The problems with the Lubavitch

Mumbai Chabad now is a important economic part of the city’s worth….the Lubavitch say
December 29, 2008, 5:15 pm
Filed under: Entitlement | Tags: ,


Not just our faith, terrorists targeted our links to India’s

economy: chief of Jewish Chabad

Y P Rajesh Posted: Dec 25, 2008 at 0034 hrs IST

Afula, Israel: The ultra-orthodox Jewish movement Chabad-Lubavitch believes that its Chabad House centre in Mumbai was targeted during the November 26 Terror strikes not only because of anti-Semitism but also because it was frequented by Western businessmen of Jewish origin who had strong links with their Indian counterparts, and the terrorists wanted to hurt India’s economic interests.

The Chabad House building in downtown Colaba being picked as a target has confounded investigators and security experts as it was hardly known to even locals, leaving them wondering if there was more to it than just the fact that it was a Jewish prayer and meal centre frequented by Israelis.

Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, the New York-based global chairman of the Conference of the Chabad-Lubavitch, told The Indian Express that the attackers seemed to be “looking to destroy the economy of India” by creating havoc at the targets they chose in Mumbai. High-technology and the diamond trade were crucial to India and people of Jewish origin were a “component in helping to build the Indian economy” through collaborations, he said.

“They had scattered out and found that many Western businessmen of Jewish faith came to the Chabad House,” he said in an interview at the home of Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg in this northern Israeli town. Rosenberg’s daughter Rivki and her husband Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg ran the Mumbai Chabad House and were killed in the attack along with four other Jews.

“They wanted to hurt the most important part of India and the Indian Government through them. And for the Jewish visitors, it was a home away from home,” Kotlarsky said. Rosenberg, his wife Yehudit, and Kotlarsky will be in Mumbai tomorrow to light lamps at the Knesset Eliyahoo synagogue on the occasion of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights which began on December 21 and ends on December 29.

Investigators in Mumbai have said that anti-Semitism played a role in Chabad House being chosen as a target as this was a part of the indoctrination of the 10 Lashkar-e-Toiba men chosen for the attacks. This, they say, was revealed by Ajmal Ameer Kasab, the lone terrorist caught alive and now in the custody of the Mumbai Crime Branch. Chabad officials said they were not denying anti-Semitism was a factor. In fact, it was a key reason but there seemed to be other motives too and they had all come together, they added.

Kotlarsky said that the attack was a “very big blow” to Brooklyn, New York-headquartered Chabad-Lubavitch as Gavriel and Rivki were “very very special people, very loving, caring and endearing. But ultimately this will only strengthen us because we don’t step back, we don’t see anything from an adversarial position.” He said the movement would return to Mumbai and enlist the help of the local government, seek its approvals, and rebuild the centre in Colaba.

“Doing anything less would be forfeiting victory to these terrorists,” he said as he examined a miniature model of the reconstructed Colaba centre.

Rosenberg, 58, said he wants to visit India frequently to see Chabad House being rebuilt and hoped that the Indian Government would allow him to do so. “I want to keep coming back, I want to bring my family, it will be good for my heart. If not, my heart will take another beating,” he said.


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