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Judea Pearl attends Bush farewell

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Daniel Pearl’s father was invited to hear President Bush’s farewell address in person.

Bush delivered his valedictory Thursday evening in a televised address. Joining him were 50 people whose interactions with him stemmed from the policies he was defending in his speech.

Among them was Judea Pearl; a backgrounder distributed ahead of the address noted that Pearl "is the father of Wall Street Journal Reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002. The President welcomed Judea and Ruth Pearl to the White House for the 2007 Chanukah Reception, where the menorah used for the ceremony belonged to the family of Daniel Pearl."

The backgrounder also noted that the Daniel Pearl Foundation was founded "to confront the hatred that took Daniel’s life and to promote cross-cultural understanding through journalism, music, and dialogue."

In his speech, Bush wedded his commitment to combat terrorism to his outreach to freedom seekers around the world. "Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, everywhere," Bush said. "Freeing people from oppression and despair is eternally right. This nation must continue to speak out for justice and truth. We must always be willing to act in their defense — and to advance the cause of peace."

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