It was seven years ago that journalist Daniel Pearl was beheaded for the world to see. The message was simple: This is the fate that awaits Jews, Americans, and all other infidels non-believers. The act, sometimes called “barbaric,” is just a reflection of people who want to reestablish a way of life from a millennia and a half ago. It is all done in the name of some convoluted religion.
A few days ago at a major conference in Israel, a reporter sat down at the table where I was sitting. His name tag read “Al Jazeera.” Now that I think about it, my own name tag did not read “Muslim World Today.” Was it pride that necessitated parading the affiliation with no other than Al Jazeera? This is the network which, for hours at a time, shows body parts and highlights death and destruction, mostly out of context. It interviews Jews and Israelis, splitting the screen, often without the interviewee’s knowledge, to provide context of death and destruction.
I looked, somewhat astonished, since I saw a young guy from New York, with curly hair and a broad smile, a “nice Jewish boy.” Possibly the tag was a mistake? I thought, so I asked: “Are you representing Al Jazeera?” “Yes,” replied Adam, and turned his laptop on. “And what is the requirement working for Al Jazeera,” continued, “Hating Israel?”
Adam thought I was obnoxious, but I seriously wanted to know. It turns out that Al Jazeera has ten employees in Israel. There is a deafening void to counter Al Jazeera’s spewing of hatred and misinformation and its utilization as a propaganda tool. I learned at the conference that due to budgetary constraints, Israel does not have a competing channel. Israel also does not have a policy prohibiting Al Jazeera from getting press credentials that offer its reporters free and complete access. Fall into the trap of one’s enemy.
Daniel Pearl, may he rest in peace, is remembered by his family, friends and people all over the world. Daniel Pearl is dead. A foundation headed by his father is very active. May it be the case that Adam, who speaks fluent Hebrew and English and works for Al Jazeera, will not become the beheaded icon of yet another foundation. May Adam’s parents not have to spend their years lamenting his life, highlighting all the good that he has done in his short few decades.
Will Al Jazeera allow the same backing as the Wall Street Journal provides to Mrs. & Prof. Pearl if – by the name of the same god which justified sending rockets to civilian populations and memorializing every homicide bomber who blew herself up among the infidels – Adam’s parents were to see the beheading of their son on a live broadcast over the internet?
Adam, you may want to call Prof. Judea Pearl. He is teaching at UCLA at the Department of Computer Science and is easily accessible. He will tell you that Ruth and he would give everything they have to get Daniel back rather than the bear the sadness that accompanies them every moment of every minute of every hour of every day.
When I asked you if the prerequisite of working for Al Jazeera is hating Israel I erred. I should have asked you if you love life, if you love your parents, if you love your homeland and your heritage. If the answer to all these is “YES,” then you are working for the wrong organization.