Prof. Judea Pearl, the father of slain journalist Daniel Pearl, will light the
memorial flame at the Jewish Agency’s annual Remembrance Day ceremony on Monday
to commemorate Jews slain in terror attacks and in anti- Semitic incidents
Pearl is an Israeli-born computer scientist and a recipient of
the Turing Award, a top prize given annually in his field.
will be Daniel Pearl’s mother, Ruth Pearl, his two sisters, his widow, Mariane
Pearl, and his son Adam Pearl, born several months after his father’s
Daniel Pearl, a Jewish correspondent for The Wall Street Journal
who held dual Israeli-American citizenship, was beheaded by Islamist terrorists
in Pakistan while researching a story about ties between “shoe bomber” Richard
Reid and al-Qaida.
Pearl’s kidnapping and subsequent murder shocked
America, and his last words, affirming his Jewishness, became widely
“My father’s Jewish, my mother’s Jewish, I’m Jewish. My
family follows Judaism. We’ve made numerous family visits to Israel,”
Pearl was recorded saying before his murder.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post by phone from his hotel in the capital on Saturday evening, Pearl said that
he was honored to light the memorial flame and that by doing so he felt that he
was “fulfilling a promise to Danny to convey his last words to the people in
Israel and to the people of the world.”
He said that holding the ceremony
in Jerusalem was especially important because it is the city in which his son
had his bar mitzva.
“I think I’m closing the circle here,” he
Pearl said that since the time of his son’s murder, the world has
become a much more dangerous place for journalists.
“I think it’s worse
now, much worse,” he said, noting that while “everybody was shocked by the idea
that a journalist was being attacked, kidnapped and murdered” when it happened
to his son, such incidents have become “routine.” Such incidents don’t “even
make the news” anymore, he said.
According to the Committee to Protect
Journalists, while 21 journalists were killed in 2002, 70 died in 2012 and eight
have already been killed in 2013.
“In terms of Jews, the number of
anti-Semitic incidents is on the rise around the world...and getting
worse,” he asserted. “I can also see it in my university, UCLA, where
Jewish students are being targeted, not physically, but for being supporters of
“We have to speak out,” Pearl said.
The World Zionist
Organization, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael- Jewish National Fund, Keren
Hayesod-United Israel Appeal, the Jewish Federations of North America and the
Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA are co-sponsoring the Jewish Agency
According to the Jewish Agency, “approximately 200 Jews have
been killed in terror attacks targeting Jews around the world” since Israel’s
founding in 1948.
A memorial bearing the names of those killed is to be
unveiled at the ceremony.