ABC News’ Jennifer Duck Reports: President George Bush and Laura Bush will be joined by the parents of slain Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl at the annual White House Hanukkah reception tonight.
Pearl was kidnapped and killed by terrorists in Pakistan while on assignment nearly six years ago. Pearl’s final words, captured on videotape in 2002, were about his faith and heritage.
"My name is Daniel Pearl. I am a Jewish American from Encino, California … My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish," Pearl said to his captors before being killed.
Daniel Pearl’s parents, Professor Judea Pearl and Ruth Pearl, will light their family Menorah at the White House reception. The Menorah originally belonged to Professor Pearl’s grandparents who brought it with them when they moved from Poland to Israel in 1924, to establish the town of Bnai-Brak.
White House Press Secretary Dana Perino told reporters Mrs. Pearl hopes the Menorah serves as a "visual reminder to all people who are facing darkness, that with hope and perseverance, freedom and goodness will prevail."
The Menorah will stay at the White House through Tuesday, which is the last night of Hanukkah.
In addition to the Pearls, the President also met with Jewish leaders from around the world, many who have experienced religious persecution in their home countries.
"In the long-term, the best way to defeat an ideology of hate is with an ideology of hope," Bush told the leaders. "And an ideology of hope is one that says we value your religion, we honor the way you worship, and in our society you can worship any way you so choose. And that’s the vision and dream for societies around the world."
Next month Bush will travel to the Middle East and will likely visit Israel. The President visited Israel as Governor of Texas nine years ago but has never traveled to Israel as President.