When is the news not fit to print? It's a tough question to ask seasoned journalists, but with the case of Joshua Fattal, it wasn't hard at all. We didn't need to be asked twice by the family of the Elkins Park native being held hostage in Iran for 26 months to keep his story out of the Jewish Exponent.
It's unlikely that the Iranians didn't know that one of the three Americans arrested for crossing the Iraqi border back in 2009 was Jewish or even that his father was an ex-Israeli. Still the families of the three hikers had forged a united front and the Fattal family didn't want to risk any further harm to their loved one. After all, the ghost of Daniel Pearl still looms large in all our minds.
It's a sad fact of life that 65 years after the defeat of the Nazis, it is still necessary to hide one's Jewishness to escape harm. But that's the reality, especially in a place like Iran, whose president once again took to the floor of the United Nations last week to blame Israel for all the world's ills.
We are glad that the time has come to tell the "untold" story. But mostly we are relieved that Fattal is home safe. It's too early to know of the lasting scars he and his friends will bear. We wish them and their families the best of luck getting on with their lives.
And on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, we wish the Fattal family — and all of us — a year of peace and good health.