Remembering Daniel Pearl, 20 years after his murder

Getty Images On this day 20 years ago, the wall street journal journalist Daniel Pearl was beheaded by four terrorists. What happened...


Daniel Pearl

Getty Images

On this day 20 years ago, the wall street journal journalist Daniel Pearl was beheaded by four terrorists.

What happened to him evokes a few reminders.

One, pearl demonstrated that journalism should not be taken for granted.

On January 23, 2002, just over four months after 9/11, Pearl served as Journal’s Head of the Southeast Asia office. He was taken hostage in Pakistan by a group called the National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty. He was held captive for nine days before being executed.

Journalists like Pearl have long taken on assignments that take them to dangerous places that put their lives at risk. It is easy to forget the importance of such journalism and the sacrifices that are made to produce it. We should appreciate those who put their lives in danger when we read, see or listen to their words from war zones and other dangerous places around the world.

Second, Pearl’s captors, including her killer, have since been acquitted and released from prison In Pakistan. The United States should do everything in its power to bring them to justice. It is inexcusable and morally outrageous that the four men are free.

Finally, Pearl was proudly Jewish. Pearl’s mother, the deceased Ruth Pearl, wrote in I Am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl:

Like many generations before us, today we are engaged in a new war against anti-Semitism and fanaticism. More than ever, I am aware of my Jewishness and of my duty to contribute to its preservation, because I feel connected to people who share my values ​​and my commitments. Driven by the vision of Danny – a proud Jew who continues to inspire people with his values ​​and dignity – we will win this war, as our ancestors did for many generations.

Pearl is not the only known Jewish journalist to have been killed in the line of duty. Steven Soltoff was killed by ISIS fighters while in captivity in Syria in 2013.

Apparently Pearl’s last words included “I am Jewish”.

As a Jewish-American journalist, I also say this: I am Jewish.

May Pearl’s memory be a blessing.

This is an opinion piece. The opinions expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Remembering Daniel Pearl, 20 years after his murder
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