Journalist Pearl Was Also An
Israeli Citizen Says Israeli Media

From Mid-East Realities

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 answers.

By Yossi Melman
Ha'aretz Daily
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 authenticity.
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 Pakistan.
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 against terror.
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.
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
Los Angeles
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" are.
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
Los Angeles

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