- WASHINGTON - We now learn
that Daniel Pearl, the kidnapped and killed Wall Street Journal reporter,
was an Israeli citizen. It seems he was reporting for years on extraordinarily
controversial subjects for an extremely controversial pro-Israeli publication
- but apparently neither he nor the publication ever revealed this fact
to readers. What more may we learn next?
- As usual, the courageous and tireless journalist who
is such a credit to his profession, Robert Fisk, asks many of the necessary
questions and points fingers where they deserve to be pointed. Fisk's article
was written before the revelation today that Pearl was an Israeli. "Where
did we go wrong" Fisk rightly asks...and gives some of the important
- PEARL'S FATHER: 'ISRAELI CONNECTION'
COULD HINDER INVESTIGATION
By Yossi Melman
- Professor Yehuda Pearl, father of murdered Wall Street
Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, has told Ha'aretz that he fears that making
public his son's Israeli citizenship could adversely affect investigative
efforts by Pakistani police to apprehend the killers and track down the
murdered reporter's body.
- In a telephone conversation from his Los Angeles residence,
Professor Pearl expressed regret and anger over the revelation by the Israeli
media of his family's "Israeli connection." The U.S. media, which
was aware of the information, complied with the family's request not to
make it public. The American media was asked to comply with this request
after information was obtained that confirmed reports that the 38-year-old
reporter was dead.
- Professor Pearl went on to say that he had not viewed
the videotape in which his son's murder was documented and has no intention
of doing so. He was told of his son's death Thursday by U.S. government
officials after they had viewed the videotape and were convinced of its
- According to assessments presented to Professor Pearl,
his son was killed ten days after being kidnapped on January 23. The date
of his death is based on experts' viewing of the videotape and was determined
according to the length of Pearl's beard, as seen on the tape.
- Pakistani police investigators said Saturday that Pearl's
murderers never meant to release him. The Pakistani police warned foreign
organizations in the country that they should be careful due to the fact
that Pearl's kidnapping may be part of a more far-reaching terrorist plot.
They also reported that the man who delivered the videotape documenting
Pearl's murder was arrested for questioning in Karachi, located in southern
- The State Department said the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan
had received evidence Thursday that Pearl was dead. Spokesman Richard Boucher
provided no details on the evidence, although Pakistani authorities said
that the videotape indicated he had been murdered by the Islamic extremists
who kidnapped him a month ago.
- Pearl, born in Princeton, New Jersey, died at the age
of 38. He worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal for twelve years.
His last job was to report from Afghanistan and Pakistan on the U.S. war
- On Thursday, Fahad Naseem, one of three men accused of
involvement in the kidnapping, said Pearl was abducted because he was a
Jew working against Islam.
- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf vowed Friday to
leave no stone unturned in hunting the killers of Pearl and declared war
on all terrorists in Pakistan.
- In a national television address on Friday night, Musharraf
said all resources would be thrown into finding the executioners of the
Wall Street Journal reporter.
- "I can assure my countrymen that we will not leave
any stone unturned to bring all these people involved in this murder to
justice and set an example of them for other such people who may be thinking
of such acts in the future," Musharraf declared, vowing to wipe out
all extremist groups.
- "I think our resolve increases with such acts to
move more strongly against all such terrorist people and those organizations
which perpetrate such terrorism. To move against them and liquidate them
entirely from our country," he said.
- JOURNALISTS ARE NOW TARGETS -
BUT WHO IS TO BLAME FOR THIS?
- By Robert Fisk
The Independent - London
- The murder of Daniel Pearl of The Wall Street Journals
was as revolting as it was outrageous. But why was he killed? Because he
was a Westerner, a "Kaffir"? Because he was an American? Or because
he was a journalist? And if he was killed because he was a reporter what
has happened to the protection which we in our craft used to enjoy?
- In Pakistan and Afghanistan, we can be seen as Kaffirs,
as unbelievers. Our faces, our hair, even our spectacles, mark us out as
Westerners. The Muslim cleric who wished to talk to me in an Afghan refugee
village outside Peshawar last October was stopped by a man who pointed
at me and asked: "Why are you taking this Kaffir into our mosque?''
Weeks later, a crowd of Afghan refugees, grief-stricken at the slaughter
of their relatives in a US B-52 bomber air raid, tried to kill me because
they thought I was an American.
- But over the past quarter century I have witnessed the
slow, painful, dangerous erosion of respect for our work. We used to risk
our lives in wars - we still do - but journalists were rarely deliberate
targets. We were impartial witnesses to conflict, often the only witnesses,
the first writers of history. Even the nastiest militias understood this.
"Protect him, look after him, he is a journalist,'' I recall a Palestinian
guerrilla ordering his men when I entered the burning Lebanese town of
Bhamdoun in 1983.
- But in Lebanon, in Algeria and then in Bosnia, the protection
began to disintegrate. Reporters in Beirut were taken hostage - the Associated
Press's Terry Anderson disappeared for almost seven years - while Algerian
journalists were hunted down and beheaded by Islamist groups throughout
the Nineties. Olivier Quemener, a French cameraman, was cruelly shot down
in the Casbah area of Algiers as his wounded colleague lay weeping by his
side. Pasting "TV" stickers on your car in Sarajevo was as much
an invitation to the Serb snipers above the city to shoot at journalists
as it was a protection.
- Where did we go wrong? I suspect the rot started in Vietnam.
Reporters have identified themselves with armies for decades. In both World
Wars, journalists worked in uniform. Dropping behind enemy lines with US
commandos did not spare an AP reporter from a Nazi firing squad. But these
were countries in open conflict, reporters whose nations had officially
declared war. Wearing a uniform enabled journalists to claim the protection
of the Geneva Convention; in civilian clothes they could be shot as spies.
It was in Vietnam that reporters started wearing uniforms and carrying
weapons - and shooting those weapons at America's enemies - even though
their country was not officially at war and even when they could have carried
out their duties without wearing soldiers' clothes. In Vietnam, reporters
were murdered because they were reporters.
- This odd habit of journalists to be part of the story,
to play an almost theatrical role in wars, slowly took hold. When the Palestinians
evacuated Beirut in 1982, I noticed that several French reporters were
wearing Palestiniankuffiah scarves. Israeli reporters turned up in occupied
southern Lebanon with pistols. Then in the 1991 Gulf war, American and
British television reporters started dressing up in military costumes,
appearing on screen - complete with helmets and military camouflage fatigues
- as if they were members of the 82nd Airborne or the Hussars. One American
journalist even arrived in boots camouflaged with painted leaves although
a glance at any desert suggests that this would not have served much purpose.
In the Kurdish flight into the mountains of northern Iraq more reporters
could be found wearing Kurdish clothes. In Pakistan and Afghanistan last
year, the same phenomenon occurred, Reporters in Peshawar could be seen
wearing Pushtun hats. Why? No one could ever supply me with an explanation.
What on earth was CNN's Walter Rodgers doing in US Marine costume at the
American camp outside Kandahar? Mercifully, someone told him to take it
off after his first broadcast. Then Geraldo Rivera of Fox News arrived
in Jalalabad with a gun. He fully intended, he said, to kill Osama bin
Laden. It was the last straw. The reporter had now become combatant.
- Perhaps we no longer care about our profession. Maybe
we're all to quick to demean our own jobs, to sneer at each other, to adopt
the ridiculous title of "hacks" when we should regard the job
as foreign correspondent as a decent, honourable profession. I was astounded
last December when an American newspaper headline announced that I had
deserved the beating I received at the hands of that Afghan crowd. I had
almost died but the article, by Mark Steyn, carried a headline that a "multiculturalist
(me) gets his due''. My sin, of course, was to explain that the crowd had
lost relatives in America's B-52 raids, that I would have done the same
in their place. That shameful, unethical headline, I should add, appeared
in Daniel Pearl's own newspaper, The Wall Street Journal.
- Can we do better? I think so. It's not that reporters
in military costume - Rodgers in his silly Marine helmet, Rivera clowning
around with a gun, or even me in my gas cape a decade ago - helped to kill
Daniel Pearl. He was murdered by vicious men. But we are all of us - dressing
up in combatant's clothes or adopting the national dress of people - helping
to erode the shield of neutrality and decency which saved our lives in
the past. If we don't stop now, how can we protest when next our colleagues
are seized by ruthless men who claim we are spies?
- From Elaine Matlow
- I would like to make the comment that Vice-President
Cheney said that he wanted Osama-bin Laden's head on a platter, instead,
he got Daniel Pearl's head. Mr. Cheney should be careful for what he wishes
for and held responsible for planting the seeds of chopping off heads into
the minds of his enemies.
Sincerely - EM
- From Jim Goldberg
- Dear Mr. Rense,
- Regarding Mr. Pearl & the Mossad. I was shocked to
read the article you posted today: Journalist Pearl Was Also Israeli Citizen
Says Israeli Media.
- This article from Ha'aretz totally changes all we have
heard from our American "news media" concerning Pearl. We were
so excited to blame the "terrorists" for killing "journalists"
that we never stopped to think that maybe the "terrorist's" early
accusations were correct: that Mr. Pearl was a Mossad asset. Other articles
on your website indicated in NO uncertain terms, that many thousands of
Israelis, Jews and others world wide are on the Mossad payroll. This is
why the Mossad is the best 'agency' in the world.
- To me, it is more than logical to be confident that a
high-ranking Israeli in the lofty position of Pearl, working for the WSJ,
would be a Mossad agent. In view of these new revelations by the Israeli
press, I have these comments:
- 1. The Terrorists said clearly from day one that Mr.
Pearl was a Mossad agent. Our "news" media did not report it,
the Arab news media, did.
- 2. It is the our "news" media which said the
terrorists are "targeting journalists".
- 3. It was primarily CNN which was generating war hysteria
by blaming Moslems to be the killers of journalists.
- 4. The "terrorists" were perfectly clear that
they wanted to exchange Pearl for their prisoners. The Pentagon refused.
IMHO, the Pentagon is just as guilty in killing Mr. Pearl as the "terrorists"
- 5. The "terrorists" were also perfectly clear
they were going to kill Pearl within one week unless their demands were
met. The Pentagon knew it AND DID NOTHING.
- 6. When the "terrorists" become silent, and
all the "news" media started an orgy of conflicting information,
I went to the Pakistani and Indian websites and I studied the information
about the personality of the "terrorists" involved. My conclusion,
based on what the "terrorists" did in the past, was perfectly
clear: that Mr. Pearl most likely had been killed.
- 7. The WSJ should NEVER have sent Mr. Pearl to Pakistan.
With his Israeli citizenship, his life was placed in extreme danger. To
be honest, Pearl being an Israeli, should have known better...
- Jim Goldberg