U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power slammed for Daniel Pearl tweets

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Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, issued a quick clarification Monday amid a social media furor over her tweet that seemingly suggested Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl’s al Qaeda beheading was partly his fault.

Ms. Power, who attended the Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture at UCLA on Sunday, tweeted that she was “honored” to speak at the event before addressing the Daniel Pearl Foundation: “Daniel Pearl’s story is reminder that individual accountability & reconciliation are required to break cycles of violence. @DanielPearlFNDN”

On Monday, she clarified in another series of tweets: “Correction: @DanielPearlFNDN’s work is a reminder that individual accountability + reconciliation are required to break cycles of violence. … As I said last night, the men who murdered Daniel Pearl did so because ‘he was an American, and most of all, because he was a Jew.’”

Mr. Pearl was kidnapped in 2002 while on assignment for the Wall Street Journal and then beheaded by al Qaeda operative Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Ms. Power’s follow-up tweets came on the heels of substantial media backlash. Several Twitter posters were particularly upset at what they perceived as her suggestion that Mr. Pearl was partially at fault for his own death.

Wall Street Journal South Asia bureau chief Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and killed in Pakistan in 2002. (Associated Press)

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Wall Street Journal South Asia bureau chief Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and ... more >

One wrote: “@AmbassadorPower @DanielPearlFNDN Can you elaborate? What should Pearl have been accountable for? Should he have reconciled with Al Qaeda?”

And another: “@AmbassadorPower To what ‘cycle of violence’ are you referring? The man had his throat cut for being a Jew.”

Jewish media outlets were quick to condemn Ms. Power’s message.

“OMG. She actually said that,” The Jewish Press wrote. “She proposed an equation in which two sides, the jihadists and Daniel Pearl were each engaged in violence against each other, and look what happened.”

The Israel Matzav blog posted: “Remind me now … to which ‘cycle of violence’ did Daniel Pearl belong when he had his throat split by a Pakistani Muslim? When was the last time Israel attacked Pakistan?”

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