Steven Sotloff“Call him Indiana Jones” – Friends and family talk about American-Israeli journalist Steven Sotloff, 31, murdered by Islamic State

Israeli-American journalist Steven Sotloff, 31, who was brutally murdered by a jihadist member of the Islamic State (IS), was above all a brilliant man full of laughter and very outgoing.

In love with the Arab world, Sotloff was also very attached to his Jewish roots and to the State of Israel, where he lived beginning in 2005 in order to study Political Science at the renowned Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC). The memory of Steven will remain forever engraved in the minds of many of his former classmates: he had a tender heart and was always willing to help.

“Steven had a gift for writing, he also helped some of us go over our homework,” recalled one former IDC student. …

“He was an imposing man who had a sardonic smile that lit up his bearded face,” another student said. “Stationed in front of the library, he often got into heated debates on Israeli politics.”

At a press conference in Florida, Sotloff’s family spokesman Barak Barfi described Sotloff as a man who “wanted to give voice to those who had none.”

“[Sotloff] was no war junkie and did not want to be a modern-day Lawrence of Arabia,” Barfi said.

Barfi also said the journalist’s family sent their condolences to the family of Jim Foley – another American journalist who was also beheaded by IS a few weeks ago.

US Secretary of State John Kerry also paid tribute to Sotloff, saying “his reporting was as empathetic as his killers are evil.”

Comparing him to the legendary 20th century war correspondent Martha Gellhorn, Kerry said that Sotloff “focused on the stories of average people trapped in war and documented their day-in, day-out struggle for dignity.”

Having worked to try to bring the American journalist home safely, Kerry said his murder so soon on the heels of Foley’s beheading last month was “a punch to the gut.”

Indiana Jones

“Steven was one of the funniest people I’ve ever known … even when I thought he was talking about serious things it was hilarious,” said Danielle Kaye, one of Sotloff’s friends he met in Israel who has since moved to New York.

Kaye remained very close to Sotloff even after leaving Israel. She said that she was always impressed with his crazy stories of his adventures in Yemen, Libya, Egypt and Syria.

“He’s Indiana Jones,” she said. “Of course, I thought he was crazy, but he was in fact incredibly brave.”

“I think his readiness to seek the truth was admirable,” Kaye added.

Sotloff worked as a journalist covering events in the Arab world as a freelancer for Time magazine, the American weekly Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy magazine, and World Affairs Journal.

He spoke of wanting to return to Israel to settle there permanently and find a girlfriend. Unfortunately, he did not have the chance to do so.

“Steven will be greatly missed, he has touched many lives,” Kaye concluded.

Lees ook: “Steven Sotloff était brillant et plein d’humour” – “Bien sûr, je pensais qu’il était fou, mais non, il était incroyablement courageux ”

i24news – foto: journalist Steven Sotloff, brutaal vermoord door IS