Bush pays tribute to Daniel Pearl in celebration of Hanukkah

December 11, 2007 07:40


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President George W. Bush recognized Hanukka on Monday by remembering the kidnapping and murder in 2002 of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl at the hands of Islamic militants in Pakistan. "His only crime was being a Jewish-American _ something Daniel Pearl would never deny," Bush said as he celebrated the Jewish holiday that commemorates religious freedom and the successful fight against oppression. Pearl's father, Judea, struck a match and he and the reporter's mother, Ruth, lighted candles on a family menorah. Daniel Pearl's great-grandfather, Chayim Pearl, brought it with him when he moved from Poland to Israel in 1924. The menorah will stay at the White House through Tuesday, the last night of Hanukka. "In his final moments, Daniel told his captors about a street in Israel named for his great-grandfather. He looked into their camera and he said, `My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish, and I'm Jewish,"' Bush said. "These words have become a source of inspiration for Americans of all faiths. They show the courage of a man who refused to bow before terror - and the strength of a spirit that could not be broken."

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