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January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777
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Beheaded Journalist Hid His Judaism from ISIS Captors

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Journalist Steven Sotloff, beheaded by Islamic State murderers in video shown on Sept. 2, 2014.

Journalist Steven Sotloff, beheaded by Islamic State murderers in video shown on Sept. 2, 2014.
Photo Credit: Facebook

Journalist Steven Sotloff, beheaded by the ISIS, secretly practiced his Judaism but hid it from his captors, according to a fellow kidnap victim who was among those freed.

The ISIS posted a video Tuesday showing the execution of Sotloff, less than two weeks after it distributed a similar video of the beheading of journalist James Foley. There is speculation that the video actually were filmed the same day.

Sotloff is the second Jewish journalist was has been kidanpped and murdered by beheading by Islamic radicals. Daniel Pearl, who wrote for The Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped by Pakistani terrorists and later murdered in 2002 by Al-Qaeda member Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Pakistan.

Sotloff disappeared a year ago, after crossing the Syrian border from Turkey, and all hints of his being Jewish immediately were removed from the Internet so that his Jewish identity would not be certain death sentence at the hands of his fanatic Muslim kidnap-murderers.

Sotloff’s Facebook page suddenly disappeared, and American officials told the family that ISIS “probably didn’t know or wasn’t sure that Sotloff was Jewish and knowing that he was Jewish would be like another Daniel Pearl situation, so let’s not give them that information,” a friend from home was reported as saying by the LA Jewish Journal.

However, The New York Times announced after his capture that Sotloff was “the grandson on Holocaust survivors.”

A kidnap victim who was with Sotloff and later released said that he saw the Jewish journalist fasting on Yom Kippur last year.

Sotloff “told them he was sick and did not want to eat, even though they had served him eggs that day,” the eyewitness said. “He appeared as if he was praying secretly and in the direction of Jerusalem. He looked towards where Muslims pray and changed his direction a little bit.”

Before it was known that the ISIS murdered Sotloff, his mother Shirley posted a video message to ISIS, as seen below, leading for the terrorists to spare his life.

“As a mother… I ask you to use your authority to spare his life and to follow the example set by the Prophet Mohammad who protected People of the Book…,” she said.

Sotloff grew up in Miami and as a small child was enrolled in a local synagogue day school.

In the ISIS video, a man with a British accent, apparently the same murderer who beheaded Foley, is seen holding a butcher knife in his left hand as Sotloff stated, “I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State.

“I’m sure you know exactly who I am by now and why I am appearing, Obama. Your foreign policy of intervention in Iraq was supposed to be for preservation of American lives and interests, so why is it that I am paying the price of your interference with my life?”

After hearing the news of his death Sotloff’s mother said. “He is an honorable man and has always tried to help the weak,” she said, adding that he was sympathetic to the suffering of Muslims.

A family spokesman said that that they now are “mourning privately.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.

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  1. Donny Fuchs says:

    May G-d avenge his blood. Baruch Dayan Emet.

  2. Lisa Herzog says:

    Why did the NEw York Times print that??

  3. May his memory always be a blessing. RIP.

  4. Usama slave of isis satan!!! Hey usama blockhead u r a no brain cockroach,,drink a glass of pig-blood n u’ll gonna turn to a human being!!!

  5. Mike Burke says:

    The NYT is incredibly antisemitic. Haven’t you read it?

  6. Mike Burke says:

    You godamned pig’s turd.

  7. Mike Jewell says:

    ISIS are little cowards who hide behind veils and women and children, just like Hamas. Meet us face to face and see how it turns out, little pig man. Coward.

  8. God of retribution…

  9. Lisa Herzog says:

    Yes, I am very aware of that…hence the sarcasm!

  10. Janet Hart says:

    Destroy ISIS completely NOW. Get off the golf court Obama, and send in the bombers.

  11. Poor man…elimate the terrorists now

  12. Brendon Root says:

    Raghead muslim goat er. get off the Jewish press page you scum

  13. Andy Brown says:

    It doesn’t show his execution! I’m sick of saying they showed it when they didn’t.

  14. this makes me worry for his family .isis is in the us already theres no way there not. the head putz needs to be tossed out of the white house along with every one from his admin and the PM over there needs to stop listening to them. grow a pair and toss all of them out of Israel. if it were up to the us citizens we would do it in a hot minute

  15. Now we know killed fortis beliefs and. Culture. This is true Islam.

  16. Joel Zelnik says:

    Who are you going to bomb? Look at GWB and Reagan. Their policiies helped to destable Iraq and Lebanon, giving terrorist groups like this one the ability to grow.

  17. Janet Hart says:

    Joel Zelnick: you are correct. It is all a mess.

  18. Obamarama did it again! He showed his real face! USA wake up!

  19. Mark Bernstein says:

    This article needs careful proofreading. There are numerous obvious mistakes.

  20. Marie Jacqueline King says:

    Why the new York times would announce that he was Jewish when the family was keeping that private for his own safety is bewildering. Mean while they under report those things they need to cover..

  21. Ralph Rubinek says:

    The only grave mistake is when a Jew has a subscription to the New York Times or even advertizes utilizing this hateful publication.

  22. Jeff Rosner says:

    The ISIS people are horrible and deserve to be ruthlessly crushed. However what is wrong with these bleeding heart leftist journalists? the Mother of Steven Sotloff spoke out saying, “Steven is a journalist who traveled to the Middle East to cover the suffering of Muslims at the hands of tyrants.”
    The journalist (Foley) murdered last week was also a terrorist sympathizer who posted anti-Israel messages. (anti-Jew). They remind me of the videographer who thought the Alaskan bears liked him but then they ate him (true story).

  23. Jason Morgan says:

    Anyone who enters there for journalism or humanitarian reasons needs to understand they may never see freedom again!

  24. So many stupid people in this world!!!! Wanna say something? Wanna comment? Think first!!!! And then do it intelligently please!!!! We already have evil terrorists no need for extra stupidity and unintelligent remarks!

  25. Thomas Wolfe says:

    Joel Zelnik – liberal stupidity never ceases to amaze me. It’s the fault of Reagan and Bush that enabled (entitled) these evil terrorist – not Obama’s appeasement and weakness – terrorist, especially muslim lunatics will never be fit to live in a civilized society where minority rights are to be respected. Bomb the terrorist back to the stone age where they belong.

  26. Hindy Abelson says:

    Leave it to the New York Times to do something that brainless. If they represent the height of journalism, woe unto the world

  27. Annette Rf says:

    When his mother in the video referred to her son as being part of "the People of the Book" (Quranic term for Jews), tragically she may have sealed his fate…they might not have realized he was Jewish before that. 🙁

  28. Glynis Pereira D'souza says:

    What a sad day for a family who missed their son for over a year and will never get to see or hug him again…

  29. I'm a little confused that someone can spend four years at a leading Israel university and come out the way he was described. Maybe he was working for the Mossad.

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