Steven Sotloff Was Israeli: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Steven Sotloff Israel


The second-US journalist who was beheaded by ISIS in a video was a dual Israeli citizen, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post. Steven Sotloff held an Israeli passport and spent several years there studying.

Here’s what we know so far:

1. Sotloff Was a Rugby Player in Israel

Steven Sotloff ISIS

According to reports in Israel, Sotloff lived in the country for a time and played rugby, this was prior to becoming a journalist. He attended classes at the Interdisciplinary Center in Tel Aviv. While he lived in Miami, Sotloff worked for the Temple Beth Am school, according to CBS Miami.

2. Sotloff’s Mother Never Mentioned the Israel Connection

Raw: Hostage Sotloff's Mother Pleads for ReleaseSubscribe for more Breaking News: The mother of an American journalist held hostage and threatened with death by Islamic militants has pleaded for his release in a video aimed directly at his captors. (Aug. 27) The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world…2014-08-27T18:04:22.000Z
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Sotloff’s connections to Israel were not made public until now. His family and security forces were worried that revelation cut put his life in even more danger. A week before his murder, Sotloff’s mother, Shirley, made an emotional plea to ISIS to release her son.

3. He Left Israel Because He Became Disillusioned With Life There

A Times of Israel report states that Sotloff became disillusioned with the Israeli government while he was there. His disillusionment wasn’t due to the Israeli/Arab situation but related to how the government was treating citizens.

4. Sotloff Observed Yum Kippur While in Captivity

The Times of Israel further reports that Sotloff pretended to be ill at one point so that he could observe Yum Kippur.

5. Sotloff Was Held in Captivity for a Year

Sotloff was kidnapped by militants in Aleppo in August 2013. His execution video, which was genuine, was uploaded online on September 2. It appears he was killed by the same man who killed US photographer James Foley on August 19.