From Rhode Island
November 7, 2005
01:00 AM EST
Pearl's father says son's murder claims victory
BY BRUCE LANDIS
Journal Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE - The father of murdered journalist Daniel
Pearl last night said
his son's last words amounted to a triumph of Jewish
humanism and a
repudiation of the barbarism of his death.
Judea Pearl said some of his son's last words -- "My
father is Jewish. My
mother is Jewish. I am a Jew" -- contained a message
on several levels, for
his family, for his kidnappers, who killed him in Pakistan,
and for the free
The message to his family, his father said, was one
of reassurance despite
his desperate situation, essentially, "I'm doing
For his captors, the message was that people are judged
accomplishments, not by the destruction they cause,
and that the kidnappers
should "come to your senses."
Daniel Pearl was taken hostage and later killed in Karachi,
February 2002. His words about his heritage were on
a videotape that also
contained violent footage of his death. But by videotaping
father said, "Danny's murderers miscalculated."
Putting his son before the camera, Pearl said, offered
the world "a whole
new image of Americans and Jews."
The result, he said, showed his son "with a pen
and a fiddle, not with a gun
and a helmet, not the image his killers wanted to convey."
Pearl was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. His
kidnappers accused him
of being a CIA agent and also of working for the Mossad,
intelligence agency. The Wall Street Journal and the
U.S. government denied
that he was a spy.
His son, Pearl said, "lived an extraordinary life,
and he died an
"This is your victory, Danny," he said. "It
is a victory of humanity itself
against all of those who try to choke its spirit. It
is a victory of every
Pearl, a computer scientist, spoke at Temple Beth-El,
addressing donors to
the annual campaign of the Jewish Federation of Rhode
Island. The group's
campaign chairman, Alan Litwin, said the campaign had
raised $3.1 million as
of Friday, 2 percent more than last year, and that the
money would benefit
Jewish causes locally and around the world, including
poverty-stricken Russian Jews and helping resettle Ethiopian
Jews in Israel.
Pearl said his son's message to the free world was that
"we can be proud of
who we are -- we are the town builders" and that
although far from perfect,
we are "still the world's largest exporters or
hope and freedom."
Pearl said his son's words conveyed an enormous range
of meaning, a
reference to his place in the "historic identity"
"Oh, Danny, Danny, where did you get the strength
to demand so stubbornly"
that his killers "come to their senses?"
He said people have asked whether he and his family
"Yes, we do," he told the audience. "Hatred
killed our son, and hatred we
should fight for the rest of our lives."
The Pearl family has created the Daniel Pearl Foundation,
which carries on
numerous activities aimed at building bridges between
concerts -- a recognition of Daniel Pearl's musical
interests -- and an
internet radio station, "Harmony for Humanity."
Judea Pearl said the foundation has also organized an
exchange service for high school students, in the hope
"respect for others, respect for different cultures."
He said he hoped to build "a coalition of the decent"
in the interest of
"global hate reduction."