atrocities, he had a ‘Damascus Road’ experience in which met and came to love the Jewish Messiah after taking up an invitation to study the Bible at Jerusalem’s iconic YMCA – the invitation was handed to him outside the famous Damascus Gate, one of the entrances to the walled Old City.
But his life was now in double jeopardy – as if being a spy for Israel wasn’t dangerous enough, he was also forsaking his Islamic faith to follow Jesus. He was eventually forced to flee to America, where he is now courageously campaigning to spread the truth about Israel to a world media all too keen to swallow the ongoing propaganda denying Jewish connection to the territory.
And so it was that he found himself as guest speaker for UN Watch2 as he addressed delegates to the UN Human Rights Council last week3. As the Palestinian Authority delegation reacted with shock and irritation, he accused them of committing human rights abuses against their own people, describing the PA as “the greatest enemy of the Palestinian people”, adding: “If Israel did not exist, you would have no-one to blame.”
Before Yousef spoke, country after country spewed attacks against Israel, accusing them of being a genocidal, apartheid state. But Yousef silenced them all when he accused the Palestinian leadership of being hypocrites.
“Where does your legitimacy come from?” he asked them. “The Palestinian people did not elect you and they did not appoint you to represent them. Your accountability is not to your own people. This is evidenced by your own total violation of their human rights. You kidnap Palestinian students from campus and torture them in your jails. You torture your political rivals. The suffering of the Palestinian people is the outcome of your selfish political interests.”4
And they used Israel as a scapegoat, he added.
Yousef has found peace with the Jews, and with all men, through his relationship with Christ, having been reconciled both to God and man through his death on the cross (see Ephesians 2.14). His best-selling book, Son of Hamas5, is still available in bookstores, and I have written widely about men like him who have come to love and honour the Jews, not through a political peace process involving endless negotiations and compromises, but through what Jesus did for all men as he took their sins and nailed them to the cross, thereby bringing an end to their enmity with one another – especially between Jew and Arab, descendants of Isaac and Ishmael, the sons of Abraham.
After attending a conference at Christ Church, Jerusalem, I wrote all about it in my book, Peace in Jerusalem, and continue to write about this precious subject as it lies at the very heart of the gospel which brings reconciliation between God and man and between Jew and Gentile.
With my own eyes, I witnessed Jew and Arab embracing one another as they shared communion representing the body and blood of the Lord who brought them together through his mercy and grace. In doing so, I also witnessed the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, “For to us…a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called…Prince of Peace.” (Isa 9.6)
As a journalist of more than 40 years, I can spot a good story – and this, I reckoned, was the best story that has never been told; the answer to peace in the Middle East, and indeed the world. Over a two-week period, I offered my daily copy (free) to mainstream (Fleet Street) newspapers in the UK, but didn’t even receive the courtesy of a single reply to my emails.
Nevertheless, the inspiring stories were widely circulated to news outlets on four continents. So that’s why I say that the British media are partly responsible for the lack of progress in the Middle East, which has got considerably more violent since that 2014 gathering.
But it was so refreshing that historian A N Wilson tackled the ridiculous lengths to which political correctness has been taken in last Saturday’s Daily Mail6, describing it as reflecting a ‘new dark age of intolerance’. Though not claiming to be a believer himself, he spoke up for those Christians who are treated with incredulity for believing, for instance, that abortion and sexual promiscuity are wrong.
Yet it is still very non-PC for our media to take an uncompromising stand on the Christian faith that underpins our nation with thousands of years of history, justice, innovation, education and care, spelling out in no uncertain terms the total relevance to our world of the Lord Jesus Christ, who made it absolutely clear that he was not one of many options for guiding us to heaven’s domain when he said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no-one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14.6)
2UN Watch is a Geneva-based non-governmental organization whose stated mission is “to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter” (Wikipedia)
3Jerusalem News Network, 29 September 2017, quoting Arutz-7
4CBN News, 29 September 2017
5Written with Ron Brackin and published by Tyndale Momentum
6Daily Mail, 30 September 2017
Thanks also to David Soakell of Christian Friends of Israel and South African friend Suzette van Rooyen
Photo Captions: 1) Son of Hamas book cover. 2) A busy thoroughfare near Damascus Gate, where a journey towards discovering Jesus started for Mosab Hassan Yousef. 3) Christ Church, Jerusalem. 4) Charles Gardner with his wife, Linda.
About the writer: Charles Gardner is a veteran Cape Town-born British journalist working on plans to launch a new UK national newspaper reporting and interpreting the news from a biblical perspective. With his South African forebears having had close links with the legendary devotional writer Andrew Murray, Charles is similarly determined to make an impact for Christ with his pen and has worked in the newspaper industry for more than 40 years. Part-Jewish, he is married to Linda, who takes the Christian message around many schools in the Yorkshire town of Doncaster. Charles is also author of Israel the Chosen (Amazon) and Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com. He has four children and nine grandchildren, and can be reached by phone on +44 (0) 1302 832987, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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