Judea Pearl, the father of Daniel Pearl (the Wall Street Journal journalist who was beheaded by Islamist extremists in Pakistan in 2002 for being Jewish and a supporter of Israel), penned an emotional open letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the House failed to pass a resolution against anti-Semitism.
Instead, a watered-down resolution condemning all forms of bigotry and racism was approved in its place.
The resolution was initially drafted as a response to freshmen Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s relentless use of historically vile anti-Semitic tropes. The Democratic Party buckled under pressure from the “progressive” Left, taking a focused issue and weakening the message of the resolution to be broad-sweeping, thus losing it’s original message.
A respected academic and a grieving father, Judea Pearl published an open letter to the party:
As President of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, and a lifelong Democrat, I urge Speaker Nancy Pelosi to act boldly and decisively on Rep. Ilhan Omar anti-Semitic bigotry. Our late son, Daniel Pearl, was not an Islamophobe, nor a foreign agent or a trader in “Benjamins.” He was a principled American journalist, a champion of truth and a relentless peace-seeker, who was murdered for being a Jew and a lover of Israel. I plead with Speaker Pelosi to rid the House of Representative of a new form of bigotry, directed again at Jews and lovers of Israel.
Words matter! And the hateful words pronounced by Rep. Ilhan Omar will continue to haunt and poison the future of American Jewry. However, we are concerned not merely with the harsh consequences of those words but with the obsessive hatred that produced them, and the ultimate purpose for which they were enunciated —to erode American support for the State of Israel — the miracle that symbolizes Jewish history and Jewish aspirations.
We stand here to remind Speaker Pelosi of words she has spoken many times in the past, that US support for Israel is not only a matter of mutual interest and shared values. Americans’ support of a homeland for the Jewish people is a MORAL IMPERATIVE, a HISTORICAL CALLING that should not be polluted with accusations of dual loyalty, or greed.
The Resolution passed by the House on March 9 condemns almost every form of hate on earth, except ONE —the anti-Zionist hatred waged against our brothers and sisters in Israel — Six and a half million refugees or descendants of refugees who have been denied normalcy for the past 70 years, besieged by hostile neighbors and confronted by daily existential threats from Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran.
The anti-Zionist obsession that Rep. Omar now brings to the halls of Congress aims to strip these six and a half million people from sovereignty and abandon them, stateless, to the mercy of genocidal neighbors. Americans cannot allow such moral deformity to stain the halls of their representative government.
The Democratic Party must remain a welcoming home to the many American Jews who have entrusted their energies, talents and dreams to this party. We urge Speaker Pelosi to find Rep. Ilhan Omar unfit to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
President, Daniel Pearl Foundation
Chancellor’s Professor, University of California Los Angeles
On Friday, March 15, 2019, human rights activist Rabi Kazan read the letter during a sit-in at Speaker Pelosi’s office. A video of the exchange was captured by writer and activist Asra Nomani, who was friends and colleagues with Daniel Pearl.