Jewish Journal

Judea Pearl

  • Chilling debate or chilling hate on UC campuses?

    March 21, 2016 | 3:02 pm

    The proposed UC Regents statement concerning anti-Zionism is a milestone in the struggle to protect Jewish students from harassment and intimidation on UC campuses. (The statement will be presented to the Regents for a vote on March 23.) While most commentaries focus on the...

  • November 29: The Jewish Thanksgiving Day

    November 24, 2015 | 6:08 pm

    For several years now, I have been campaigning to declare Nov. 29 as the Jewish Thanksgiving Day, a day to give thanks to Lady History and to the many heroic players who stood behind the historic United Nations vote on Nov. 29, 1947, an event that has changed so dramatically the...

  • The UC’s new dilemma: to name or not to name

    November 3, 2015 | 4:03 pm

    Dozens of speakers representing a variety of views testified last week at UCLA before a university committee tasked with crafting a University of California systemwide policy to combat anti-Semitism on campuses.

    Many of the speakers favored adoption of the U.S. State Department’s...

  • An open letter to Cornel West

    April 21, 2015 | 3:13 pm

    Judea Pearl is Chancellor’s Professor of Computer Science and Statistics at UCLA and president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation.

    Dear Professor West,

    This is a humble request sent to you from a rank-and-file Jewish professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, where you...

  • At UCLA, Zionophobia trumps anti-Semitism

    March 18, 2015 | 3:36 pm

    Portions of this article originally appeared in Haaretz.

    In what should rightly be considered a major victory for Jewish students at UCLA, the undergraduate student government at its March 10 meeting unanimously passed “A Resolution Condemning Anti-Semitism,” which specifically...

  • Routing out anti-Israel bias on campus

    October 14, 2014 | 1:09 pm

    If you are not redirected automatically, follow the link to example

  • Should campus racism be discussed?

    October 13, 2014 | 9:20 am

    In early October, a number of prominent Jewish studies professors signed a letter stating their opposition to the AMCHA Initiative, a group with the mission of monitoring anti-Semitism at institutions of higher education in America. A study just released by AMCHA indicates,...
  • To be read at the NYC Rally protesting ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’

    September 19, 2014 | 1:41 pm

    Friends and Fellow protesters: 

    In joining you today to protest the New York Metropolitan Opera production of this opera, I echo the silenced voice of my son, Daniel Pearl, and the silenced voices of other victims of terror, including James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and including...

  • Standing up for Israel on campus

    August 13, 2014 | 1:22 pm

    It’s going to be a tough year on campus.

    Anti-Israel rallies nationwide indicate that the atmosphere has turned toxic for all of us who love and support Israel.

    But from many conversations with my university colleagues, I know that, despite what we see and read in the media,...

  • If boycott is anti-academic what do we call its leaders?

    February 5, 2014 | 2:08 pm

    To: John Sexton, Ph.D J. D.
    President, New York University

    Re. An Open Letter regarding NYU and ASA, via email, January 20, 2014.

    Dear President Sexton,

    I am writing to you as an alumnus of NYU-affiliated school who is deeply concerned with the recent boycott resolution by...

  • Dear John Sexton: Condemn and block the ASA

    February 5, 2014 | 1:42 pm

    To: John Sexton, Ph.D J. D.
    President, New York University

    Re. An Open Letter regarding NYU and ASA, via email, January 20, 2014.

    Dear President Sexton,

    I am writing to you as an alumnus of NYU-affiliated school who is deeply concerned with the recent boycott resolution by...

  • Boycott Israel? Not on my campus

    January 3, 2014 | 12:14 pm

    There are many good reasons to oppose the American Studies Association (ASA) decision to boycott Israeli universities. But there are some bad reasons as well. Many arguments against the boycott play exactly into the hands of the pro-boycott propagandists and give them the...

  • Judea Pearl reflects: A father’s words

    May 1, 2013 | 1:14 pm

    This is an excerpt of Judea Pearl’s speech made on April 17 at the inauguration of the Daniel Pearl International Journalism Institute, at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel.

    Eleven years ago, when tragedy blackened our skies, and millions of people resonated with...

  • Nov. 29 and Palestinian Statehood

    December 5, 2012 | 2:49 pm

    Even as the sound of “Hatikvah” reverberated in the auditorium of the American Jewish University, where Los Angeles commemorated the 65th anniversary of the historic United Nations vote of Nov. 29, 1947, another U.N. vote was casting its shadows on our consciousness — the vote for...

  • The Lions' Den

    February 23, 2012 | 10:35 am

    Daniel Pearl’s murder by terrorists was made public on Feb. 21, 2002. Author Judea Pearl is a professor at UCLA, president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation (danielpearl.org) and a co-editor of “I Am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl” (Jewish...

  • Opinion: Moral dimension of Palestinian statehood

    September 27, 2011 | 7:14 pm

    I felt terribly guilty when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told the U.N. General Assembly: “Enough! It is time for the Palestinian people to gain their freedom and independence.” How can we deny to others what we claim for ourselves?

    Let there be no...

  • Opinion: It’s time for a Jewish Spring

    September 14, 2011 | 12:33 pm

    Recent weeks have not blessed us with much good news. Turkey’s bullying threats to Israel in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Palestinian determination to pursue its bid for statehood recognition at the United Nations this month, and the mob attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo...

  • Obama’s dilemma — What went wrong and what can be fixed

    June 7, 2011 | 6:24 pm

    Say what you will about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the White House last month, there is no question that things did not go exactly as planned.

    If you believe that President Barack Obama is Israel’s staunchest friend, trying his best to save it from...

  • Words Matter — Obama’s Next Challenge

    May 17, 2011 | 6:16 pm

    By the time this article is published on May 19, President Barack Obama will be putting the final touches on his policy speech on the Middle East, scheduled for the same day. Many see it as an important speech, for it could signal a dramatic shift in U.S. policy in the wake of the...

  • Richard Holbrooke, champion of truth

    December 22, 2010 | 12:13 pm

    Richard Holbrooke, President Obama’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, passed away on Dec. 13 at the age of 69. He has been hailed by several Jewish newspapers as a friend of Israel, although he was not prominently involved in American-Israeli relations. Indeed, in a...

  • The psychology behind the Ground Zero mosque

    August 28, 2010 | 7:40 pm

    I have been trying hard to find an explanation for the intense controversy surrounding the Cordoba Initiative, whereby 71 percent of Americans oppose the construction of an Islamic Center and a Mosque next to Ground Zero. I cannot agree with the theory that such broad resistance...

  • Daniel Schorr on Acting Against One’s Principles.

    August 2, 2010 | 11:34 am

    The following email was sent to Judea and Ruth Pearl in 2003 by ledendary journalist Daniel Schorr, who died last week, on July 23, at 93. It was written in response to a request for an essay for the Pearl’s book, “I Am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of...

  • Jews of Discomfort

    July 27, 2010 | 6:11 pm

    What makes fog float in midair, while raindrops fall straight down to earth? Physics teaches us that it is all a matter of “surface-to-weight ratio” — a simple parameter that determines whether soap bubbles rise or fall and how many passengers a jet plane can carry. The larger...

  • Roger Cohen’s Game With Israel

    February 16, 2010 | 6:20 pm

    For the life of me, I wish I could be a professional analyst — someone who makes a living telling people what world leaders think, why they think the way they do,
    why what they think is not what they say and how we ought to act knowing what they truly have in mind.

    The nice thing...

  • Airport Profiling, Statistics and Mistrust

    January 20, 2010 | 3:53 am

    In the wake of last month’s attempted bombing of a U.S. airliner, President Obama has ordered intensified airport screening of passengers from 13 Muslim countries. This move has sparked a healthy public debate about targeted screening in American airports, its effectiveness and its...

  • The Miracles of November

    November 25, 2009 | 12:57 pm

    This month marks two monumental events in the history of the Jewish people — the Balfour Declaration of Nov. 2, 1917, the first official recognition of Jewish national aspirations, and Nov. 29, 1947, the United Nations vote for the partition of Palestine, which led to the...

  • Rosh Hashanah, Yom HaDin and Guantanamo Bay

    September 16, 2009 | 8:56 pm

    As Jews prepare themselves for Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe) and Americans recover from commemorating the Sept. 11 terror attack on the World Trade Center, many are conscious of another symbol of crisis — the Guantanamo Detention Center, whose fate is still uncertain. If the crumbling...

  • Netanyahu’s Latest Speech — Obama’s Next Opportunity

    June 24, 2009 | 11:30 pm

    Now that Arab leaders and Western pundits have expressed their disapproval of Netanyahu’s policy speech of last Sunday, it is time for peace visionaries to point out the opportunities that the speech has opened to the international community, especially to President Obama.

    A large...

  • The Crucible of UC Irvine

    May 27, 2009 | 6:28 pm

    Universities, like religions, are often judged not by what they preach but by what they tolerate.

    This painful truth came to mind upon reading Neelie Genya Milstein’s op-ed article in these pages, “Protecting Hate at UC Irvine” (May 22, 2009), in which she describes the...

  • Judea Pearl: A Poem for Israel’s 61st

    May 1, 2009 | 5:16 pm

    (Free Translation from Yaron London’s MIRDAF)

    Generous land, her veins full of honey
    and blood in her rivers like water still flows.
    Land whose tall mountains are carved out of copper
    But her nerves out of iron, she knows.

    A land whose long history is but chase after chase,

  • Our New Marranos

    March 18, 2009 | 6:17 pm

    Three years ago, in a column in this journal, I argued for the formula, “Anti-Zionism = Racism,” instead of the standard claim that anti-Zionism is a cover for anti-Semitism. My aim was to empower pro-Israel students with a more potent intellectual weapon to fight back the rising...

  • Dust Over Campus Life: UCLA at a Crossroad

    February 18, 2009 | 2:25 pm

    Remember Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros”? Written in the late 1950s, the play describes the transformation of a quiet, peaceful town into anarchy when one after another of its residents is transformed into a lumbering, thick-skinned brute. Only Berenger, a stand-in for the playwright,...

  • The forgotten miracle: Nov. 29, 1947

    December 18, 2008 | 3:47 am

    I originally planned to write a column about the flood of condemnations that Muslim leaders issued following the massacre in Mumbai, and how disappointed I was not to find a single fatwa in those texts, nor a mention of any religious offense: no "sin," no "hell," nor "apostasy."


  • It’s time for words to lead the peace process

    November 20, 2008 | 1:57 am

    It is now clear that no peace agreement, not even on principles, will be signed by the Israeli-Palestinian negotiating team before some time in 2009, after the new American administration takes charge, the Israeli election runs its course and the fate of Mahmoud Abbas' presidency is...
  • A clash of two birthdays

    September 17, 2008 | 11:26 pm

    Last month, in my column titled, "Al-Jazeera and the Glorification of Barbarity", I described Al-Jazeera's royal celebration of the birthday of Samir

    Kuntar, the unrepentant child-killer psychopath and called on the network to "publicly apologize to its viewers in the Arab world for...

  • Al-Jazeera and the glorification of barbarity

    August 21, 2008 | 12:46 am

    I have often wondered why some of the best thinkers of our time refuse to believe in human progress. After all, there was a time when tens of thousands of ordinary citizens flocked to the gates of the Roman Coliseum to enjoy the sight of wild beasts tearing human beings to pieces....
  • Israel @ 60: Confronting denial

    June 19, 2008 | 2:30 pm

    Each year, in preparation for Israel’s birthday, newspaper editors feel an uncontrolled urge, a divine calling in fact, to invite Arab writers to tell us why Israel should not exist.

    This must give them some sort of satisfaction, such as we might have in inviting officials of the...

  • History disproves myth that founding Zionists were naive

    May 15, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    We are often told, mostly by anti-Israel propagandists, that the early Zionists' attitude toward the indigenous Arab population in Palestine was laden with ignorance, naivete, denial, contempt, abuse and outright oppression. Afif Safieh, the PLO representative to the United States,...
  • Paving the path to dialogue

    April 17, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    First came an "Open Letter From Muslims to Jews," signed by dozens of leading Muslim scholars and intellectuals in the West, calling for "Peace, Dialogue and Understanding Between Muslims and Jews."

    The letter, which was initiated by American University professor Akbar Ahmed and...

  • A culture of violence or a cult of the superficial?

    January 17, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    When The Journal asked me to write a note about the murder of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan, I initially declined. I did not feel I had anything insightful or original to add to the dozens of gloomy and desperate articles we have been receiving by Pakistanis and Western analysts in the...
  • Chanukah— the pink elephant of Annapolis

    December 20, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    I spent the last week of November in Israel and watched the Annapolis show unfold through the lens of Israeli TV. As expected, everyone in Israel watched that show with both nervous curiosity and cynical dismissal.

    But the event that truly captured the public imagination and...

  • Saudi king’s gift should fulfill ‘contract with humanity’

    November 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    We are in receipt of a refreshing piece of news from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia via the New York Times:
    "On a marshy peninsula 50 miles from this Red Sea port, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is staking $12.5 billion on a gargantuan bid to catch up with the West in science and technology."
  • In Quest for Meaning

    September 20, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Man is a meaning-seeking animal. Hardly a second goes by in which our mind does not stop its routine activities to ponder the meaning of the input it receives from our senses or from its own activities.

    When faced with meaningless observations, the mind invents its own fantasies to...

  • You have the right to feel offended

    August 16, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    A conference organized by the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute in Jerusalem last month dealt with anti-Israel attacks in the United States that constitute, according to organizers, a "long-term threat" to Israel's standing.

    Brandeis University President Jehuda Reinharz told...

  • ‘A Mighty Heart’ needs moral clarity

    July 19, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    I used to believe that the world essentially divided into two types of people: those who were broadly tolerant and those who felt threatened by differences. If only the forces of tolerance could win out over the forces of intolerance, I reasoned, the world might finally know some...
  • Why ‘peace camps’ do not make peace

    June 14, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Last week marked the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day War, and Israeli society took a hard look at this pivotal turning point in its history.

    Silver-haired generals, retired politicians, journalists and analysts were the week's favorites on Israeli TV programs, as they...
  • Yom Ha’Atzmaut 2007: What Israel means to me

    April 26, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    From a chapter in the book, "What Israel Means to Me: By 80 Prominent Writers, Performers, Scholars, Politicians, and Journalists," edited by Alan Dershowitz (John Wiley & Sons, 2006).

    I was born in Tel Aviv, in 1936, and, quite naturally, my feelings toward Israel are suffused with...

  • Benefits bolster the case for reciprocity

    March 15, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    The past few months saw rising temperatures of accusations and counteraccusations among sections of the Jewish community. Leftist Jews criticized Israel, professor Alvin Rosenfeld criticized anti-Zionist Jews, the American Jewish Committee (AJCommittee) published Rosenfeld's...
  • A meaningful peace plan

    February 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    While attending a Muslim American conference in Doha, Qatar, in 2005, an Arab leader asked me at the dinner table: "Tell me, why didn't Israelis accept the Saudi peace proposal of 2002? In fact, they did not even respond to it. Did it not offer them everything that they ever wished...
  • Palestinian remarks generate cheer and gloom

    January 18, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Cheerful news reached us last week from Damascus. Hamas' political chief, Khaled Meshal, told Reuters in an interview on Jan. 10 that Israel is a "matter of fact," and that Hamas might consider recognizing Israel once a Palestinian state is established.

    Don't misjudge me. I am not...

  • Shoah Denial Conference: Damage Assessment

    December 28, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    While world Jewry recovers from the shock of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Holocaust conference in Tehran, emotions are slowly giving way to analysis.

    Why is Ahmadinejad pursuing this foolish crusade against the Holocaust? After all, even he must know that the Holocaust...

  • For Ilan, a Eulogy

    March 16, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    This week marks the shloshim, the 30th day following the death of Ilan Halimi, murdered by French anti-Semites in a Paris suburb.

    "Pour Ilan" -- this is what the sign says, held by demonstrators in a quiet march, in Paris, in your memory. Pour Ilan, Ilan Halimi, my newly fallen...

  • What Musharraf Should Say to Jews

    September 22, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Dialogue between Jews and Muslims is a necessary step toward easing world tension, and we are therefore pleased that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has addressed the American Jewish Congress last weekend in New York.

    As we have been actively involved in such dialogue over the...

  • Clash of Ideas Should Be Addressed

    July 14, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    The age of terror, it seems, has sprouted an era of dialogue. A host of conferences designed to bring together East and West are cropping up everywhere.

    Never before, perhaps, have so many talked so optimistically about so serious a problem. But behind all the words is one unspoken...

  • Formula Could Combat Campus Racism

    June 9, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    In the past three months, I have visited four "troubled" campuses -- Duke, York (Canada), Columbia and UC Irvine -- where tensions between Jewish and anti-Zionist students and professors have attracted national attention. In these visits, I have spoken to students, faculty and...

  • Sense From Senselessness

    September 5, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    What follows is an edited version of a speech that Judea Pearl, the father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, delivered upon accepting an award on his son's behalf from the Los Angeles Press Club on June 22, 2002.

    It is a great honor for me and Ruth to accept this...