Israel Holds Daniel Pearl Memorial
Mar. 05, 2002
JERUSALEM (AP) _ Government officials joined relatives of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl on Tuesday in a memorial service at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, recalling his last words, ``I am a Jew.''
``He was murdered in a faraway place ... but he is close to us all,'' Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Melchior said during the brief service attended by Pearl's 92-year-old grandmother, Tova, and four cousins.
Flanked by Melchior and Religious Affairs Minister Asher Ohana, cousin Raz Pearl said Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, then recalled the videotaped words of Daniel Pearl, moments before he was killed by kidnappers in Pakistan.
``My name is Daniel Pearl, I am an American Jew from California,'' Raz quoted the Wall Street Journal reporter as telling his captors. ``I come from a Zionist family, my father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am a Jew.''
Melchior said Pearl's words would be long remembered. ``This expression is so strong that it touches us all,'' he said.
One of Pearl's cousins, Yaniv Renen, said Pearl's parents were born in Israel but moved after their marriage to the United States, where Daniel was born.
Pearl, South Asia bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped Jan. 23 while researching links between Pakistani extremists and Richard Reid, who was arrested in December on a Paris-Miami flight he allegedly boarded with explosives in his sneakers.
Tova Pearl said she first heard that her grandson had been abducted in a phone call from his father, Yehuda Pearl.
Pakistani police are holding British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and three alleged accomplices in the Pearl case. Police are looking for several other suspects in the case, including Amjad Hussain Faruqi, who police believe actually abducted and held Pearl.