Ed Koch, the iconic former New York City mayor who died Friday, has some of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl’s last words — “My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish.” — on his tombstone. Koch explained his reasoning for doing this in a 2011 blog post for The Huffington Post: “I believe those words should be part of the annual services on the Jewish High Holiday of Yom Kippur, and should be repeated by the congregants.”
Pearl was brutally murdered by al-Qaeda terrorists after being kidnapped in Pakistan in 2002, with his death videotaped and used as a propaganda tool. He died on February 1, 2002, eleven years ago exactly — making Koch’s usage of Pearl’s words symbolic in another way.