“The Green Prince,” the Israeli documentary based on the bestselling memoir “Son of Hamas” by Mosab Hassan Yousef, has been honored at the Sundance Film Festival.
The project, which recounts Yousef’s real-life experience as a spy for the Israeli secret police agency Shin Bet for a decade until 2007, won in the category of Audience Award for World Cinema: Documentary.
Ron Brackin, who wrote “Son of Hamas,” told the ASSIST News Service that “people love the book because people like to believe that people like Jason Bourne really exist.”
The film, produced and directed by Nadav Schirman, was narrated by Yousef and Gonen Ben-Itzhak, who was Yousef’s Shin Bet handler.
Brackin said the relationship between Yousef and Gonen is an even more powerful story, yet to be fully told.
“To me,” he told ASSIST, “the spy stuff was window dressing. A lot more important than locking up (or blowing up) the bad guys is the amazing relationship between Mosab and Gonen. That’s what needs to be captured on film. It’s a powerful truth that says Palestinians and Israelis can live at peace with one another. It says the so-called ‘Palestinian problem’ is never going to be resolved by politicians sitting around a table or by walls, military incursions, blockades, or sanctions.”
Brackin noted it “was a Jew who gave the world the solution a couple thousand years ago – for Israel and Palestine, Sudan, Bosnia, Rwanda, Armenia, Iraq, Syria, Korea, for every tribe and every family.”
“He said, ‘Love your enemies.’ Peace doesn’t result from diplomacy or strength. It results from the courage to forgive and the resolve to see one another as people. That’s the secret Mosab and Gonen discovered. And their love and respect for one another and commitment to one another are living proof that it works where everything else has failed.”
As WND reported in interview stories, Yousef worked alongside his father, Sheik Hassan Yousef, in the West Bank city of al-Ghaniya near Ramallah while secretly embracing Christian faith and serving as a Shin Bet spy. Since publicly declaring his faith in August 2008, he has been condemned by an al-Qaida-affiliated group and disowned by his family.
Yousef, who was granted asylum in the U.S. after the Department of Homeland Security tried to deport him, told WND in an interview Americans must understand that the ultimate goal of the highly influential Muslim Brotherhood, the movement that gave birth to Hamas, is not terrorism but to establish a global Islamic state over the entire world.
“If they can establish this in a peaceful manner, that’s fine,” he said. “But they are required by the Quran to establish this global Islamic state on the rubble of every civilization, every constitution, every government.”
The Times of Israel said Yousef was credited with preventing numerous suicide bombings during the Second Intifada and was thought of as the most important agent to report to Israel from inside Hamas.
“Information he transmitted to the Israeli security forces also reportedly led to the arrests of prominent Hamas members, including Abdullah Barghouti and Ibrahim Hamid, Hamas commanders in the West Bank,” the report said.
The Sundance program says: “‘The Green Prince’ is such an extraordinary story that one is tempted to think it is fiction, if only somebody had the audacity to invent it. … [It is] a story of two men, spy and handler, whom history insists must be adversaries. That they could reach a point of trust or friendship seems absurd.”
The book recounts Yousef’s life as the oldest son of a Hamas founder.
The author “reveals new information about the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization” and talks about his own role, his separation from family and homeland, and his belief that the Christian mandate to “love your enemies” is the only way to peace in the Middle East.
ASSIST reported the movie already has secured distribution contracts for the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.