Sarah Stern, president of EMET, and former Shin Bet handler Gonen Ben-Yitzhak (left) lobbied to prevent the deportation of Mosab Hasan Yousef

Jewish Telegraphic Agency

When Mosab Hasan Yousef left a San Diego courthouse with the news that he would not be deported from the United States, he telephoned Sarah Stern in her Washington, D.C., office.

Sarah, we won!” he told Stern, president of EMET: Endowment for Middle East Truth, in the June 30 call. “They’re going to give me political asylum and are dropping the case. I want you to know that you’re the first person I’m calling.”

I let out a scream I was so happy,” Stern said of her reaction.

The news climaxed Yousef’s three-year legal effort to settle in the United States, which he nearly sabotaged inadvertently with the March publication of Son of Hamas, a book that described his undercover work for Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security agency.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security had moved to deport Yousef on the basis of passages that it said indicated he aided Hamas, which the United States lists as a terrorist group.

The reversal culminated a short campaign waged by EMET, a small, 4-year-old American Jewish organization, on behalf of a Palestinian Muslim-turned-Christian who had subverted the terrorist organization co-founded by his father.

Stern had worked in Washington since the early 1990s for the Zionist Organization of America and the American Jewish Congress. In 2006, she alerted the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare to the anti-Israel statements of a man it had nominated to the panel.

The task force’s co-chair, then-Rep. James Saxton (R-N.J.), recruited Stern to help identify moderate American Muslims as potential nominees.

She would found EMET as a platform for highlighting the courage of those who exposed the dangers of radical Islam. The organization also works to sensitize members of Congress to threats to Israel’s security.

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