Daniel Pearls murder shows the Holocaust is unfinished business

There's still time, but I'm still waiting for a single Muslim cleric to denounce the murder of Daniel Pearl at the hands of Islamic terrorists. So far, nothing. Word of Pearl's execution came at the same time that PBS was running a feature on Mecca, where millions of Muslims were gathered to peacefully celebrate their holiest festival. Worshipers, viewers were told, were in Mecca to claim their devotion to all that is good and righteous.

At virtually the same moment, Danny Pearl was being tortured and hacked to death. Within that context, would it be wrong to say that Danny Pearl died for the sins of Islam?

Everything about the murder of Danny Pearl is appalling. There is nothing to take from it except bitterness. There is no revenge to be taken from this, no lesson to be learned. Usually, after an event so horrific (like 9/11) we adjust, we make corrections, we study ways to do things differently. We say that next time we'll be more careful.

In this case, next time what? Next time we won't be Jewish?

Danny Pearl's last words (as reported) were, "I am a Jew. My mother is a Jew. My father is a Jew." This "confession" was forced upon him by his abductors. What is plain, then, is that Danny Pearl was murdered not because he was a journalist, not even because he was an American — Danny Pearl was brutally slain because he was a Jew.

This should give pause to those who trust in concessions. If you believe that a smaller, weaker Israel is the way to peace, you forget that no amount of appeasement can erase the fact that Israel is a "Jewish" state and that hatred against the Jewish people knows no boundaries, no limits. Israel, truly, is not only a land, it is a people, and we are everywhere — and wherever we go, they follow.

Did the Holocaust really end in 1945 when that last crematorium was liberated? Perhaps we can date the beginning to 1938 at Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, or even back to Pharaoh and Haman; but as for the end — there is no end.

What we live with is a portable Holocaust, a moveable feasting upon the flesh of the Jewish people.

Those who rage for Jewish blood make the claim that their grievance is about land. Yes, they want the land, but they also want the people. Danny Pearl's murderers were so vague about their kidnapping demands because, first, there was no kidnapping, second, there were no demands. Plainly, they wanted another Jew dead, and they wanted to send a message that no Jew is safe, anywhere.

The Holocaust, in their eyes, is unfinished business.

The line between Hitler and Arafat is direct, as is the line between Nazism and extreme Islam. It is a mere passing of the baton from Europe to the Middle East. Where the Jews go, the Holocaust follows. Names change, venues shift, but the objective is the same — Judenrein, a world cleansed of Jews.

But specifically, what of Danny Pearl? He was no casualty of the intifada. He died not in Israel. He died in Pakistan. Is there a difference?

No, because Danny Pearl was Israel. Never forget those last words: "I am a Jew. My mother is a Jew. My father is a Jew."

We can only wonder what pride and defiance attended that remark.

There is no escaping fate. Jacob was born as Jacob but was transformed into Israel. Overnight, in an instant, he was shed of his ordinariness and reshaped into a man (into a nation, really) of heroic proportions. Did he have a choice whether or not to take on the radiance and the gravity of "Israel?" No, it was decreed.

So too Danny Pearl. At the last moment, in his final breath, he was transformed from ordinary Wall Street Journal reporter into…ISRAEL! In such brilliance was Danny Pearl gathered unto his people.

Danny Pearl's sacrifice is a legacy and a challenge. "I am a Jew. My mother is a Jew. My father is a Jew."

Those words demand to be repeated and remembered as their shame, our glory.